Field Trip Information (Powered by Utah Butterfly Field Trips)

We will be providing a total of 11 field trips–five for collectors, four for photographers and watchers, and 2 moth black lighting field trips. Butterfly watchers and photographers are invited to attend the Otter Creek/Koosharem Canyon Field Trip.

Sunday July 13th:

Chipeta Lake: We will be providing a full day collectors’ field trip and will meet in the lobby at 5:00 A.M.  This will be a 3.5 hour trek to find Arctic Alpine Butterflies near Chipeta Lake (10,600′ – 11,400′) in Utah’s High Uintas. Most of the butterflies found at Murdock Mountain (see subsequent field trip) are found at Chipeta Lake.  

Additional butterflies not found at Murdock Mountain include the Colorado alpine (Erebia callias), melissa arctic (Oeneis melissa lucilla), white-veined arctic (Oeneis taygete edwardsi), freija fritillary (Boloria freija browni), and mead’s sulphur (Colias meadi meadi). 

Flights of these butterflies is a function of winter snow pack and snow melt.  This can affect the flights of arctic alpine butterflies.  We are leaving very early in the morning to get on the mountain by 9AM so as to try and avoid mid-day cloud cover which can be extremely prevalent in Utah’s High Uintas. 

Field Trip Leader:  Wayne Whaley
Distance from Hotel:  169 miles
Road Quality:  We will be traveling on a paved highway for most of this trip.  However, the last 26 miles (starting with Farm Creek Road) is a dirt road.  This road is usually passable for sedans but, not always.  It is advisable to carpool with someone with an SUV or truck.  


**Warning:  Anyone wishing to hike on talus rock to collect or photograph butterflies needs to understand the risk to you if you fall.  It can be treacherous if your are not very careful.

Guardsman Pass/Wasatch State Park:We will be providing a watchers and photographers field trip and will meet in the lobby at 9AM.  At an elevation of 9700′, Guardsman Pass offers a breathtaking vista of Heber Valley, Snyderville Basin, and the Salt Lake Valley.  Many species of larger fritillaries may be hilltopping as well as blues and hairstreaks. 

Field Trip Leaders:  Mike and Sharon Louret
Distance from Hotel:  10 miles
Road Quality:  The road is paved from the Hotel all the way to Guardsman Pass and to Wasatch State Park.

Monday July 14th

Murdock Mountain: We will be providing a collectors’ field trip and will meet in the lobby at 8AM. Murdock Mountain and Bald Mountain provide Arctic/Alpine habitat along Mirror Lake Highway and is less than an hour’s drive from the hotel.

Butterflies that fly at these locations include the magdalena alpine (Erebia magdalena), scudders’ sulphur (Colias scudderi scudderi), purplish fritillary (Boloria chariclea helena), rockslide checkerspot (Chlosyne damoetas damoetas), grizzled skipper (Pyrgus centaureae loki), lustrous copper (Lycaena cupreus snowi), and others.  Availablility of these butterflies, of course, is a function of winter snow pack and snow melt.

Field Trip Leader: Tony Jones
Distance from Hotel: 46 miles
Road Quality: There is a paved highway all the way to where you park to hike to Murdock Mountain.



Jordanelle Wetlands: We will be providing a watchers’ and photographers’ field trip and will meet in the lobby at 9AM. Jordanelle Dam is a man-made reservoir roughly 10 miles east of the hotel. Jordanelle Wetlands provides a boardwalk through a pristine area where one can find a handful of butterfly and dragonfly species.

In addition to many species of large fritillaries (Speyeria), skippers such as the European skipper (Thymelicus lineola) and garita skipperling (Oarisima garita) can be found flying together.

Field Trip Leader: Sara Ryndfleisz 
Distance from Hotel: 12 miles
Road Quality: Travel to this area is all paved; except you will be parking on a dirt road.

Guardsman Pass: We will be providing a moth blacklighting field trip and will meet in the lobby at 8PM. At an elevation of 9700′, Guardsman Pass offers a breathtaking vista of Heber Valley, Snyderville Basin, and the Salt Lake Valley.  
Field Trip Leader: John Richards
Distance from Hotel: 10 miles
Road Quality: The road is paved from the Hotel all the way to Guardsman Pass. Caution is advised for narrow sections of the road where passing oncoming cars requires care.

Tuesday July 15th

Bountiful Peak: We will be providing a collector’s field trip and will meet in the lobby at 8AM. Bountiful Peak is located along Skyline Drive in Davis County roughly six miles from Bountiful City. The drive to Bountiful Peak from Bountiful City includes 12 miles of dirt road along Skyline Drive.

Bountiful Peak is an outstanding location to find several species of butterflies such as Parnassius smintheus sayii (rocky mountain parnassian), Callophrys affinis (western green hairstreak), several species of Speyeria including S. hydaspe sakantula as well as dayflying moths including Hemileuca eglanterina and Hemileuca hera. Bountiful Peak also is a good place to find larvae of Papilio indra indra (indra swallowtail.)

Field Trip Leaders: Ben Cieslak and Tim Dalsing (subject to change)
Distance from Hotel: 63 miles
Dirt Road: Twelve miles of dirt road travel is required out of Bountiful City. These roads are usually passable in a sedan; but, caution is advised.


Murdock Mountain: We will be providing a watchers’ and photographers’ field trip and will meet in the lobby at 8AM. Murdock Mountain and Bald Mountain provide Arctic/Alpine habitat along Mirror Lake Highway and is less than an hour’s drive from the hotel.

