redbud logo


CNPS Redbud Chapter


Fall Plant Sale

Field Trips
Local Floras
Natives for Landscaping
Photo Gallery
Other Links

About Our Chapter
How to Join Redbud-CNPS
How to Reach Us



Past Redbud Field Trips

All Redbud field trips are free and open to non-members as well as members. Unless stated otherwise, Redbud trips are easy, as we usually walk slowly and stop to view, identify, talk about, and enjoy each plant species. Most of our trips are led by at least one botanist.

Summit Valley Field Trip
Wednesday, August 16th  
9:00 2:00 p.m.

There are still lots of wildflowers
in the high country!

Check out this hike from our new Redbud book, Wildflowers of Nevada and Placer Counties, 2d Edition

Field Trip Leaders:   
Karen Loro and Art Clark

Trail description (See Wildflowers of Nevada and Placer Counties, 2d Edition, pages 40-41):   At 6,700’ elevation, Summit Valley, the site of the former Lake Van Norden, is surrounded by peaks up to 8,000’.  Snowmelt from these peaks flows into the valley to become the headwaters of the South Fork of the Yuba River.  Paths into the north side of the meadow feature abundant wildflowers into late summer, including Paintbrush, Elephant ‘s Heads, Goldenrod, Brewer’s Lupine, Western Bistort, and many more.  This is great bird habitat so you may want to bring your binoculars. 

From I-80 East toward Donner Summit, take Exit 174 to Norden/Soda Springs.  Drive about one mile on Hwy 40/Donner Pass Road and turn right on Soda Springs Road.  Cross the railroad tracks and turn left before the bridge over the Yuba River into a large gravel parking lot. We will meet at the parking lot. 

Please RSVP to Karen at so we know how many are coming. 

What to bring:  Water, lunch and snacks, hat, and sunscreen.  Optional:  hand lens, binoculars, and bug repellent.                     

If you would like to “Wildflowers of Nevada and Placer County, 2nd Edition” at this hike, email Jeanne at  Must pre-order before the hike for members’ price: $27.50, non-members’ price $32.00, tax included. (Cash or check)

View from Barker Peak

Barker Peak Field Trip
Wednesday, August 9th  
9:00 am to 6:00 p.m. (all day hike)

Field Trip Leader:  Karen Loro

Trail description: 
The Barker Peak trail is 2.5 miles one way, and ranges from 7,700’ to 8,100’ elevation. Because of the high elevation, striking wildflower displays continue well into summer. The trail is described in Julie Carville’s wonderful book, Tahoe’s Spectacular Wildflower Trails, and rated moderate to difficult.

Drive 4.5 mi. South of Tahoe City on Highway 89 and turn West (right) on Barker Pass Rd. (same as Blackrock). Just after you turn onto Barker Pass Road, there is a paved parking lot next to bathrooms with toilets -- facilities at the trailhead are closed.

From the junction with Hwy 89, you will drive about 7.5 miles to the trailhead on a road that ranges from paved to dirt/gravel.  The trailhead for Barker Peak is also used to access the Pacific Crest Trail.   

This will be an ALL day hike.  Plan on returning to our cars by 6 pm.  We take our time and enjoyScarlet Gilia the views and wildflowers.  In addition to the 5 mile hike, we will check out some nearby meadows that hopefully will still have nice flowers.  The views are spectacular!

To RSVP/ask questions, email Karen at  
She will already be up at the Lake, so she will not be carpooling.  For last minute needs, call 530 * 798 * 0815.

What to bring:  At least 2 quarts of water, lunch and snacks, hat, and sunscreen. Optional: hand lens, walking stick(s), and bug repellent. 

