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Winter Tours

Southwest Colorado Winter Ecology Series 2014-15
Mesa Verde National Park, San Juan Mountains Association, San Juan National Forest, BLM Tres Rios Field Office, San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society, Durango Nature Studies and Colorado Parks and Wildlife have teamed up to offer a series of winter hikes during the 2014-2015 winter season. Come enjoy the outdoors during this special time of year while exploring the local winter ecology. See inside for hike descriptions, dates, and times.
Contact information listed below.

Snowshoes and poles will be available during each hike for those who need them.

Winter Ecology Series is back! Get ouside and find animal tracks!

January 10
Animal Tracks and Signs
Mesa Verde National Park at Morefield Campground (MVNP)
Saturday, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Learn how to look for and identify animal tracks and sign, and then exploe the hillsides around Morefield Campground. Past animal tracks observed in the area include weasels, rabbits, coyotes, and mountain lions.

• Limited to 20 people, ages 7 to adult.
• Meet at the Morefield Village parking lot at Morefield Campground, 4 miles from the park entrance.
• Advance reservations required. Contact MVNP.
• Park entrance fee of $10.00 per vehicle.



January 17
Abert’s Squirrels and Winter
Chris Park/Haviland Lake (DNS)
Monday, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Learn about Abert Squirrels from the nation’s expert while on snowshoes. Explore their habitat and learn about their adaptations.

• Limited to 20 people, ages 7 to adult.
• For directions, contact DNS or visit www.durangonaturestudies.org.
• Advance reservations requested. Contact Sally at DNS



January 17
Weathering Winter: Ancestral Pueblo Adaptations to Winter
Mesa Verde National Park (MVNP)
Saturday, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Discover some of the winter survival strategies used by pueblo people who lived at Mesa Verde. Dress warmly and be prepared to walk approximately 3/4 mile.

• Limited to 20 people, ages 7 to adult.
• Meet at the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum, about a 45-minute drive from the park entrance.
• Advance reservations required. Contact MVNP.



January 19
Exploring the Winter Wonderland
Mancos State Park (SJMA)
Monday, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Bring your family to Mancos State Park and use all your senses to discover the peace of nature in the winter. We’ll use snowshoes if there is snow, and if there is safe ice depth, we’ll go out on the lake to learn about ice fishing and frozen lake ecology - there’s a lot of life going on under the ice!

• Program presented by SJMA and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
• For families with children ages 4 and up. Limited to 20 people.
• For directions, contact SJMA or visit www.sjma.org and click on Education.
• Advance reservations requested. Contact Gabi at SJMA.
• Park entrance fee of $7.00 per vehicle.



January 24
Winter Ecosystems and the Snowpack
Chris Park/Haviland Lake (DNS)
Saturday, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Learn how animals use the snowpack to survive during the winter by digging and examining a snow pit and going on a nature walk to look for evidence of animal activity

• Limited to 20 people, ages 7 to adult.
• For directions, contact DNS or visit www.durangonaturestudies.org.
• Advance reservations requested. Contact Sally at DNS.



January 24
Mesa Verde - Winter Festival
Mesa Verde National Park at Morefield Campground (MVNP)
Saturday, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Join Mesa Verde for the park’s winter festival. Events include a Nordic fun race, kids’ snowshoe race, primitive skills demonstration, and other activities for the whole family. For more information, contact MVNP or visit www.nps.gov/meve.

• Meet at the Morefield Village parking lot at Morefield Campground, 4 miles from the park entrance.
• Park entrance fee of $10.00 per vehicle.

February 1
Moonlight Ski and Snowshoe
Mesa Verde National Park at Morefield Campground (MVNP)
Sunday, 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm

Enjoy a unique opportunity to explore Mesa Verde’s Morefield Campground and Meadow Bliss trails in the moonlight. The trails will be lined with glow sticks and glow stick jewelry will be provided. Join us out on the trail for complementary hot beverages and cookies.

• Meet at the Morefield Village parking lot at Morefield Campground, 4 miles from the park entrance.
• Park entrance fee of $10.00 per vehicle.

February 7
Trees, Trees, Trees
Cherry Creek Road (SJMA)
Saturday, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Explore the variety of trees in our area and see how they survive the winter as well as what critters depend on them for their own survival.

• For families with children ages 4 and up. Limited to 20 people.
• For directions, contact SJMA
• Advance reservations requested. Contact MK at SJMA.

