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Utah Travel Headlines

Monday, July 28, 2014

Flash Flood In Buckskin Gulch Plus Other News

Rain fell over much of Utah today and caused flooding in some areas. State Route 132 east of Nephi (Central Utah) was closed for a few hours after rain brought a mudslide over the road. The route has now reopened.

The video at right, shot today, shows a flash flood coming down Buckskin Gulch, in the Grand Staircase-Escalante area in southern Utah. Down canyon, Buckskin becomes very narrow, with sheer walls. It is often described as the longest slot canyon in the world. The Buckskin "slot" runs for some 13 miles. In that distance there is only one "escape spot" where normal humans can climb up the canyon wall. Anyone in the slot this afternoon would be in trouble.

So far, we haven't heard any reports of deaths or injuries. Travelers, hikers and canyoneers need to be especially carefully when there is a significant chance of thunderstorms.

The latest forecast says there may be more storms tomorrow and Wednesday, then again later in the week.

Nine Mile Canyon Rock Art Vandals Caught
In other news, BLM reports it has identified the two individuals who damaged ancient Native American rock art in Nine Mile Canyon. See this news release for full details. Below are excerpts.

After careful examination and analysis, the BLM assessed the damage and identified specific mitigation measures. BLM archaeologists estimated that restoration and repair efforts would cost approximately $1,500. A BLM law enforcement officer met with the youths and their family to discuss the seriousness of the incident. The family agreed to pay $1,500, which will be used to mitigate the damage caused by the juveniles' thoughtless vandalism.
One of the youths stated that he was sorry for his thoughtless actions and hoped that others would learn from his mistake. "I hope people try to think about the consequences and the effect their actions have on history," he said.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wildfires Affect Travel But Not Near Utah National Parks

Several wildfires are burning in Utah and some are affecting travel and recreation. Major fires are listed below. At this writing, the blazes do not affect Utah's major highways, national parks or our most popular recreation areas.

Some regionally popular recreation spots and secondary roads have been closed because of the blazes. Take care if you plan to travel near any active fire. And be aware that new fires can erupt at any time. This website has current information.

Most Utah wildfires are ignited by lightning but some are human-caused. Conditions are dry and people always need to obey safety rules when camping and traveling in the backcountry.

Active Fires:

Plateau Fire, 5 miles east of Salina. Area roads are closed.

Levan Fire, south of the town of Levan in Central Utah. The fire is burning east of Hwy 28. Home from the Chicken Creek to Water Hollow areas were evacuated but residents have been allowed to return. However, more evacuations are possible.

Springville Fire, in the Spring Canyon area east of Springville. The blaze is located just north of Hobble Creek Canyon. Some homes were evacuated but residents have been allowed to return. This is still a very active fire.

Y Fire, in Rock Canyon east of Provo. This small fire is located in an inaccessible area and is being attached by helicopter. At last report there were only a few smoldering trees.

Black Fire, on Black Crook Peak in southern Tooele County. This is a very active fire but is not located near towns or recreation areas.

Simpson Complex Fires, actually two fires, the Lion Peak and the Sheep fires are being managed jointly. These are large, active fires located south of the small community of Terra, in Tooele County. The Pony Express Road over Lookout Pass is closed. The fire has crossed the Little Valley Road to the east. At this time no homes or structures are threatened.

Rockport Fire, burning near Rockport Reservoir NE of Park City. Crews appear to have the upper hand and continue mop up activities. If the fire flares again, travel and recreation in the Rockport area will be affected.

Tunnel Hollow Fire, 5 miles east of Morgan, now looks like it is being controlled. However, public access to the Weber River is closed from Croyden to Morgan.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Utah's 5 Best Canyoneering Destinations

This new video shows some of the fun to be had canyoneering in the Moab area. Here's the title:

DISCOVER Canyoning in Moab, Utah | STA Travel Uncover/Discover USA video

Moab offers some great canyoneering options, as do many areas in southern Utah. Below I give my 5-best canyoneering destinations. The sport is growing in popularity and so more and more people are discovering Utah's canyons. If you are new to canyoneering, engage a guide service for an adventure or two. The professionals will help you "learn the ropes" and develop the confidence to do it yourself. and other websites offer good descriptions of routes. Conditions change frequently so always get current info from rangers or local shops before plunging into a canyon. And be alert as you hike. Here are headlines I noticed today:
  • Ranger Hike Fiery Furnace. Last week 4 evacuations for heat. Our trip did fine. CARRY WATER!
  • The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Zion until 7:00 pm. All slot canyons, including The Narrows, are closed.
Here are my top five destinations for canyoneering. (Note, a destination is a large area, not a specific route. All of these destinations offer multiple routes.)
– Dave Webb

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Garden City Raspberry Days July 31 - August 2

In the Bear Lake area, in extreme northern Utah, farmers grow amazingly good raspberries. And, in turn, those raspberries are used in mighty fine milk sakes. The harvest is usually prolific and has come to be an icon for the region. You can buy the raspberries in local markets or at roadside stands.