If you would like to buy the new Redbud book Wildflowers of Nevada and Placer County, 2nd Edition at this hike, please email Jeanne at

Leichtlin's Mariposa Lily
Mt. Judah Field Trip
Wednesday, August 2nd 
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Field Trip Leaders: 
Christina Slowick and Karen Loro

Trail description:
The 4.6 mile Mt. Judah Loop trail starts at Donner Summit near Sugar Bowl, climbing to Mt. Judah peak with beautiful views of Donner Lake, Mount Rose, Anderson and Castle Peaks, the Sierra Buttes, and more.  Following the Pacific Crest Trail for part of the loop, the trail is moderate and involves significant elevation change (climbing/descending). 

What we will see:  In addition to the amazing views, we will see a wide variety of wildflowers in bloom.  Because of the late snowmelt, many early wildflowers are still blooming while later flowers are also blooming because of recent warm weather. 

Drive to Sugar Bowl Resort.  The group will meet at the turn-off to the Mt. Judah parking Lot  and drive from there.

Those in the Auburn/Colfax area interested in carpooling can make arrangements with Christina (530-613-9616).

Those in Nevada City/Grass Valley who would like to carpool can respond by email to Karen Loro, and will meet at Uren St. in Nevada City at 7:30 am.

What to bring:  At least 2 quarts of water, lunch and snacks, hat, and sunscreen. Optional: hand lens, walking stick(s), and bug repellent. 

If you would like to buy the new Redbud book Wildflowers of Nevada and Placer County, 2nd Edition at this hike, please email Jeanne at

Castle Pass Field Trip
Saturday, July 22, 2017 8:30 am

castle peak lupine

Meeting Location:
Take Boreal/Castle Peak exit off Highway 80 East (Exit 176). Turn right at the stop sign. Take an immediate left at the T intersection, and go approximately 1/4 mile to the parking lot.

Hike Description:
Susan Chalpin will lead this hike. The diversity of plant communities is amazing, including meadows, wildflowers abounding along streams, granite erratics, and the biggest western white pine Susan has ever seen!

The trail is moderate and graduates up to volcanic Castle Pass where the vistas are incredible. Approximately 5 miles round trip.

This trip will be limited to 10 participants, RSVP required:
You will receive an email confirmation on the evening of Friday, July 21.

What to bring:
Bring snacks / lunch, lots of water, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, and hat; walking stick(s) may also be helpful.

Sagehen Creek Field Trip
Thursday, June 29, 8:45 a.m.

Field Trip Leader:  Julie Carville, author of
Tahoe 's Spectacular Wildflower Trails*

Special Guest: Bob Case, Redbud Speaker  
on “The Botanical Legacy of Lewis and Clark”

Trail description:
The Sagehen Creek Trail is an easy to moderate, mostly level walk of about 5 miles  round-trip (2.5 miles each way).  At this time of year, the trail is filled with a large variety of wildflowers.  At the trail 's end, we 'll arrive at a meadow of wildflowers by Stampede Reservoir, which is a pretty lake, where we can swim to cool down in either the lake or in the creek, so bring bathing suits. We 'll picnic in the shade of conifers. Julie will bring some of John Muir 's writing to add to the fun at lunch!

What we expect to see:
We should see Marsh Marigolds and Western Polemoniums, and maybe Alpine Gentians, in a lovely, small meadow at the trail 's beginning. Along the trail are Star Lavenders, Brown 's Peonies and their large fleshy seed pods, several species of Lupines, Mule 's Ears, Balsamroots, Serviceberries, Bog Saxifrages, Self Heal, Richardson 's Geraniums, Graceful Phlox, and possibly Dwarf Chamaesarachas, if they aren 't under the lake 's water.  

We should also see Sierra Shooting Stars, Mahala Mat, Baker 's and Mountain Violets, carpets of Low Phacelias, several species of Butterweeds, Columbines, Valerians, Western Waterleaf, Bitterbrush, Sand corn, Corn Lilies, and other flowers -- and a beaver dam and lodge!

This hike is suitable for children; we encourage families to attend.