Butterflies that fly at these locations include the magdalena alpine (Erebia magdalena), scudders’ sulphur (Colias scudderi scudderi), purplish fritillary (Boloria chariclea helena), rockslide checkerspot (Chlosyne damoetas damoetas), grizzled skipper (Pyrgus centaureae loki), lustrous copper (Lycaena cupreus snowi), and others.  Availablility of these butterflies, of course, is a function of winter snow pack and snow melt.

Field Trip Leader: Tony Jones
Distance from Hotel: 46 miles
Dirt Road: There is a paved highway all the way to where you park to hike to Murdock Mountain.

Wednesday, July 16th:

Payson Canyon: We will be providing a moth blacklighting field trip. We will meet in the lobby at 6PM.
 
Field Trip Leader: Bob Mower
Distance from Hotel: 75 miles
Dirt Road: Travel to this area is all paved.
Special Instructions: We will meet in the lobby of the hotel and carpool down and meet with field trip leader, Bob Mower, at the McDonalds in Payson at 8:00 P.M. We will then carpool from there up to Payson Canyon.




Sunday July 20th: 

Albion Basin: We will be providing a watchers’ and photographers’ field trip and will meet in the lobby at 8AM.  Albion Basin is located adjacent to Alta Ski Resort at an altitude of 9400′ in Little Cottonwood Canyon at an elevation of the Salt Lake Valley.  Butterflies you can find there include the mormon fritillary (Speyeria mormonia eurynome), boisduval’s blue (Plebejus icarioides), zerene fritillary (Speyeria zerene platina), the great basin fritillary (Speyeria egleis utahensis),northwestern fritillary (Speyeria hesperis wasatchia), callippe fritillary (Speyeria callippe harmonia), small woodnymph (Cercyonis oetus charon), and others.

Field Trip Leader:  John Richards

Distance from Hotel:  43 miles

Road Quality:  The highways to Albion Basin are paved.


Otter Creek/Koosharem Canyon: We will be providing a full day collectors’ field trip and will meet in the lobby at 5:30AM. Otter Creek is a unique wetland habitat that draws wetland species such as the Sonora skipper (Polites sonora utahensis), bronze copper (Lycaena hyllus), nokomis fritillary (Speyeria nokomis apacheana), Idaho skipper (Hesperia coloradensis idaho) and an extremely abundant local segregate of the large wood nymph (Cercyonis pegala).

Nine miles south of Otter Creek, we will also visit Koosharem Canyon. This canyon’s unique mix of butterflies include mead’s wood nymph (Cercyonis meadi meadi), small wood nymph (Cercyonis oetus charon), canyonland satyr (Cyllopsis pertepida dorothea), pine white (Neophasia menapia menapia), behr’s hairstreak (Satyrium behri behri), and others.

Field Trip Leader: Ed Gage
Distance from Hotel: 211 miles (one way–it’s worth it)
Dirt Road: There is a paved highway all the way to Otter Creek. We will be traveling four miles of dirt road to get to Koosharem Canyon.
 
*Note: Photographers are welcome to join us on this trip understanding that collectors may be within shouting distance. (Otter Creek and Koosharem Canyon are very wide and open areas.)


Monday, July 21st:

Deep Creek Canyon: We will be providing a collectors’ field trip to Deep Creek Canyon, Juab County.  This field trip encourages those who attended the Sunday field trip to Otter Creek/Koosharem Canyon to actually stay in Nephi or Levan Sunday night.  Nephi is located along I-15; 80 miles south of Salt Lake City and 14 miles north of Deep Creek Canyon.  (Lodging options in Nephi are inexpensive; but limited.  Information can be found at http://bit.ly/15PSdbs.) If you want to camp out near Levan, check out Chicken Creek Campground at http://bit.ly/14dMsWZ.

Deep Creek Canyon is 3.1 road miles south of Levan along the east side of Utah Hwy 28.   This canyon provides a similar mix of the butterflies from Millcreek Canyon; but with much greater numbers.  During the summers of 2012 and 2013, Deep Creek Canyon experienced very large flights of the Colorado hairstreak (Hypaurotis crysalus citima), great basin fritillary (Speyeria egleis utahensis),northwestern fritillary (Speyeria hesperis wasatchia), zerene fritillary (Speyeria zerene platina), coronis fritillary (Speyeria coronis snyderi), callippe fritillary (Speyeria callippe harmonia), great spangled fritillary (Speyeria cybele letona), and weidemeyer’s admiral (Limenitis weidemeyeri latifascia).  Wyoming Satyrs (Neominois wyomingo) have also been spotted in the canyon in late July.

We will meet in the lobby of Burger King in Nephi at 8:00 A.M.  This is located about 1 block south of I-15 Exit 222 (Nephi S. Main Street.)  Box lunches will not be provided for this field trip; so it is advised that you tank up at Burger King and/or the Texaco station next door before venturing up the canyon.

Field Trip Leader:  Kilian Roever
Distance from Hotel:  120 miles
Road Quality:  All roads are paved except the canyon road itself which extends a little over four miles until it dead ends.  Please be careful as you travel this dirt road because one small section has incurred some erosion where passing with care is advised.

These trips will be on a first-come basis, and depending on attendance, we cannot guarantee that there will sufficient space for everyone. Box lunches will be available for the day trips at the cost of $8; with the exception of the Deep Creek Canyon field trip. 

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