Glacier's Orchids


Program Start Date:


SINGLE DAY COURSE Come with us to identify these elusive plants and what makes them so unique. We hope to identify between 10 and 15 different species in Glacier National Park.

(Summer Activity Level)

Glacier's Orchids

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Glacier’s Orchids
Instructor: Steve Wirt
June 5 at 7 a.m.

This course will provide an exciting introduction to the ecology and identification of some Glacier’s most secretive and beautiful flora. In addition to learning how to recognize and identify orchids in the field, we will discuss the importance of maintaining specific habitat requirements for each of the species we encounter. Participants will be able to experience and admire Glacier’s wide variety of orchid species.

Meeting Place: Glacier Institute Field Camp.

Itinerary: (subject to change due to trail closures and weather) After a brief introduction at Field Camp, followed by a presentation with the orchid basics, we will travel to several locations along the Camas Road and upper McDonald Creek. We will try to visit a diversity of habitats in order to see several different orchid species. Our exact destinations will depend on weather conditions and on which plants are blooming in early June. The course will end by 4 p.m. and 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 Field Camp gear list once you register. Most importantly are comfortable hiking shoes, at least 1-2 liter water bottle, backpack, rain gear, hat, sunscreen and warm layers. Gaiters may be useful as we walk through damp grasses. A magnifying glass or hand lens will be highly recommended to observe orchid species.

Physical Requirements: Easy to little difficulty. We will be taking several short hikes in search of orchids, but it will not be rigorous, with less than 50 feet of elevation change. We may be off-trail, so be prepared to walk over logs, through brush, and in the woods where orchids like to grow.

Academic Credit: Please see our ‘2021 Academic Credit’ link on our website to learn about OPI credits for our courses.


Additional information

Refund Policy

The Glacier Institute has a 24 hour cancelation policy for a full refund with all of our courses.

Did you know Glacier Institute members receive a 10% discount?