Field Trips

Koma Kulshan chapter Washington Native Plant Society field trips are generally free and open to the public. Exceptions are noted in the trip descriptions.

Summer 2018 Field Trips

July 28, Saturday, 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM

Goat Mountain

Goat Mountain has been a favorite Koma Kulshan destination for years. The forest trail, wildflowers, bubbling streams, subalpine meadows, rock outcrops, and stunning views explain why we keep going back for more. Hopefully, interesting plants we have seen in past years will be waiting for us: Corallorhiza trifida, Gaultheria ovatifolia, Botrychium multifidum, and a multitude of species in the higher meadows. This is a moderately strenuous hike. It is 3 miles and 2000 feet elevation gain to reach the meadows. We will continue as far as the snow line and time (and legs) allow. Meet to carpool at the southeast corner of Sunset Square Safeway parking lot for a 7:30 AM departure. Plan for a long day and a likely stop for dinner in Glacier on the way home. Contact trip leader Mark Turner at 360-671-6851 or mark@turnerphotographics.com, to sign up or if you have any questions.

August 4, Saturday, 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Cascade Pass

This hike is one of the classics of North Cascades. In addition, it has particular significance for the Koma Kulshan Chapter. For five or six years we made annual treks to aid in the revegetation of Cascade Pass, a project begun by Margaret and Joe Miller of the Central Puget Sound Chapter, recently commemorated on the state WNPS website. An extensive plant list is available on that website. This is a strenuous hike, 3.6 miles one way with 1800 feet elevation gain. Meet at the Fairhaven west side Park & Ride at the end of 32nd Street at 7 AM. Questions? Contact Jim Duemmel at 360-733-3448 or JimDuemmel@q.com.

August 18, Saturday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants in the Summer

Subalpine meadows are among the most productive habitats for edible plants and medicinal plants. Hopefully, this series of short hikes in Heather Meadows will be timed during the peak of Cascade Blueberry production. Subalpine meadows are also important for medicinal plants. Join us on this relatively easy hike through the meadows in the most beautiful part of the summer. Jazmen Yoder and Jim Davis will lead this identify and taste hike along several trails in the vicinity of Heather Meadows. We will carpool from the southeast corner of the Sunset Square Safeway parking lot leaving at 8:30 AM. Bring a lunch and wear appropriate clothing for the weather that day (i.e., sun protection). We will return by about 5:00 PM. Please contact Jim Davis at 360-296-5159 or jimdaviscpc@comcast.net if you have any questions.

August 24, Friday, 7:30 to 5:00 PM

High Pass

This is one of the highest trails in our area, starting at 5200 feet at Twin Lakes, reaching 5950 feet at High Pass, with a rough trail continuing further up the slopes of Mt Larrabee. There will be an interesting variety of plants to study, ripe blueberries to eat, and great views of the North Cascades if it is clear. It is a moderate hike of 5 miles out and back to High Pass. Bring lunch, snacks, water, and extra clothes for weather protection. Meet to carpool at the southeast corner of Sunset Square Safeway parking lot for a 7:30 AM. departure. High clearance vehicles in addition to my all wheel drive car will be needed to get to the trailhead. If you have a suitable vehicle or have any questions, contact trip leader Allan Richardson at 360-733-5477 or asrichardson5@gmail.com.

September 8, Saturday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Nooksack Cirque

Surrounded by Mt. Shuksan, Ruth Mt, and Icy Peak, and Jagged Ridge, the Nooksack Cirque is so freshly chiseled from the early crust that is looks like the glaciers left only moments ago. Curtains of waterfalls cascade over precipitous edges and add a welcomed mist on a hot summer day. If it weren’t for the poor access, the Cirque would be as popular as Skyline Divide. Be prepared to ford Ruth Creek, bushwhack through old growth forest and slide alder, and scamper along the gravel bars of the upper North Fork. Round trip might be up to 9 miles with only 600 feet of elevation gain. The plant diversity should be high since avalanche chutes often deliver alpine flora down to montane valleys like this. Meet at the southeast corner of the Sunset Square Safeway parking lot at 8:00 AM. We will return with our mountain treasures (of memories and berry stains) around 6 PM. If you have any questions, contact Abe at arcadianabe@yahoo.com or 360-303-1339.

September 18, Tuesday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Ptarmigan Ridge

This late summer hike with spectacular views begins at the end of Mt. Baker Highway at Artists’ Point. We should see a few late-blooming plants, ripe blueberries, and perhaps picas, marmots, and mountain goats. Expect a moderate hike of about 6 or 7 miles, although we could go further depending on the weather and trail conditions. There will likely be some small snow fields to cross. Meet to carpool at the southeast corner of Sunset Square Safeway parking lot for an 8:00 AM departure. Contact Allan Richardson at 360-733-5477 or asrichardson5@gmail.com with any questions and to confirm.


Previous field trips are listed on their own page in case you’re curious about where the Koma Kulshan chapter has explored in previous seasons.