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Native Orchids of Rocky Mountain National Park

  • 3450 Fall River Road, Estes Park, CO 80517
  • Phone: (970) 586-3262
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Join expert author and instructor Marlene Borneman for a day-long educational outing exploring the unique orchids of the Rocky Mountains!

Did you know a variety of orchids make their home in and around Rocky Mountain National Park?

It's true! Orchids aren't only found in the tropics - they're hiding in plain sight across RMNP and Colorado. In this course, participants will learn about orchid terminology, characteristics of the orchid family, the symbiotic relationship to fungi and other plants, the history of orchid uses, and the different species found in RMNP and Colorado. We'll spend half the day discovering where these captivating plants are hidden in the park, and the other half in an illustrated lecture on all things orchid.

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

What to bring:

  • Please be prepared to spend the morning outdoors in RMNP,
  • RMC’s Field Institute 10 Essentials,
  • Bag lunch,
  • Hand lens (optional but recommended),
  • 6" ruler (optional)
  • Clipboard (optional)
  • Your favorite orchid guidebook (optional)

About your Instructor: Marlene Borneman has been hiking Colorado’s trails and mountains since 1974. Marlene has taught wildflower classes for the Rocky Mountain Conservancy, Estes Park Garden Club, and the Native Plant Master Program. She has provided lectures and programs for several community organizations. She has earned her Native Plant Master Certification and won photography awards from the Colorado Native Plant Society. She is the author of three pack guides published by CMC Press: Rocky Mountain Wildflowers Second Edition, Rocky Mountain Alpine Flowers, and The Best Front Range Wildflower Hikes. She has been a member of the Colorado Mountain Club since 1979 and is also a member of the Colorado Native Plant Society. She is a photography contributor to the Colorado Native Plant Society, Rocky Mountain Conservancy, and the Colorado Mountain Club.

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

Not a Conservancy member? Learn more and sign up 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.