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Free programs from the Pagosa Ranger District

The Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan Public Lands has an exciting schedule of free, entertaining, interpretive and informational programs for the public at various times and locations shaping up for the summer.

On Saturday, June 12, from 10 a.m. until mid-afternoon enjoy The Shattered Landscape: a geology tour of the Pinon Hills Dikes. Millions of years ago, tectonic forces in the earth squeezed molten rock into faults. Today, the soft shale has eroded, exposing these dramatic natural ramparts of stone. Study how the movement of the continent left these amazing clues to our geologic history. Bring a lunch or snack. Travel south on Trujillo Road (County Road 500) about 17 miles. Meet at the Pinon Hills Ranch entrance gate at the bridge at the town of Trujillo. (Please do not block the gate.)

Geology buffs and Glenn Raby’s many fans will be happy to hear that he will be doing double-duty this summer as he will lead three of his popular tours twice: The Big Bang: a Geology Tour of the Wolf Creek on Wednesday, June 23, and Wednesday, Aug. 11; Fire and Ice: a geology tour of the East Fork Valley on Wednesday, July 7, and Wednesday, Aug. 25; and Cracks in the Earth: A Geology Tour of Ice Cave Ridge on Saturday, July 17, and Saturday, Aug. 28.

On Thursday, June 17, at 9:30 a.m. to noon, take a walk through the Turkey Springs area with Phyllis Wheaton and learn about the life of the forest ranger in the early 1900s. For this moderate hike (about 2.5 miles round trip), meet at the parking area on the right at the end of the pavement on Piedra Road (CR 600/Forest road 631), 5.5 miles from U.S. 160 You will then drive about three miles out Turkey Springs Road to the beginning of the walk.

A series of family walks with a focus on children enjoying the woods will begin on Saturday, June 19, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. On this walk, led by Jill and Donovan Porterfield, you will learn about the trees and plants of the forest. There will be activities for children (of all ages). All children must be accompanied by an adult. Bring a lunch if you would like to join Donovan and Jill to picnic after the walk. Meet at the parking area on the right at the end of the pavement on Piedra Road (CR 600/Forest road 631), 5.5 miles from U.S. 160. Additional family walks will be led by Jill and Donovan at the same location and time on Thursday, July 8, Saturday, July 24, and Tuesday, Aug. 10.

On Thursday, June 24, from 9 a.m. to noon, join forester Steve Hartvigsen, ecologist Sara Brinton and volunteer interpretive guide Susan Halabrin as they lead a walk through the mixed conifer forest. Of the forest types within the San Juan National Forest, mixed conifer is the most complex with the greatest diversity of tree species across highly variable terrain. Please contact the Forest Service office at 264-2268 to sign up for this walk. Those who wish to carpool should meet at the Forest Service office at 180 Pagosa St. at 9 a.m. (Smokey Bear is out front). Or you can join the group at 9:20 a.m. approximately 7.3 miles east of Pagosa Springs at the junction of Jackson Mountain Road (No. 037) and U.S. 160. Bring a lunch.

The calendar of events will expand, so be sure to watch for additional information here or stop by our office for copies of the current calendar. For all events, wear walking shoes or boots, dress appropriately for the weather, and bring drinking water. Please leave your four-legged friends at home.

For more information, visit the Pagosa Ranger District office at 180 Pagosa St. or call 264-2268.