Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Have Fun, See Wild Elk at the Hardware Ranch Elk Festival Oct. 10

Hyrum -- You and your family can participate in several outdoor activities at the Elk Festival at the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area. And you might even see some wild elk!

The festival is free of charge. It will be held Saturday, Oct. 10. Activities run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can reach the ranch by traveling 18 miles east of Hyrum on SR-101.

Taking a free wagon ride, painting pumpkins, turning balloons into antlers, shooting pellets guns at targets, trying your skills at archery, and exploring for aquatics bugs are among the many nature-related activities you can participate in.

Whether you’ll see some elk is still in question. "Elk have not come out of the mountains and into the meadow yet," Marni Lee, assistant manager of the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area, said on Oct. 1. "With this cooler weather and snow, hopefully they will come down by the time the festival starts," she says.

Lee encourages you to bring some binoculars and to dress for all types of weather. "We will host the event, rain or shine!" she says.

On your way to the ranch, you can enjoy the fantastic fall colors in Blacksmith Fork Canyon. Food is not available at the ranch, but you’re welcome to bring a picnic lunch and eat in the ranch’s dining room.

Hours of operation
Another chance to take a horse-drawn sleigh or wagon ride through the middle of hundreds of wild elk starts at the ranch on Dec. 18.

Starting Dec. 18, the ranch’s visitor center will be open and sleigh rides will be offered during the following days and times:

Friday noon to 5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday noon to 5 p.m.

If you want to go on a sleigh ride, you must buy your ticket at the visitor center before 4:30 p.m. The cost to go on a ride is $3 for those four to eight years old, and $5 for those nine years of age or older. Children three years of age and younger ride for free.

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, the sleigh rides will not be running and the visitor center will not be open. You can still bring your binoculars and view the elk from a distance, though.

For more information, call the Hardware Ranch WMA at (435) 753-6206.

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