By Kelsey Keener
CEDAR CITY–SUU Community Education is offering a Weekend Road Trip to Capitol Reef to enjoy southern Utah scenery while learning about the forests and vegetation in the area.
The trip begins on Thursday, Sept. 27 with a meet and greet with Bill Branham, who worked for the United States Forest Service and recently worked as the Utah Prairie Dog Recovery Coordinator for SUU Regional Services.
Friday, Sept. 28 will include guided hikes in Cedar Breaks National Monument, the Dixie National Forest and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument while traveling to Capitol Reef National Park. The trip will also include hiking Cathedral Valley and Petroglyph trails on Saturday and hiking through Kingston Canyon Trail Sunday, followed by departure back to Cedar City.
In addition to hiking and learning about vegetation and insects in the areas to be explored, participants will also learn about management of the Trembling Giant, or Pando, Fish Lake National Forest’s oldest resident. Pando, Latin for “I spread,” is a clonal colony of single male quaking aspen that shares one underground parent root system. It is among the world’s oldest known living organisms, estimated to be 80,000 years old and weigh 13.2 million pounds.