First Class Tubing awaits at Soldier Hollow

Brian Brinkerhoff

Outdoors Correspondent

First class tubing awaits at Soldier Hollow this season with10 groomed trails and two lifts, quickly whisking riders to the top. For those who want a fast ride on tubes designed for sliding and avoid the climb up the hill, this place is for you.

Dallan Evans, 11 year old slider from Lehi, exclaimed after completing his first run, "That was great! It was one of the best rides of my life." His brother Sam had to run back a few hundred feet to retrieve his lost boots, that came off as he tried to slow down. Sierra Evans added, "I can't believe how fast these tubes go. It's crazy because it spins around as you zip down the hill."

Soldier Hollow in Wasatch Mountain State Park near Midway offers the longest tubing lanes in Utah. The hill has lengthy 1,200-foot sliding lanes with lift service for towing people up the hill for tubing day or night under the lights, with a sound system that keeps the airwaves full of enjoyable tunes.

This is a great outdoor activity for tubers of all ages as riders race to get back in line for another plunge. Since the runs are groomed, sliders will not find hidden dangers below the snow's surface. In addition, enthusiasts will be shocked at the speeds these tubes can reach, especially after dark, when temperatures begin to drop.

Soldier Hollow's tubing hill is open through March 27. Tubing sessions are two hours long and start on the even hour (i.e. 10-noon, noon-2, 2-4, etc.) Soldier Hollow is open 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sat. and holiday periods, 4-8 p.m. Mon. through Thurs. (non holiday), noon - 8 p.m. on Fri., and noon - 4 p.m. on Sun. The next holiday is Feb. 21. Shortest lines await during the evening hours.

Admission for tubers age 7 and above is $15 for a two hour session and $9 for youth ages 3-6. Riders need to be at least three years old to ride the lift, but free tube use is available on a small slope, with parental supervision, for those under three. Single rides are also available for $5 for 7 and older and $3 for ages 3-6. All rates include tube use and lift rides. Group rates are available for groups that book and pay in advance. For 25 and more the rate is $9 per person and for 50 and more the rate is $8 per person. Two hour exclusive hill use for a private party is offered for $675 involving up to 120 people, with special hours available. The most popular session for private groups is 8-10 p.m. with included use of the Lodge during the same period.

Last year, more than 29,000 people went tubing at Soldier Hollow. To assure a quality experience, Soldier Hollow limits the sale of tubing tickets. On Saturdays and busy holidays, in particular, they encourage pre-purchase of tubing hill tickets. Tickets can be purchased in advance with a credit card at (435) 654-2002 or in person at the Lodge.

Emergency Deer Feeding to Begin in Cache and Rich Counties

Heavy snowstorms in Cache and Rich counties have prompted the Division of Wildlife Resources to start an emergency feeding program for wildlife in these counties, with most of their efforts focused on feeding deer. The feeding program is being organized to help ensure that deer herds that are recovering from drought in the two counties have every chance to rebuild.

Ron Hodson, Northern Region wildlife manager for the DWR, reported, "Relatively mild weather conditions and good fawn production this past year has left the deer herd in northern Utah in fairly good shape. We're definitely in a rebuilding mode." Hodson also noted that biologists are seeing more bucks per 100 does than they've seen for some time.

Robert Hasenyager, supervisor of the DWR's Northern Region, said the recent snow storms were abnormal, if not record breaking, and that this winter's feeding program is being undertaken as a precautionary measure. "We don't want to lose the momentum we've achieved in
bringing the deer herds back," he said.

"This much snow this fast has put us in a position that we feel we need to do something to help the deer survive," Hodson commented. He says the deer should do okay if the weather returns to a milder pattern. His greatest concern is that more heavy snowfall, combined with freezing temperatures, will put too much stress on the herd.

