Community Ag Alliance: Get outdoors with Yampatika this holiday season | SteamboatToday.com

Community Ag Alliance: Get outdoors with Yampatika this holiday season

During the holidays, despite our best efforts to enjoy the season and celebrate the meaning of the year for you and your family, we often get distracted and stressed by the other things.

It's trying to find the perfect gift at the right price, it's having all those relatives visiting or going to visit all those relatives, or pondering what to do when the snow quality isn't quite what you were expecting.

The one thing that remains consistent during this holiday season is nature and its sheer beauty. One of the best ways to regain focus, balance and the spirit of the season is to get outside. Skiing, snowshoeing, hiking or even just going out for a walk is a great way to get away from the stress of the season and remind yourself why we live here or come to visit.

If you are too overwhelmed by everything to even think about where to go, let Yampatika help.

Our seasonal winter programs have started and there are things to do almost every day of the week — and many of them are offered for free. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, there is Ski With a Naturalist on Mount Werner. On Fridays, there is the Uranium Mine Snowshoe tour at Fish Creek Falls and on Saturdays there is the Emerald Mountain Snowshoe tour on Howelsen Hill.

Even though there isn't that much snow out there right now, that hasn't stopped these programs from happening. We may change the location a bit or hike instead of snowshoe, but our commitment to getting outside is undeterred.

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In addition to our regularly scheduled programs, we have our second moonlight snowshoe of the season Jan. 1, 2018. This is a great chance to experience Steamboat and the Yampa Valley in a very unique way.

Finally, if you want to get outside but none of our regularly scheduled times work for you, there is always the opportunity to hire a naturalist for a private tour. There are lots of places to go for all skill levels and ages. No experience is required.

Check out Yampatika's website at yampatika.org for the latest program information or call our office at 970-871-9151 and talk to one of our naturalists about setting up a program for you and your family.

Whatever you choose to do with your time this holiday season, make sure you take advantage of the wonderful local opportunities the Yampa Valley has to offer both visitors and locals alike, from outfitters to local breweries and everything in between. One of the great benefits of living here is all of the local resources, shops, restaurants, services and businesses.

On behalf of our board of directors, staff and volunteers, I hope you are able to get outside and enjoy our amazing valley. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Joseph P. Haines is executive director of Yampatika.