Instructor: Janet Bones
June 26 at 7 a.m. – June 27 at 4 p.m.
Glacier National Park is a wildflower aficionado’s paradise. With nearly 1,000 species of wildflowers located within its boundaries, Glacier provides an abundance of beauty and learning opportunities for those who know where to look. In this course, participants will have the opportunity to identify plants in the diverse biomes of Glacier National Park. At the end of the class, students should be able to identify many common wildflowers, recognize at least seven plant families by sight, list plant adaptations, and be able to compare plant limiting factors for habitats that were viewed. The majority of the class will be taught as hands-on in the field in a non-technical manner. Botanical terms will be discussed as they are observed while identifying plants. Both common and scientific names as listed in Peter Lesica’s Flora of Glacier National Park, 2002, will be used. This course is for anyone who enjoys observing wildflowers and learning about plant adaptations which enable them to survive.
Meeting Place: Glacier Institute Field Camp.
Itinerary: (subject to change due to weather, trail closures, and blooming season)
Day 1: We will meet at Field Camp at 7 a.m. for an introduction and orientation to the workshop. Then we will travel by Glacier Institute van around the south edge of the park to the Two Medicine Valley. We will search for flowers along the lower section of the Scenic Point Trail or the Aster Park Trail depending upon the flower display. Returning to Field Camp by 4 p.m.
Day 2: We will meet at 7 a.m. at Field Camp and load into the Glacier Institute vehicles for a drive over Logan Pass to Sun Point along St. Mary Lake. From Sun Point we will walk along the St. Mary Falls trail as far as Baring Falls, then up to the Sun Road at Sunrift Gorge. From here we will continue as far as time allows along the Siyeh Pass Trail before returning to the bus and back to camp by 4 p.m., course will not be cancelled due to weather.
Food: The following meals are included: lunch on Day 1 through lunch on Day 2.
Accommodations: One night of lodging is included into the course fee. Our student cabins are basic, hostel-style cabins with 5 single beds, bedside lights, and electrical outlets. Students should be prepared to share a cabin with up to 4 other people, cabins are separated by gender. Couples may be paired up in the event there is ample space. We provide a bottom sheet for your bed as well as a pillow and pillow case, but please bring a warm sleeping bag. Be sure to bring a flashlight or headlamp for night trips to the bathroom.
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. Binoculars and hand lenses are also highly recommended. A simple identification key will be provided for use during the workshop as well as a variety of plant books. A small notebook is helpful as are any of your favorite plant identification books. Participants may wish to have a copy of Shannon Kimball’s Wildflowers of Glacier National Park and Surrounding Areas to use during the class.
Physical Requirements: Moderate Difficulty. We will be hiking up to six miles round trip and up to 1,200 feet of elevation change. Frequent 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.