Sportsmen groups have already contacted the DWR to help in the feeding effort, and they will play a critical role in carrying out the feeding program. Jodie Anderson, Northern Region volunteer coordinator, is organizing efforts to distribute feed. Anyone interested in assisting with the effort is encouraged to call Anderson at (801) 791-8589.
Former Sled Dog Race Champions vie for 2005 Title in Park City

Two previous International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race (IPSSSDR) Champions will return to Wyoming to vie for this year's IPSSSDR title. Melanie Shirilla, 2002 Champion and first woman to win the race, along with Gwen Holdmann, 2003 Champion, will be among the nearly 20 top teams competing in this eight-day race. The 2005 IPSSSDR is scheduled from Jan. 28 through Feb. 5, beginning in Jackson, Wyoming and ending in Park City, Utah.

Additional mushers in the 2005 IPSSSDR include four-time Iditarod Champ Doug Swingley from Lincoln, Montana; three-time Alpirod winner Jacques Philip from Nenana, Alaska; and Grant Beck from Yellowknife Northwest Territories, ranked third in the International Federation of Sleddog Sports Mid-Distance World Cup Program. All three mushers have previously competed in the race, which this year includes teams from the U.S., Canada, France, and Switzerland.

The IPSSSDR, the largest sled dog race in the lower 48 states, is a stage stop event, stopping in a different community each night. After leaving Jackson, teams will continue to Lander, Pinedale, Alpine, Kemmerer/Diamondville, Evanston, and Lyman/Mountain View before arriving in Park City for the final stage. This is the first year that the race has expanded into Utah. IPSSSDR festivities begin at the base of Park City Mountain Resort at 6 p.m. on Feb. 5, with awards ceremony and fireworks following at 7:30 p.m.

Pedigree® Food for Dogs is the title sponsor of the IPSSSDR. The Pedigree® brand actively supports a wide range of programs that promote responsible pet ownership and highlight the contributions dogs make to society.

The International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race was founded in 1996 by Frank Teasley to make sled dog racing more accessible to the public. For a complete schedule, visit the race Website at, contact the race via e-mail at or telephone at (307) 734-1163, or visit

Hunters encouraged to use Internet to meet Jan. 31 Big Game Application Deadline

The Internet or an overnight mail service are the best tools hunters can use to help ensure their application is received before Utah's 2005 big game application period ends. Mail-in applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Jan. 31 to be entered in the 2005 draw.

Hunters are reminded that applications postmarked before or on Jan. 31, but that aren't received by 5 p.m. that day, will be rejected. Applications will not be accepted in-person. Hunters who have a major credit card, valid through at least May 2005 can get their application in within a matter of minutes by logging onto the Division of Wildlife Resources' Web site ( Once on the site, hunters can apply for a permit by clicking on the 'Apply online for available hunt drawings' choice on the right side of the home page.

Hunters who don't apply on the Internet are reminded that it will take a few days for their application to arrive through the mail at the Utah Wildlife Administrative Services office. Because of this, an overnight mail delivery service is probably the best way to help ensure their application is received by the 5 p.m., Jan. 31 due date, suggested Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

To be entered in the draw, applications must not only arrive in time but must be completed correctly. Tutorow encourages hunters to take their time when completing their application and call the nearest DWR office, or the Utah Wildlife Administrative Services office at 1-800-221-0659, if they have questions or need assistance. The Utah Wildlife Administrative Services office is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Mon. through Fri. DWR offices are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays with the exception of the Salt Lake City office, which opens at 7:30 a.m. The following were the most common mistakes made by hunters applying last year:

* Late Application- Mail-in applications are due no later than 5 p.m. on Jan. 31. Use the Internet or consider using an overnight mail service.

* Credit Card Not Processed - Credit cards must be valid through at least May 2005 to be accepted as payment. Credit card numbers are long. Take your time and make sure you write the number correctly on your application.

* Multiple Applications - You may send in only one application for general buck deer, and one application for premium limited entry, limited entry, CWMU and once-in-a-lifetime hunts.

