Where: We’ll center ourselves at the Sunny Gulch Campground Pavilion, 4 miles south of Stanley on Highway 75 near the Redfish Lake turnoff. Stanley is located 60 miles north of Ketchum, 133 miles east of Boise and 256 miles south of Missoula.
Schedule: (subject to change; times MDT)
Friday, June 30
2:00-6:00 PM: Check in at the Sunny Gulch Pavilion; receive packet and campsite assignment (if applicable) and updates; finalize field trip schedules.
3:00-4:00 PM: Quarterly meeting of the INPS state board at Stanley Community Library, 240 Niece Ave, Stanley.
Arrival-6:00 PM: Campground Wanderlust – How many species you can find?
6:00 PM: Potluck dinner at Pavilion. Bring dish to share, beverage and reusable plates, cups and utensils.
7:00 PM: Welcome by INPS State President; meeting logistics by Wood River Planning Committee.
7:15 PM: Kickoff presentation at Pavilion – “Dark is the New Black” with Tim Frazier, astronomer, telescope maker and photographer.
10:00 PM: Dark sky observing with Tim’s very cool telescopes; assisted by naturalist Kristin Fletcher (weather permitting).
Saturday, July 1–Field trips (choose one)
A. Remarkable Fens of Central Idaho & Trap Creek Meadow (limit 15 participants; 2/3 day)
B. Historic Pole Creek Ranger Station and RNA (30; 2/3 day)
C. Bear Valley Wet Hillside & Camas Meadows (20; full day)
D. Fourth of July Lake Alpine Plants (15; full day)
E. Impacts of Wildfire! (25; full day)
F. Redfish Lake Inlet & Lily Lake (12; full day)
3:00-5:00 PM: Drop off auction items at Stanley Community Building, 510 Eva Falls Ave/Highway 21.
5:00-7:00 PM: Happy Hour & Silent Auction at Stanley Community Building; auction benefits the Education Research Inventory Grant (ERIG) program.
7:00 PM: Catered dinner at Stanley Community Building; indicate meal preference on registration form.
8:00 PM: INPS annual business meeting and election of officers.
8:15 PM: Keynote presentation – “The Geology of Central Idaho as Related to Soil Fertility and Plant Habitat” with Dr. Paul Link, Emeritus, Idaho State University Department of Geosciences; co-author of new Roadside Geology of Idaho; book signing to follow.
9:15 PM: Clean up ~ volunteers appreciated!
Sunday, July 2
Field trips (choose one)
A. Remarkable Fens of Central Idaho (limit 15 participants; 1/2 day)
B.Botanical Field Sketching (15; 2/3 day)
C.Rocks, Plants and Fungi, Oh My! (25; 2/3 day)
D.Stanley Lake Earthquake and Endemics (20; 2/3 day)
E. Geology and Plants of the Sawtooth Basin and Malm Gulch (30; full day)
7:00 PM: Bring-your-own dinner & get together at Pavilion.
8:00 PM: Closing presentation – “Designing Custom Identification Keys for the Sawtooth NRA Flora with Steve Botti, author of An Illustrated Flora of Yosemite National Park and Mayor of Stanley.
Monday, July 2
Field trips (choose one)
A. The Imperiled Whitebark Pine (limit 30 participants; 1/2 day)
B. On-your-own field trip (1/2 day; see information below)
11:00 AM: Campground check out.
INPS Annual Meeting & Campout ends.
Field Trip Descriptions
General information: Meet at Sunny Gulch Pavilion, elevation 6,200’. Be prepared for changeable Idaho weather, dress in layers and prepare for temperature extremes and rain. Bring sufficient water, sunscreen, bug juice, a snack/lunch and hiking poles, if you use them. Wear a hat and sturdy walking shoes. Toilet access available on all trips. Note: leashed dogs allowed on most field trips.
All-day trips (***) start at 8:00 AM, back about 4:00 PM.
2/3-day trips (**) start at 9:00 AM, back about 3:00 PM.
1/2-day trips (*) start at 9:00 AM, back about 1:00 PM.
Hike Difficulty Rating – Please know and respect your limitations!
