Because non-consumptive appreciation of butterflies is central to our purpose, collecting is not permitted on our field trips or at our conferences. The only exception is when a voucher specimen is needed and its taking is approved by a majority of the board members present. Limited collecting of eggs, larvae and pupae for rearing is accepted on condition that individuals raised to adult stage are released to a suitable habitat where the species already occurs.

Washington Butterfly Association schedules field trips in April thru August weather and butterflies permitting.

Forms


Field Trip Liability Release and Indemnity Agreement

Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk for a Minor Child Not Accompanied by his or her Guardian

NOTE: No child under the age of 18 who is not accompanied by a parent or guardian will be allowed on any field trip without a liability release signed by the parent or guardian as well as by the adult accepting responsibility for the child on the trip.

FOR TRIP LEADERS:

Trip Leader Check List

Frequently Asked Questions

Before signing up for a Field Trip, please read our FAQ.

2024 FIELD TRIP DESCRIPTIONS:

NOTE: A DATE RANGE IS GIVEN FOR SOME OF THE TRIPS. THE PRECISE DATE WILL BE DETERMINED BY THE LEADER BASED ON WEATHER AND THE SEASON’S PROGRESSION. CONTACT THE TRIP LEADER TO SIGN UP AND BE NOTIFIED OF THE SPECIFIC TRIP DATE.

NORTH FORK-DIVIDE RIDGE (YAKIMA), one day between April 24-28 to be determined – David James

The North Fork/Divide Ridge area is about 20 miles NW of Yakima and partially owned/managed by Cowiche Canyon Conservancy. The butterfly diversity here is unusual in that there are components of shrub steppe and mid-elevation woodland/grassland faunas.  We should see 15-20 spring species, some like Julia Orange Tips and Oak Duskywings may be in profusion. Sign up with David James: david_james@wsu.edu Level 2

SNOW MT RANCH/WDFW (YAKIMA), one day between May 18-22 to be determined – David James

The WDFW land adjoining Snow Mountain Ranch 10 miles NW of Yakima is proving to be a great place to see a diversity of spring shrub-steppe butterflies from Beckers Whites to Anise Swallowtails to Marbles to a whole bunch of Blues! It is also an area where two distinct forms, maybe sub-species, maybe species, of Checkerspots fly. We are still trying to understand what Checkerspots fly at this location, so come and see them for yourself! Sign up with David James: david_james@wsu.edu Level 2

ANTOINE PEAK, northeast of Spokane, May 18 – John Baumann

Depending on whether participants want to focus on a meadowy slope near the trailhead, .5-1.0 mile, or complete a loop up to the peak itself and back, the difficulty level would vary from 2.5-3.5. The trip to the peak and back is around 5 miles with 770 ft elevation gain. Contact John Baumann for more details: baumann.jp56@gmail.com

SWAKANE CANYON, mid week due to activity in the canyon on the weekend, week of May 20 or week of May 27 – Melanie Weiss

An old favorite, Swakane Canyon is abundant with puddling butterflies in the spring.  We will follow the canyon road for several miles making stops at puddling spots along the way.  Note that the road is narrow, full of serious pot holes and rocks, definitely not for vehicles with low clearance. We can combine cars at the canyon entrance.  25 to 35 species may be seen including several species of Swallowtails, Green Hairstreaks, many Blue species (9 on one visit), all four Duskywings, Northern Cloudywing, grass skippers.  The canyon is located 5 miles outside of Wenatchee along the Columbia River. Sign up with Melanie Weiss:  melanierweiss@gmail.com  Level 1-2

WBA BUTTERFLY WEEKEND, WINGS OVER RITZVILLE, THREE DAY EVENT, JUNE 7-9

Check G’num for information and online registration.

STEPTOE BUTTE, tentatively June 22 – Hailey Armstrong & John Baumann

Join us for a fun field trip to Steptoe Butte State Park where you can experience panoramic Palouse views and a surprising wildlife oasis! Steptoe Butte is located in Whitman County, just off US 195 about 52 miles S of Spokane and 30 miles N of Pullman. There is a paved road all the way to the top (3,612′) with some areas to pull over for exploration, a variety of butterfly species can be found all over the area! Attendees are encouraged to bring binoculars, water, snacks/lunch, nets, jars and of course a camera.

Note: The park requires a Discover Pass and is an attraction to many visitors so parking may be limited during the day, carpooling will be recommended. For details about the trip or if you would like to sign up, contact Hailey Armstrong at: eggogecko@gmail.com or 509-220-8599 Level 2

Possible trip to visit LEONA’S LITTLE BLUE, last two weeks of June

Stay tuned. David James david_james@wsu.edu

SLATE PEAK, OKANOGAN NF, late July, early August TBD – Cheryl Bellin and Jim Rauh

This beautiful high elevation site is truly stunning to behold with its profusion of flowers, spectacular views and, of course, butterflies.  This is an even year, so we may see the rare Melissa Arctic or Astarte Fritillary, both biennial species.  Lustrous copper is also a possibility but I’ve never seen the “big 3” on a given day.  Twenty five plus species is likely when venturing to this wonderful location.  

The road up to the peak leaves from Mazama, but beware that this road is narrow with steep drop offs. That said, the road was in excellent condition last year as road crews made Dead Horse Point navigable for equipment and crews that added a parking lot between Harts Pass and the Windy Pass Trailhead.  A short hike is required to reach the top of Slate Peak and to fully explore roadsides and mountain meadows.  Sign up with Cheryl: bellinca@gmail.com Level 3

CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, August 16, note this is a Friday due to weekend crowds – Regina Johnson, Melanie Weiss

After being rained out last year, we’re giving this popular trip of two years ago a second try. In the hope of seeing a few different species than on the past trip, we’ll be visiting earlier in the month. We’ll take a gondola up to the top of the ridge at 7,000 ft. elevation and butterfly in the alpine flowers along a trail with stunning views of Mt. Rainier. Participants will have to pay the gondola fees. Sign up with Regina: reg@madronas.net Participants limited to 12, Level 3

‘TREASURE HUNT’ FOR GOLD, GOLDEN HAIRSTREAK, THAT IS. HOODSPORT AREA, mid to late August – Karen Holtrop, Regina Johnson

Help search for Hairstreaks in the Hamma Hamma. We will visit the northernmost disjunct Golden Chinquapin stands located in Mason county on Forest Service and WA DNR lands in the Hamma Hamma River Watershed. Walking into the chinquapin areas could be rough but short walking. We may also stop at some other good flowering spots along the gravel roads. All wheel drive vehicles are recommended. We will carpool from Highway 101. The meeting location will be provided for those who sign up. Sign up with Karen: KKHOLTROP@msn.com Level 3

RICHLAND RAMBLE, October, first or second weekend – Cathy Clark, Dan Dunphy, Sylvia Sheets

We will visit up to 3-4 locations in the TriCities area. Exact locations to be determined closer to October based on local reports of sightings and weather conditions. Most locations should provide for level walking or gentle inclines. Possible species to anticipate include skippers (including Northern White), sulphurs, Viceroy, Monarch and blues (we will be hoping for another showing of the Western Pygmy Blue!). Contact any of the co-leaders for sign up: Cathy Clark: snowcatclark@gmail.com, Dan Dunphy: ddunphyj@gmail.com, Sylvia Sheets: sylvia.sheets@protonmail.com. Level 1-2.

FLASH TRIPS MAY OCCUR, STAY TUNED!