The San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society explores, preserves, and enjoys the flora of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado.  We roam the area within 150 miles of the Four Corners.  Our trips take us to the lands surrounding the San Juan River of Colorado and New Mexico, to the Navajo Reservation of New Mexico and Arizona, to Utah's Canyon Country, to the San Juan National Forest and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument of Colorado, and to many other beautiful areas in the Four Corners, Colorado Plateau, region.

We work with botanical and environmental groups of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado and we are part of the San Juan Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico. 

We encourage you to join us for our many programs and field trips; they are all free and open to everyone. 

If you would like to financially support the field trips, programs, and all the work toward the protection of the plants of the Four Corners region, please make out a donation check to the "Native Plant Society of New Mexico" and mail it to:
John Bregar, Treasurer
506 Hillcrest Drive
Durango, Colorado, 81301 

Click to buy plant books from a company that donates to our Native Plant Society.

Thank you.

President: Al Schneider, click to email Al or call him: 970-882-4647 or send mail to   19049 Road V, Lewis, Colorado 81327
Vice-President: Julia Hanson
Treasurer: John Bregar
Representative to the Native Plant Society of New Mexico Board: Bob Powell
Publicity: David Wright and Travis Ward
Telluride Area Programs and Field Trips: Connie Colter


2013-2014 Lectures/Programs

Programs are on the third Wednesday of each month, October-March, at 6:30 p.m. at the Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies (across from the Theater) in the Lyceum Room (at the end of the left hallway).

October 16, 2013
Title: Alpine Superheroes:Tundra Wildflowers of Rocky Mountain National Park
Presenter: Leann Benton, Park Ranger
Place: Lyceum Room, Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College 
Time: 6:30 p.m.

Colorado's alpine tundra is one of the most severe environments on Earth. Though it is too harsh for year-round human habitation, the alpine tundra is home to a variety of plants which survive and thrive in extreme climatic conditions. Leann will present an illustrated program looking at the tiny superheroes of Rocky Mountain National Park, and she will discuss the adaptations and strategies that give these plants their superpower qualities!

Leanne Benton was a ranger-naturalist at Rocky Mountain National Park for 23 years with a specialist interest in the park's flora. For 11 years, she supervised the Alpine Visitor Center which enabled her to spend numerous summers in her favorite ecosystem observing the plants and introducing them to park visitors.  She led weekly alpine ecology programs and continues to teach all-day seminars on alpine plants. Leanne is currently a Supervisory Park Ranger at Mesa Verde National Park.


November 20, 2013
Title: Forests, Fens, and Medicinal Plants
Presenters: Tom Grant and Anthony Culpepper, Mountain Studies Institute
Place: Lyceum Room, Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College
Time: 6:30 p.m.

The Mountain Studies Institute (MSI) is a non-profit science and education center that works with land managers and communities to develop science-based projects. The MSI presentation will highlight three distinct projects: 1) community-based forest management to mitigate wildfire, 2) restoration of fen vegetation and hydrologic flow, and 3) sustainability of Osha (Ligusticum porteri) root harvesting for medicinal plant use.

Recent large wildfires around Pagosa Springs, Durango, and Mancos have rallied land managers, the public, and community members to coordinate fire mitigation on public and private lands surrounding developed areas. MSI is coordinating monitoring of forest thinning to determine the impacts and sustainability of forest management. The unique project brings together diverse constituents to work toward eliminating destructive fires, while managing water quality and supply, and managing forests on public and private lands.

The rare iron fens of the San Juan mountains contain unique plant communities and provide valuable ecosystem services. MSI has collaborated with the BLM and several universities to restore the natural hydrologic flow that was disrupted by ditching and draining of the wetlands in the early 1900’s.

Osha (Ligusticum porteri) is a medicinal plant that has deep roots in traditional cultures of the southwestern United States. Recent commercial demand for Osha root has raised concerns about the sustainability of harvesting the long-lived plant’s roots. Several harvesting experiments are currently being analyzed to determine if Osha resprouts following harvest. The US Forest Service is using the information to determine harvest permitting and to make recommendations for sustainable harvesting.

