Guernsey State Park Events

Jill Wellborn will be leading two events this summer at Guernsey State Park (307-836-2334), which is something of a hidden gem with a wonderful flora.

  • Saturday, June 9th at 10:00 am – Native Plant Scavenger Hunt for kids and families featuring wildflowers and other plants of the short grass prairie ecosystem.  There will be a short hike around the hills surrounding the museum as we hunt for native plants.  Fun for all ages!
  • Saturday, August 4th at 10:00 am – Native Plant Hike. Check back for details.

2012 Plant Hikes across Wyoming

All field trips are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.  Important: For all outings – bring plenty of water and food and wear sturdy hiking shoes/boots, sunglasses, sunscreen, and sun hat. Bring appropriate clothing for all types of weather.  Difficulty varies with each outing.  All hikes are full day events unless otherwise stated, and you should bring lunch.  Above all, be safe and enjoy Wyoming’s plants!

Printable Version

June 10, Sunday, 9:00 am – Penrose Trail, Bighorn National Forest, Story, WY. Take Fish Hatchery Rd, up through Story to Penrose Lane on the right. The trailhead is at the end of Penrose Lane. Wildflower hike lead by Jennifer Williams, 307-672-8246,

June 22-25, Friday thru Monday – Wyoming Native Plant Society Annual Meeting, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY. Held jointly with American Penstemon Society.  On June 23-24 – Three hikes; repeated on both Saturday and Sunday –Laramie Range, Dodge Mountain, Snowy Range and Saratoga. Saturday banquet option, banquet speaker – Craig Freeman, Penstemon author in Flora of North America.  Note: This is the only 2012 event that requires pre-registration, has a fee to cover costs ($100), and is open ONLY to members of WYNPS and American Penstemon Society (APS).  Fri-Sun registration is through APS: A separate Monday hike will explore dunes with blowout penstemon, Wyoming’s only Endangered plant.  No cost, but please pre-register so that we don’t leave without you! Email: ; meet 9:00 am at Sinclair Truck Stop. More information is in the March newsletter. Lead by a galaxy of Wyoming botanists!

June 23, Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – noon/1:00 p.m.: Teton Pass area trails. Join long-time resident and naturalist, Jean Jorgensen, for a leisurely walk to learn about the uses and stories of plants. Meet at Owen Bircher Park in Wilson. Jean Jorgensen, 307-733-5625.

June 30, Saturday, 9:00 am – Steamboat Rock, Bighorn National Forest, meet at the Steamboat Rock Parking Lot, above Dayton, WY (HWY 14). Wildflower hike lead by Dick Birkholz, 307-674-4303;

July 14, Saturday, 9:00 am – Sheep Creek, Bridger-Teton National Forest.  Join author Orval Harrison to explore the headwaters of Sheep Creek and Wyoming Range history.  Meet at 9:00 am at the Bridger-Teton Natl. Forest boundary parking lot (just east of Alpine) to carpool/drive up Greys River.  [People camping in the area might also meet at 10:00 am at the junction of the Greys River Rd and Sheep Creek Rd; FS Roads 10138 and 10125.] Cold drinks and refreshments will be provided!!  Cosponsored by Nature Conservancy and Star Valley Historical Society. More information is in the March 2012 newsletter.

July 14, Saturday, 9:00 am – Burgess Junction Visitor’s Center, Bighorn National Forest, above Dayton, WY (HWY 14).  Wildflower hike lead by Claire Leon and Jean Daly (307-674-9728,

July 20, Friday, 8:00 a.m.: Hanging Canyon to Lake of the Crags, Grand Teton National Park. Very difficult, day-long hike; approx. 6 miles round-trip with 2700’ elevation gain with some low angle slabs and boulders along the way. Hiking poles would be helpful. Stunning views & interesting plants.  Meet at Jenny Lake Boat Dock. Park and boat fees apply.  Beverly Boynton 307-733-9649.

July 28, Saturday, 9:00 am – Piney Creek Trail, Bighorn National Forest, Story WY, Fruit and Seeds hike lead by Ami Erickson. Take Fish Hatchery Rd, up through Story to Thornerider Rd. Trailhead is at end of road.  Ami Erickson, 307-683-3412,

August 4, Saturday, 9 a.m.-2p.m.: Phillips Canyon Trail, Bridger-Teton National Forest.  A loop hike that leads to Phillips Pass and down to Ski Lake before returning to trailhead. Difficult hike due to  high elevation and steep terrain. Fireweed displays are typically phenomenal in this area.  Park on the south side of Hwy 22, which is part way up Teton pass and across the road from the trailhead. Susan Marsh 307-733-5744.