From Truckee on Interstate 80, take the Sierraville exit north onto Highway 89.  At the first roundabout, follow the sign toward Donner Pass Road.  At the next two roundabouts, head toward Sierraville.  The unsigned Sagehen trailhead is reached in 7.4 miles from I-80, just after the highway crosses a cement bridge over Sagehen Creek.  Turn down into the parking area on the east side of the highway.  The parking area is small so carpooling is encouraged. 

Please arrive by 8:45, we will leave on the hike by 9:00 a.m. sharp to take advantage of the cool morning.  Should be back to our cars by 3:00 p.m. at the latest, and if people need to return early, the trail is clear and easy to follow back to the parking area.

Please RSVP to Jeanne at  Include name, email address, cell phone number, number of adults in your group, and number of children, if any. If you can give someone a ride or need a ride, please provide details, and we'll try to coordinate carpooling.

You will receive an email reply to your RSVP, and a reminder email the evening before the hike, confirming the trailhead meeting time and any carpool arrangements.

Bring: Drinking water, hat, sunscreen, good mosquito repellent, rain gear/windbreaker (depending on weather), and lunch.  

*If you would like to buy a copy of Julie's book, please email her at to place an order and she can deliver it to you at Sagehen.  To pick it up before June 29, email Julie to make arrangements.  The cost including tax is $32.50; please bring exact change or pay by check (no credit cards).  If you are a Redbud member, Julie will donate 10% of the price to Redbud.   

Rock Creek Field Trip (Family-friendly)
Saturday, June 10 at 9:00 a.m.

 Description from the new Redbud Wildflowers book, 2nd edition:

"Rock Creek Nature Trail meanders along Rock Creek among diverse riparian and forest plant life. Just under 1 mile in length, the trail is unique for the number of orchid species to be found there. Look for Phantom Orchid, Spotted Coralroot Orchid, Striped Coralroot Orchid, and Rattlesnake Plantain, Twinflower, Lady Fern, Creeping Snowberry, Pine Rose, Sweet Trillium, Brookfoam, Elk Clover, Fringe Cups, Brewer’s Bishop’s Cap, and Hooker’s Fairybell. The mostly level path is shaded by large Pacific Yew, Douglas-fir, [Big-Leaf Maple], and Madrone, along with California Hazelnut and three species of dogwood.” Restrooms and picnic tables at trailhead.

This hike is suitable for children; we encourage families to attend. Trip leader:  Jeanne Wilson hike is limited to 20 participants. Please RSVP at:

Directions:  Take Highway 20 east from Nevada City for 6 miles. Turn left at the “Forestry Conservation Camp” sign and follow the paved road for about a mile. You will see a “Rock Creek Nature Trail” sign with an arrow pointing left to an unpaved road. Turn left and drive about 1.5 miles to trailhead parking (you will see a sign for Rock Creek, picnic tables and a restroom).e encourage

Please RSVP in one of two ways:
• Google: Go to and fill out the on-line RSVP form.
• Email  Include name, email address, cell phone number, number of adults in your group, and number of children. If you can give someone a ride or need a ride, please provide details, and we'll try to coordinate carpooling.

When you RSVP by either means, you will receive a confirmation email. You should receive another email the evening before the hike, confirming the trailhead meeting time and any carpool arrangements.

Bring:   Drinking water, hat, sunscreen, good mosquito repellent, rain gear/windbreaker (depending on weather), and lunch; we can eat at the picnic tables after the walk and continue native-plant conversations.

Smart's Crossing, Alta
Friday, May 19, 2017 at 9am

Meeting Time and Location for Carpooling: Parking is limited at the trailhead so carpooling is encouraged. Meet at 8:40am at Sierra Market (MarVal) 575 S. Auburn St, Colfax, CA.

Description: We will walk on a dirt road down to the Bear River below Drum Powerhouse Road in Alta, CA.  What is in bloom:  False Solomon's Seal, Larkspur, Bleeding Hearts, Striped Coral Root, Pacific Sedum, and others.

Level of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. 100+ ft elevation change, + 2 miles roundtrip.