Easy: Mostly level walking on paved roads or improved paths/roads; short distances.
Easy/Medium: Some elevation changes; paths are not paved but well defined.
Medium Difficult: Expect hills and uneven footing. Bring hiking poles if you use them.
Difficult: Cross country hiking, significant elevation changes or high elevations.
RT means round trip driving distance from Pavilion, unless otherwise specified.
** Remarkable Fens of Central Idaho & Trap Creek Meadow: Visit Mays Creek Fen Research Natural Area to see rare carnivorous species, orchids and other species at this remarkable, sensitive site. Then, visit Trap Creek Meadow north of Stanley. Short walks on wet, uneven terrain. Bring footwear for wading in water and mud, and maybe poles. Drive 28 miles RT on paved & and 2 miles on dirt roads; short walks. From Pavilion drive 32 RT miles on paved road to Trap Creek. Led by Dr. Lynn Kinter/Idaho Department of Fish and Game Lead Botanist. No Dogs. Medium Difficult to Difficult for terrain.
** Historic Pole Creek Ranger Station and RNA: Visit the historic Pole Creek Ranger Station, built in 1909 and used until the 1950s. Located in the center of a wide valley bottom, the station is adjacent to the Pole Creek Exclosure Research Natural Area established in the mid-1990s. Compare vegetation inside and outside of the exclosure and impact and recovery from heavy sheep grazing in the intervening years. Led by Paul Ries/forester and former Sawtooth NRA Area Ranger and Steve Botti/author of An Illustrated Flora of Yosemite National Park and Mayor of Stanley. Drive 22 miles RT on paved and 6 miles on dirt roads. Medium Difficult
*** Bear Valley Wet Hillside & Camas Meadows: Visit a remarkable wet hillside with large diversity of species, adjacent drier ground, and riparian area. Short walks from road on very steep, wet, uneven terrain. Continue to Bear Valley to explore huge, spectacular camas meadows and drier meadows. Led by Jay Dorr/retired Sawtooth NRA trails manager and John Shelly/retired USFS range manager. No dogs. Drive 50 miles on paved and 35 miles on dirt roads RT. Medium Difficult to Difficult for terrain.
*** Fourth of July Lake Alpine Ecology: On the way to the Fourth of July Lake trailhead, we’ll briefly stop to observe post wildfire regeneration of the 2005 Valley Road Fire, and then continue to trailhead. The 3 mile RT hike follows a mountain stream to lovely lake to observe alpine species (8,800’ trailhead to 9,400’ lake). Paul Allen/plant enthusiast & Master Naturalist and Beth Corbin/retired BLM botanist (Owyhee Field Office) and current Southern Idaho Rare Plant Working Group Coordinator. Drive 42 miles RT on paved and 20 miles RT on dirt roads. Medium Difficult to Difficult for altitude.
*** Impacts of Wildfire!: Visit the 2005, 41,000 acre Valley Road Fire along Fourth of July Creek Road, and then drive to areas burned in September 2022 during the 38,000 acre Ross Fork Fire. Learn about fire behavior, fire ecology and how nature heals and regenerates herself in different habitats. Drive 22 miles RT on paved & 11 miles RT on dirt roads. Led by Nick Yturri/Sawtooth NRA fire management officer, Eva Strand/University of Idaho Associate Professor of Rangeland Ecology and Management and Kristin Fletcher/naturalist and former nationally certified Firewise educator. Medium Difficult.
*** Redfish Lake Inlet & Lily Lake: Take a gorgeous, 4.5 mile boat ride to far end of Redfish Lake (extra fee of $22/person RT due at check in at Pavilion). Wilderness hike to lovely Lily Lake and waterfalls, and then backtrack to explore lakeside, springs, huckleberry patches and a spruce forest ecosystem. Drive 8 miles RT on paved road; boat trip; 2 mile
RT hike. Led by Dr. Steve Bunting/Professor Emeritus, University of Idaho Department of Forest and Fire Ecology and Mary McClanahan/retired BLM plant ecologist. Medium Difficult.