September: To be announced:  Dugout Gulch, Black Hills National Forest. Explore one of the two designated special interest areas on the Black Hills National Forest that are in Wyoming.  Beth Burkhart, 605-673-3159;

2012 Annual Meeting Announcement

2012 WYNPS/APS Annual Meeting – June 22-25, 2012 in Laramie, Wyoming

Friday–UW Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center
Board meeting 1-3
Registration 3-5
Green roof and Herbarium tours!
Happy hour and hors d’oeuvres 5-6
6 pm – Speaker – Dennis Knight

Saturday – fieldtrip (scroll down for info)
Early morning – gather for fieldtrips
Return from trips around 4 or 5 pm
Happy hour 5:30-6:30
6:45-7:30 banquet – University of Wyoming Union 7:30 Speaker – Craig Freeman, Penstemon author in Flora of North America

Sunday – field trip (scroll down for info)
Early morning – gather for field trips
Return from trips around 4 or 5
WYNPS Board Meeting over dinner!

Monday – fieldtrip (scroll down for info)
Optional field trip to Penstemon haydenii in Ferris Dunes (a repeat of a very popular 2007 hike event)

There are two registration levels, with or w/o the Saturday banquet. The banquet choices will be either roast chicken or grilled salmon. Registration is restricted to members of the American Penstemon Society and/or Wyoming Native Plant Society – APS is handling registration! They accept checks or Money Orders (no cash please). You can also register online thru APS ( ). Fees cover facilities, etc.

There are three weekend field trips offered (June 22-24), plus an additional field trip to a Penstemon haydenii site on Monday. Registration is required for the June 22-24 events!

Dodge Mountain – This trip will take us north of Laramie on Hwy 30, to just beyond the village of Rock River. Turning right onto Fetterman Rd, we’ll head past Wheatland Reservoir #3 to Dodge Mountain, which is not a mountain, but a hill on the western flank of the Laramie Range, home to Sphaeromeria simplex and many other cushion plants like Eriogonum acaule.  Sphaeromeria simplex, aka Laramie false sagebrush, is a SE Wyoming endemic restricted to limestone. Penstemons at this site include P. eriantherus and P. radicosus. We’ll pass Wheatland Reservoir #2, and take a different route back to Hwy 30. There is a possibility that we’ll be able to stop by an active dinosaur quarry on our way out.

Laramie Range – For this excursion, we’ll head into the hills east of Laramie to visit Vedauwoo, an impressive exposure of 1.4 billion year old granite, and points beyond. Our stop at Vedauwoo will include a hike at Turtle Rock, which includes Penstemon procerus, P. strictus and P. virens. We hope to also see P. eriantherus var. cleburnei. Backroads south will lead us past P. rydbergii to Hwy 287, where we’ll turn towards Colorado and the summit of Pumpkin Vine Pass, to look for P. glaber var. alpinus. Turn around, and we’ll head north again to Stevenson Rd, and turn off to visit the ranch of Dan Tinker and Gail Stakes. Here we can stretch our legs, find P. secundiflorus, P. eriantherus var. eriantherus, and others. If we’re fortunate, we’ll see P. angustifolius var. caudatus, which typically blooms in May and early June, and/or P. larcifolius var. exilifolius, which usually blooms in July.

Snowy Range and Saratoga – The Snowy Range is a must-see destination when in the Laramie area. A paved road crosses the range, reaching an elevation of about 10,800 ft. The highest peak, Medicine Bow Peak, is a hair over 12,000 ft. Our route will take us from Laramie on Hwy 130 to Centennial (population 100). We’ll make a few stops just above Centennial to see P. secundiflorus, P. strictus, P. radicosus and a beautiful roadcut display of P. virens. Penstemon whippleanus is common in the Snowies, but we’ll only see it if there’s a low-elevation plant in bloom. Libby Flats overlook at the top of the highway will give us an opportunity to view several more mountain ranges in the distance, and alpine forget-me-nots at our feet. Expect lots of snow and cool breezes up there! Cruising down the west side of the Snowies, we may even see P. palmeri (not a native!) on our way to Saratoga. This Penstemon gibbensii population is not only farther east than other known populations of the species, it is the only one to bloom in June. Plus, the plants are on ridges above the North Platte River, and the view is panoramic. From there, we go north to pick up I-80, and speed back to Laramie.

Monday optional trip to Ferris Dunes – The Wyoming Native Plant Society is sponsoring a Monday field trip to the Ferris Dunes, to view Penstemon haydenii, blowout penstemon, Wyoming’s only federally listed Endangered plant species. The discovery of P. haydenii in Wyoming in 1996 may actually represent its re-discovery in the footsteps of F.V. Hayden over a century earlier. We will travel west from Laramie to Sinclair, then north, past Kortes Dam on the North Platte River, to the segment of river affectionately known to anglers as Miracle Mile. From there we head west, with special permission to cross private property on two-track roads, towards the eastern edge of the Ferris Mountains and the open sand dunes that constitute blowout penstemon habitat. This is a long trip, but worth your time, for the large-flowered and aromatic penstemon, the unusual dune vegetation, and the grand landscape of mountains and sand. From Laramie to Sinclair is 94 miles, all interstate highway. The distance from Sinclair to the Ferris Dunes is shorter (50-60 miles), but will take nearly two hours. Once there, you will be within a short walk of the nearest plants, or you can really stretch your legs to visit plants on steep slopes habitat.


