Museum will offer Uintas field trip
If you don’t know much about how to judge snow safety or avalanche danger, getting into the backcountry can be a daunting task in the wintertime. Especially in Park City, even a short hike might take an individual through avalanche country, making trips into the woods dangerous.
But this Saturday, the Utah Museum of Natural History will lead a small expedition on a day-hike into the woods of the Uintas offering Summit County residents some easy access to the mountains in their backyards.
The snowshoe hike is part of the museum’s educational curriculum.
"It’s an educational, slash recreational, slash fun trip," said Darrell Kirby, a spokesperson with the museum.
The trip, "Tracking and Snowshoeing in the Uintas" will teach participants how to identify and read the tracks left by animals in the snow. Taught by Adrienne Cachelin, an instructor in the Parks Recreation and Tourism department at the University of Utah, the course will focus on elementary tracking skills and the different kinds of wildlife one might find in the wintertime Uintas.
According to Kirby, participants can learn a whole variety of things from where an animal is going and what it is doing, to what kind of animals are out roaming around the woods.
The class will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and participants will need to bring their own snowshoes and lunch. Those who have signed up will meet at the Yellow Pine Campground on the Mirror Lake Highway at 8:45 that morning. The trip is suggested for those 12 and older only, and dogs are not allowed.
The field trip to the Uintas, he noted is part of a broader educational effort that also includes a variety of other trips and events throughout the year. Last month, the museum led an expedition to Hyrum, Utah, and the Hardware Ranch to look at its elk research programs. After the field trip to the Uintas, the program will take a journey to the Inland Sea Shorebird Reserve to learn about birding in April.
"It’s so much more interesting to learn about something by being there and seeing it," Kirby noted.
So, he said, the trip into the Uintas is just one of a series of small journeys around the state that happen throughout the year.
"It’s an opportunity for teenagers and adults to learn about the environment with an expert," said Kirby.
The snowshoe trip will give its participants a view of the woods in the wintertime that is for Summit County residents just a short drive away. At the same time, the trip will offer some educational opportunities for a fairly reasonable price.
"Part of our mission here at the museum is to illuminate the natural world and the role humans have within it," said Kirby
In this case, that outdoor education also allows for a snowshoe in the Uintas. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning.
For more information about the event, or to pre-register, call the Natural History Museum at (801) 581-5567 or visit http://www.umnh.utah.edu.
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