Early Season Wildflowers | Guided Educational Hike

Basics of flower identification in a non-technical manner

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Distance

3 Miles

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Elevation Gain

300 Feet

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Difficulty

Easy

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Cost Per Person

$100

Hike Overview

June is the ideal month to observe the blooms of the prairies, foothills and forests. Anyone who delights in wildflowers will be thrilled with the dozens of flower species we’ll encounter as we travel up and over the Continental Divide to the Rocky Mountain Front. With magnifying glass in hand, we will “get to know” some of these plants by viewing them up close. We’ll also study variations in the landscape and how climate and microclimates influence where plants grow.

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Early Season Wildflowers | Guided Educational Hike

Hike Overview Continued

Instructor: Ellen Horowitz

June is the ideal month to observe the blooms of Glacier National Park’s prairies, foothills, and forests. Anyone who delights in wildflowers will be thrilled with the dozens of flower species you’ll encounter as we travel up and over the Continental Divide to the Rocky Mountain Front. With magnifying glass in hand, we will “get to know” some of these plants by viewing them up close. We’ll also study variations in the landscape and how climate and microclimates influence where plants grow.

Meeting Place: Glacier Institute Field Camp

Itinerary (subject to change due to weather, trail closures, and blooming season)
We will begin at Glacier Institute Field Camp at 7 a.m. After introductions we will then move into a slide presentation to demonstrate the basics of flower identification in a non-technical manner. Then we will take the Glacier Institute vehicle and drive along the south end of the park, stopping at several very different habitats to practice matching the flower in the field to the flower in the field guide. The course will end by 4 p.m. This course will not be cancelled due to weather.

Food: Please bring a trail lunch, plenty of water, and snacks for the day.

Park Entrance Fees: Participants are responsible for purchasing their park entry passes prior to the course. These can be purchased online at: https://www.recreation.gov/sitepass/74280

Equipment: You will receive a Glacier Institute Field Camp gear list once you register. Most importantly, bring comfortable hiking shoes, a water bottle (at least 1–2-liter), backpack, rain gear, hat, and sunscreen. Weather can be varied so please be prepared with appropriate clothing, and extra layers. Bring a magnifying glass if you have one, or we will provide small field lenses. Wildflower field guides and a field journal are recommended.

Physical Requirements: Easy-Moderate difficulty. Hiking distance covers less than three miles with less than 300 feet of elevation change.

Weather: During August, Glacier Park remains sunny and warm, although the temperatures overnight can still be chilly. The average high is 79°F (26°C), and the average low is 46°F (8°C).

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What to Expect On Your Early Season Wilflowers | Guided Day Hike

After a indoor presentation we will take to the trail to practice matching flowers. Hiking distance covers less than three miles with less than 300 feet of elevation change.

Hike Details

  • This program meets at Glacier Institute Field Camp, West Glacier.
  • Instructor: Ellen Horowitz.
  • The program will begin at 7 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Please arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Hiking distance covers less than 3 miles with less than 300 feet elevation change.
  • On-site parking available.
  • There is a maximum number of 13 hikers per trip.
  • This program has a minimum guest count of 3 people. In the unlikely case we don’t reach that number, you will be notified prior to the event.

What to Bring

Please remember that weather in NW Montana during all seasons can change quickly from warm and sunny to freezing at any time of the year. We recommend checking the weather prior to your trip. Please also check your course information sheet for specific gear requirements in addition to those listed below.

  • Lightweight hiking boots or a sturdy pair of hiking shoes
  • 2 liter sized water bottle or Camelback
  • Day Pack with plastic bag liner or cover
  • Waterproof rain jacket and pants
  • Sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellant & lip balm
  • Camera (optional)
  • Trekking poles, if you like to use them for hiking (optional)
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Field Notebook notes and sketches

Download complete checklist here