2023 Annual Wildflower Weekend

Join us in Clark, WY, June 16-18 for a weekend of flower viewing, botanizing and great company!

Clark is located about 30 miles north of Cody, near the mouth of the Clarks Fork Canyon. Membership in WYNPS is not required to attend, but registration is.

Our meeting will be based at the Clark Pioneer Recreation Center (CPRC), 321 Road 1AB, Clark. Check-in begins at 3 pm Friday. Primitive camping is available at the CPRC (more below); plug-in sites are available at the nearby Edelweiss Riverhouse.

Register on-line or download the registration form to mail in. Please register by June 10. Sign up for dinner is not available after June 10!
Pay below or send a check to WYNPS, P.O. Box 2449, Laramie, WY 82073.

Annual wildflower weekend registration

Schedule at a Glance

Friday, June 16th

3pm – 5pm On-site registration, silent auction bidding opens
4pm – 6pm Plant identification workshop: Top Six Wyoming Families, taught by Rocky Mountain Herbarium personnel
6pm – 7pm Dinner on your own
7pm – 9pm Artist’s Round Robin workshops

Saturday, June 17th

8:00am – 8:30am On-site registration
8:30 am – 4pm Field trips (Swamp Lake, Beartooth Front, Bald Ridge, Heart Mountain) leave from CPRC
6pm – 8pm Dinner and keynote. Keynote address: Plant Diversity and Evolution in the Paintbrushes (Castilleja), Dr. David Tank, Director of the Rocky Mountain Herbarium
8pm Silent auction winners announced

Sunday, June 18th

7:00am – 8:00am Annual meeting with continental breakfast
Half-day field trips:
8-noon Clark’s Fork Canyon – meet at CPRC
9-noon Wildflower Watch – meet at Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody

Scheduled details & more information

Clark Pioneer Recreation Center

No pets or alcohol permitted at the Clark Pioneer Rec Center.

Those attending for the weekend must be prepared to bring their food with them (with the exception of Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast, as noted on the registration form). While the CPRC has facilities available for preparing food, the nearest grocery store to the Center is in Cody or Powell (approximately 1/2 hour away).

Primitive camping sites are available at the CPRC for $10/tent/night. CPRC bathrooms are available for camper use. Full service sites are available at the Edelweiss, approximately 5 miles away, or in Cody. There are a number of cabins available in the Clark area – the best bet is to check Vrbo or Cody Lodging Company. Just be aware that accommodations in Clark are sometimes listed as being in Powell due to the lack of a Post Office in the community. When possible, check the map if you are unsure as to location.

Artist’s Round Robin

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from four artists about their unique specialties in this round robin style workshop which allows participants to switch instructors every half hour. Bring along a kneeling pad or camp chair as we will gather outdoors, weather permitting.

Kassy Skeen is the Ecologist for the Shoshone National Forest. She covers the botanical resources for the Forest, stretching from the Montana line down to Lander and Dubois. Come join her for an artist’s workshop covering ethics for plant collection on public lands and pressed plant art.  We’ll provide examples, some pressed materials, and cardstock. Bring a mini press if you’ve got one, and a creative spirit.

Dorothy Tuthill will share some simple techniques for documenting plants in a nature journal. Careful observation accompanied with note-taking and sketching is a great way to get to know (and remember!) plants. Plus it’s fun! We’ll provide pencils and paper, but bring a handlens, journal, and journaling supplies if you have them.

Leslie Tribble is a writer and naturalist wandering the sagebrush of Wyoming. She’ll talk about the essence of nature writing and you’ll have the chance to pen your own poem or two. Supplies will be provided or you can use your own journals. Bring your thoughts, words and emotions for this session.

Kathy Lichtendahl is a professional conservation photographer who specializes in photographing tiny creatures and the plants they inhabit. She will discuss the finer points of macro photography and demonstrate some tools and techniques to help you get the image you want. Bring your cameras, whether they be DSLRs or cell phones.

Saturday Hikes

Beartooth Front Hike

Difficulty: moderately difficult
Distance: 5 miles round trip
Elevation change: Approximately 1,200’

Join landowner Kathy Lichtendahl for a hike on her property along the front range of the Beartooth Mountains. Bordering Shoshone National Forest to the west and BLM on all other sides, this relatively untouched landscape provides a much needed buffer for wintering wildlife between the steeply rising mountains and the growing community of Clark. The hike will start amid the yucca and prickly pear at 4,800’ and climb for 2.5 miles to approximately 6,000’ in search of Alpine forget-me-not and bitterroot before retracing our steps. Maximum participants: 12, not including guides.

Required: Hiking footwear (NO open toed shoes), adequate water for a day in the field

Recommended: Long pants, long sleeved shirt, sunscreen, large brimmed hat, sack lunch and/or snacks, hiking pole(s), pad for sitting/kneeling
Optional: Bear spray, camera, note pad and pencil

Bald Peak Hike

Hiking Distance: 3 miles round trip
Elevation Range: app. 1000 ft (7600-8600 ft)
Trail Difficulty: Moderate, faint trail not maintained

Hike will start on Bald Ridge with overviews of both the upper Clarks Fork canyon valley and the Big Horn Basin. Proceeding to the highpoint at Bald Peak, the views only get better! Regional endemics should be in bloom – Shoshonea, Howard’s forget-me-not, Jone’s columbine and more. The hike leader is Kent Houston (Shoshone NF, ret.) also with the Geology expertise of Henry Heasler and Cheryl Jaworowski.

