Sunday, May 30, 2010

Harker Canyon

Harker Canyon is located in the Wasatch National Forest in the Sheeprock Mountains south of Vernon, UT.   There are are 2 beautiful canyons within about 2 miles of each other, and each is unique and diverse in the scenery and plant life. While we were there we also saw lizards, squirrels, and deer.

What we didn't see was very many people at all.  This is a great place to go when you want to get away!  Harker Canyon is a popular bird watching spot.  At one time, there was a ghost town in or near Harker Canyon, but we couldn't find it.  It looks like it may have been destroyed by a forest fire some time in the last  few years (but maybe we were in the wrong place, if you've been there recently please share how to get there!)

Cost: Free
Facilities: None.  Make sure all fires are dead out when you leave and close any gates you open on the way up the mountain.
Bring: water, snacks, and be prepared to pack out any and all trash.  4WD is recommended and required for some areas.  A first-aid kit with tweezers is a must in case you have a run in with the cacti like we did.
Activities: Hiking, camping, bird watching, picnicking, ATVs, campfires.  Within short distance by car to Vernon reservoir and fishing.

To get there:  Take SR-36 to Vernon.  Just South of the bend in 36, follow the sign to take the dirt road toward Benmore. Go South four miles, and turn right at the "T" in the road toward Bennion Creek and Harker Canyon about two miles.  Turn left just before the 3rd cattle guard, or continue on for another 2 miles or so and follow the road up the next canyon.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lassley Lane Trail Head

This is a short, low intensity trail leading to a large meadow below the foothills of the Oquirrh mountains.  It is open to hikers, mountain bikes, and horseback riders.  The trail is well marked, but infrequently traveled so wear long pants because there are some weeds  The trail has no grade and is approximately .75 miles long.  Remember to bring water, hats, and a football to throw when you get there.  Be prepared to pack in & out anything you need.

Facilities: none
Cost: free
To get there: the parking area is at the intersection of Droubay road and the railroad tracks in Tooele County.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fish for Free on June 5, 2010

If you're looking for a fun activity that's close to home and doesn't cost much, mark June 5, 2010 on your calendar.  June 5, 2010 is Free Fishing Day in Utah. You won't need a fishing license to fish in the state that day. (However, all other rules still apply. Check them out online here.)

Before Free Fishing Day, the Department of Wildlife Resources will place extra fish in waters across Utah.

Several free fishing events for children will be held on Free Fishing Day. Here are some events sponsored by the Department of Wildlife Resources.  Or click here for a directory of Utah's Community Fishing Ponds.

Northern Utah
The Bear River Celebration and Free Fishing Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Skylar's Pond.
The pond is in Willow Park, 419 W. 700 S.
People of all ages can enjoy free fishing at the pond. Fishing equipment will be available to check out and use. Volunteers will also be available to help first-time anglers fish.
Special interactive activity booths will also be available for those ages 4 to 18 years old. The first 250 youths who visit the booths and complete their "passport to fun" will receive a free t-shirt. The interactive booths will give young people a chance to discover the joys of fishing and learn the importance of good water quality. Youths can tie their own wooly bugger, experience how rivers and streams are formed, explore the life cycles of fish, go "buggy over bugs," make fish prints, learn to cast a fishing lure and much more.
For more information, e-mail Marni Lee with the Division of Wildlife Resources at marnilee@utah.govThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

North-Central Utah
"Family Fishing Derby" at Willow Park Pond in Murray.
The pond is at 6059 S. Murray Parkway Ave., just north of the Murray Golf Course.
One-hour fishing sessions for families and kids will be held at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon. Space is limited. You can pick up a ticket to participate at the Murray Parks and Recreation office or the Sportsman's Warehouse store in Midvale.
The DWR will stock the pond with channel catfish before the event. Starting at 9 a.m., the children who participate will be taught about fish and how to catch them. Once the training is done, the kids are free to fish at the pond. If your child needs help, volunteers from the DWR's Dedicated Hunter program will be available to help them fish and clean the fish they catch.
Fishing poles and bait will be available for children to borrow if they don't have their own equipment.

