SUU Outdoors embraced autumn with their first Take a Hike Tuesday of the month. On Oct. 3, the campus group met a handful of other Southern Utah University students at the Rocky Peak Trailhead for their hike.
The Rocky Peak Trail is a 1.3-mile hike in the Three Peaks Recreation Area, just west of Cedar City. It has a moderate level of difficulty, beginning with a lightly defined trail that leads to a hill with a 393-foot incline. The group left just after 6 p.m., excited to get moving in the chill autumn air. The hike began with a temperature of 62 degrees. Although it only got colder as the sun went down, many hikers ditched their jackets as they trekked up the trail.
Southern Utah University has a list of 50 traditions for students to complete throughout their time at the school. One of these traditions is to get moving with campus recreation. “Tradition-keeping is the best thing I’ve ever done,” said Mia Vazquez, a member of the Student Alumni Association and a tradition keeper who attended the Oct. 3 hike. Through SUU’s traditions, she’s been able to build relationships and be more involved at the school.
“SUU considers this a tradition because we are the University of the Parks, and being able to explore our backyard even more with people who have the same passions as us is what we love to do,” Vazquez explained. “Being able to … know you can go outside, take a break with random people and be welcomed [by them] is the best thing the school has to offer.”
After enjoying a view of Cedar Valley from the peak, identifying local plants along the trail and making new friends, the group returned to their starting point about an hour later as the sun set behind them.
Take a Hike Tuesday is a weekly event through the Local Events, Activities and Programming program. Every Tuesday, the organization invites students to join them on a different trail. Led by fellow students, the hikes remain low to moderate in difficulty and near SUU’s campus.
Aside from Take a Hike Tuesday, SUU Outdoors offers many opportunities to get out and get involved throughout the week. For more information on SUU Outdoors and their events, visit their website.
Author: Heather Turner
Photographer: Heather Turner
Editor: Lily Brunson