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
Trip Sign-Up MNPS/Chapter field trips and events are open to members of any chapter or at-large member. Sign-up starts May 1st. On or after that date you may contact the leader to sign up for a trip. Registration is required. Please don’t be a no-show, as spaces are limited. If additional trips/events are planned, we will let you know in advance.
From the MNPS Board of Directors (modified from 3/20/21):
The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly. All field trips will adhere to current CDC guidance. We ask that:
- Everyone must register with the trip leader. There will be a limit of eight participants plus the leader(s) on each field trip, so if you register, please don’t drop out without informing the leader.
- Don’t carpool to the starting point or on the trip unless all in the car are fully vaccinated or properly masked.
- Everyone will need to sign in with the leader at the start, for waiver of liability and in case COVID contact tracing becomes needed.
Trip Size Limit Because of the Covid-19-related MNPS limit of 8 persons plus the leader(s), preference will be given to members before accepting our chapter “friends”. Leaders will maintain a waiting list for each trip.
Wednesday May 25th, 6:00-8:00 PM Jon Gulch, Thompson Park. An easy evening walk in a shady canyon with forest to wetland settings. LEADER: Krystal Weilage (contact K. Porter: 406-498-9728; [email protected]
Saturday June 4th, 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM Assessing a Riparian Area on the Big Hole River. The Salmon Fly Ranch is a private property owned by Jeff Wolk and he will be accompanying us in our Riparian exploration. We will be preparing a list for him of all plant species we see. Rough terrain in places and ticks so wear sturdy shoes and long pants. Bring bug spray, suntan lotion, a lunch, water, field guide and hand lens if you have one. Birders may also want binoculars. LEADER: Rich Prodgers (406-683-6429)
Sunday June 12th A late morning walk in a subalpine meadow in the Highland Mountains foothills at peak-bloom. LEADERS: Karen Porter (406-498-9728; [email protected]); and Krystal Weilage.
Week of June 20th and later dates TBA Adopting trailheads in southwest MT for annual noxious weed maintenance, under guidance and assistance of the Adopt a Trailhead Program (AATP).
- Adopt A Trailhead Program is a cooperative volunteer program to help protect Montana’s trails from further spread of noxious weeds. It started in 2015, and now there are more than 68 AATP kiosks installed at a host of trailheads across the state.
- In 2021, Calypso Chapter decided to join this program. We adopted two trailheads.
- Bannack State Park – Specific kiosk(s) to be adopted this 2022 year. LEADER: Catherine Cain (406-498-6198; [email protected]
- Pipestone Pass – We chose the main trailhead parking area. LEADER: Karen Porter (406-498-9728; [email protected]
June 24-26 (Friday-Sunday) MNPS Annual Meeting north of Libby MT. Hosted by the Flathead Chapter, we will return to a more rustic setting at Timberlane Campground, with some catered meals, Friday workshops, guest speaker Jack Nesbit, and a host of field trips. Full info here – updated as plans develop.
Sunday December 4th, 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM Calypso Chapter Annual Potluck and Planning Brunch. Location and details TBA.
Information on scenic/botanically interesting drives in Southwest Montana…
Vipond Park Driving Loop
Click here for the Vipond Park plant list.
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.