Basin Recreation Hiking Club expands for 2016 summer
Basin Recreation started its Hiking Club last summer as part of its Fun Over Fifty slate of senior-centered recreation programming.
This year, the club is expanding to include everyone. Hikers young and old, novice and expert are invited to come to the club’s Monday evening or Friday morning adventures, Recreation Coordinator Patrick Saucier said.
“Now, if you want to bring your kids, you can bring your kids,” he said. “If you want to come along, you can come along. It’s for any age, anybody.”
Though it’s called the Hiking Club, Saucier said the returning members are very inclusive and welcoming to newcomers.
“We’ve got a pretty cool group of people who are coming back every week, which is kind of the club aspect,” he said. “But club is a loose term. We don’t want it to be a club in the sense that you feel like you have to have been there before or have to sign up to come. You can drop in any Friday. Everybody is very welcoming.”
Monday hikes run from 6 to 8 p.m. and Friday hikes last from 9 a.m. to approximately 2 p.m.
“We generally stick to local trails on Mondays,” Saucier said. “Fridays are more out-of-town hikes. Everyone meets at the Fieldhouse at 9 a.m. and we get in the van and go to the trail. We’ll do a longer hike like Stewart Falls or Sundance. Timpanogos is always a good one, too.”
The Monday evening hikes have been tailored to avoid the heat, Saucier added.
“Last year, we tried to do 4 p.m. hikes on Mondays, but we found those were really hot,” he said. “Even at 6 now, we’re finding that’s pretty hot. We try to find shady trails where were going up a little higher — Silver Lake or the [Utah Olympic Park] trails. Robs Trail is a good one, too.”
Especially for the Friday hikes, Saucier said checking the schedule beforehand is important.
“Some hikes are two or three miles and some are 16,” he said. “We encourage everyone to look at our calendar on our website (www.basinrecreation.org) ahead of time to know what you’re getting into.”
Worried about hiking too slow or too fast? Don’t. Saucier said the guides accommodate everyone.
“The group usually does split,” he said. “We don’t want people to think, ‘Well, I’m going to hold the group back, so I don’t want to go in this group setting.’ There are going to be other people out there who aren’t fast hikers and you’ll be able to stay with that group.”
Some of the more adventurous hikes of the summer are coming up in the next two months. Saucier said the club will hike Mount Timpanogos and do a trip to the Diamond Fork Hot Springs, in addition to a couple of trips to the Uintas.
“[The Uintas] are not a place where you usually want to go alone — it’s easy to lose your bearings,” he said. “Going with a group who has experience in that area is a cool way to have that experience without having to worry about a map or a GPS.”
Being out in the wilderness can be dangerous at times, but Saucier said the Hiking Club guides are experienced and able to provide basic assistance.
“Safety is a big factor,” he said. “All of our guides are CPR and first-aid certified. We keep an AED in the vehicle, too.”
On Monday, July 11, the Hiking Club will meet at the Fieldhouse at 6 p.m. for a to-be-determined local hike. On Friday, July 15, the club will meet at the Fieldhouse at 9 a.m. for a Quarry Mountain adventure, which is rated as a moderate-level hike. Visit http://www.basinrecreation.org for more information.
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The Youth Sport Alliance is planning on expanding its program through the rest of the county, and, depending on a grant from the Women’s Giving Fund, adding two part-time positions.