There is no sight more breathtaking than the colorful flowers found in Glacier's lush alpine meadows, along its stream banks, and on its glaciated rockscapes.
Instructor Janet Paul Bones will lead you to Logan Pass to hike along the Highline Trail, where the wonderful wildflowers of Glacier’s alpine and subalpine rival the spectacular scenery of the McDonald Valley that is laid out before you. This course is suited for beginners and experienced botanists hungry for hands-on knowledge about the unique life histories of Glacier’s plants.
Janet Paul Bones earned her M.Ed. in Environmental Science Education from the University of Montana. She is a teacher in the Flathead Valley and has developed science curriculum for several local school districts. She grew up spending summers in Glacier and later became a Glacier Park ranger-naturalist and an interpreter for the U.S. Forest Service. Since 1992, Janet has been study leader for the Smithsonian Institution’s tour of Glacier National Park.
Hiking distance covers less than five miles. The Hidden Lake Overlook gains approximately 500 feet of elevation over a one-way distance of 1-1/2 miles, while the Highline Trail gains and loses about 500 feet of elevation. We will hike the Highline trail about 2 miles one-way (at the most).
Transportation during course: We will be traveling in a Glacier Institute Van.
Recommended Reading: If you have flower identification books, bring them with you. For Glacier’s alpine plants my favorite books are: Alpine Wildflowers of the Rocky Mountains. Duft and Moseley, Mountain Press, Missoula, MT Rocky Mountain Wild Flowers. Porsild, National Museums of Canada. Plants of Waterton-Glacier National Parks. Richard J. Shaw and Danny On. Wildflowers of Glacier National Park by Shannon Fitzpatrick Kimball and Peter Lesica.
Weather: This course will not be canceled due to weather.
Tentative Itinerary: The day will be spent in the field identifying the wonderful wildflowers of Glacier’s alpine areas. At 8:00 AM we will begin with an introduction to wildflower identification and a brief overview of the day. We will then travel to Logan Pass to hike to Hidden Lake Overlook. We will eat sack lunches near the overlook and then return to Logan Pass. For the remainder of the day we’ll view flowers along the Highline Trail, walking as far as time permits. We will be taking special note of the plants growing on the rim rock at the beginning of the Highline Trail. Our day ends at 4:00 PM when we return by the same trail to the Logan Pass parking lot. We should return to Field Camp by about 5:30 PM.
If late spring snowfall or unexpected trail closures should make flower viewing at the higher elevations impossible, we will visit alternate sites at lower elevations in the Park. Glacier Park affords glorious floral displays in a wide range of habitats.
The Glacier Institute
July 24, 2010