Trees and Shrubs of Glacier National Park

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Distance

1.5 Miles

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Elevation Gain

300 Feet

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Difficulty

Easy

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Cost Per Person

$125

Hike Overview

Wanting to brush up on your tree and shrub ID skills? Join local botany expert Janet Paul Bones for a full day inside Glacier National Park! Our day will be spent in the field identifying the common trees and shrubs using a simple key. Discussions will cover the factors affecting distribution, various forest zones, adaptations, climate change in Glacier Park, response to natural ecological disruptions, common diseases/insect infestation, and importance to native animals and Native Peoples. A simple key will be provided. We will also discuss the science behind our amazing fall colors!

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Trees and Shrubs of Glacier National Park

Hike Overview Continued

Wanting to brush up on your tree and shrub ID skills? Join local botany expert Janet Paul Bones for a full day inside Glacier National Park! Our day will be spent in the field identifying the common trees and shrubs using a simple key. Discussions will cover the factors affecting distribution, various forest zones, adaptations, climate change in Glacier Park, response to natural ecological disruptions, common diseases/insect infestation, and importance to native animals and Native Peoples. A simple key will be provided. We will also discuss the science behind our amazing fall colors!

Meeting Place: Glacier Institute Field Camp.

Itinerary: (subject to change due to weather and trail closures) After brief introductions, we will begin traveling up the Going-to-the-Sun Road and stopping at trailheads and overlooks.We will plan to step away from the crowds and begin learning the basics of plant ID. Our day will take us all the way over to the east side of the Continental Divide, where we’ll observe the drastic difference in vegetation. The course will end by 4 p.m. and will not be canceled 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 Field Camp gear list once you register. Most importantly are comfortable hiking shoes, at least 1-2 liter water bottle, backpack, rain gear, hat, and sunscreen. Weather can be varied so please be prepared with appropriate clothing, and warm layers. Feel free to bring an additional plant ID guide, if preferred.

Physical Requirements: Easy/Moderate. On-trail or off-trail hikes up to 1.5 miles and/or 300 feet of elevation change.

Recommended Reading: Trees and Flowering Shrubs of Glacier National Park by Shannon Kimball and Peter Lesica.

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What to Expect On Your Trees and Shrubs of Glacier National Park

We will begin traveling up the Going to the Sun Road and stopping at trailheads and overlooks. Our day will take us all the way over to the east side of the Continental Divide, where we’ll observe the drastic difference in vegetation.

Hike Details

  • This Glacier Institute program meets at Glacier Institute Field Camp.
  • Instructor: Janet Paul Bones
  • The program will begin 7 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Please arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Hiking distance covers around 1.5 miles with less than 300 feet elevation change.
  • On-site parking available.
  • There is a maximum number of 13.
  • 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