* Remarkable Fens of Central Idaho: Visit Mays Creek Fen Research Natural Area to see rare carnivorous species, orchids and other species at this remarkable, sensitive site. Short walks on uneven, wet terrain. Bring footwear for wading in water and mud, and maybe poles. Drive 28 miles RT on paved & 2 miles on dirt roads; short walks. Led by Dr. Lynn Kinter/IDFG Lead Botanist. No Dogs. Medium Difficult to Difficult for terrain.
** Botanical Field Sketching: Beginners can learn the arts of field sketching and field notes; those who already draw or paint plants will sharpen their skills. After discussing basic anatomy, participants will have about 2½ hours of supervised sketching time near the campground. Choose watercolor or color pencils. Led by Poo Wright Pulliam/award winning local plant and wildlife artist and assisted by Lisa Horton/artist and naturalist. Supply list will be posted in advance at here. Easy.
** Stanley Lake Earthquake & Endemics: A short walk to the Stanley Lake inlet reveals where the beach and surrounding forest suddenly sank into the lake during the March 2020, 6.5-magnitude earthquake. Then explore a flat, 1 mile RT trail leading through a variety of dry and wet forest, open ground and ending in large wet meadow. Finally, drive to a special spot, home to several species narrowly endemic to the Stanley area. Drive 18 miles RT on paved and 7 miles RT on dirt roads. Led by Dr. Don Mansfield/College of Idaho Professor of Biology and Curator of the Harold M. Tucker Herbarium and Jay Dorr/retired Sawtooth NRA trails manager. Easy/Medium.
** Rocks, Plants and Fungi, Oh My!: Dive into the many intricate relationships between geology, plants, their habitats and the Kingdom Fungi … and why it matters. Then, scour nearby environs for mushrooms and learn how to identify them. Led by Genny Steiner/ past president of Southeast Idaho Mycological Association. Easy/Medium to Medium.
*** Geology and Plants of the Sawtooth Basin & Malm Gulch: Learn about the amazing geological history of the spectacular Sawtooth and White Cloud Mountains and nearby Challis Volcanics, with its petrified sequoia and endemic species, formed when calderas exploded about 50 million years ago. After a geological overview of the Sawtooth area, drive to Malm Gulch for high desert species and endemics, and then hike to a petrified sequoia forest to learn about the volcanism that preserved the trees. Drive 100 miles RT on highway; 7 miles RT on dirt roads; hike 2½-3 miles RT on trail and in dry creek bottom. Led by Dr. Paul Link/Emeritus, Idaho State University Department of Geosciences and John Shelly/retired USFS range manager. Medium Difficult.
* The Imperiled Whitebark Pine: An intimate look at whitebark pine, why it is being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act and what Sawtooth NRA biologists and botanists are doing to reverse its decline. Visit high altitude stands near Galena Summit (8,700’) and learn about their remarkable ecology, current threats and restoration efforts such as planting resistant seedlings and removing competing species. Drive 80 miles RT; carpool for short, steep 4WD road; hike < 1 mile RT. Led by Robin Garwood/Sawtooth NRA wildlife biologist, Dr. Steve Bunting/Emeritus, University of Idaho Department of Forest and Fire Ecology and Dr. Penny Morgan/University of Idaho Professor of Fire Eecology and Forest Ecology and Certified Senior Fire Ecologist. Medium Difficult to Difficult for altitude.
On-Your-Own Adventures: Stanley and the Sawtooth Valley offer myriad opportunities for on-your-own discovery and adventure. Find a list of recommendations here.
Auction: The ERIG auction this year will have a few fresh takes. For example, each chapter will be asked to provide a gift basket filled with items representing their region of Idaho. Also, Silver Creek Preserve has donated an overnight stay in a classic cabins rarely accessible to the public. Individuals will also be asked to bring an item to donate as in the past. We accept check or cash only; no credit or debit cards. ATM’s available in Stanley.
Accommodations: We plan to reserve as many campsites at Glacier View Campground (Redfish Lake) as we can, plus some in Sunny Gulch Campground. However, if you need RV hookups or a hotel room during this busy summer season, please act quickly. Find a list of all accommodations and campsites at here.