Planetary Tours

There are various approaches, routes to take through the Solar System.  All of the inner planets can easily be visited in one day trip. One can see all but Neptune and Saturn in a day without much effort. With a little work, you could probably add Saturn or Neptune into a day trip. At the time of this writing, I know of no one who has completed all 10 caches in a single day, although it may be possible. If you want to take your time, drifting between planets, campsites are available at Grouse Ridge itself.

Depending upon your group, you have a few options to maximize your enjoyment of a single day trip. I recommend one of the following scenarios, starting from easy and getting progressively more difficult:

The Celestial Alignment Tour

  • Start with Sol, to get a clear idea of the size of our sun
  • Visit Mercury and Venus on the way to Earth
  • Have a picnic on the peak near Earth, it’s a great place to spend time
  • Get in the car and drive to Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto
  • End of tour

The Solar Whirlwind Tour

  • Start with Sol, to get a clear idea of the size of our sun
  • Visit Mercury and Venus on the way to Earth
  • Stay at Earth only long enough to perform an eclipse for everyone in your group
  • Get in the car and drive to Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto
  • End of tour

The Expanding Universe Tour

  • Start with Sol, to get a clear idea of the size of our sun
  • Skip Mercury and Venus, go directly to Earth
  • Stay at Earth only long enough to perform an eclipse for everyone in your group
  • Get in the car and eat lunch while you drive to the Locke Leven trailhead
  • Hike to Neptune
  • Return to car, end of tour

The Return of Expanding Universe Tour

  • Start with Sol, to get a clear idea of the size of our sun
  • Visit Mercury and Venus on the way to Earth
  • Stay at Earth only long enough to perform an eclipse for everyone in your group
  • Have a Cliff bar (you’re going to need it)
  • Hike to Saturn, and picnic there
  • Return from Saturn, Get in the car and drive to Mars, Jupiter and Pluto

The Hardcore Space Veteran Tour *

  • Fill your hydration pack with Citomax
  • Start with Sol, to get a clear idea of the size of our sun
  • Visit Mercury and Venus on the way to Earth
  • Stay at Earth only long enough to perform an eclipse for everyone in your group
  • Jog the trail to Saturn, and eat a high calorie protein bar or two
  • Return to the Grouse ridge lookout parking area, get in the car and drive to Mars and Jupiter
  • Eat lunch while you drive to the Locke Leven trailhead
  • Check your watch – if its later than about 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon, consider canceling Neptune
  • Hike to Neptune and back
  • Return to car, drive to Uranus, then Pluto
  • End of tour

* Hardcore Space Veterans: I don’t know for sure that this is possible, and I’m only guessing at the timing. However, if the entire series could be done in a day, this would be the best order to do it (I’m pretty certain on that.) If you are not in shape to hike hard and fast over rocky, steep trails at elevations of 7,000′ plus, please do not attempt the Hardcore Space Veteran Tour.

One Comment

  1. Stephanie Martin
    Jan 08, 2016 @ 17:33:27

    I took my class of 7th and 8th graders on the Celestial Alignment Tour. It was an awesome experience that I would recommend to any class. This kids loved the adventure and they got a good sense about the relationships between the sun and planets.

    Reply

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