Sunday Field Trips

FT - 6  Leslie Gulch and Succor Creek, Oregon

Trip Leaders: Don Mansfield and Beth Corbin

7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fee: $125.00  - includes continental breakfast, boxed lunch, and water

The Owyhee region of SW Idaho and SE Oregon is home to unusual geology of the Oregon/Idaho graben.  Leslie Gulch has unusual rock formations that bring naturalists from afar.  Of particular botanical interest are the many volcanic ash beds with their accompanying endemic flora (most but not all of which will, unfortunately, be dried up at the end of July). We will see flowering endemics such as Senecio ertterae, Erigonum novonudum, and Monardella angustifolia.

No collecting will be allowed

FT - 7  Snowbank Mountain

Trip Leader: Jim Smith

8:00 am- 5:00 pm
Fee:  $100.00  - includes continental breakfast, boxed lunch, and water

We will hike Blue Lake Trail located on Snowbank Mountain. Blue Lake Trail is a short but steep hike to Blue Lake, offering beautiful panoramic views, of Long Valley, Lake Cascade and the lake, from the road before you get to the trailhead.  The trail provides approximately 1.3 miles of easy to moderate hiking one way.  The tread is singletrack with a vertical gain and loss of 549 feet.  We will hike to the lake, likely see Isoetes in the lake itself, have lunch there and slowly return to the trailhead doing our botanizing on way back up.  We are likely to see Anticlea elegans, Pedicularis groenlandica, Eriogonum pyrolifolium, several species of Lupinus, and numerous other species.


SOLD OUT - FT - 8  The Miocene Picket Creek Flora of Southwestern Idaho

Trip Leader: Mike Dunn

9:00 am- 5:00 pm
Fee:  TBD - includes continental breakfast, boxed lunch, and water

The Paleobotanical Section is sponsoring a full-day field trip to collect fossils from the late Miocene Pickett Creek Fossil Beds of southwestern Idaho. The site is approximately 90 minutes south of Boise and reveals a diverse, 8.5 -10.5 m.y.o. leaf, fruit, and seed flora preserved in lacustrine sediments. More than 45 leaf species have been recovered, dominated by two white oak species (59%), five willow species (8%), and five Fabaceae species (6%). The fissile siltstone matrix has also revealed exquisitely preserved insects and fish.

In addition, the current flora is a relatively intact sagebrush-steppe community offering neo-botanical exposure to the dominant ecosystem of southern Idaho. Birding opportunities are also excellent, so bring your binoculars.  The geology of the site is also very interesting in that the igneous rocks that form the fossil lake basin were in part, extruded when the Yellowstone Hot Spot was below this area approximately 15 m.y.a.

Participation includes transportation to and from the site plus snacks, lunch, and water. Heavy tools such as shovels and pick-axes will be provided. A limited number of rock hammers and heavy-bladed knives will also be available for opening the fossiliferous rocks. Activity here is not strenuous, but participants should be prepared for sunny, dry conditions at 4000 ft elevation and rough terrain. Gloves, long sleeves, wide-brim hats, and sturdy footwear are advised.  Permits are not required for collecting non-vertebrate fossils at this site.

Collecting possibilities include fossil plants and insects, plus extant plants and diatomite. There are no collecting fees.

FT 10 - Boise Ridge, Our Local Island in the Sky

Trip Leader:  Barbara Ertter and Crista O’Conner

9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Fee:  TBD  includes  boxed lunch, water, and entrance fee

Take a break from the mid-summer heat and enjoy the wildflowers and conifer forests at the crest of the Boise Ridge, over 3000’ feet higher than Boise.  Eighteen winding miles by bus will take us to Bogus Basin Recreation Area at 6,100’ elevation.  Following an introduction and orientation by Bogus Basin staff, we’ll ride a chairlift to the top of Deer Point, at 7,000’ elevation.  After enjoying wide views of southwestern Idaho (conditions permitting) while eating lunch on the subalpine ridge, we’ll make a leisurely 3-mile walk back down to the base, traversing a diversity of habitat types including wildflower meadows, seepage areas, and Douglas-fir forest.  Nearly 200 vascular plant species have been previously reported from this trail, including species at the edge of their range, regional endemics, and even some in need of systematic attention.  We will also discuss forest management options and other ecological issues in the face of climate change.  Trip leaders are local botanist Barbara Ertter, who has been working on the local flora (, and Crista O’Conner, a botanist for the Boise National Forest.<o:p></o:p>

Physical requirements:  Participants should be capable of riding a chairlift and then walking downhill for 3 miles, mostly on a well-graded single-track dirt trail, above 6000 ft elevation.  Water bottles, sunscreen, hats, and sturdy footwear are all strongly recommended.  Summer rain is unlikely but not impossible; smoke could be a concern.<o:p></o:p>

Specialty collecting permits can be arranged

Canceled - FT - 11   Whitewater Rafting on Payette River

Trip Leader:  Bear Valley Rafting personnel

11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fee:  TBD  includes Continental breakfast, boxed lunch, water, and transportation

Whether you are a first-time floater or just want to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery on Idaho’s most popular whitewater run, this trip is for you. Sandy beaches and great swimming holes on the main fork of the Payette River highlight this excursion, but you’ll also get a taste of rafting that famous Idaho whitewater.

From their website” Our whitewater rafting trips are run by licensed, experienced, and professional guides. On certain trips, safety kayakers join us in providing a safer trip. However, as with any outdoor activity, a certain amount of risk is involved. you will be required to sign a Participant Agreement form before you join our trips. Children under 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign. Safety instructions are also covered before we get on the river. We are partners with the Boise National Forest and Idaho Outfitters & Guides Licensing Board.”

Main Payette River
Moderate - Class II & III
Age limit: Kids 4+
3.5 hours of Rafting

FT - 12  Idaho Botanical Garden

Trip Leader: Garden Staff

10:00 am to noon
Fee: TBD - includes transportation, water, and entrance fee

Join Idaho Botanical Garden docents on a tour of the grounds. This walk introduces you to the history of the Garden and the major features of the grounds.

For accessibility Information:  The distance from the admission kiosk to the classroom and the more cultivated, shaded portion of the Garden is 212 yards long. This includes a 24 yards-long ramp that meets ADA slope requirements.  There are areas of the garden where the path material is more gravely, areas where the sloped path is lawn, and in those cases we have alternative routes available that could be used.