"Kid's Fishing Event," Wasatch Mountain State Park pond, about two miles west of Midway.
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Space is limited. If your child would like to participate, please register in advance by calling Wendy Wilson at 435-654-1791.
The DWR will stock the pond with rainbow trout before the event. At 9 a.m., the kids who participate will be taught about fish and how to catch them. Once the training is done, the kids are free to fish at the pond. If your child needs help, volunteers from the DWR's Dedicated Hunter program will be available to help them fish and clean the fish they catch.
Fishing poles and bait will be available for children to borrow if they don't have their own equipment.

The Fifth Annual Utah Lake Festival will be held at Utah Lake State Park, 4400 W. Center St.
Fishing equipment will be available to use at no charge. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In addition to fishing, activities at the festival include fighting fish on a fishing simulator; free boat rides; a sail-boat regatta; face painting and art activities for kids; and plenty of booths to visit. Free hot dogs, popcorn, apples and water will be provided by Provo, American Fork, Orem, Springville and Santaquin cities.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there is no fee to visit Utah Lake State Park and the festival. The festival provides a chance to get outside and enjoy Utah Lake, experience the recreational opportunities the lake offers and learn about its ecosystem and the native fish species that live in the lake.

Southwestern Utah
Little Reservoir
The Division of Wildlife Resources will sponsor a fishing event at Little Reservoir from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A limited number of fishing rods and equipment will be available for children to borrow if they don't have their own. DWR personnel and volunteers will also be available to help the kids fish. And those who participate might receive a prize!
Little Reservoir is east of Beaver. To reach the reservoir, travel east from Beaver on state Route 153 for about nine miles to Kents Lake Road. Then travel about one on Kents Lake Road to the reservoir.
For more information, call the DWR's Cedar City office at 435-865-6100.

Sand Hollow State Park
The Division of Wildlife Resources and Utah State Parks and Recreation will co-sponsor a fishing event at Sand Hollow State Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The state park will waive the entrance fee for those 14 years of age or younger who come to the park to participate in the event. A limited number of fishing rods and equipment will be available for children to borrow if they don't have their own. DWR personnel and volunteers from the DWR's Dedicated Hunter program will also be available to help the kids fish.
To reach the reservoir from Interstate 15, exit at Exit 16 (the Hurricane exit), and travel east on state Route 9 for about four miles to Sand Hollow Road. Turn right on Sand Hollow Road, and travel south for about three miles. Then turn left at the park entrance.
For more information, call Lynn Chamberlain at 435-680-0059.

Tropic Reservoir
A free Kids Fishing Derby will be held at Tropic Reservoir from 9 a.m. to noon.
The DWR will stock the reservoir with fish before the event. Each child who attends the event will receive a prize. Refreshments will also be provided.
Tropic Reservoir is just west of Bryce Canyon National Park. To reach the reservoir, travel southeast from Panguitch on Route 12. Five miles before you reach the park, turn south on a gravel road and travel 10 miles to the reservoir.
For more information, call Jake Schoppe with the U.S. Forest Service at 435-676-9300.

Learn to Build Free Workshops for Kids!

Did you know that both the Home Depot and Lowe's offer free classes for kids to learn to build?  At the Home Depot, little builders receive an apron and can complete a project on the first Saturday of each month.   Lowe's has programs Saturdays at 10am and gives each child an apron and safety goggles.

Details are here for the Home Depot and here for Lowe's.  Check your local store for availability, you may need to reserve your spot.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Stansbury Island

We are always on the lookout for places to explore with our dogs. Stansbury Island is on the West end of the Great Salt Lake and has hiking, biking, and scenic drives for views of the lake.

On the drive in, you can see where the salt from the lake accumulates on pilings, rocks, and anything in the water.

On the way back we found this giant slab of limestone.  There are lots of interesting rocks and even fossils to be found, but be sure to leave everything as you found it.  You aren't allowed to bring home any minerals you find there.

