Why hike St. George?
Our area is full of places to hike and explore nature away from the city. On one of the hikes we went to Dammeron Valley with Professor Curt Walker. He guided us and took us on an exploration of rock formations, plants, and other biology in the area. The second hike took us to Santa Clara where we hiked alongside the river and explored the petroglyphs. Both hikes were insightful and invigorating; hiking is a way to get out and explore nature! (Photo taken in Hurricane)
Exploring Native American History on the Ranger Bart Trail:
On April 10th, members of the Red Rock Outdoors Club, Dixie State University students, and hikers from the Sun River hiking club had a chance to enjoy the beautiful early-spring weather and learn about Native American history and culture while hiking the newly dedicated Ranger Bart Trail. Named after a local historian, folklorist, and avid hiker who recently passed away, the Ranger Bart Trail led the hikers along steep paths to ancient Native American campsites and ended at an enormous sinkhole. A horticulturist named Russ guided the hikers and shared his extensive knowledge of Native American culture and the flora and fauna along the trail. One hiker stated, “It surprised me how much history was behind the land we were hiking across, and [Russ] seemed to know it all.”
What other hikers said about their experience:
- “The Ranger Bart Trail was an exciting experience…a hike that people should take if they are interested in learning more about local native culture and history.” Dixie State College Red Rock Outdoors Club
- “I got a taste of Dixie’s history, and scenery.”
- “I enjoyed . . . getting to know . . . my classmates as well as Professor Wrede. The hike allowed time to talk about ourselves . . . in a more personal setting that we do not get in the classroom. It helped me develop more of a common ground with my instructor and a deeper respect for her also.”
To get to the trailhead, take Sunriver Parkway (exit 2) off Interstate 15 and go west. Drive all the way to the end of the road, where you’ll find a small parking area and a sign indicating the Ranger Bart Trail. The trail will take you along the river through an undulating landscape that, in the spring, is fresh and green.
Petroglyphs in Santa Clara
The trail along the Santa Clara River is especially pretty in the spring, when flowers start to bloom and trees turn green, and the fall, when fall colors the cottonwoods and rabbitbrush along the river. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars and look up the cliff to your right where you’ll see a lot of petroglyphs.
Another hike took us to Dammeron Valley, where, instructed by Dr. Curt Walker, we learned about local plants and animals. The club also learned how successfully to take pictures of the rising sun when Dr. Shane Prine took us to Snow Canyon early on a Saturday morning. Dr. Marius van der Merwe allowed us to participate in a condor-viewing event on Kolob he had organized for his students.
Early Morning Hike in Snow Canyon
The Snow Canyon activity started off a little chilly, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. We were going to see the petroglyphs, but it turned out that the only ones observable in Snow Canyon are now out of reach and available only to climbers. Apparently some adolescents destroyed the other observable petroglyphs! How awful! So we hiked the three pond trail, about 3.5 miles long. The weather got a little warmer, so it was good. We had a good turn out: Nadia, Cameron, I, Cam’s brother David, and some friends of mine, Alisha and Mindy. Here were some of the pictures that I took, before my phone died! Some good ones, though, I think.
In mid-April, the Red Rock Outdoors Club tried out geo-caching for the first time. The idea of geo-caching is to have everyone take part in locating a hidden object by using a GPS. To find this object the group hiked past Tuacahn high school into Padre Canyon, where the GPS directed us to a large rock. After some searching, the group found the “cache”—a container filled with little souvenirs and trinkets. We waited at that area for a while and then continued the hike to the end of Padre Canyon. The entire activity took about an hour and a half. In all everyone said they enjoyed the outing and some even said they would do it again!