Thomas Grant, PhD, is the MSI Research Director and Anthony Culpepper is the MSI Research Assistant and Field Station Manager.

Dr. Grant has extensive experience in ecological monitoring, especially in the Rocky Mountain region. Prior to graduate work in restoration ecology at Colorado State University, he conducted vegetation monitoring at the Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) in New Mexico, the H.J. Andrews LTER in Oregon, and throughout Colorado for the Denver Botanic Gardens Research and Conservation Department. He is experienced in developing project priorities that guide sampling design, implementing all common sampling methods (cover, density, frequency), and data analysis using traditional statistics, multi-variate analyses, and machine learning modeling. Dr. Grant’s work has focused on monitoring rare plants and managing invasive weeds; interactions between invasive plants, soil, and microbes; fire ecology; dendrochronology; and climate change. Post-doctoral work at the University of Alaska Fairbanks focused on climate change impacts to tree growth (dendrochronology), forest succession (biome shift), and fire at the landscape scale. With nearly 20 years of ecological experiences, Dr. Grant is fluent with the ecosystems, vegetation, and management agencies of the southern Rocky Mountains.


December 18, 2013
Title: The Impact of Tamarix on Arthropod Abundance in Big Gypsum Valley
Presenters: Fort Lewis College Students, Derek Uhey and Amanda Rowe
Place: Lyceum Room, Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College 
Time: 6:30 p.m.

Derek and Amanda gave us a great presentation last year and this year they will update us about their study comparing Arthropod (insects, arachnids, crustaceans, centipedes, millipedes) communities in TamariskWillow, and native shrub communities in Big Gypsum Valley. If you like bugs, you'll like this presentation; if you don't like bugs, you will after this presentation!

Derek and Amanda's study aims to see how the invasive Tamarisk shrub (Tamarix spp.) impacts Arthropod abundance and diversification. Pit fall traps were set for a 48 hour period, 7 different times over the summer of 2013. Results from previous years of study and preliminary results show that Tamarix communities have similar, sometimes higher, abundance and diversification, when compared to Salix spp. and native shrub communities.

In addition to the ecological study, Derek and Amanda also hope to catalog the great diversity of Arthropods found at the study site, where little research has been done.

This year Derek and Amanda were also able to sample small mammal populations, take more vegetation data, and add another year of arthropod data. From fires to floods, they had an adventurous season of collecting and their presentation will focus on both their research and the adventures of field work.

Derek Uhey is a Colorado native, born in Denver and raised on the Front Range. He graduated High School in 2009, and after a year at Metropolitan State College of Denver, he transferred to Fort Lewis College.  Biology is his calling, and at Fort Lewis he has been involved in research projects on Hanta Virus, Arthropod and plant communities, and alpine pollination. He hopes to gain as much knowledge of biology as possible to help preserve nature in his beautiful home state of Colorado. Derek loves to backpack and he recently hiked the entire Colorado Trail.

Amanda Rowe is from Castle Rock, Colorado, and is a Senior at Fort Lewis College, having come to Fort Lewis after a semester of college in Denver. She is an Environmental Biology major and loves all aspects of this field, from the animals to the plants and all the interactions in between. She has discovered that Durango is the perfect place for her to study the environment and its vast diversity. She has been working with Dr. Deborah Kendall on the Tamarisk project for the last 3 years and has learned an immense amount about the world of Entomology. Amanda hopes to attend graduate school after receiving her Bachelor’s in Science from Fort Lewis College, and she plans to focus on organismal ecology or zoology. Amanda loves to be outside, whether it is backpacking or running transects, and she hopes to incorporate this passion for the outdoors into her work as much as possible throughout her life.


January 15, 2014
Title: Landscaping With Native Plants
Presenter: Linda Robinson & Jeff Wagner
Place: Lyceum Room, Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College
Time: 6:30 p.m.

This presentation will explore the aesthetic, cultural, and environmental factors that are part of using native plants in a garden. Specific plants discussed will be for various areas of the Four Corners region of southwest Colorado. There will be plenty of time for your questions about using native plants on your property.