* Multiple Species - When applying for a limited entry hunt, you may only apply for one species. For example, if you apply for a limited entry deer permit, you may not apply for a limited entry elk or pronghorn permit.

* Money Short - Look closely at the fees on the application and make sure you include enough money for the hunt you're applying for.
Bald Eagle Day awaits Feb. 5

Great bald eagle viewing awaits Feb. 5 as the Division of Wildlife Resources hosts its annual Bald Eagle Day. Admission to the annual Watchable Wildlife program event is free. Viewing times are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. except at the Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area site, where viewing is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bob Walters, Watchable Wildlife coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, reported, "Spotting scopes will be set up at each viewing site, and DWR biologists and volunteers will be available to help viewers spot eagles and to answer any questions they may have." Displays also will be set up at each location, with pamphlets and other materials about bald eagles available for free, or for a minimal cost.

The most comfortable times to attend are late morning or early afternoon, when the warmest temperatures and the best visibility are available. The warmer temperatures are especially important if bringing young children. Viewers can expect to see eagles during the late morning and early afternoon but not as many as just before sundown, when eagles "go to roost" for the evening. At most of the sites, the best time to see the greatest number of eagles is usually from 2 to 4 p.m., according to Walters. Those attending should dress warmly, and if there's snow on the ground, wear waterproof boots.

Photographers should bring a telephoto lens, as the eagles will be some distance from the viewing areas. Photographers without the proper equipment are discouraged to approach the eagles for a better shot, which will scare them away and ruin the viewing experience for all those who attend.

Walters started Bald Eagle Day in 1990 as a way to introduce people to Utah's wildlife. Walters commented, "It was started as a way of arousing people's interest, whetting their appetite and making them aware of wildlife around them." Since it began Bald Eagle Day has grown into Utah's most well-attended, and one of its most enjoyed, wildlife-viewing events. For more information about Bald Eagle Day, call Walters at (801) 538-4771 or Division of Wildlife Resources offices in Springville at (801) 491-5678. Viewing will take place at the following sites:

Compton's Knoll- Located at the Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area, approximately 10 miles northwest of Corinne. To reach the WMA, take Exit 368 off of I-15 and travel west on SR-83 through Corinne. Stay on SR-83 until you get to 6800 W. (Iowa String). Travel north to 6800 N. Travel west on 6800 N. until you reach the Salt Creek WMA/Compton's Knoll Watchable Wildlife site.

Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area- Situated on the west side of Farmington. If traveling north on I-15, exit at Exit 325. Turn right off the off-ramp, then turn left on the frontage road and travel north to Glover Lane. Turn west on Glover Lane and drive two miles to the WMA's north entrance (1325 W.).

Fountain Green State Fish Hatchery- Located east of Nephi. If coming from the north, take I-15 and exit the freeway at the second Nephi exit (Exit 225). After exiting the freeway, turn east on SR-132 and travel about 10 miles. About 1 mile before the city of Fountain Green, a Bald Eagle Day sign will point to an access road that leads to the hatchery.

Split Mountain/Green River- This location can be found north of Jensen and below the Dinosaur Quarry in Dinosaur National Monument (DNM). To reach the site, drive north from Highway 40 in Jensen on the road (SR-149) to the Dinosaur Quarry. First stop should be at the staging area located just inside the DNM boundary where displays, spotting scopes and possibly bald eagles and other raptors await. From the staging area biologists will direct viewers to other sites where they may have better views of eagles and other wildlife of interest. In past years, visitors have seen bald and golden eagles hunting and feeding, as well as prairie falcons, hawks, mule deer, river otters, pheasants, turkeys, sandhill cranes, porcupines, mergansers, Canada geese and other wildlife. Also, check out the dinosaur bones and other fossils located in the Dinosaur Quarry, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cedar Valley- Located on the northwest side of Cedar City. To reach the site, exit I-15 at Exit 59 and travel west on SR-56 to 3900 W. Turn right on 3900 W. and travel north to 2800 N. The viewing site is located at 3900 W. and 2800 N.