Activities: Hiking, Biking, Picnics, Scenic Drives
Facilities: None--be prepared to pack in and out everything you need, be sure to bring water and jackets as weather on the lake can turn quickly.
Cost: Free
To Get There: Take I-80 Westbound from Salt Lake. Take exit 84 North. Head immediately west on Stansbury Road as it parallels the Interstate. You will pass two stop signs and a set of railroad tracks. The road is only paved a short distance from the Interstate. It quickly gives way to well-graded gravel. Continue following the road as it veers north and skims between the evaporation ponds toward the island. About 8 miles past the second stop sign, look for a place to pull off the road and park.

Keep in mind that large parts of the island are private property: respect posted signs. Everything above the foothills, however, is public land.

Click here for some more gorgeous views.

Free Library Events!

The library has MANY fun free events during the summer! Click on the link "Free Library Events" to view all of them, but here is a list I have made that looks like a lot of fun:

Monday June 7th: 10:30am Whitmore Library - Splish Splash Storytime, 2pm WV Library - Pirates and Balloons, 7pm Hunter Library - Dazzle Doggs
Tuesday June 8th and Wed June 9th: 10:15am Riverton Library - Let's Play Music
Monday June 14th: 7pm Magna Library - Reptile Rescue
Tuesday June 15th: Jones' Dairy
Wed June 16th: 7pm Mont's Magic Let's Make A Splash - Kearns Lib
Thrs. June 17th: 11am Hunter Library - Storytime on the lawn (every Thursday)
Monday June 21st: 1pm Riverton Lib - Fishy Craft
Wed. June 23rd: 10:30am Taylors. Lib - Sand Art, 11am Holladay Lib - Sharks Whales and Oceans, and 3pm Kearns Lib - Wild West
Thrs. June 24th: 11am Hunter Lib. Lunch on the lawn
Mond. June 28th: 7pm Magna Lib - Wacky Waves
Thrs. July 1st: Kearns Lib Make and Take Craft
Tues. July 6th: 11am Calvin S Smith Lib - Fun in the sun story time
Wed. July 7th: 10:30am Hlldy Lib - Splash with Crafts, 2pm Riverton Lib - Yo Yo's
Mond. July 12th: 6:30pm Bingham Creek Lib - Wear suits and get wet, or 7pm West Jordan Lib - PJ Time
Tues. July 13th: 2pm Kearns Lib - Ocean Animals
Wed. July 14th: 10:30am Taylrsville Lib - Name That Reptile, 2pm West Valley Lib - Reptile Rescue
Monday July 19th: 1pm Riverton Lib - Uncle Sam Craft, 7pm Magna Lib - Puppet Splashfest
Tues July 20th or Wed July 21st: Gardner Village Historic Scavenger Hunt
Wed. July 28th: Benson Grist Mill
Wed. Aug. 4th: 10:30am taylorsville Lib - Water Fun, wear swimsuits
Thrs. Aug 5th: 1pm Sand Art - Kearns Lib
Tues. Aug 10th: 11am Calvin S Smith Lib - Splish Splash What A Fish
Thrs. Aug. 12th: last day for Lunch On The Lawn - Hunter Lib, 7pm Kearn Lib - Pirate Theater
Wed. Aug.18th: 10am Hunter Library - Treasure Pirate Puppet Show, 2pm West Valley Lib - Beach Party Magic
Thrs. Aug 19th: 3pm West Jordan Lib - Bubbles
Mond. Aug. 23rd: SCHOOL STARTS for my oldest
Tues. Aug 24th: 7pm Hunter Lib - Aloha Magic Show
Wedl. Aug 25th: 11am Magna Lib - Treasure Chest Puppets

Fire Fighter Museum

We recently visited the Utah Firefighters Musuem in Tooele at the Deseret Peak Complex. The kids had a blast! They were able to climb in one of the firetrucks, learn from a cute little robot dog, look at old time firetrucks and hats, etc. They take donations as the admittance price, so it's up to you what you want to pay to go there.
TO GET THERE: Go to Tooele, and follow the signs to the Deseret Peak Complex. It's at the North West corner of Deseret Peak. Very easy to find!