Native plants have not been widely utilized or celebrated as part of the home garden. Now that human population covers more landscape than ever, and now that we have a greater understanding about the role of ecosystems in maintaining environmental stability, there is stronger appreciation and motivation for cultivating native plants in human–created landscapes.

Linda Robinson is a Colorado licensed landscape architect and has been gardening for over 30 years. She is a native of the four corners area, having spent her first 13 years in Rock Point Arizona, on Dine Bikeya, where Navajo Culture and language was integrated into the school curriculum. Linda’s appreciation for native landscape was born there. 

Southwest Colorado became home during her teenage years.  Linda went on to a B.A. in fine arts from the University of Washington, and she then worked as a professional gardener in California and the Four Corners area, before receiving a M.A. in landscape architecture from the University of Colorado. She has been practicing as a private consultant in the Four Corners area for over 17 years.

Jeff Wagner is a Certified Colorado Nursery Professional. He received a degree at Beder Horticultural College in Denmark, and also studied at Sweden's Royal Agricultural and Horticultural University in Alnarp. He is a long-standing member of the Danish Dendrological Society, the Denver Botanic Garden, and the North American Rock Garden Society. He served on the board of the Durango Botanical Society for two years. He has worked at several Scandinavian nurseries and at Ft. Collins Wholesale Nursery, Colorado Alpines, and at Durango Nursery & Supply.


February 19, 2014
Julia and Amanda are not able to make their presentation originally listed here. The new program is shown below.

February 19, 2014
Title: The Wildflowers of Charles Parry, King of Colorado Botany
Presenter: Al Schneider
Place: Lyceum Room, Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College
Time: 6:30 p.m.

Al's program will show the beauty of some local plants discovered by Charles Parry, famed 19th century botanist, doctor, explorer, and naturalist who collected plants in the mid-west, Colorado, and many other western states for forty-eight years.  Parry collected for his own pleasure, for the advancement of science, and for the encouragement of horticulture and the settling of the new lands he had explored. 

In Colorado, Parry collected about one hundred species new to science. Dozens of species outside of Colorado and seventy-six species in Colorado were named for the man who became known as the "King of Colorado Botany".

Our February presenter, Al Schneider, was brought up in St. Louis where he developed a love of plants while tromping in the Ozarks. When Al moved to Colorado in 1990 his love of plants became a passion for the fabulous flowers of Colorado. Al is the President of the San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society and author of


March 19, 2014
Title: San Juan Mountain Alpine Flora
Presenter: John Bregar
Place: Lyceum Room, Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College
Time: 6:30 p.m.

John's photo show will focus on twelve colorful and somewhat uncommon species that grow in the alpine of our San Juan Mountains. He will include pictures of many related species, and he will also contrast the alpine flora of our southern Rocky Mountains with the flora of other alpine areas in North America.

John is a retired Geophysicist, amateur botanist and birder, and accomplished climber. Since moving to Durango 7 years ago, John has climbed many of the peaks of our area (99 last year!) but he is always looking down at his feet for wildflowers even as he looks up at the best route to the peaks. His photo shows are always a thrill.


Click for information about the
San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society
"Plant Identification Class"

Click for special Plant Keys and Lists
of flora in the Four Corners area.


Field Trips

Please join us for trips with beautiful flowers
and friendly companions.

General field trip information

Contact the trip leader to reserve a place on the trip
and to find out about the exact meeting place and time.

1) All trips listed on this page are free and open to members and non-members.
2) There are three different levels of trips; you are welcome on all trips.  Leaders on trips are open to all levels of plant questions.  Come enjoy and learn with us.

a) Trips for *avid botanists*: Weber's Flora of Colorado, West Slope and a hand lens are used to examine very fine details in both common and uncommon plants and often in inconspicuous plants.  These trips are very slow paced and they focus on determining the exact species using scientific names -- although even avid botanists have been heard to whisper common names.

b) Trips for **budding botanists**:  Some plants are examined with a hand lens, and there is plenty of time for questions about basic botany.  The leader will name many of the plants observed and will discuss techniques for identifying plants.  These trips cover more trail distance and focus on determining genus for most plants, species for some.  Common and scientific names are used.

c) Trips for ***wildflower enthusiasts***:  These are wildflower appreciation walks.  The leader will give basic ideas about wildflower identification and the names of many plants are given.  These trips might cover a number of miles. Some common names are used -- although a few folks whisper scientific names. 

