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Big Horn Mountains, WY

Big Horn Mountains, Wyoming: June 27 - July 1: "Plantsman's Tour" led by members of Denver Botanic Gardens staff : (5-day tour)

 

Following the successful tours in June/July 2016 this tour is being offered again in an extended form. The end of June and early July is peak season for flowers throughout the Rockies, but never more so than in the State of Wyoming, which may resemble Colorado in rectangular shape, but has a fraction of the human population ... although a good many more antelope.

Cody, our base for the tour, is pretty much equidistant from the Bighorn Mountains, Yellowstone National Park and the Absaroka Wilderness which is transected by the Beartooth Highway which leads to the Beartooth Pass. Our location will therefore give the group opportunities to visit the key wildflower sites of northern Wyoming.

We will stay at Thomas the Apostle Retreat Center – a beautifully situated complex with spectacular views of the Cody valley, and comfortable rooms. We will be hosted by the Center managers, Jay and Caroline Moody who have created lovely gardens surrounding the Center which are full of unusual native and adapted shrubs and perennials. The Center (tac.diowy.org) has many acres of pristine sagebrush steppe that are also well worth exploring.

On the first full day in Cody we will drive to the summit of the Bighorn Mountains, which are largely composed of dolomitic limestone in the area we will explore. This area is almost mythical for its wildflower displays – and there are many unusual and some very rare plants that are only known from here and a few neighboring spots: the gorgeous Jones' columbine (Aquilegia jonesii), Kelsey moss (Kelseya uniflora), and the regional endemic rock brake fern (Pellaea occidentalis), are just a few of the gems we shall see.

The next day will be a circle drive over Beartooth Pass – one of America's most spectacular highways which crosses many life zones and has spectacular montane, subalpine, and alpine flower displays – all of which should be at peak bloom. Here Purple Saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia) has its nearly southernmost occurrence, as does purple heather (Phyllodoce empetriformis). For dozens of miles the road is ringed by a tapestry of wildflower color unequalled anywhere - a day you will remember!

The third full day will be dedicated to time at the Retreat Center, optional visit to the world-class museums in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and hikes in the cushion-rich steppe flora, with dinner taken on our own in Cody.

 

Guide: Member of the Denver Botanic Gardens horticulture staff

Price: $1450 per participant

Includes: Guide, all transportation from the base in Cody in a motorcoach, St Thomas Retreat accommodation, and all meals except one dinner.

 

 

 

 

Questions? Call 720-865-3613.

 

Brunquist Gulch Day Trip with Panayoti Kelaidis

Join the Denver Botanic Gardens and senior horticulturists to explore beyond the Gardens' walls. A short drive from Denver will find us in a woodland Shangri-La filled with unusual wildflowers, many (like Sarsaparilla: Aralia nudicaulis) characteristic of the Eastern hardwood forest. Several alpine plants grow here, thousands of feet below their usual limit

 

Guide: Panayoti Kelaidis, Senior Curator and Director of Outreach

Price: $50, $45 members

Special Instructions: Participants will meet at the Mammoth parking lot off I-70 at Morrison and will carpool to the trailhead. Participants will be emailed directions a week prior to the event.

Please bring layers, raingear, good hiking shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen and a sack lunch. Be prepared to hike 2-4 miles on variable terrain.

 

Cherokee Fall Nature Hike - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Those lucky enough to have hiked Cherokee Ranch know that there are a wealth of habitats and a rich flora that distract your eyes downwards, even as the vistas of the rugged backbone of the Rockies and distant misty towers of downtown Denver tempt you to look further away. We have experienced toasty winter days that were breathless and surprisingly sunny, as well as blustery days in the summer. One thing is for sure you will never be bored on a Cherokee hike! This year we are starting much earlier for better birding. But the plants will already be awake!

 

In Fall the Sumac and plums are turning color in the gullies, and the oaks are showing some burnished bronze. Fall is a fabulous season on Cherokee Ranch: Senecio, Aster and Goldenrod are everywhere. Blazing star paints purple spikes in the tousled mats of buffalo grass. The Spotted Towhee bird can be overlooked in the spring and summer, is more visible now since many of the spring and summer residents have started their fall migration. Two species of Jays – Scrub and Steller’s can now get the attention they deserve. They can be “missed” in spring and summer as we look at the other species.

 

Tour Guides: Panayoti Kelaidis and Lynn Willcockson

Price: $25, $20 members

Special Instructions: Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure. Plants don't really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars: they can be used for both birds and plants.

 

Directions and details for your hike will be emailed to your email address approximately one week before your hike.

Hike location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

Cherokee Late Summer Nature Hike - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Those lucky enough to have hiked Cherokee Ranch know that there are a wealth of habitats and a rich flora that distract your eyes downwards, even as the vistas of the rugged backbone of the Rockies and distant misty towers of downtown Denver tempt you to look further away. We have experienced toasty winter days that were breathless and surprisingly sunny, as well as blustery days in the summer. One thing is for sure, you will never be bored on a Cherokee hike! This year we are starting much earlier for better birding. But the plants will already be awake!

Late summer is an excellent time to observe the bounty of both flora and fauna rolling through the hills of Cherokee Ranch: Aster and Goldenrod are everywhere. Blazing star paints purple spikes in the tousled mats of buffalo grass. Mid- summer bird activity continues at Cherokee as well. It is possible to see three species of hummingbirds as they stop to feed to store up energy on their way to Central America for the winter. The Mountain and Western Bluebirds have finished nesting and the young (juveniles) are seen throughout the Ranch property. There is no better place to soak up the sun than on a late summer plant hike and bird watching adventure at Cherokee Ranch.

 

Tour Guides: Panayoti Kelaidis and Lynn Willcockson

Price: $25, $20 members

Special Instructions: Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure. Plants don't really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars: they can be used for both birds and plants.

Directions and details for your hike will be emailed to your email address approximately one week before your hike.

Hike location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

Cherokee Spring Nature Hike - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

 

 

 

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