Bring: Water, snacks, insect repellant, hat for sun protection and other hiking essentials.

This hike is limited to 20 participants. Please RSVP at:

Robie Trail near Sliger Mine to Canyon Creek
Between Cool and Greenwood
Saturday, May 13

8:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m. (or later)

Meet at the Holiday Market in the back of the parking lot on the corner of 49 and 193 in Cool at 8:30am.

This is more of an adventure hike than a wildflower walk. Canyon Creek is 4 miles in and we will go out the same way. We will see lots of wildflowers and at Canyon Creek will be a beautiful floral garden. We will be above the Middle Fork of the American River with great views and some interesting mining history. A plant list is available by email. If rain is forecast the hike will be canceled.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate (8 miles total). The first part is a little steep, then it is gentle ups and downs the rest of the way.

Bring: Lunch, water, and all the hiking essentials.

Contact Information: Diane Cornwall at, 530-888-1404 and Cell 805-279-2906.

Endangered Stebbin’s Morning-Glory

Note: date changed from Saturday, May 6, to Sunday, May 7!
Sunday, May 7, 9:00 a.m

Meeting Time and Directions: Meet at the parking lot for Sammie’s Friends Animal Shelter at 14647 McCourtney Road. From the Nevada County Fairgrounds drive about 4 miles south of Grass Valley on McCourtney Rd. The Animal Shelter driveway is a left turn just before the Nevada County Transfer Station. Parking space is limited and carpooling is advised. Important: check the Redbud web pages for possible changes in the meeting place.

Meeting Time and Location for Carpooling: Meet at 8:45 am at Raley’s, Pine Creek Shopping Center, 692 Freeman Lane, Grass Valley

Duration: 3 hours

Description: We will visit a population of Stebbin’s Morning Glory (Calystegia stebbinsii), a California endangered plant in Nevada County. Our tour of Nevada County managed land will include areas of recent vegetation treatments using hand clearing and low intensity fire. These treatments are intended to establish new populations of Stebbins’ Morning Glory. We’ll also look for additional rare plants of this uncommon chaparral: Sanborn’s Onion, Sierra Brodiaea, Mother Lode Yampah, Chaparral Sedge, California Flannel Bush and McNab’s Cypress.

Trip leaders Denise Della Santina and Karen Callahan are managers for the CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife grant to preserve the Stebbins’ Morning-glory and its habitat. Denise is the Restoration Ecologist for Sierra Streams Institute and Redbud Chapter’s Conservation Chairperson. Karen is the Rare Plant Chairperson for Redbud Chapter.

Level of Difficulty: Easy.

Bring: Water, snacks, hat for sun protection and other hiking essentials.

Contact info: Please contact Karen at 530.272.5532 if you have questions.

Two Short Nature Walks in the Loomis/Rocklin Area
Redbud Chapter, CNPS
Friday, May 12, 2017, 9:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Meeting Time: 9:00 a.m.
Location: St. Francis Woods, Rocklin.  For specific address, directions, and carpool information, please RSVP by noon on Thursday, May 11.  RSVP:  Carpooling is recommended because of limited or for-fee parking.

Description:  The first walk is in a natural home landscape on 1.3 acres in the St. Francis Woods, gated community.   We will see a creek and wetlands, a pond/water garden, and oak woodlands.

From here we will walk to the Nature Trail Preserve on the Rocklin Campus of Sierra College for a tour of the preserve's short nature trail loops (1/4 and 3/4 miles).  See,

The Nature Trail Preserve includes “local foothill oak woodland and the streamside or riparian communities of Secret Ravine... [The foothill oak woodland features] interior live oak, blue oak, foothill (digger) pine, California buckeye, toyon and coyote brush... [which] are adapted to dry, hot summers and fairly wet, cool winters.

Sierra College Nature Trail

"The woodland riparian zone is characterized by water-loving plants such as willow, Freemont cottonwood, white alder and Himalayan berry. The shade and coolness of the creek area provides an oasis for less heat-tolerant species during the summer months.

