Calypso Chapter serves Southwest Montana including the greater Anaconda – Dillon – Butte – Deerlodge – and Whitehall areas.
For more information, contact:
P.O. Box 566
Butte, MT 59703
Field Trips and Events for Calypso Chapter
Week of May 2-8, National Wildflower Week. A guided wildflower walk for the public at Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park east of Whitehall. LEADER: Emily Dickerson, AmeriCorps volunteer at the Park (CALL THE PARK for exact times/meeting place, trip limits: 406-287-3541).
Late June onward. Adopting trailheads in southwest MT for annual noxious weed maintenance, under guidance and assistance of the Adopt a Trailhead Program (AATP).
- Bannack Ghost Town – 2 Kiosks in place. Date(s) to be determined. LEADER: Catherine Cain (406-498-6198; [email protected]).
- Pipestone Pass – 5 Kiosks, one in place. Date(s) to be determined. LEADER: Karen Porter (406-498-9728; [email protected])
Sunday June 20th. An afternoon walk in a subalpine meadow in the Highland Mountains foothills at peak-bloom. LEADERS: Karen Porter (406-498-9728; [email protected]); Krystal Weilage.
Week of June 21-27. National Pollinator week. People can go out and record bumblebee species they see and report them to www.bumblebeewatch.org, a citizen science project. Other activities can be found on the excellent Pollinator Partnership site www.pollinator.org.
Tuesday July 6th. Durant Canyon. An evening walk in a beautiful canyon with mixed vegetation, including good Penstemon locales. LEADER: Rich Prodgers (405-683-6529; [email protected]).
Saturday September 11th. Sagebrush (Artemisia) south of Dillon. Learn field identification of the three main varieties of big sagebrush: mountain, Wyoming, and Great Basin, plus the three-tip and little or low sagebrush. See sagebrush 2 m. tall and <1/4 m. Plus Petrophyton on limestone and probably much more. LEADER: Rich Prodgers (405-683-6529; [email protected]).
Information on scenic/botanically interesting drives in Southwest Montana…
Vipond Park Driving Loop
There are several special interest and plant areas on this loop. One can approach Vipond Park from the north turning at the Wise River exit and turning south on the Quartz Hill road just past Dewey. From the south, one can go to Melrose, across the tracks and river and head up Trapper Creek road. Going from this approach, one will first pass the old town of Glendale. Not much is left. The next stop is the charcoal kilns, which are being restored. Next, head up the switchbacks to Vipond Park. Look for Penstemon lemhiensis on the road cuts on the switchbacks. There is a good viewpoint to the top of the switchback to observe the glacial terrain of Canyon Creek.
Once on top, you are in Vipond Park. Pending times, one can observe fields of camas, Camassia quamash, along with numerous wet forbs; Claytonia lanceolata, Pedicularis groenlandica and more.
Coming down from Vipond Park, look for pygmy bitterroots and fields of pasque flowers. There are abundant Calypso orchids blooming about 3.4 miles from the end of Quartz Hill road. Coming from the top, start looking in the Douglas fir zone, just after the subalpine fir zone. Look off the road by the rotten logs. They are in clumps of 30 to +40 plants. Mid to late June is ideal. In lower elevations there is plenty to see; townsendia, bluebells, penstemons, phlox, erigerons, senecios and more. Glacier lilies are the early bloomers.
Flora changes from week to week. For the best road information, obtain a Forest Service travel plan and contact the Dillon Ranger Office at 406 683 3900 or the Wise River Ranger Office at 406 683 3900.
Gravelly Mountain Tour
Click here for the Gravelly Mountain Tour plant list.
This area is south of Ennis. Several loops can be made to access the subalpine meadows. High elevations and open meadows dominate the area. July through August are the best flora viewing months. Fields of Polygonum bistortoides, Hymenoxys grandiflora and Wyethia are abundant. A plant list is available. Rare pink Agoseris lackschewitzii and Thalictrum alpinum can be found. In early to mid July, the Forest Service leads a public tour of the area. To obtain a Forest map and more information contact the Madison Ranger District Office at 406 682 4253.