This is an archived article that was published on in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Winter can be a difficult time for families who don't ski but enjoy getting outdoors.

One of the best short trips to enjoy this time of year is making a drive to Hardware Ranch, a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources managed area 18 miles east of Hyrum.

Several hundred bull elk winter at the management area, where they are fed so they do not do damage to area farms and ranches in Cache County.

Visitors can enjoy exhibits at the small museum and visitor center and view the elk. Horse-drawn wagons or sleighs also take visitors into the middle of the herd. Cost to ride a wagon is $5 for those nine and older or $3 for kids four to eight. All other activities are free. The rides begin Friday.

Sleigh rides run from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays and Mondays and from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, there are no rides available and the visitor center is closed but visitors can still see the elk from a distance.

This Saturday would be a good time to visit. The DWR is holding its Elk Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Events include making Christmas ornaments using sagebrush, bitterbrush and other plants found at the ranch; making bird feeders out of pine cones and painting a replica of a fish.

Haradware Ranch Manager Brad Hunt encouraged visitors to bring binoculars and clothing for all types of weather. Even if it snows, the event will go on.

No food is available at the ranch, but there is a warm area inside for those who want to bring their own lunch.

For details, call 435-753-6206 or visit