“The Nature Trail was designed and constructed by members of the Sierra College Science Club and their faculty advisors in the 1960's. …”

Level of difficulty: Easy

Bring: Water and other hiking essentials.  You may want to bring a sack lunch in order to continue discussions about what we have seen and learned that morning. 



Mt. Howell CalFire Lookout Station
Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 9:30am

Meet at Marval's Sierra Market, 575 S Auburn St., Colfax at 9:30 am

Description: We will visit an ongoing restoration
project on a 38-acre site showing the results of “historical” low intensity fire and the varying plant community responses.

The site represents a sub-climax conifer forest-oak woodland representative of conditions during the
Gold Rush era. This site showcases hundreds of gorgeous wildflowers, including Wild Ginger, Purple Milkweed, Yellow Star Tulips, Fawn Lilies, Sierra Iris, Brown Bells, Western Waterleaf, and many more.

Most are new since the burning, possibly sprouting from seed-banks that may be as much as 4 decades
old, so there may be surprises. This hike will be limited to 15 participants.

Length of Trip: Approx. 2 hours

Level of Difficulty: Moderate. Elevation change is 300 vertical feet over less than a mile.

Bring: Water, snacks, insect repellant, hat for sun protection and other hiking essentials.

Contact info: RSVP at:


Codfish Falls Trail
Thursday April 20,
8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Meet at NW corner of the Raley’s parking lot in Auburn on Lincoln Way. Auburn State Recreation Area (ASRA) parking pass is needed at the trailhead.

This beautiful hike, less than 4 miles roundtrip, is on the North Fork of the American River on Ponderosa Way out of Weimar. The trail is near the river, so there will be great river views. Hopefully the water fall will still be flowing. The wildflowers are always abundant and there are many species. Plant list can be emailed to you. If the road is not graded, the hike will be canceled. If rain is forecast the hike will be canceled.

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Bring: Water, lunch, and other hiking essentials. Hand lens and wildflower books are nice to bring along.

Contact information: Diane Cornwall at, 530-888-1404 and cell 805-279-2906

Bear River Field Trip
Rare Plant Treasure Hunt and Bio-Blitz Botanical Survey
of Site of Proposed Centennial Reservoir on the Bear River.

Date and Time:
Sunday, April 2, 2017
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Placer County Bear River Park and Campground,
2500 Campground Road, Colfax, CA 95713

Meet at the Day Use area, which is the first parking
lot after you enter the Park.

Learn the plants, vegetation communities, wildlife and their habitats, and riparian ecology at a site along the Bear River that is within the proposed Centennial Reservoir inundation zone.

At the Park’s average elevation of 1,800 feet exists a diversity of plant life, from willows and alders at the river’s edge, to towering ponderosa pines and Douglas firs along the hiking trails. 

It’s a bit early in the season to confirm the rare Brandegee’s clarkia or Humboldt’s lily in flower, but we will visit their potential habitat, and may see their leaves. We will search for Cantelow’s lewesia leaves on rock crevasses. 

We will definitely see flowering bleeding hearts, hound’s tongue and trillium, as well as sedum, giant chain fern, and blue elderberry large enough to host the federally threatened valley elderberry beetle. 

Drinking water is not available at the Park, so bring your own water.

For questions, email Denise at clearcreeknatives [at]


From Grass Valley/Nevada City, take 174 South to Hwy 80 West.

From Hwy 80, take the West Weimar Crossroads exit. Go North 1.5 miles. Turn right on Placer Hills Road to Plum Tree Road (2.5 mi.). Turn left on Plum Tree Road to Park/Campground. 


Brandegee’s Clarkia, Clarkia biloba ssp. brandegeeae.  Photo by Dean Wm. Taylor, 2005.

3/26 Fairy Falls Hike CANCELED-- Spenceville Wildlife Area is CLOSED to hikers during turkey hunting season, starting March 25.

