Crews are working to improve access to and from Rocky Mountain National Park with the Downtown Estes Loop Project.

Read More
arrow_left previous

Edible & Medicinal Plants of Rocky Mountain National Park - East

  • 3450 Fall River Road, Estes Park, CO 80517
  • Phone: (970) 586-3262
Visit Website

Not only are Rocky’s plants diverse and beautiful, but many species have been part of the grocery store and pharmacy of earlier peoples, and are still used today. We will explore these edible and medicinal species with a focus on their identification, current and historic usage as food and medicine, preparation techniques, ethical harvesting and conservation. We will also discuss some toxic species to avoid!

We will meet at the Fall River Visitor Center and travel together to various sites in Rocky Mountain National Park in Conservancy vehicles. Registration includes all required fees and permits for Rocky Mountain National Park.

Participants will:

  1. Acquire skills in identifying native and non-native edible and medicinal plants found in the southern Rocky Mountains, as well as toxic species to avoid.
  2. Learn about common, traditional, and historic uses of wild plants; plant parts used, and methods of preparation for food and medicine.
  3. Understand the importance of plant conservation, ethical harvesting, and safe use of wild plants.

Who: Participants ages 16 and up. Expect short-distance walks throughout the day, primarily on level terrain.

When: Saturday, July 27, 8:00am to 4:00pm

Where: Fall River Visitor Center, 3450 Fall River Road, Estes Park, and various field locations in Rocky Mountain National Park

What to bring: 10 Essentials for Field Courses, sack lunch, optional: camera, hand lens, and your favorite botanical guidebooks.

About your instructor: Leanne Benton is a former ranger-naturalist in Rocky Mountain National Park and has led wildflower walks in the park for over 25 years. She has studied and photographed the park’s wildflowers since her first summer in the park, and continues to expand her botanical knowledge, most recently into edible and medicinal uses of plants.

Conservancy members get 15% off individual registration when you use the discount code in your membership email! Limit 2 per membership.

Not a member of the Conservancy? Learn more and join here: Conservancy Membership

If you have questions about this course, please contact the Field Institute by email at or by phone at 970-586-3262.