2014 Field Trips

Please contact John Weiser at johnpweiser@yahoo.com or 775-331-4485 if you should have any questions.


Bring plenty of water, lunch, hiking gear, appropriate clothing, wide brimmed hat, sunscreen and insect repellent.


April 12th    Washoe Lake and surrounding area. Leader will be Charlene Duncan.  We will be exploring a BLM allotment on the north west  side of Lake Washoe that at one time was known as Winter’s Ranch. Winter’s is the BLM rangeland between Washoe City and Little Washoe Lake. Parking is along the side of a residential road, thus at a premium. We will plan to start our field trip by 10:00 am.

For those traveling from the Reno area Take 395/580 South to Damonte Ranch exit and meet at Doughboys (super doughnuts) in Spring Creek Shopping Center to carpool by 9:45am. Proceed south on Old 395/South Virginia past Eastlake to bottom of Washoe Hill (approx.. 6 miles). Turn east on North Washoe Drive just past the old gas station, turn right at T and follow around to right. For those traveling from Carson city meet at U.S. Forest Service Office (1536 South Carson Street, Carson City) by 9:45 am. Proceed North on 580 to Winter’s exit ( #50), continue north turn right onto Old Ophir just past Winter’s Ranch house. Bear to left along fence to north access gate.

Brown’s Creek is running high with some inundation, so boots are a good idea. If things are not as far along as this time last year, we can find some other areas near by that should be  interesting after the Washoe Fire.

  Call or Email Charlene Duncan  PH# 530-7458. Email cirsium.down@gmail.com.  John Weiser PH# 331 4485 Email johnpweiser@yahoo.com   


May 2nd-4th   Overnight trip to Big Smoky Valley.

The leader for this trip will be John Dyer. Big Smoky Valley is located in central Nevada. The valley is about one hundred miles long and stretches through Esmeralda, Nye, and Lander counties. Our destination is toward the southern end of the valley about a 4.5 hour drive from the Carson City/Reno area, a distance of 240 miles. 

We will be traveling on Friday morning then have a short field trip Friday afternoon, when we arrive. Later in the afternoon we will get settled in our arranged accommodations. Saturday and Sunday, we will resume our field trips finishing around 1:00pm, returning home. 

Members should plan to meet at the U.S. Forest Service Office either in Carson City (1536 South Carson Street) or the Sparks Marina Park (300 Howard Drive, in the parking lot on the west side of the park, next to the offices and playground) by 8:00 am on Friday the 4th. We will join up at Fox Peak Station 615 East Williams Ave. Fallon at 9:00am. We will travel east from Fallon on Highway 50 to Austin meeting John at the Toiyabe Cafe around noon. Travel time: 3.5 hours to Austin. After our lunch break and afternoon field trip we will travel south on Highway 376 to the Hadley/Carvers area.  
Housing: John has 1 extra furnished rooms and a fold out couch (3 to 4 people) plus a lot of floor space. Call or Email John at John.Dyer@Kinross.com  or moondog@gbis.com, Ph# office 775-377-3250, cell 775-313-4061, cell 775-420-2197 to reserve space.

Alternate accommodations can be arranged at the Jumping Jack Motel in Carvers(775-377-2566) There are also motels in Austin, 60 miles to the north west and 55 miles south in Tonopah. 
If you prefer to camp there are several camping sites in the area. Pine Creek on the east side of Jefferson Peak, Monitor Valley (est. 40 miles); Kingston (est. 30 miles); Peavine campground (est. 25 miles). If you wish to camp, let John know and he may be able to find out information on cost and facilities. 
Services: In the Hadley/Carvers area are two gas/diesel stations with small mini marts and sandwich counters; one bar that serves pizza; one BBQ restaurant: and a decent grocery store. 
The dominant features of the area include, the Arc Dome Wilderness in the southern Toiyabe Range, Jefferson Peak in the southern Toquima Range, the Round Mountain Gold Mine, and several hot springs.  Destinations will depend on what is in flower and may be adjusted accordingly. (High clearance vehicles suggested). 
For further information contact John Dyer at John.Dyer@Kinross.com or 
moondg@gbis.com or John Weiser at johnpweiser@yahoo.com.

