How do I register? It’s simple! After registration opens on March 25, 2023, go to the registration tab above and click on the registration link.
What if I need to cancel? Please don’t—we want you to join us! But if you must cancel, please be aware there are no refunds and registration is not transferable.
I’m flying to Colorado. Will I need to rent a car? Yes. You’ll need to get to your hotel and restaurants, plus the various festival venues and field trips, some of which leave quite early in the morning.
What should I pack? Be prepared with layers of clothing, a warm jacket, rain gear, scarf & gloves, a hat, sunscreen, bug spray, camera, binoculars (and scope if you have one), perhaps a field guide. A day pack is helpful, and don’t forget a reusable water bottle.
Should I bring my kids? Absolutely! There are some festival activities and hikes appropriate for children. Introduce them to nature now and they’ll reap the rewards for a lifetime. Any minimum age requirement is noted in the event’s description.
Are meals provided? With the exception of Saturday’s Birds, Brews & Bites event (from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm), participants are responsible for all of their own meals. Most trips end by noon, and for longer trips, a number of local restaurants sell carry-out lunches. Note that some field trips leave very early, so you may want to plan ahead for breakfast.
Isn’t Colorado all mountains? The Pikes Peak area includes all types of terrain. To the east, short-grass prairie stretches for hundreds of miles. To the west, Pikes Peak dominates the landscape at 14,115 feet. Aiken Canyon Preserve to the south hosts one of the largest, intact pinyon-juniper habitats along the foothills, while Monument Creek and Fountain Creek provide vital riparian habitat through the center of El Paso County and beyond.
What about the altitude? If you’re coming from sea level, you can expect some shortness of breath. Elevations range from 5,075 feet at Chico Basin Ranch to 14,115 at the top of Pikes Peak. Many of the field trips take place at elevations between 6,000 and 7,000 feet. Make sure to drink plenty of water, and pace yourself. Also, the thin air lets more sunlight through, so use sunscreen to avoid getting burned.
What birds can I expect to see? Of course, you never know what will appear during migration. We provide links to both state and county checklists, here. What are your target birds?
What is the difference between a walk and a hike? A walk is generally an easier paced, on trail trip. A hike is more difficult (either altitude or distance), often on uneven ground with some bushwhacking or fence traversing expected.