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2018 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.

Bring water, lunch/snack, sun screen, hat, jacket, rain gear, and hand lens, as needed. Children are warmly welcomed, but please arm them with a whistle! No pets are allowed on Redbud field trips (service dogs are permitted).

Ride sharing is recommended, as parking at most trailheads is limited. We also suggest riders share the cost of gas, perhaps giving $5 to the driver for under 40 miles round-trip, more if longer. Field trips will be canceled if heavy rain (or snow) is predicted.

It is hard to predict when and where wildflowers bloom; wildflower displays may vary greatly depending upon weather patterns. A cold, long winter means later blooms, while natives blossom earlier if March is warm and dry. To see native plants at their best, field trip dates must be flexible. Trip dates, times, and locations are posted as soon as scheduled; check this website and the Redbud Facebook page for updates. For advance email notice of trips, sign up for the Redbud Yahoo Listserv (see Redbud homepage).

If you would like to lead a field trip or know a good destination, please email your write-up or suggestion at least 2 weeks before the scheduled date to and we will see that it gets announced. The write-up should include: date and time, directions to meeting place, what to bring, distance and length of time the walk will take, difficulty and elevation change if known, and what people may see and experience there.


Hike to Fairy Falls
Spenceville Wildlife Area
Sunday, March 18th, 2018, 10:00 a.m.


Fairy Falls tumble over a steep rock cliff into a large pool. With recent rains keeping the river high, the falls should be beautiful.

This easy hike is about 5 miles round trip with a gentle 150’ elevation change. The falls are about 2.5 miles from the trailhead. We will be in the low foothills, where spring comes early. We should see buttercups, blue dicks, buck brush, wild cucumber, violets, shooting stars, popcorn flowers, red maids, redbud, monkey flowers, tufted poppy, and manzanita.

Please RSVP by Thurs., March, 15 using this link: The hike is limited to 25 participants.

We will meet at the trailhead on Sunday, March 18th, at 10:00 a.m. If you are carpooling, meet at 9:00 a.m. at the Hwy 20/Rough & Ready Road Park and Ride. Detailed directions to the trailhead will be sent to those who RSVP. Note: There is no cell coverage in this area!
Please bring: water, snacks/lunch, sunscreen, rain gear (if needed), windbreaker, hat.

Questions? use the RSVP link (above), or email

Sierra College Nature Area Field Trip
Trip Leader: Shawna Martinez

Saturday, March 24th
10:00 a.m. (Duration: 2 – 3 hours)


Sierra College, Rocklin Campus
5100 Sierra College Blvd., Rocklin, CA 95677[City]
Note: Free parking on Saturday.
What We Will See: We will be hiking on the cross-country path in the nature area, traverse across Secret Ravine Creek to a unique geologic area and Native American site. Along the way we will (hopefully) see common foothill wildflowers including Blue Dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum), Wally Basket and other Triteleia, California Saxifrage (Micranthes californica), Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila menziesii), Woodland Star (Lithophragma affine) and a host of native trees, shrubs, and grasses. Depending upon rain, we might see many species of fungi.

We will also discuss the development future of this area (and south Placer as a whole) and how we have a unique opportunity to preserve this 90 + acre area for future generations.

Level of difficulty: Easy. Trail is wide and gently sloping.

Bring: Water, snacks, and other hiking essentials. Hand lens and wildflower books are nice to bring along. Don’t forget the new Wildflowers book is now on sale!

Please RSVP if you are interested in attending: or email

Directions will be provided at time of registration.

THIS TRIP WILL BE LIMITED TO 20 PARTICIPANTS. We will post when the trip is full, and you will not be able to complete the RSVP form.


Family Time – Take a Hungry, Hungry Hike
at the Placer Nature Center

Saturday, March 31, 2018
10:00 a.m.

Placer Nature Center
3700 Christian Valley Road, Auburn, Ca 95602

Description: Join Docent Linda on a walk on the nature trail and discover how many ways common plants can help families live. The 1-mile Nature Trail winds through beautiful oak woodland. Rain or Shine. This program is a joint effort with the Redbud Chapter of the California Native Plant Society and the Placer Nature Center.

The Placer Nature Center is a 5-acre preserve in the Sierra Foothills home to various species of wildlife and native plants. Placer Nature Center delivers community-based, volunteer supported environmental education programs to children, families, schools, and community groups.

For more information on the Placer Nature Center, please visit their website:

Suggested donation to Placer Nature Center: $10 per family.

Please RSVP -- but drop-ins are also welcome!

Length of Trip: approximately 1 hour, includes activities for children and families.

Level of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. Can be slippery on wet trails during the winter.

Warning! Watch out for ticks, poison oak, and rattlesnakes.

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

Location: 3700 Christian Valley Road, Auburn, Ca 95602

Questions? Email or call Placer Nature Center at 530-878-6053.

Mt. Howell Cal Fire Lookout Station Field Trip
Sunday, April 15, 2018, 10:00 a.m.

Description: We will visit an ongoing restoration project on a 38-acre site demonstrating how practices such as low intensity broadcast-burning promote forest resiliency and the health and diversity of native flora; enrich the soil; and reduce fuel load and invasive weeds, thus improving fire safety. Many native plants respond positively to periodic low-temperature burning, and some require fire to germinate.

The Mt. Howell 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, Yellow Star Tulips, Fawn Lilies, Sierra Gooseberry, Brown Bells, Sierra Iris, 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 20 participants.

Length of Trip: 2 hours; participants are welcome to stay longer if they have questions or would like to see more.

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

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

Meeting Time and Location for Carpooling: Meet at Marval's Sierra Market, 575 S. Auburn St., Colfax at 9:45 am.

To sign-up for this field trip, RSVP at:

Questions? Contact us through the RSVP site (above), or email