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2017 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.

Castle Peak

It Flannel Bushis 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.

In addition to the trips described below, watch for more 2017 Field Trips coming soon, including:

June 28: Learn about the botanical legacy of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with a field trip led by our June "Passionate about (Native) Plants" speaker, Bob Case.

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:

In the Past:

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.