3) Unless otherwise stated, trips are limited to 15 participants.
4) Trips leave promptly from the trailhead.
5) No pets.
6) Children who are enthusiastic about wildflowers and who are accompanied by an adult are welcomed on the trips.
7) Most trips are in and out on the same trail so if you can only walk short distances, you may inform the leader, sit down, enjoy the wildflowers, and wait for us to come back.
8) We have extra hand lenses for you to use (and great homemade cookies for you to nibble).

9) If you sign-up for a trip and later find out that you cannot attend, please be sure to call the trip leader immediately; otherwise someone who could take your place will not be able to and everyone will be waiting for you at the trailhead.

10) Please be prepared for all weather conditions: always bring top and bottom rain gear, two liters of water, lunch, snacks, sturdy hiking boots, layers of clothing, etc.  Call the trip leader if you have equipment questions.

11) Please carpool and be sure to reimburse your driver.

Click to search through photographs and descriptive material
about the plants which we see on our trips



& other botanical events.
For all trips, please be sure to read the general trip information found above and be sure to occasionally recheck the schedule below as we do add trips and make changes to already existing trips.


February 22-23: The Arizona Botany Meeting
Location: Tucson, Arizona

Click for details.


March 1: Winter Plant Identification
Leader: Al Schneider
Location: Mesa Verde National Park

This trip is very slow-paced for ***wildflower enthusiasts.

As part of the Southwest Colorado Winter Ecology Series, 2013-2014, the San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society is offering a winter plant identification walk.

Winter months strip many plants of their foliage and make winter identification of these plants more difficult. Join the San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society on a winter plant identification hike in Mesa Verde National Park to learn how to identify plants in the winter.


Utah Field Trip

April 23-24: Red Rocks and Spring Flowers
Leaders: John Bregar and Al Schneider
Location: Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area, Moab, and Canyonlands National Park, Needles District

This trip is paced for **budding botanists.

Join us for the early spring flowers on the Hidden Valley Trail at Moab and then for enjoying a very scenic hike on the Big Springs-Squaw Flats Trail in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.

The Hidden Valley Trail is rocky and steep, but we will be moving very slowly identifying and enjoying as many plants as we can. We will walk only about a mile on this first day of super botanizing.

On the second day we will do a 7 mile walk on the Big Spring-Squaw Flat Trail in Canyonlands National Park, Needles District. This is a very scenic and leisurely hike so we will have plenty of time for enjoying the many plants along the trail. If you start the hike and find it is too much for you, you may turn around (as long as someone else is with you). Elevation gain and loss is but several hundred feet.

Come for one or two days. We will overnight at a motel in Monticello and you need to make your own motel reservation as soon as possible.

Be sure to bring lunches, 2 liters of water for each day, layers of clothing, broad-brimmed hat, and definitely top and bottom rain gear.

Email or call Al 970-882-4647 for information and reservations.


May 5-6: Wildflowers Galore in Cross Canyon and Lower Butler Wash
Leaders: Kay Shumway and Al Schneider
Location: May 5 Near Hovenweep National Monument
. May 6 Near Bluff, Utah

This is a very leisurely paced trip for ***wildflower enthusiasts***, **budding botanists**, and *avid botanists*.

Enjoy spring wildflowers and long views on our first day at lower Cross Canyon. We will make our way very slowly down a switchbacking road that cuts through a variety of wildflowers immediately west of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, just into Utah. Last year the Sego Lilies stole the show with tens of thousands of flowers in bloom. We hope to see the same this year.

On our second day we will explore some canyons at Bluff and then botanize the rim and less than a mile of trail of lower Butler Wash.

Join us for one or both days with an overnight in Bluff. Several us have made reservations at Recapture Lodge in Bluff (435-672-2281). Make your motel reservation as soon as possible because this is a busy time of year for Bluff.