Substitute Field Trip for Sunday, March 26:

Wildflower Walk: South Yuba Trail Near Washington
Sunday, March 26
Leader: Karen Loro

Featuring beautiful views of the river and rock formations, the trail first goes along Poorman Creek, then follows the South Yuba downstream.  Many early wildflowers are blooming now, including Sierra Fawn Lily, Milk Maids, Grand Hound’s Tongue, Buttercups, and Seepspring Monkey Flower.  The trail is easy to moderate, some up and down but no steep elevation changes or climbing over rocks.  Plan on leaving the trailhead at 10 am and returning to the trailhead after 2 pm.

Meeting time and location:
For car-pooling, meet at the Full Circle Demonstration Garden at the Nevada County Government Center (Rood Center) on Maidu Ave, just off of Highway 49 in Nevada City at 9:30 AM.

If you wish to meet us at the trailhead at 9:45, drive through the town of Washington, cross over the bridge and head straight up Gaston Road. Within 0.3 mile, turn left (west) onto Relief Hill Road. Drive west to Poorman Creek Bridge (1.7 mile). Then continue 0.1 mile to the signed access road to the South Yuba Trail dropping sharply to the left. Some cars may have a difficult time getting back up this hill, so if you are in doubt, it is best to park on the road and walk down.  

Hike to Fairy Falls in the Spenceville Wildlife Area
Redbud Chapter, CNPS
Sunday, March 26, 2017

Fairy FallsThe highlight of Spenceville is Fairy Falls (aka Shingle Falls), which tumbles over a steep rock cliff into a large pool set in a rocky bowl. The falls area is approximately 2 miles from the trailhead.  About 345’ in elevation, these foothills are dotted with Valley and Blue Oaks and are primed for the earliest of wildflowers.  This hike is about 5 miles round trip with 150’ elevation gain hiking to the falls.  It is an easy hike with gentle elevation changes.


Spring comes early to the Fairy Falls area, because of its relatively low elevation.  So we’ll see many plants in bloom, such as buttercups, blue dicks, buck brush, wild cucumber, violets, shooting stars, popcorn flowers, red maids, redbud, monkey flowers, tufted poppy, and manzanita.


This hike is limited to 20 participants.  Please RSVP by Thursday, March 2 by clicking the link: .  You will be notified if the hike is rescheduled due to rain.


Carpool:  If you want to carpool, meet at 9:00 a.m. at the Park-and-Ride at the intersection of Hwy 20 and Rough and Ready Road near Penn Valley (NOT the other Park-and-Ride in the Penn Valley area at Hwy 20 and Pleasant Valley Road, near Lake Wildwood). If you can take someone or need a ride, please indicate your interest in carpooling in the RSVP.


Times:  We will meet at the trailhead on Saturday, March 4, at 10:00 a.m. If you are carpooling, you must meet at 9:00 a.m. at the Hwy 20/Rough & Ready Road Park and Ride in order to get to the trailhead by 10:00 a.m. The carpool meeting place is about a 9-minute drive from the Marysville/Hwy 20 exit from Hwy 49.  The trailhead is about 45 minutes/14+ miles from the carpool meeting place. We expect to return to the trailhead about 2:00 pm.  Please bring snacks/lunch, lots of water, sunscreen, rain gear/windbreaker, hat.


How to find trailhead: Get detailed driving instructions here, as well as the Spenceville Wilderness Area map.  Note: There is no cell coverage in this area! 


More area description:  Two links of value in learning more about this area: and Friends of Spenceville at The Friends of Spenceville page has lots of information, including wildflowers and wildlife, much of it presented by our own Redbud member, Julie Carville.  The Plant Checklist in pdf form is by Redbud member David Magney, CNPS Rare Plant Program Manager.

 Hiking with Redbud is one of the benefits of membership! We hope you can join us!!  For questions, use the RSVP link, above.