From Durango, travel on Hwy 160 west for 15.5 miles.  Turn north directly across from  the brown Forest Service sign reading "Cherry Creek Rd".  This turn is 11.5 miles east of Mancos.  4x4 or high clearance may be needed to go the 1/4 mile to the parking area.  Otherwise, park carefully on the side of the highway and walk to the parking area.

February 16
Become a Junior Snow Ranger
Chicken Creek Cross-Country Area, Mancos (SJMA)
Saturday, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Become a Forest Service Junior Snow Ranger during this winter adventure! Discover animal tracks, examine plants, and conduct snow experiments to receive your official Jr. Snow Ranger booklet and badge!

• For families with children ages 4 and up. Limited to 20 people.
• Meet at Chicken Creek Cross-Country area, County Road 40, Mancos. For directions, contact SJMA
• Advance reservations requested. Contact Gabi at SJMA.

February 21
Experiencing and Predicting Winter Weather
Haviland Lake (DNS)
Saturday, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Explore winter weather, both in real time and learn to predict future winter weather conditions. We will explore the Haviland Lake area on snowshoes and investigate current atmospheric conditions, as well as learn weather prediction tips

• Limited to 20 people, ages 7 to adult.
• For directions, contact DNS or visit www.durangonaturestudies.org.
• Advance reservations requested. Contact Sally at DNS.



February 28
Plant & Animal Adaptations
Mesa Verde National Park at Morefield Campground (MVNP)
Saturday, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Join park staff as they explore the amazing ways animals and plants survive in the cold winter environment of the Four Corners region. The hike will tour the winter habitats of plants and animals in the Morefield Campground.

• Limited to 20 people, ages 7 to adult.
• Meet at the Morefield Village parking lot at Morefield Campground, 4 miles from the park entrance.
• Advance reservations required. Contact MVNP.
• Park entrance fee of $10.00 per vehicle.



March 7
Winter Plant Identification Hike
Mesa Verde National Park (SJFCNPS)
Saturday, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Winter months strip many plants of their foliage and make winter identification of these plants difficult. Join the San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society on a winter plant identification hike in Mesa Verde National Park to learn how to identify plants in the
winter.

• Limited to 15 people. Recommended for high school age to adult.
• Advance reservations required. For information and reservations contact Al Schneider with SJFCNPS.
• Park entrance fee of $10.00 per vehicle.

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Contact and Reservation Information

Durango Nature Studies (DNS)
www.durangonaturestudies.org
• For reservations contact:
Sally Shuffield
970-769-1800
sally@durangonaturestudies.org

Mesa Verde National Park (MVNP)
www.nps.gov/meve
• For reservations contact:
Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum
970-529-4631
meve_education@nps.gov

San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA)
• For reservations contact either:
Gabi Morey
970-759-1170
gabi@sjma.org

MK Thompson
970-759-9113
mk@sjma.org

San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society (SJFCNPS)
www.swcoloradowildflowers.com
• For reservations contact:
Al Schneider
970-882-4647

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Want to learn more?
The Mesa Verde Museum Association and San Juan Mountains Association offer a selection of winter ecology books and field guides for sale in their bookstores.

Mesa Verde Museum Association
800-305-6053 or visit www.mesaverde.org

San Juan Mountains Association
970-385-1255 or visit www.sjma.org

Snowshoes, snow grooming equipment, and other interpretive supplies for this program were partially funded by a generous grant from the National Park Foundation.

Hikes may be rescheduled due to inclement weather. If you have questions or want to sign up for a hike, use the information above to contact the appropriate organization.

Visit www.nps.gov/meve for maps and informationon self-guided snowshoeing and cross-country skiing opportunities in Mesa Verde National Park. Snowshoes are available for loan during the winter at the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum and the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center. XC


 

 

 

 

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Snowshoe Tours

Purgatory Ski Area
Half and full-day guided snowshoe tours are available upon request and can accommodate groups or individuals. Inquire and register at the Purgatory Guest Services office at 385-2147.
winter tour

Winter Discovery Programs

Winter Discovery Programs can include both indoor and outdoor components. Discovery time indoors will include activities discussing snow properties and track patterns of animals; Discovery Time outdoors will include snowshoeing (snow-dependent), looking at snow, snowflakes and evidence of animals, including tracks. Winter Discovery Programs can be done at your school, or in the forest, and they are free! Call soon to reserve your date: 385-1256 or gabi@sjma.org

SJMA is now part of a national program called SnowSchool that gets kids outside in the winter, having fun, exploring nature, and learning winter ecology. For more information, visit www.snowschool.org

snowschool