Be sure to bring lunch, 2 liters of water, layers of clothing, and definitely top and bottom rain gear.

Email or call Al 970-882-4647 for information and reservations.


May 10: Natural Trail Brochure Dedication
Leaders: Al Schneider
Location: Carpenter Natural Area, Cortez

Join in on the opening day ceremonies dedicating the new Carpenter Natural Area Wildflower Brochure. Everyone is welcomed. There is no fee and no reservations are required.

We will walk through the Carpenter Natural Area using the new brochure to identify and talk about the many native plants that are found at Carpenter. We will start off on the concrete path suitable for everyone, and then climb the hill on a dirt path. Stay as long as you want to.

More details about meeting time and place will be posted soon.

Call Al 970-882-4647 for more information.


May 11: Dolores Plateau
Leaders: Bob Powell and Al Schneider
Location: Western San Juan National Forest near Lone Mesa State Park

The trip is slow-paced for ***wildflower enthusiasts and **budding botanists.

Under the snow-capped gaze of Lone Cone and El Diente, we will wander several meadows just after the snow is gone so we can find Buttercups, Glacier Lilies, Townsendia, and more. This is a very slow-paced trip with plenty of time for folks to wander, to explore, to photograph, or to sit and stare.

Be sure to bring lunch, 2 liters of water, layers of clothing, and definitely top and bottom rain gear.

Email or call Al 970-882-4647 for information and reservations.


May 22: Annual Trip to Sand Canyon
Leader: Al Schneider
Location: Sand Canyon Trail, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

The trip is slow-paced for ***wildflower enthusiasts and **budding botanists.

Depending on the group's wishes, we will walk just a mile or two of the Sand Canyon Trail or we will walk the Sand Canyon/East Rock Canyon 4 1/2 mile loop. Either way, we will bask in the perfume of one of everyone's favorite flowers, the Cliff Rose. Many other plants will be in bloom and we will identify these as we walk this superb trail with the Sleeping Ute Mountain watching us.

Be sure to bring lunch, 2 liters of water, layers of clothing, and definitely top and bottom rain gear.

Email or call Al 970-882-4647 for information and reservations.


May 31: River Canyon to High Mesa Meadows
Leader: Connie Colter and Al Schneider
Location: Uncompahgre National Forest

The trip is slow-paced for ***wildflower enthusiasts.

This trip starts in the San Miguel River Canyon north of Norwood, Colorado in the far southwest corner of Uncompahgre National Forest. We will make several stops along the Sanborn Park Road eventually reaching the unique plant communities of lower montane forest and meadows.

At some stops we will find and talk about just a few plants; at other stops we will wander meadows and encounter dozens of species. This is a new trip added to our wildflower explorations of the Four Corners area.

Be sure to bring lunch, 2 liters of water, layers of clothing, and definitely top and bottom rain gear.

Email or call Connie 970-728-4678 for information and reservations.


June 7: High Desert Flora
Leaders: Ken Heil and Wayne Mietty
Navajo Lake on the New Mexico/Colorado border.

The trip is slow-paced for ***wildflower enthusiasts.

This is a new field trip for our Native Plant Society and it will be led by two experts on the flora of the San Juan River drainage so we should find some interesting plants and hear some interesting discovery stories. Ken is the lead author of the new Flora of the Four Corners Region and Wayne was one of the main plant collectors for the Flora.

Be sure to bring lunch, 2 liters of water, layers of clothing, and definitely top and bottom rain gear.

Email or call Al 970-882-4647 for information and reservations.


June 14: Montane Spring Flora
Leader: Bob Powell
Location: Big Al Handicap Trail, San Juan National Forest East of Mancos

The trip is very slow-paced for ***wildflower enthusiasts.

This new trip will be along a 2/3 mile long, handicap accessible trail in San Juan National Forest. We will find many low montane wildflowers of the early spring with snow just off the trail. Especially prominent will be (we hope) the Missouri Iris.

Be sure to bring lunch, 2 liters of water, layers of clothing, and definitely top and bottom rain gear.

Email or call Bob 970-385-8949 for information and reservations.


