Thursday Field Trips




FT - 11  Boreal Forest Bryophyte and Lichen Communities of the Chugach Mountains

Trip Leader(s): James Walton and Martin Hutten, National Park Service

8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Fee:  $100.00 - includes continental breakfast, boxed lunch, water, and collecting permits

The Eagle River Nature Center will be the starting point to explore boreal forest bryophyte and lichen communities within the Chugach Mountains of southcentral Alaska. A 30-minute drive from downtown Anchorage and up the beautiful Eagle River valley takes us to the cozy log-cabin-style Nature Center, beaver and salmon viewing platforms, and a well-maintained system of trails, some of which are part of the historic Iditarod Trail. A diversity of habitats can be visited, including mixed poplar-spruce forest along the valley’s toe slope and moss- and lichen-carpeted boulder fields along the river’s inactive floodplain. This trip is a great opportunity to explore a wide diversity of nonvascular taxa that occur across southcentral Alaska boreal forests.

Hiking will be easy to moderate. Sturdy footwear, bug protection, 2L of water, snacks, and appropriate clothing for changing weather are recommended. Trails are not ADA compliant.

FT - 12  Alaska Wildlife Tour

Trip Leader: Annie Ronsse

12:00 pm- 6:00 pm
Fee:  $85.00 - includes water, and admission fee
Special Add-on  - an additional $120.00 (limited to 10 people)

This is your chance to view migratory birds, salmon, beluga whales, bears, musk oxen, and other Alaska wildlife…oh my! Start with a guided walk at Potters Marsh, in Anchorage, with excellent habitat for over 130 migratory bird species, spawning salmon, and a variety of mammals. A wooden boardwalk provides a 0.5-mile trail showcasing a marsh ecosystem. Continue with a drive south for scenic views of mountains and the lush Chugach National Forest along the Turnagain Arm. A short stop (time and weather dependent) at Bird Point offers scenery of the tidal mudflats and a chance to see harbor seals, beluga whales, and the bore tide. The bore tide can be up to 40 ft tall and is one of the biggest in the world.

The last stop is at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center at 2:00 pm for a tour of wildlife. The wildlife center is a sanctuary dedicated to preserving Alaska’s wildlife through conservation, education, research, and quality animal care. A small group (limited to 10, $125/person) will have a private 90-minute tour (A Walk on the Wild Side) where your personal guide will walk with you through the Center, offer history and personal stories of their resident animals. You’ll have the chance to be up-close and personal with a porcupine and/or have the chance to feed one additional animal. Others can explore the park at their own pace by walking 1.5-mile dirt and paved looped road. Everyone will end with a Bears Business program at 3:45 pm, where the Center will do a 1-hour education program focused on bear feeding and presentation on diet, environment, survival, adaptations of bears.

The bus ride is one hour from Anchorage to Wildlife Center. Please bring weather-appropriate clothing. A food truck is usually available on-site at the Wildlife Center. The weather can be clear and sunny to rainy. All walking areas are flat. Participants must abide by Wildlife Center rules while on-premises, please see their website for additional information. Masks required as of 5 Dec 2021.


 Saturday, July 30 - Optional trip in conjunction with the Workshop

CANCELED!  FT - 13  In Pursuit of Comps

Trip Leader: Mauricio Bonifacino de León

9:00 pm- 4:00 pm
Fee:  $80.00 - includes lunch and water 

Join us on a 9-mile trail (roundtrip) that will take us deep into the Alaskan Mountains to explore the amazing wilderness in search of Compositae, AKA Comps.

Taking advantage of Alaska’s summer-long days, we will hike the Reed Lakes Trail to witness the beauty of the North to the future state. 

In pursuit of Comps, we will stop at nothing to find the rare and the amazing, while feasting at the common and abundant.