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

Butterfly lists from previous years may be provided to give you an idea of what we might see.


Field Trip Liability Release and Indemnity Agreement Field-Trip-Liability-Release

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.

April 21 – Cowiche Canyon – Difficulty Level 2

To sign up, email David James at david_james@wsu.edu.

This is a joint Cowiche Canyon Conservancy / Washington Butterfly Association Earth Day Hike

The first Washington Butterfly Association field trip of 2018 is on Earth Day, April 21 at Cowiche Canyon in Yakima. We will be joined by members and friends of the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy who will be holding their Earth Day hike in the canyon at the same time (10am-midday). They too, will be looking for butterflies (as well as enjoying the wild flowers and spectacular geology of the canyon). The creek is a torrent this year so that will be spectacular in itself. Hopefully we will see the first Lucia azures, the very special blue that inhabits Cowiche Canyon. 

May 12 – Glacial Heritage Preserve – near Maytown, Thurston County

NOTE: This is not an official field trip. It is an opportunity to visit the Glacial Heritage Preserve, Thurston County. The property is usually closed to visitors.
Annual Prairie Appreciation Day (Center for Natural Lands Management). This is an opportunity to see early spring butterflies on the prairie.
For more information and directions to the site, go to http://www.prairieappreciationday.org/

May 12 –  North Fork Cowiche Canyon – near Yakima – Difficulty Level 2

To sign up, contact David James david_james@wsu.edu 

Field trip to the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy/WDFW managed property at the North Fork Cowiche, to survey the butterfly fauna. These recently acquired lands represent a unique transition area between shrub-steppe and higher elevation landscapes. Thus, there is potentially a good diversity of butterflies, but we have little information on the species occurring there. WBA members can help provide data on species occurrence/abundance that will ultimately guide conservation plans for the area.

May 19 – Yakima Training Center – Difficulty Level 3

To sign up, contact David James david_james@wsu.edu 

Field trip to the Department of Defense lands at the Yakima Training Center near Yakima to survey the butterfly fauna.  With permission and in collaboration with the DOD, WBA members will help compile an inventory of butterfly species occurring at the YTC during multiple visits over the next few years.  Currently there is no information on butterflies occurring on the 500+ square miles of shrub-steppe land owned by the DOD.  Access requires a background check and due to time restraints we cannot accept further participants on the May 12 trip.  We may conduct another trip to the YTC later in the season, so watch for information.

May 20 – Moxee Bog – Yakima

To sign up, contact David James david_james@wsu.edu 

Field trip to Bureau of Reclamation lands adjacent to Moxee Bog near Yakima.  Moxee bog was the site of a celebrated colony of Silver-bordered fritillaries (SBF) during 1966-2000 and was the first preserve set aside for butterfly conservation in the United States.  The Nature Conservancy, WBA and the Native Plant Society are undertaking a study on the possibility of restoring Moxee Bog as a habitat for the SBF. On May 20 we will survey Moxee Bog and adjacent BR lands looking for Marsh or Bog violets, host plants of SBF as well as the fritillaries themselves.

May 26-27 – Trinity National Forest, Northern California – Difficulty Level 2

To sign up, contact David James david_james@wsu.edu.

Memorial Day weekend field trip to Trinity National Forest in northern California to tag northerly-migrating Monarch butterflies.  We have virtually no information on the migration north of Monarchs and this is an opportunity to rectify this. Varying numbers of migrating monarchs are seen annually along the Trinity River in late May, providing an opportunity for capture and tagging.  If Monarchs are uncommon this year, there are up to 50 species of other butterflies present along the Trinity River to hold your attention!

June 2 – Rocky Ford Field Trip, Lincoln County – Difficulty Level 3

To sign up, contact David James david_james@wsu.edu.

Field trip to Rocky Ford in Adams County (near ghost town of Tokio) to see Silver-bordered fritillaries and their habitat. This is the nearest location to Moxee Bog that SBF exists and study of this population and habitat will be important to restoration of SBF at Moxee Bog

June 9 – Big Meadow Field Trip, Bonner County, Idaho – Difficulty Level 1-2

To sign up, contact John Baumann baumann.jp56@gmail.com.

Big Meadow, Bonner County, Idaho, a lesser fritillary and
spring butterfly extravaganza.

June 23 – Big Springs, Umatilla National Forest, Blue Mountains – Difficulty Level 3

To sign up, contact David James david_james@wsu.edu.

Field trip to Umatilla NF in the Blue Mountains (near Pomeroy) to relocate a 1970-reported population of Meadow Fritillary.  Rare and local in WA, the Meadow Fritillary was last seen in the Blue Mountains at Big Springs in June 1970. 48 years later we will revisit the site to see if the species still exists there.

June 30 – Red Top Lookout, Teanaway area – Difficulty Level  2-3

To sign up, contact Dan Dunphy ddunphyj@gmail.com

We will make a few stops where we may see the Common Alpine, W. Meadow Fritillaries, and Greenish Blues, to name a few, on our way up to the parking lot.  It is a 3/4 mile walk up to the lookout itself with one short, but quite steep section.  However, there are nice areas beyond the parking with buckwheat and other nectar sources for those not wanting to go to the top. We have seen fritillaries, blues, swallowtails, sulphurs and coppers here. The view from the lookout is spectacular at 5,360 ft., and there are some nice nectar meadows just below it with coppers, blues, hairstreaks, fritillaries and swallowtails.  Of course, there may be very little on our day, fingers crossed.

June 30 – 4th of July Butterfly Count. Little Pend Oreille NWR. 

NABA 4th of July Count, Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge

We will meet at the refuge headquarters at 8:30 and head out by 9:00 on Saturday June 30. If anyone has any questions they can contact me using the information below.

Mike Munts

Wildlife Biologist
Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge
1310 Bear Creek Road, Colville, WA
(509) 684-8384



 July 13-15 – Annual Conference – White Salmon WA


August 11 or 18 – Monarch Tagging at Lower Crab Creek near Vantage

To sign up, contact David James david_james@wsu.edu.



August 25 – Toppenish, Yakama Nation

To sign up, contact David James david_james@wsu.edu.

Search for Silver-bordered Fritillary
(SBF) and violets as part of our Moxee Bog SBF project.