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2017 Redbud Field Trips

Castle Peak

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.

Flannel Bush

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.




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.   

See Past Redbud Field Trips.