June 21: Wildflowers Galore
Leader: Al Schneider
Location: Prater Ridge Trail, Mesa Verde National Park

The trip is moderately paced for ***wildflower enthusiasts.

This is a yearly pilgrimage to see a superb wildflower display on the Prater Ridge Trail near the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park. We will see dozens of species of flowers, some of which will carpet the ground.  We will also see a number of birds as well as tracks of Deer, Turkey, and Mountain Lion. Depending on the group's preferences, we will walk anywhere from 3-6 miles. 

As we walk the Trail, we will be watched by the Sleeping Ute Mountain to the west and all of the La Platas to the east.  With Utah visible to the west and Lizard Head to the north, what more could we ask for?

Be sure to bring lunch, 2 liters of water, layers of clothing, and definitely top and bottom rain gear.

Email or call Al 970-882-4647 for information and reservations.


Alpine Trip 2010











July 2: Wildflowers of the Ophir Pass Road
Leaders: Bob Powell and Al Schneider
Location: East Ophir Pass Road

This trip is for ***wildflower enthusiasts*** who want to see a variety of montane-alpine habitats. 

This is a new, exploratory trip, so expect interesting surprises. When we spot new plants and new habitats, we will make a number of stops in the montane habitats above Highway 550 and in the subalpine and alpine habitats near and at Ophir Pass. We should see quite a variety of flowers on this very leisurely trip.

Be sure to bring lunch, 2 liters of water, layers of clothing, and definitely top and bottom rain gear.

Email or call Bob 970-385-8949 for information and reservations.


July 12: Flowers of Upper Echo Basin
Leaders: Bob Powell & Al Schneider
Location: San Juan National Forest east of Mancos

This trip is for ***wildflower enthusiasts***.

We will stroll up an old mountain mining road that passes through a variety of wet and dry habitats with many wildflowers, sometimes thickly lining the road. 

Numerous rivulets cross the road so we will be treated to a number of species of wetland loving plants, including the always popular Elephant Heads (Pedicularis groenlandica).

The altitude we will explore will range from about 9,300 feet to 10,300 feet. The habitats are wet and dry meadows, oak patches, aspen groves, and pine forests. A photographic view of T Down Meadow and Helmet Peak is in Google Earth at 37°25'41" N, 108°10'34" W.

Be sure to bring lunch, 2 liters of water, layers of clothing, and definitely top and bottom rain gear.

Email or call Bob 970-385-8949 for information and reservations.


July 16: Annual Trip to Pass Creek Trail
Leader: Travis Ward
Location: Near Coal Bank Pass

Lunch on the Court House Trail
This trip is moderately paced for ***wildflower enthusiasts*** who want to do some walking.  

The Pass Creek Trail is a favorite.  We will see 80-100 species of wildflowers blooming in abundance along the two miles of trail (4 miles round trip) covered on this trip from subalpine forest to alpine meadows.  Our focus will be on enjoying the overall mass of flowers, not on identifying every species or looking at them in great detail.   

We will make many stops, especially at the beginning, so we'll hardly notice the 800 feet of elevation gain.

Bring lunch, 2 liters of water, rain gear, layers of clothing, etc.  Hiking boots are recommended.

Trip limit is 15.

Email or call Travis 970-247-1310 for information and reservations.


July 18: Subalpine Flowers
Leaders: Bob Powell, John Bregar, Al Schneider
Location: Columbus Basin, La Plata Canyon

This trip is moderately paced for **budding botanists and *avid botanists.

This is another new trip. We'll explore high montane and subalpine flower fields looking for unusual (and usually quite small) additions to our wildflower lists.

Email or call Bob 970-385-8949 for information and reservations.


July 22: Alpine Wildflowers
Leader: John Bregar
Location: 20 Minutes North of Silverton

This trip is moderately paced for **budding botanists and *avid botanists.

We will travel to an alpine area near Silverton for an exploratory trip, so come prepared for surprises! We will enjoy and name some of the more common flora as we stroll along, but if we encounter something unusual, we will unsheathe the hand lenses and take the time to work through botanical keys.

The flowers and alpine scenery are always magnificent.