 May 9th – 11th  Cactus and Succulent Expedition to the Tonopah and Silver Springs areas. We hope to see Cylindropuntia echinocarpa, Cylindropuntia ramosissima, Echinocereus coccineus, Echinocereus engelmannii, Escobaria vivipara, Opuntia basilaris, Opuntia erinacea, Grusonia pulchella, and Yucca brevifolia in bloom.

Meet at the Forest Service office (next to Scolaris) at 8am on Saturday morning.  We will drive to Silver Peak, then Goldfield, then back to Tonopah, making several stops along the way to look for cacti.  Sunday we will drive up Big Smoky Valley to visit a couple more sites on our way home.

Early May weather in Tonopah can vary from hot and windy to cold and windy with a possibility of thunderstorms.  Watch the weather forecast and bring appropriate clothing and gear.

Janel Johnson and Sarah Kulpa will be our leaders for this trip. Email Janel at president@nvnps.org or Sarah at smkulpa@gmail.com.

May 16th-18th  American Penstemon Society Meeting in Zion, UT. It is still possible to schedule a trip during this week end.  

May 24th Geiger Grade /Six Mile Canyon Our leader will be Gary Monroe Call or Email 775-359-4863 g.monroe@att.net.  Carson City residents meet at the Forest Service office at 8:15 am.  Reno residents meet at the Pink Scolaris on South Virginia at 9:00 am.  Second meeting place is at Nik-N-Willies Deli on the Geiger Grade Road at 9:15 am.  Roads are suitable for regular automobiles.  We will be making stops on Geiger Grade to look at Eriogonum robustum and whatever else we can find.  I have seen Mimulus ovatus (Diplacus ovatus) on the hill. There is both Pinus ponderosa and Pinus jefferyi here.  We will drive to Virginia City and turn on the Six Mile Canyon Road. The road ends at Dayton.

May 31st Open at this time.

June 7th May Arboretum Plant Sale, 8am to noon.  Please consider volunteering to staff the NNPS table for a hour or two.

June 7th Long Valley Treasure Hunt.  Our leaders are Nancy and Bill Harnach.  This field trip will be a treasure hunt of sorts. We will be visiting a site with a historical survey of plants on record. Our goal will be to see how many species still inhabit this site. It will be interesting to see how the plant community has changed with the passage of time. Those traveling from the Carson Area should meet at the U.S. Forest Service Offices located at 1536 South Carson Street, Carson City by 9:00 am. Meet the Reno members at the McDonalds Restaurant located at 120 Lemon Drive in north Reno by 9:45 am. We will continue on to meet our leaders Nancy and Bill Harnach at Hallelujah Junction by 10:00 am. Call or Email 530-994-3464 billh@psln.com.


When: Saturday, June 14th, 2014, 8:00AM
Where: Locked gate leading to Sagehen Creek Field Station
Trip duration: Four hours with the option for additional exploration until 4:00PM
Leader: Tom Schuster
Bring: Lunch, water, sun screen, hat, insect repellent. Expect muddy conditions.

On this trip we will voyage to the Mason Fen along Sagehen Creek, about 8 miles north of Truckee. Be sure to wear footgear appropriate for the boggy ground and bring sun screen, a hat, water, hand lenses, photo equipment, field guides, and, most importantly, insect repellant!

The moist environment of Mason Fen is host to Drosera, Mimulus, Gentianaceae, and Orchidaceae, to name just a few. To avoid trampling the fen’s gems, we will proceed in a careful, organized fashion. Many thanks to Jeff Brown of the research station who has graciously agreed to provide one of his staff members as an interpretive guide.

We will have lunch during the trip. The field station offers public restrooms.

For more information on Mason Fen and preview of what to expect, visit sagehen.ucnrs.org.

When: 7:00AM
Where: Meet in the Walmart parking lot near Doughboy Donuts at Damonte Ranch Parkway  and South Virginia Street in Reno


The Field Station is located 8 miles due North of Truckee, California at 6,400 feet in elevation. A map is available here.

·         From I-80 take the Highway 89 north exit towards Sierraville (east of Truckee).
·         Travel about 8.4 miles. Turn left onto dirt Forest Service road (unmarked, there is a brown, two car garage on the west side of the highway just north of the dirt road).
·         The dirt road splits after 150 yards. Go straight ahead (you will see a yellow sign that says “Road Closed 500 feet” - this is the correct road).
·         Travel approximately 500 feet to the locked access gate (this is the last place you’ll have cell service!).
·         Once the group assembles, we’ll unlock the gate and drive about 1.8 miles to the Field Station and part in the lot on the left. 