Where to meet: Caravan from Clark (app. 25 mi one-way). This includes app. 11 miles on the Chief Joseph Hwy where we will meet on a paved pull off app. 1/4 mile past the Forest Road 100. We will assemble there and ride share to Forest Rd 100 and the starting point of the hike.

Requirements: The Bald Ridge road requires high clearance 4 wheel drive. Bring bear spray and good hiking boots, as well as lunch, and water.

Heart Mountain Hike

Difficulty: Difficult
Distance: 8 miles round trip
Elevation change: 2500′

Join us as we explore the geologic and botanical hotspot of The Nature Conservancy’s Heart Mountain Ranch. With its unusual limestone cap, Heart Mountain is a geologic puzzle, where older limestone lies atop younger strata. Heart Mountain supports one of the greatest concentrations of rare plants on private lands in Wyoming. Of particular interest are several cushion plant communities found on cliffs near its summit.

We are likely to find Shoshonea pulvinata, Eritrichium howardii, Kelseya uniflora, Antennaria aromatica, and many others. The hike will start at the base of the mountain in diverse sagebrush steppe, with a 4 mile hike to the summit. Bring lots of water, lunch/snacks, clothing in case of changing weather, bear spray if you have it.

Swamp Lake Hike

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Distance: 1- 2 miles
Elevation change: Less than 400’, through swampy conditions

Immerse yourself in the richness of the Swamp Lake Botanical Area on the Shoshone National Forest, and the stunning Clark’s Fork Valley. Kassy Skeen, USFS Ecologist and Bonnie Heidel, WYNND Botanist will take you on a tour of discovery highlighting a bounty of rare plants found in Wyoming’s largest fen. The hike will start at water’s edge stalking some of the 19 Wyoming Species of Concern that grow here. We may also hike uphill slightly to gain an overview perspective from above.

Required: Ditch boots (or old tennis shoes; we will be getting our feet very wet), water and lunch.

Recommended: Long pants, long sleeved shirt, sunscreen, bugspray (mosquitoes may be plentiful), hat, bear spray.
Optional: Camera, note pad and pencil

Saturday Evening

6 – 8 pm: Group dinner at the CPRC. Pizza and salad dinner may be ordered with registration. You do not need to order dinner to join us, though–you may bring your own food or none–all are welcome!

Keynote address: Studying plant diversity and evolution at the University of Wyoming: Examples from the paintbrushes (Castilleja), Dr. David Tank.

Biography: Dave Tank is a Professor in the Department of Botany and the Director of the Rocky Mountain Herbarium (RM) at the University of Wyoming. He earned his B.S. in Botany from Michigan State University in 1998, M.S. in Botany with an EEB concentration in 2000, and his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Washington in 2006. He conducted postdoctoral work at Yale University from 2006-2008 working on the collaborative Angiosperm Tree of Life project. His research focuses on the application of phylogenetic and phylogeographic methods to understand plant evolution – from the systematics and evolution of closely related groups of species to macroevolutionary patterns of diversification in angiosperms. At the RM, he is continuing to document the flora of the Rocky Mountain region through targeted floristic inventories and the digitization of historical collections.

8 pm: Silent Auction winners announced.

Sunday Hikes

Clarks Fork Canyon
Difficulty: easy – moderate
Distance: TBD based on group interest (2-5 miles)
Elevation change: minimal

Located just 5 miles west of the CPRC, the Clarks Fork Canyon tells a geological story of change, both ancient and contemporary. Local resident Kathy Lichtendahl will lead this hike in the company of geologists Henry Heasler and Cheryl Jaworowski. Participants will have a chance to examine the plant life along the trail in light of massive changes to the landscape brought about by last year’s severe flooding of the Clarks Fork River.

Recommended: Hiking footwear, water, long pants, long sleeved shirt, sunscreen, large brimmed hat, sack lunch and/or snacks, hiking pole(s), pad for sitting/kneeling.
Optional: Bear spray, camera, note pad and pencil

Wildflower Watch

Difficulty: easy
Distance: 1.25 miles
Elevation change: minimal

Participants should meet at the front door of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody. They will be joined by employees and volunteers of the Center for a description of the Wildflower Watch Program followed by a short hike on the designated trail and an opportunity to collect data for this important citizen science project.

After the hike, a short tour of the Draper Natural History Museum Laboratory will visit the beginnings of a herbarium that includes ~ 5000 duplicate specimens from the Rocky Mountain Herbarium and the personal collection of Erwin Evert. Participants will learn how and why natural history museums play a pivotal role in the preservation of biodiversity through maintaining a collection of educational and research specimens.

Other Information


Please make sure to bring a sack lunch and/or snacks as well as sufficient water for any of the scheduled hikes. Food will not be available for purchase on-site.

Hiking boots are recommended for all hikes. (Please see description of Swamp Lake Hike for exception).

Bring bear spray for the hikes, if you have it.

Please, no dogs on scheduled hikes

Please make sure to bring a sack lunch and/or snacks as well as sufficient water for any of the scheduled hikes.

Food will not be available for purchase on-site.

All hikes are subject to change or cancellation based on unforeseen circumstances (weather, wildlife, flooding, etc.)

On-site registration

Checks or cash only for on-site registration – we cannot accept credit cards.

Saturday dinner will not be available for purchase on-site.

Silent Auction
For the first time, WYNPS is holding silent auction to raise funds for our Society! You may bid on silent auction items from Friday afternoon until Saturday evening. Payment in cash or check only. Items must be paid for and picked up by the end of the weekend. If you wish to donate an item for the silent auction, please contact Kathy Lichtendahl at