The communities there even stage an annual "Raspberry Days Festival."

This year the Raspberry Days Festival will be held July 31 - August 2. This website has details. Here are highlights:

The Raspberry Days Festival is an incredible event held to celebrate the harvest of the world famous Bear Lake Raspberries. The Raspberry harvest usually starts around the 3rd week of July and lasts 3-4 weeks. The Raspberry Days Festival is an annual event, which begins two days prior to the first Saturday in August. The festival is a fun filled 3 days with the Little Miss Berry Pageant, the craft fair with continuous entertainment, the Parade on the Boulevard, the Rodeo and 5K run in Laketown, the Pancake Breakfast at the Garden City Park, dances, and ending with the fireworks on the Beach.

Boat Light Parade - With The Raspberry Days Festival

(Bear Lake State Park provided this information:)

Come and watch "decorated and lit up" boats leave the marina on the water to go to the location of the Raspberry Days Festival fireworks display. After the fireworks, they will return to the marina. The best time to watch them will be after the fireworks display as they return to the marina.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Camp Along Parade Route In Downtown Salt Lake City

Tomorrow evening people will roll out sleeping bags and set up camp along streets in downtown Salt Lake City, claiming their spot for the big Days of ’47 Parade that will be held Thursday morning.

The parade is just on of many activities that will be held in Salt Lake City and around the state on Thursday. This website has complete information. Here are a couple highlights:

The Days of ’47 Parade will be held on Thursday, July 24, 2014, in downtown Salt Lake City beginning at 9:00 am. For a new adventure, bring the kids, the sleeping bags and the hot dogs downtown on the evening of the 23rd. You can camp out on Salt Lake City streets along the route that evening. This is the biggest sleepover your family and friends will ever experience! Remember to bring enough water to keep everyone hydrated.

We have exciting things planned for the 2014 version of The Days of ’47 celebration, from the Royalty Pageant and Parade, to the Rodeo and all the other colorful events. Our 2014 celebration will be full of thrills and spills. Schedule your summer plans to take advantage of our many activities — most of which are free to the public. Grab your hat, pull on those boots and c’mon down!

Geology Festival This Weekend At Bryce Canyon

July 24th is a major holiday in Utah and celebrations will be held all around the state. But other activities will also draw attention, including the annual Geology Festival at Bryce Canyon National Park. Here are details:

On July 27‐28, 2012, Bryce Canyon National Park will be celebrating its most stunning resource, the geology. Known for its colorful and oddly shaped rock spires called "hoodoos," the area was established as a national park in 1928. Each year over a million visitors from all over the world come to the park to marvel at its beautiful scenery and delicate formations, unique on planet earth. (Hoodoo is pronounced with a "haunting" tone and the "h" is silent - ooooo-dewww)

The Geology Festival will offer daily ranger‐guided walks and talks in the canyon and on the rim, children's activities on geology, guided bus tours through the park, illustrated programs, geology and fossil tables and an exhibit of "Hoodoos Around the World."

Featured speakers include:
  • Dr. Robert Eves presents "Water, Rock, & Time - The Geologic Story of Zion National Park" (Friday)
  • Dr. Larry Davis presents "Mary Anning: Palaeontological Pioneer" (Saturday)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Utah's '13 National Parks' Are Big Draws Worldwide

The National Park Service released a report Friday describing some of the economic benefits that come from having popular national parks. The report has generated interesting press coverage. Everyone seems to agree that Utah's parks are awesome and provide a tremendous boost for the state, but some of the details are a bit misleading.

As far as I can see, three Utah news outlets have published items about the report:

The report includes data on all properties managed by the National Park Service. In Utah that includes National Parks, National Monuments, National Recreation Areas and National Historic Sites. Some news outlets are lumping them together and using using the phrase: "Utah's 13 National Parks." That is misleading. I have no idea where they get the number 13.

Here's how Utah properties break down

5 National Parks
2 National Recreation Areas
6 National Monuments/Historic Sites

Friday, July 18, 2014

Welcome to Kanab, Utah - 7 Minutes of Some of the Greatest Scenery on Earth

The Kane County Office of Tourism has released a new video with stunning scenery, shot in areas around Kanab, Utah. You can see the video below.

Many of the scenic spots shown in the video are familiar - some have been shown in countless Western movies and TV shows. (So many Westerns were shot here, Kanab came to be know as "Little Hollywood." Photos of other spots have graced the pages of many calendars and photo books.

The video features:

Welcome to Kanab Utah from Override Films on Vimeo.
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