Montana State Parks will host a “Cryptid Hunt” scavenger hunt at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, June 6.

In this social-distancing event to celebrate National Trails Day, hikers will explore the short Nature Loop Trail located at the upper picnic area and use their “Guide to Montana Cryptids” booklet to identify the monster plaguing the park. Play the part of a cryptozoologist from a secret society and use your knowledge of animal adaptations to puzzle out which paranormal entity is responsible for the destruction.

Participants will learn about hoop snakes, dingmauls, thunderbirds, bugbears and other supernatural beasts on a scavenger hunt designed to keep park goers safe and healthy.

Monster hunters should wear comfortable hiking clothes and bring hand sanitizer for safely handling the trail clues. The monster booklet and “Assignment Briefing” document can be found and downloaded on the park’s “Cryptid Hunt!” Facebook event post (@LewisandClarkCaverns). With the book’s guidance, which comes in both child and adult versions for different levels of challenge, hunters will find clues along the trail that will help them name the monster and save the park. Once you think you know which monster it is, check in at the Cave Visitor Center to see if you got it right.

For details, call the park visitor center at 406-287-3541.

Summer speaker series continues

Montana State Parks and Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park will host two interpretive programs during the weekend of June 6 as part of the summer speaker series at the Caverns.

A free online presentation “Earthquakes and Faults of Montana” can be viewed via Zoom at 8 to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 5.

Participants can join in by clicking on the Zoom link on the “Earthquakes & Faults of Montana” Facebook event post on Lewis and Clark Caverns’ Facebook page (@LewisandClarkCaverns) or by contacting emily.dickerson@mt.gov

Butte’s Mike Stickney will discuss the unique underground activity patterns of Big Sky country. Montana is a seismically active state with a long history of damaging earthquakes. The state’s largest and most destructive earthquakes occurred more than 60 years ago. Ongoing small- to moderate-magnitude earthquakes and about 80 recognized potentially active faults in Montana indicate that the potential for significant future earthquakes is very real.

Stickney operates the Montana Regional Seismic Network for the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, where he has worked for the past 40 years studying earthquakes, active faults, and seismic hazards.

Park Ranger Julia Smit will visit the campground for an informal, drop-in program from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 6.

Check out samples of cave formations at a booth near the campground kiosk, where you can get an up-close look at how these fantastical rocks grow. Learn more about how the dramatic decorations form inside the cave, taking an inside look at the chemistry of crystals.

Just remember to maintain six feet of social distance between staff members and other visitors.

For details, call (406) 287-3541.

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