Koma Kulshan chapter Washington Native Plant Society field trips are generally free and open to the public. Exceptions are noted in the trip descriptions.
Washington state COVID safety guidelines have eased since publication of our last newsletter, affecting our field trips. As of May 15, in general, face masks are required outdoors only for unvaccinated people who are within six feet of someone else. Beyond the general requirements, as of June 11, there are no longer any special requirements for outdoor recreation groups. Enjoy the fresh air!
summer 2021 Field Trips
July 10, 2021, Saturday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Summer Lake Bog
Location: Meet at 9:00 am at the west side Fairhaven Parkway Park-and-Ride.
A perennial favorite among those that enjoy spending a hot summer day with their feet in soft damp moss, the Summer Lake Bog is one of the most picturesque and diverse peat bogs in Western Washington. It has exciting ericaceous plants like Bog Cranberries and Labrador Tea, enough sedges to occupy the fastidious botanist, and more carnivorous plants than you can shake a drumstick at. Bring water shoes (like aquasocks or sneakers that you are fine getting wet), lunch, a sun hat, and a hand lens (if you have one). Hiking is minimal with virtually no elevation gain, but there is no trail and the terrain can be soft, slippery, and uneven with some potential for total submersion in water. Meet at the west side Fairhaven Parkway Park-and-Ride at 9 AM and expect to return between 3-4 PM. The trip will be led by Vikki Jackson and Abe Lloyd. Contact Abe with questions at arcadianabe [at] yahoo [dot] com.
August 2-4, 2021, Monday-Wednesday
Location: Please pre-register with Jim. Carpooling is optional and will be arranged closer to the trip date.
Hart’s Pass is on the far eastern edge of Whatcom County. We will access the area through the community of Mazama in Okanogan County. Hart’s Pass is a unique high country area along the Pacific Crest that is accessible by car only a few months a year. Late July and early August are peak flower bloom times for the alpine and subalpine native plants that are found in the area. We will camp in the area for two nights and take multiple day hikes along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and in adjoining meadows. The road to Hart’s Pass is quite challenging in places (e.g., Dead Horse Curve) and may not be suitable for regular passenger cars, depending on how recently it has been maintained by the Forest Service. Hiking is only moderately difficult, with most of the PCT following the “relatively flat” ridge line. It will likely be cold at night (hopefully not below freezing), so adequate shelter and clothing are essential. It is important for some of our party to arrive early on Monday to secure adequate camping sites. Carpooling is optional and will be arranged as we get closer to the trip. Please RSVP and direct questions to Jim Davis (jimdaviscpc [at] comcast [dot] net or 360-296-5159). Given that much of the area is designated wilderness we will need to limit our party size to 12 or less.
August 18, 2021, Wednesday, 7:30 am – 6 pm
Boundary Way Trail and Cowap Peak
Location: Meet at the southeast corner of Sunset Square Safeway parking lot for a 7:30 am departure.
A moderate hike through forest and wet areas, along a rock slide, and into wildflower meadows, then a summit perch. Trip is about 5 miles round trip and 1,400 feet elevation gain. Many interesting plants and the question: where did the name Cowap come from? Allan will share is knowledge of the 1857-62 Boundary Survey and Nooksack place names from the viewpoint. Contact Allan Richardson (asrichardson5 [at] gmail [dot] com or 360-733-5477) with any questions and to confirm.
September 8, 2021, Wednesday, 8 am – 6 pm
Chain Lakes Loop
Location: Only after pre-registering with Allan, meet at the southeast corner of Sunset Square Safeway parking lot for an 8 am departure.
This is an end of summer favorite with our group. We should see several species of late-blooming plants, ripe blueberries, picas, and perhaps marmots and mountain goats. On the way up we will drop a car at the Heather Meadows visitor’s center for the return car shuttle. Out hike starts at Artist’s Point. After a mile we leave the Ptarmigan Ridge trail and descend into the Chain Lakes Basin. After passing three lakes we ascend to Hermann Saddle and drop down to the Bagley Lakes. Distance is 6 miles, elevation gain 600 feet. Trip is limited to 12 people in Mt. Baker Wilderness so please contact Allan Richardson (asrichardson5 [at] gmail [dot] com or 360-733-5477) to register.
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.