There will be plenty of time for taking photographs and visiting with trip participants.

We will meet in Durango at 6:30 AM to carpool. If you have 4WD, please bring it. Our early departure will give us a better chance to enjoy morning sunshine before possible monsoon thundershowers chase us away. Come prepared with sun block for sunshine, layers of clothing in case it's cool, and rain gear should we be caught in a deluge.

Email or call John at 970-385-1814 for information and reservations.


July 25: Annual Trip to the Wildflowers of Bridal Veil Creek
Leaders: Connie Colter and Al Schneider
Location: High Above and Immediately East of Telluride

This trip is for **budding botanists** and *avid botanists* who want to see a variety of habitats and a myriad of wonderful flowers and do a bit of hiking at high altitude.

We will walk uphill without many stops through over a mile of wildflowers along Bridal Veil Creek to our goal of tree-line and alpine tundra. Then we will slow down with the goal of opening ourselves to the beauty and intricacy of numerous plants. On the return trip down the same trail, we will spend more time (if possible) looking at the first mile of plants that we walked past in the morning.

We will find dozens of blooming species from tall and robust Delphiniums (Delphinium barbeyi) and Cow Parsnips (Heracleum sphondylium) to minute Buttercups and Orchids.  There will be plenty of time for questions about plants, for wildflower photography, and for enjoying the views. 

Be sure to bring lunch, 2 liters of water, layers of clothing, and definitely top and bottom rain gear.

High clearance vehicles are required to negotiate the relatively easy switch-back road to the trailhead above Telluride. Carpooling with 4-5 people in the car is necessary because parking is very limited at the trailhead.

This is a full day trip leaving Telluride at 7 a.m. with the return to the cars in the late afternoon.

Email or call Connie 970-728-4678 for information and reservations.


The Native Plant Society of New Mexico Annual Meeting
Location: El Paso, Texas

NOTE: Next year the Annual Meeting will be in Durango. Want to assist? Email or call Al 970-882-4647.

The Native Plant Society of New Mexico always puts on an informative and friendly meeting with excellent speakers and field trips.

Click for details.


August 2: Bolam Lake Meadows
Leader: Bob Powell

Location: West of 550 above Purgatory

This is a leisurely paced trip for ***wildflower enthusiasts*** and **budding botanists**.

We will carpool up to Bolam Lake Meadows via the Hermosa Creek Pass Road, stopping a few times for special wildflower displays. But our focus will be on wandering the forests and wetlands around Bolam Lake enjoying numerous high montane wildflowers. 

Come for one day or camp for several days with Bob Powell.

Be sure to bring lunch, 2 liters of water, layers of clothing, and definitely top and bottom rain gear.

Email or call Bob 970-385-8949 for information and reservations.


August 23: Wild Mushroom Hunting
Leader: John Sir Jesse
Location: Near Lizard Head Pass

This trip crawls along looking for wild mushrooms and is rated for ***wildflower and mushroom enthusiasts***.

Come find wild mushrooms and learn about their habitats and edibility.  We will stroll the woods to gather a number of mushroom species Mushroomsand then we will drive to John Sir Jesse's house to feast on them at an early dinner.  If you plan to attend the dinner after the mushroom gathering, be sure to bring a potluck dish (homemade fare such as breads, salads, soups, deserts) to accompany the mushrooms. Photo thanks to Kay Shumway.

Our trip leader, John Sir Jesse, has been running mushroom walks in the Telluride area since the 1970s and John heads up the Telluride Mushroom Festival as well as his own business, Herb Walker Tours

We will meet at 8:30 a.m. about an hour north of Cortez.  Wear hiking boots.  Be sure to bring lunch, several liters of water, and rain gear (no matter how sunny it might appear to be). Bring a small soft brush for cleaning mushrooms and several large cloth bags (old pillow cases?) for carrying the pounds of mushrooms you collect.

Limit of 15 participants.

Email or call John Sir Jesse 970-728-0639 for information and reservations and once you have reserved a place on the trip with John, please call him again about a week before the trip for exact details about where and when to meet. Be sure to call him immediately if you need to cancel,

Please note that this trip usually fills quickly.


