Instructor: Janet Bones
July 21 at 7 a.m.
The wildflowers of Glacier are spectacular. They are especially beautiful against the rugged backdrop of mountain peaks. Their fragility is even more striking when the adverse environment of their habitat is understood. In this class, our goal is to discover and enjoy Glacier’s wildflowers in an informal and relatively non-technical manner. We will enjoy discovering the diversity of Glacier’s wildflowers–the spectacular and the inconspicuous. Structure and function of plant parts, plant tolerance, adaptation, distribution, habitat, and limiting factors will be discussed as they apply to flowering plants along the trail. Various flower books and keys will be available for review.
Meeting Place: Glacier Institute Field Camp.
Itinerary: (subject to change due to trail closures, weather and blooming seasons) The day will be spent in the field identifying the wonderful wildflowers of Glacier’s alpine areas. At 7 a.m. we will begin with an introduction to wildflower identification and a brief overview of the day. We will then travel to Logan Pass to hike to Hidden Lake Overlook. We will eat sack lunches near the overlook and then return to Logan Pass. For the remainder of the day we’ll view flowers along the Highline Trail, walking as far as time permits. We will be taking special note of the plants growing on the rim rock at the beginning of the Highline Trail. We will then return to the Logan Pass parking lot via the same trail. The course will end by 4 p.m. and will not be cancelled due to weather.
*If late snowfall or unexpected trail closures should make flower viewing at the higher elevations impossible, we will visit alternate sites at lower elevations in the Park. Glacier Park affords glorious floral displays in a wide range of habitats.
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, especially at the high elevations of Logan Pass, so please be prepared with appropriate clothing, especially warm layers. A magnifying lens as well as binoculars are nice to have. We will provide small field lenses if you don’t have your own.
Physical Requirements: Moderate difficulty. Hiking distance covers less than five miles. The Hidden Lake Overlook gains approximately 500 feet of elevation over a one-way distance of 1.5 miles, while the Highline Trail gains and loses about 500 feet of elevation. We will hike the Highline trail about 2 miles one-way (at the most). Frequent learning breaks will be taken along the trail.
Academic Credit: Please see our ‘2021 Academic Credit’ link on our website to learn about OPI credits for our courses.