Methow Conservancy
Annual Spring Naturalists’ Retreat
June 1st at 6pm through the early afternoon of June 4th, $200*

The Naturalists’ Retreat is an annual celebration of the Methow Valley in springtime! Come spend a long weekend with us where we’ll enjoy beautiful days in the field and engage in presentations and group dinners in the evenings. Under the friendly and expert tutelage of ornithologist Libby Mills and botanist Dana Visalli you will be amazed by all that you learn and soak up in this fantastic nature and educational experience!Mountain Bluebird. Photo by Mary Kiesau

Arrowleaf Balsamroot, Bitterroot, Bitterbrush, Chelan Penstemon, Larkspur and much much more will be in full bloom throughout the Valley.  Bright bluebirds, and tropical migratory birds like the red and yellow tanager and yellow warbler will be flooding back into the Methow and singing all over the Valley, looking for mates after their long journey from South and Central America. Look for and learn to hear vireos, warblers, flycatchers, orioles, hummingbirds, bluebirds, Lewis’ and other woodpeckers, raptors, waterfowl, and maybe even a Lazuli bunting!  We’ll go to a variety of places throughout the Methow Valley on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to experience all that the natural world of the Methow has to offer. In the evenings, we’ll share meals and hear presentations from Dana and Libby on the Methow’s natural history, botany, and the life and times of Methow birds.

Registration is required and the retreat is limited to 20 people. Participants should be willing and able to take part in the entire retreat including evenings. Participants should be in good physical condition, able to complete moderate hikes and spend 6+ hours in the field. Free tent camping is available at Dana’s property along the Methow River near Twisp or you can make your own lodging arrangements.

  • Thursday evening, dinner is on your own. We’ll meet at 6pm for introductions and logistics, and one instructor will give a presentation.
  • Friday, we’ll be in the field from 8am to 3pm, then we’ll meet at 6pm for dinner and a presentation. Friday’s dinner is a shared meal provided by the Methow Conservancy (included in the retreat fee).
  • Saturday, we’ll be in the field from 8am to 3pm, then we’ll meet for dinner at 6pm again, location to be announced, and we’ll share our highlights from the weekend with photos, stories, and maybe even songs!
  • Sunday, we’ll be in the field from 9am to 1pm or so.

Locations for day and evening events will be given shortly before the retreat starts.  The retreat starts at 6pm sharp on Thursday, June 1st and goes through the early afternoon of Sunday, June 4th. Cost is $200*/person, including two dinners.  To register, send an email to or call our office at 509-996-2870.

* Our Cancellation and Refund Policy
If you cancel or leave a fee-based course for any reason:
Full refunds will be given if the request is received two weeks or more before the day of the program (class, workshop, fieldtrip, etc.).  If the cancellation is made less than two weeks before the start of the program, the Methow Conservancy will give a full refund only if we are able to fill your spot.  If you cancel 24 hours or less before the start time of the program or after the class has started there will be no refund of the program fee.  Although we rarely need to do so, we reserve the right to cancel a program.  In this case you will receive a full refund.
315 Riverside Avenue / PO Box 71    Winthrop, WA 98862     509.996.2870