No reservations required, just come and enjoy!


Tom Schuster: tom-mail@sbcglobal.net  775-690-2953
John Weiser: johnpweiser@yahoo.com  775-331-4485


June 20th-22nd Eriogonum Society Meeting, Twin Falls, ID It is still possible to schedule a trip during this week end.  

June 28th Madora Lake, Plumas Co., CA.
Those travelling from Carson City should meet at the Forest Service Office at 8:00. Those travelling from Reno should meet at the McDonalds at US 395 and Lemmon Drive at 8:45. The third meeting place is in the parking lot on the north side of the Junction of CA 70 and CA 89 just north of Graeagle at 10:00. This will be an easy 1.9 mile walk on nearly level ground. Bring water, lunch and insect repellent. The roads are suitable for standard sedans. (Please note: whenever I lead a trip in this area, we always have thunderstorms, so be warned.) Leader: Gary Monroe Call (775) 359-4863 or email g.monroe@att.net

July 5th  Open at this time.

July 12th Grass Lake Meadow, El Dorado County, Ca.  Our leader will be Tom Schuster. Call or Email 690-2953 tom-mail@sbcglobal.net

      Grass Lake Flora and Fauna Trip      When: Saturday, July 12th, 2014, 8:00AM
Where: Grass Lake (Luther Pass)
Trip duration: 4 hours with the option for additional exploration until 3:00pm upon interest
Leader: Tom Schuster (Dipl.Ing.) / T. Will Richardson, Ph.D.
Bring: Lunch, water, sun screen, hat, insect repellent; field guides, hand lenses, photo equipment, binoculars, butterfly net, etc. Expect wet/muddy conditions (up to knees!)– need flip-flops/sandals/sneakers (wet feet) or waders (dry feet).

For this outstanding trip we will voyage to Grass Lake (at Luther Pass), about 7-8 miles south of Lake Tahoe (Ca). Similar to my trip to Osgood Swamp in 2012 I have again invited T. Will Richardson, Ph.D., co-founder of TINS, to partner up with us to enjoy a more complete understanding of the entire ecosystem. Consequently, our targets are not only wildflowers but also butterflies and dragonflies, maybe even amphibians, reptiles and birds.
This Sphagnum bog-montane meadow complex is dominated by sedge (carex limosa) and buckbean (menyanthes trifoliata) supporting a myriad of wildlife. Some especially interesting floristic families we will be searching for: Sphagnaceae, Rosaceae, Gentianaceae, Lentibulariaceae, Droseraceae, Orchidaceae.
 We will have lunch during the trip. Nearest restroom facilities in Hope Valley.
For more information google/download the “Establishment Record for Grass Lake Research Natural Area” of the United States Department of Agriculture – Forest Service.
When: 6.30am
Where: Meet in the Walmart parking lot near Doughboy Donuts at Damonte Ranch Parkway  and South Virginia Street in Reno.
Carson City:
When: 7.15am
Where: Meet at the U.S. Forest Service Office (1536 South Carson Street, Carson City).
From Reno:
Drive Hwy US-395 south; at the beginning of Minden turn right at NV-88; in Hope Valley turn right on CA-89; drive 4.5 miles and park at large gravel pull out on left (west end of Grass Lake), do not block the gate.
From Lake Tahoe:
From the intersection of Hwy 50 and 89 in South Lake Tahoe go south on 89 for 4.8 miles, turn left to stay on CA-89 (signs for Markleville/Jackson/Ca 88) for 6.6 miles; park at large gravel pull out on right (west end of Grass Lake), do not block gate.
No reservations required, just come and enjoy!
Tom Schuster(Dipl.Ing.): tom-mail@sbcglobal.net  775-690-2953
John Weiser: johnpweiser@yahoo.com  775-331-4485
T. Will Richardson, Ph.D.: will@tinsweb.org 530-587-6895

July 19th Castle Peak Flora and Fauna Trip, Nevada County, Ca

When: Saturday, July 19th, 2014, 6:00AM
Where: Castle Peak (west of Donner Summit)
Trip duration/difficulty: 12 hours; difficult, 10miles; elevation change 2,200ft (start at 7,200ft, peak 9,100ft).
Leader: Tom Schuster (Dipl.Ing.)
Bring: Lunch, snacks, water (I suggest minimum 1gallon), sun screen, hat, insect repellent; field guides, hand lenses, photo equipment, binoculars, butterfly net, etc. Expect occasionally gravelly/sandy/loose path conditions! Appropriate footwear! Clothing for any weather!

