Cancelled: Colorado Plateau CSSA Convention Adventure

Twelve travelers will be able to journey with Panayoti Kelaidis, worldwide speaker and plant explorer, into the Colorado Plateau from July 7-July 12, 2023. This trip is sponsored by the convention host society, the Colorado Cactus & Succulent Society.

The Colorado Plateau encompasses a lion’s share of America’s great National Parks, possibly the most spectacular geological features on the planet—and some of the greatest biodiversity in North America: and, oh yes! A TON of special cacti! Since you’re already planning to attend the fantastic CSSA conference in Colorado Springs, why not join us to savor this unique eco-region that’s near at hand.

The field trip will begin with a visit to the world-famous Vail Alpine Garden and then two nights in Grand Junction to explore for special plants nearby including Pediocactus simpsonii and a number of Sclerocactus spp.



A visit to the extensive cactus collection in the gardens at the Mesa County Fairgrounds will provide a good introduction to the wide variety of cold hardy cacti and other succulents that can thrive in a cold, dry climate.

From there we’ll go down the gorgeous Castle Canyon, past Fischer Towers—with the towering Manti La Sal mountains looming behind: this is area of extraordinary botanical as well as scenic interest. Moab will be home base for two nights—with forays into the rich canyonlands hereabouts filled with Petroglyphs, wildflowers and more cacti.

The final sweep will take us to Cortez, near Mesa Verde where two more choice Pediocacti will be on our agenda in addition to a complex assortment of prickly pears and more wildflowers than you can shake a stick at. Both going and coming back to the Plateau, the tour traverses a half dozen spectacular mountain passes—many above tree-lined, where some unusual alpine succulents occur: the rosulate Bigroot Spring Beauty (Claytonia megarhiza), two species of Roseroot (Rhodiola) and more.


Trip logistic and financial details:

The trip will leave from Denver on the morning of July 7, 2023. Participants will leave their main luggage at Panayoti's house where it will be picked-up and taken to the convention hotel in Colorado Springs and will be waiting for them on July 12. Small bags only should be taken on the trip so that 7 passengers (including driver) in each Chevy Suburban can be easily accommodated.



July 7 and 8--lodging in Grand Junction, Colorado

July 9 and 10--lodging in Moab, Utah July 11--lodging in Cortez, Colorado

July 12--return to Colorado Springs (via Wolf Creek Pass and the San Luis Valley) for the CSSA Convention

Checks for a $450 deposit are due by March 31st and should be sent to:

Adrian Saunders, Treasurer, CCSS 7308 S Chapparal Cir E, Centennial, CO 80016.

Credit card payments should be made via PayPal to The balance of the trip cost, either $1350 or $1450 per person, must be received by May 1.

Refunds will not be made after June 1, 2023.

Meeting arrangements on July 7, time and place, will be sent to each registrant. Send any questions to Rod Haenni,