September, 2014
The Colorado Native Plant Society Annual Meeting Location:

Click for details.


Save the 2015 dates below for the Native Plant Society of New Mexico Annual Meeting with a fabulous series of field trips for people of all interests and levels of ability.

July 23-26, 2015: Native Plant Society of New Mexico Annual Meeting in Durango
Theme: Alpine Flowers
Many leaders will show us the beauty of alpine and subalpine flora in the mountains immediately north of Durango. We will also have some lower altitude field trips.


Thursday July 23, 1-5 p.m. NPSNM Board Meeting open to all members.

Friday-Sunday: Many field trips for people with varying flora interests and physical ability.

Friday & Saturday nights: Nationally famous guest speakers.

The entire Annual Meeting will be devoted to sharing the beauty of Colorado's high altitude flora. No matter what your physical ability and no matter what your level of flora interest, we will have field trips you will enjoy. There will be no banquet and no daily lecture series. Bring your hiking shorts and let's go revel in the flowers.

Because the field trip areas require some time to drive to and because afternoon thunder showers are always a possibility (and a danger to be avoided), most of our all day trips will start very early (6:30-8:00 a.m.), but there will also be half day trips that will meet at various times through the days.

A good number of high altitude trips will be specifically for those who have physical problems and cannot walk much. Other trips will walk a maximum of 5 miles round trip.

Since we will be on the trail early and all day, everyone will have to be fully paid and registered well before July 23. All Annual Meeting information about accommodations; restaurants; field trip descriptions, meeting places, and times; guest speakers; etc. will be distributed through email or regular mail well in advance of the Meeting.

We will be able to socialize Friday and Saturday evenings at dinner on the Fort Lewis College campus in the heart of Durango. No advanced reservations are needed for the $10 cafeteria style food.

For those who want more private dining, there are a number of superb restaurants in Durango (and we will provide information about these in the email packets we send out).

We hope to see you in Durango so we of the San Juan Chapter can share our special flora with you.


Phil Kemp talks to us about trees.







Phil Kemp tells us about Aspen/Spruce/Fir forests in the chill of fall.







The following class is offered most years.  If you or your group would like the class, please call Al Schneider, 970-882-4647.  John Bregar and Al will present it for you anywhere in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, or Utah.


Are you a wildflower lover who gets frustrated year after year at not being able to identify (or remember!) the gorgeous plants you see each summer? Do you remember the plants but want to know more about them? Come learn at a wildflower class presented by the San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society.

You will learn to identify plants using a number of methods, short cuts, and plant keys. Detailed characteristics of leaves and flowers will be discussed using photos and live specimens. Characteristics of the major plant families will be noted. Other subjects covered include: the difference between common and scientific names, pronouncing and understanding scientific names, which identification books to buy, the differences in various wildflower books and botanical keys, how to use keys, and common keying problems and solutions. The Four Corners wildflower site (, plant photo shows, plant keys, microscopes, and live specimens of plants will be used. There will be plenty of time for your questions.

Presenters of the Workshop are San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society members Al Schneider and John Bregar. Al is President of the Society and author of John is Treasurer of the Society, a retired geologist, superb botanist and birder, and leads many trips with the Colorado Mountain Club and Durango Birding Group.

Al and John look forward to seeing you.

Cost of the class is typically $25.

You should bring: magnifying glass if you have one, sack lunch, cup, plate, cloth napkin, etc. Refreshments will be served.



When you mail your registration and check,
please include your
mailing address,
phone number,
and email address. 

Make your check out to: ____ and mail to:____

Call Al (970-882-4647) or email him for more information.

Cancellation Policy:  If you cancel more than two weeks before the class, i.e., before ___, all but $5 of your fee will be refunded.  There will be no refunds in the last two weeks before the class, i.e., no refunds after ____.

Your notice of cancellation may be given by email ( ) or phone (970-882-4647). 
If it is given by regular mail (Al Schneider, 19049 Road V, Lewis, Colorado 81327), it must be postmarked by the above dates.



Echinocereus triglochidatus
San Juan/Four Corners
Native Plant Society



Pinus ponderosa