Steamboat Springs Nature lovers and local cultural enthusiasts should oil their hiking boots now because Yampatika's Partners in Interpretation summer schedule has been tentatively set and features two new activities.
New this year, each Tuesday this summer the Yampatika nature guides will lead a long hike into the Routt National Forest in the Hike of the Week program. Unlike the nature hikes usually offered in the summer, this hike will last five hours going from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. enabling the group to go deeper into the woods for more opportunity to see and learn about nature, Yampatika program coordinator Karen Vail said.
"These are in the moment hikes," Vail said. She explained the group will venture into the forest and the interpreter will teach about nature as it happens.
For example, if there are animal droppings on the trail, the interpreter will explain about the animal, what it eats and what it probably was doing in the area.
Another new weekly program this summer is a staffed interpretive display in the yurt at the top of the gondola at the Steamboat Ski Area.
Each Thursday an interpreter will be in the yurt with information on bears, identification of animals that live in the area including tracks identification and examples of the wildflowers that grow there.
"I'm also trying to get something on lighting up there, too," Vail said.
The new programs, along with 25 other activities that Yampatika's Partners in Interpretation coordinate each week in the summer, will start June 12.
"Our primary goal is education in the valley about natural and cultural resources," Vail said.
The programs include short nature hikes, slide shows, presentations on Native American culture and historical walking tours. There are also similar programs aimed at children and their parents so the whole family can participate, Vail said.
"We try to make our tours and trips free, so everyone can go," Yampatika Executive Director Deb Fuller said. She added a $5 donation is suggested.
However, some of the programs cost money and a mandatory fee is required, she said.
For more information about the programs, stop by one of the six Yampatika locations in the county or call 871-9151.