97°F
weather icon Clear

Explore Zion through field classes, workshops, interpretive hikes

The Zion National Park Forever Project (formerly known as the Zion Canyon Field Institute) is now in its 20th year of hosting field programs. Below are the events scheduled through July, yet be assured, many of the same programs, plus additional offerings, will also be conducted later in the year.

Most field classes meet at the Zion Human History Museum, are limited to five people and are open to ages 15 and up, except where noted. Hikes are different lengths, depending on the program, ranging from easy to strenuous. Workshops, classes and service projects fill fast, so be sure to sign up early. Be prepared for changing weather conditions and dress in layers. Wear a hat and sunscreen and bring food and water. Binoculars come in handy.

If your visit doesn’t coincide with a scheduled offering, or your group wants to be by itself, consider arranging a “Custom Explore Zion” outing — a half or full day with an instructor or naturalist. For more information on this option, or the following programs, contact the Forever Project at 435-772-3264 or visit zionpark.org.

March 25 and other dates, Thursday Treks: These naturalist-led hikes provide an introduction to the geology, flora, fauna and human history of the park. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., $50. Also scheduled for April 15, April 29, May 6, May 20, June 3 and more.

March 27, Spring Birds in Zion: Spend a morning in the park tracking and observing birds along the Virgin River. Learn about springtime bird behavior and migration. 8 a.m.-noon, $45.

April 10, Mojave Wildflowers: Join botanist Matt Ogburn and explore the wildflowers near St. George in the small area in Utah that is part of the Mojave Desert. Bring your camera and enjoy the ephemeral annual display as well as colorful perennials and cactuses. 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $65. Meets at St. George BLM office.

April 17, Low Desert Wildflowers: Visit the extreme southwest corner of Zion by Coalpits and Huber Washes, where you’ll learn about and see the Mojave flora blooming. 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Limit six participants. $65.

April 30, Zion and the Colorado River Basin: Explore the hydrocentric locations along the Virgin River to learn about human- ecosystem connections. 8 a.m.-2 p.m., $45.

May 1, Basin to Plateau: Hike through the Spring Creek drainage to see wildflowers and surprising geologic formations near what was the shore of the Pacific Ocean some 750 million years ago. Limited to six participants. 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $70. Meets at Kolob Canyons Visitor Center.

May 13, Archaeology Field Day: This service project involves spending a day with a Zion archaeologist doing site work and other tasks. Expect to get dirty and tired. Limited to two participants. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., $65.

May 14, Outside Looking In: One of the best views of Zion is from outside its boundary. Join a naturalist to hike the roughly 5-mile Eagle Crags Trail while learning about the geology, flora and fauna of the area. 8:30 a.m.- 3 p.m., $65.

May 17, To the Rim and Back: This is a strenuous, all-day, round-trip hike from the East Rim Trail to Deertrap Mountain or Cable Mountain. Along the way, you will learn about the geology, flora, fauna and area ecosystems. 8 a.m.-4 p.m., $65.

June 5, Hanging Gardens of Zion: Explore some of the park’s hanging gardens associated with small seeps and springs. Learn about the ferns, orchids, monkey flowers and primroses that thrive here. 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., $65.

June 23 and July 7, Zion Narrows Service Project: A 7-mile, naturalist-led, interpretive hike takes you into the Zion Narrows. Learn about the power of flash floods and how this canyon was formed. Expect to get wet and negotiate slippery algae-covered rocks with a walking stick. 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $65.

July 9, Cedar Breaks Wildflowers: Escape the heat in Cedar Breaks National Monument and walk with botanist Matt Ogburn on a wildflower tour. Wildflowers abound here, including Markagunt and Rydberg penstemon, columbine and Parry primrose. 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $65. Meets at Cedar Breaks entry station.

July 10, Wildflower Photography at Cedar Breaks: Join photographer Michael Plyler, during peak wildflower season in Cedar Breaks National Monument, as he discusses ways to maximize your abilities to interpret beauty through the lens, and photographing the big picture versus the close-up. 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., $85. Meets at Cedar Breaks entry station.

July 17, Cedar Breaks Geology: Tour geologic sites surrounding Cedar Breaks National Monument. Participants will visit ash-flow tuffs on Brian Head Peak, remains of lava flows near Navajo Lake, and Mammoth Cave, a large lava tube. Limited to six participants. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., $65. Meets at Cedar Breaks entry station.

THE LATEST
Arrows fly in fun at archers’ state outdoor championships

For archers looking to prepare for an upcoming big game hunt, participation in tournaments such as the Outdoor Championships are a good method of honing your skills.

As ice melts on reservoirs, trout fishing improves

The hard water covering reservoirs has begun to melt away from the shorelines, leaving open water for anglers willing to brave the cold temperatures.

Digital tag-application results lack old-school wallop

We live in a time when everything is going digital. While that has made aspects of our life more convenient, I miss some of the old school ways.

Ice fishing derby on Comins Lake offering cash prizes

Does the possibility of taking home a $5,000 payday enough to cause you to break out your trout rod, some cold weather gear and a comfortable camp chair?

It’s wise to pay attention to fish consumption advisories

The purpose of these advisories is to help people make informed decisions about where to fish or harvest shellfish, says the Environmenal Protection Agency.

Narrow window now open for more hunting in Arizona

A total of six limited-entry permit tags are up for grabs. Two each for elk, mule deer and white-tailed deer. The deadline to apply is Friday.

Bird population needs assist from Mother Nature

Couple more than 20 years of drought with two of the driest years on record and you have habitat conditions that have significantly limited bird production.

Infrastructure bill shot in the arm for outdoors

According to several respected conservation organizations, the bill will benefit America’s wildlife and natural resources.