Natural History Museum challenges Utahns, tourists to ‘Race to 29,’ explore history

Mount Timpanogos Cave, Utah County. Photo: Natural History Museum of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, May 25, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Natural History Museum of Utah is challenging Utahns and visitors to enjoy 29 designated natural and cultural history features in the state before Labor Day.

“We are beyond thrilled to roll out the Natural History Explorer Corps program, which has been designed to encourage and support learning about and visiting 29 off-the-beaten-path wonders in Utah,” said Jason Cryan, executive director, Natural History Museum of Utah, in a prepared statement.

“It’s also a great way to encourage our friends and neighbors in Utah to safely get back out there in the spirit of education, adventure, and friendly competition.”

From members of state and county leadership to public works employees, librarians, historians and museum directors, Explorer Corps is the product of collaboration across both state and local levels.

The Blue River Fishery in Weber County. Photo: Photo: Natural History Museum of Utah

“County commissioners, councilmembers, tourism directors and our staff know all too well the role that tourism plays in our local economies – and how the last 18 months or so have hit us hard,” said Jared Andersen, county commissioner, Morgan County.

“I believe Explorer Corps can be another tool in our toolkit to make sure our county and our local communities are strong, and encourage everyone to get back out there this summer. We’ll see you at Devil’s Slide!”

Devil’s Slide, in Morgan County. Photo: Natural History Museum of Utah/Rick Pisio

Program planning began back in 2019 as NHMU commemorated its 50th anniversary, with a goal of honoring this state that is home to fascinating fossil discoveries, beautiful landscapes and varied environments, a statement from the museum says. Even with a year-long delay and setbacks due to the pandemic, the vision for Explorer Corps didn’t falter, it says.

It expanded with thanks to partnerships with O.C. Tanner and the State of Utah, plus additional support from Big-D Construction, Kellville Vans, KÜHL, the Utah State Library Division, the Utah Association of Counties and Utah Symphony.

In all, NHMU’s Explorer Corps program and its partners developed:

  • 29 commemorative markers—one in every county—celebrating Utah’s natural history
  • Books and learning materials for every public and tribal library and bookmobile in the state
  • Natural history-themed summer programming for all ages
  • The Race to 29! and Explorer Corps weekly giveaways offering marker hunters great prizes
  • An official Explorer Corps mobile app to help participants track their marker visits and compete in the Race to 29!
  • A printed Explorer Corps passport offering the same benefit to anyone without a mobile device
  • Explorer Corps tie-ins with this summer’s Forever Mighty concert series

The “Race to 29!” and weekly Explorer Corps giveaways will offer participants the chance to win various prizes, including a weeklong adventure in a luxury Winnebago from Kellville Vans in the summer of 2022. Explorer Corps badges, KUHL clothing and other great prizes will also be available.

The challenge kicks off at today, May 25, and runs until Labor Day.

For updates on the program and to find out how locals can get involved, visit

Click Marker Information to see the sites featured.


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