For this outstanding trip to one of north Tahoe’s highest summits in a mostly volcanic rock surrounding we will have expansive views (weather permitting) and try to capture the life on the summit: subalpine and alpine plant communities with side focus on butterflies, reptiles and birds. Due to the nature of this trip’s circumstances hike shall be fairly direct to summit without much botanizing, maximize time as much as possible at summit and return down. If time allows on way back/down frequent stops for certain species are welcome. Upon reaching the summit I will present one of my poems dedicated to the plants at the summit.
We will have lunch on the summit. Snacks and breaks throughout trip upon demand.
Option: Participants who would like to join but cannot/do not desire to hike up to the summit are welcome, too. Just notify me you are leaving and sign off.   
South Reno:
When: 5.10am sharp
Where: Meet in the Walmart parking lot near Doughboy Donuts at Damonte Ranch Parkway and South Virginia Street in Reno.
North Reno:
When: 5.30am sharp
Where: Meet at the Starbucks Coffee Shop on Sierra Highlands Drive (north-east corner McCarran/I-80).
From Reno:
Drive Hwy US-395 north; take I-80 west; exit Castle Peak / Boreal Ridge; from the north side of the highway, drive 0.2 miles northeast up a paved road, then briefly north on a dirt tread to a turnaround spot. That is the meeting place.
Reservations required, please contact Tom. Then just come and enjoy!
Tom Schuster(Dipl.Ing.): tom-mail@sbcglobal.net  775-690-2953
John Weiser: johnpweiser@yahoo.com

July 26th Open at this time.

Aug 2nd Open at this time.

Aug 9th Slide Mountain-  Come visit the high elevation scree beds of Slide Mountain. We will see four species of penstemon, four species of eriogonum,  two draba species, and a host of other very choice high elevation plants. To view photos of some of the plants we will encounter follow this link.

The hike will follow the service road just east of the Mount Rose Pass parking area. We will be taking a leisurely hike, of 1.5 miles, with stops as needed along the way. Our gain in elevation will be 790' with a final elevation of about 9,650'. Bring your lunch and we will picnic at the top. There are outstanding views of Lake Tahoe, the Virginia Range, Mount Rose, the Carson Range, and to the south the Northern Sierras. Get bird's eye views of Washoe Valley, Pleasant Valley, Truckee Meadows, Tahoe Meadows, and the Steamboat Hot springs. 
We will meet at the Galena Creek Visitor Center at 9:00 am to carpool up to the pass. (From the intersection of I 395 and Mount Rose Hwy. travel west approximately 5.5 miles. The visiter Center will be on the right.)Those who wish to meet us at the Mount Rose Pass parking lot should plan on our arriving by 9:30 am
For further information contact John Weiser at johnpweiser@yahoo.com or call 775-331-4485

Aug 16th Little Washoe Lake mud flats. Come explore the unique riparian flora that finds a foothold along the receding shorelines of Little Washoe Lake.

Last year we explored the flats along the western shore of Washoe Lake.  We continue this endeavor toward the north, at Little Washoe Lake. In late summer these rich exposed mud flats support large populations of moisture dependant plants communities. We do not often have the opportunity to visit these environments. I encourage you to join our leader Charlene Duncan

 Reno members should meet at Doughboys in the Spring Creek Shopping Center on Damonte Ranch Parkway by 8:00am. We’ll go to Little Washoe State Park  by way of Old 395 to Eastlake at top of Washoe Hill (north end of the valley) and meet in the parking lot by Little Washoe Lake. For those traveling from Carson City meet at U.S. Forest Service Office (1536 South Carson Street, Carson City) by 8:00am. Proceed North on 580 to Winter’s exit ( #50), continue north on Old 395  to Eastlake, turn right into in the parking lot by Little Washoe Lake. We’ll go from there to the wetlands.   Bug spray is highly suggested! Don't forget water and lunch.

 Call or Email Charlene Duncan  PH# 530-7458. Email cirsium.down@gmail.com.