30th Anniversary – Wyoming Native Plant Society Annual Meeting

30th Anniversary – Wyoming Native Plant Society Annual Meeting
STILL the Best of the Bighorns
June 24, 25 and 26, 2011

June 24, Friday
• Afternoon: Camping arrangements in Buffalo. The group tent site at Indian Campground (660 East Hart St.; has been reserved for WNPS. Cost is $8 per person.
• 5:30 p.m.-7:30: Buffalo Bonanza. Stunning flower displays and a panoramic evening hike on the Bud Love Wildlife Habitat Unit promise a foothills flora bonanza. Meet at the U.S. Forest Service office in Buffalo (Hwy 16, west end of town). We will caravan out. Leaders: Ami Erickson and Bonnie Heidel.
• 8:00: A carryout dinner social follows immediately afterward at the Indian Campground (660 East Hart Street) where out-of-town people will be at the Group Camp.

June 25, Saturday
• 9:00 a.m.: South Piney Creek Hike. Visit Mountain ladys slipper in full bloom. Meet at the Story Fish Hatchery (follow the Fish Hatchery Rd west of Story). Leader: Claire Leon 307-783-2302.
• 12:00 p.m.: Lunch
• 1:00-5:00 p.m.: Southern Bighorn Mountains. Caravan from Story along Highway 16, for a series of plant adventures, ending up in Tensleep.
• 5:00-6:00 p.m. Break time to set up, wash up, and catch up at Tensleep Preserve, The Nature Conservancy
• 6:00 p.m.: Supper, catered by Second Street Bakery in Tensleep with a surprise on the menu
• 7:00 p.m. Introductions Amy Taylor, President, Wyoming Native Plant Society
o Welcome – Trey Davis, Tensleep Preserve, The Nature Conservancy
o Best of the Bighorns, photo favorites of Claire Leon, Story; and Earl Jensen, Greybull

June 26, Sunday
• 8:00 a.m. Breakfast business meeting in the Lodge (coffee and muffins provided)
• 9:00 a.m.: Announcements. Walk or caravan to start of two hike options:
o Upland hike to Canyon Creek rim
o Carys penstemon and more!
o Hike up Canyon Creek valley to pictographs

Also available-
• Handouts:
o Flora of the Big Horn Mountains, after Nelson and Hartman, 1984
• Books for sale*:
o Dorn, R.D. 2001. Vascular Plants of Wyoming. $23.20.
o Dorn, R.D. 1984. Vascular Plants of Montana. $20.08.
o Dorn, J.L.. and R.D. Dorn. 1999. Wyoming Birds. $20.08.
o *Make checks for the Dorn books out to: Rocky Mountain Herbarium.
o Jensen, E. 1986. Flowers of Wyomings Big Horn Mountains and Big Horn Basin.

2010 Annual Meeting

2010 Wyoming Native Plant Society Meeting
Cheyenne, Wyoming
June 18-20, 2010

Friday, June 18. Guided evening plant walk in the Vedauwoo/Devil’s Playground area in the
Medicine Bow National Forest about 30 miles west of Cheyenne. We will meet at a parking area near the entrance to the Vedauwoo Recreation Area. Take the Vedauwoo exit off of I-80 and drive on the paved road until you get near the entrance station. Instead of turning left on the paved road to the entrance station, go straight onto the gravel road and there is a parking area on the right. We will gather there at 6:30 pm and carpool from there to the trailhead.

Saturday, June 19. Guided hikes at Belvoir Ranch. Please note that pre-registration was required by June 7 and the tour is full. Those who are attending, please bring snacks, lunch and drinks. Meet at 9 am at the Willadsen School near the Harriman Road Exit (Exit 342), south off of Interstate 80. We will drive from there to the Ranch entrance and then travel through the ranch in city vans. We will return to our cars at about 3 pm.

Saturday evening. Meet at the Old Community House in Cheyenne, 600 S. Lions Park Drive, at 5:00 pm for social time, potluck supper and annual business meeting. Some food will be provided so don’t worry if you are from out of town and can’t bring a lot, everyone is welcome!

Sunday, June 20. Meet at the High Plains Grassland Research Station (HPGRS) near Cheyenne at 9 am for a tour and information about research projects there. Click here for directions.

All events are free and open to the public.