Plant Walks

Join the Native Plant Salvage for a series of informational Plant Walks, this spring and summer.  Beginning April 20th, Plant Walks will be held on the first and third Thursday of every month.

These walks are a great way to learn native plants, botanize with friends, and enjoy a beautiful afternoon outdoors! Each Plant Walk will begin at 6 p.m. sharp, at the McLane Creek Nature Trails in Olympia. Please be sure to arrive a few minutes early so that we can get started on time!

2017 Plant walks have ended for the summer

We will be posting the 2018 schedule when it is available!



McLane Creek Nature Trails
Olympia, WA  98512

Click Here For Google Maps

Parking is limited at McLane Creek, so please carpool when possible!

From I-5, take exit 104 onto Hwy. 101.  Follow to exit for The Evergreen State College/Mud Bay Road, and take the Mud Bay Rd. ramp.  Turn left (west) onto Mud Bay Rd, and almost immediately (0.25 mile) turn left again onto Delphi Road.  Follow Delphi for 3.3 miles.  Look for "McLane Creek" sign on your right; turn right onto nature preserve’s roadway and follow 0.4 miles to the lower parking area.

Coming from Shelton and other points west: Exit 101 at Mud Bay/Evergreen State College exit. Turn left at the end of the ramp, follow the road as it curves right to join Mud Bay, and head up the steep hill.  At the top of the hill is Delphi Rd; turn right on Delphi and follow for 3.3 miles. Look for "McLane Creek" sign on your right; turn right onto nature preserve’s roadway and follow 0.4 miles to the lower parking area.

BY BUS/BICYCLE: There is no direct bus service to McLane Creek. The #47 bus provides frequent service along Mud Bay Rd. to McPhee St., leaving less than 5 miles to bicycle.  From the intersection of Division and Harrison on the west side, the ride is less than 7 miles each way and takes under 30 minutes.  Bicycle parking is available next to the check-in area. Please call Intercity Transit at 360-786-1881 for transit help.


Lower Parking Lot: Check in under the covered picnic area adjacent to the lot.  Additional parking is available in the upper lot, so please allow additional time (about 5 minutes) in case you need to park above and walk down to the check-in area.  Carpool with friends if possible, as parking will be limited.  Please note that folks do park all around the periphery of the lower parking lot just to the side of the access road--be sure that vehicles can maneuver around you.



Planning for your walk:

We walk VERY slowly while we’re studying the plants, and McLane has colder/wetter weather than in urban areas; conditions can change quickly! Please dress according to your comfort level.

What to bring:

(1)  Comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes for standing/walking/bending.

(2) Reading glasses if you use them regularly (we do close-up study).

(3) Snacks/drinks if desired.

(4) Pen/pencil & notebook (optional)

(5) Hand lens (optional).

What we'll provide:

  • A handout with notes on basic characteristics.
  • Trees of Washington will be available for $5. This WSU guide covers trees in our area, including the alpine, with definitions of key botanical terms. If you know you want to buy the book in advance, you can add it on to your class-payment check to save time.

Payment: We are asking for a $5-$20 sliding-scale donation per person, which goes to offset some of our expenses. Please make your check payable to "Native Plant Salvage Foundation," or "NPSF." Your donation will be tax deductible and we can provide a receipt upon request.

Discover Pass:  McLane Creek Nature Trail is a fee-based recreation area.  The daily fee is $10, and an annual pass is $30 (plus service fees); the pass gives you access to many recreation areas throughout the state.  Please plan in advance to purchase a Discover Pass, as we cannot provide temporary passes for this event.  Here is a link to learn more:

It is possible to buy one online and write your pass number on a slip of paper that you can leave on your dashboard prior to the pass arriving in the mail.

Locally, you can buy one from several vendors; two vendors near McLane Creek include the REI at the Capital Mall, which sells the annual pass for about $32 and the Big 5 Sporting Goods, which charges $35. Other vendors that sell fishing licenses, such as Fred Meyer's and sporting goods stores, will also sell them for $35. If you are near Tumwater, you can also skip the service fee and purchase directly from State Parks at 1111 Israel Rd. during weekday business hours for only $30.