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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New Dinosaur Species With Huge Nose Discovered In Utah

Add one more species of dinosaur to the growing list of ancient beasts that inhabited Utah. Paleontologists from Brigham Young University and North Carolina State University recently identified fossils from a strange creature that has been named Rhinorex condrupus, which directly translates to “King Nose.”

Many news outlets around the country are reporting on the find. This report from KSL.com has good detail. Below are excerpts.

“This dinosaur has huge nostrils,” said Rodney Scheetz, curator of BYU’s Museum of Paleontology, according to the news release. “The skull has huge narial openings, but we can only guess what the soft tissue looked like.

The Rhinorex condrupus was estimated to be 30 feet long and 8,500 pounds. It dwelled in swampy areas and was a herbivore, according to the BYU news release.

BYU paleontologists unearthed the dinosaur at Neslen Formation above the slopes of the Book Cliffs in eastern Utah.

Learn about Utah dinosaur sites.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Kodachrome Basin State Park Reopens After Bridge Washout Strands Campers

Update 9-30-14, the park provided this update: The bridge is now back open to Kodachrome Basin State Park.

Cottonwood road to Grosvenor's Arch and Hwy remains closed.


Kodachrome Basin State Park is a popular spring and fall camping area off All American Hwy 12 in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument area. But it was closed yesterday after heavy rain caused the Paria River to flood, taking out the access bridge. Campers were stranded for a time but no injuries were reported at the state park.

A car on the access was swept into the flood and the couple inside had to be rescued by a swift water team. They apparently suffered hypothermia but should recover.

The video at right was provided by KSLNews.

Elsewhere, a man died in the Narrows in Zion Park after becoming separated from his group by high water. The entire park was closed Zion Park was closed for a time because of flooding and potential rock and mudslides.

This has been an incredible year for flooding. On a normal year we get a flood here and there during out “monsoon season” in August, but September is usually dry and mild. This year we've had flood after flood. The latest weather forecast says this storm is winding down and we should get back to warm weather and sunny skies later this week.

Oh, the first significant snow of the season fell yesterday in the Snowbird area. The season is definitely changing.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Get Out and Enjoy National Public Lands Day

Tomorrow is National Public Lands Day and also National Hunting and Fishing Day. Entrance fees will be waived at U.S. national parks and recreational areas, including Utah's Mighty Five Parks. Special activities will be held in many areas. Many work projects will be held so volunteers can give back and help improve our natural environment.

See this list of activities in Utah.

We encourage all to participate. This is a wonderful time to get outdoors, with fall foliage now putting on its brightest raiment. (However, it could be a wet Saturday around the Intermountain West, with rain expected from Arizona to Montana. The first snow of the season will fall at higher elevations. Be prepared as you get outdoors.

Escalante Canyons Art Festival
This weekend is also the Escalante Canyons Art Festival and Everett Ruess Days. This is the 11th year for the festival, which is held in Escalante. You are invited to participate, to view and possible purchase works of art, participate in workshops, enjoy food, music and cultural activities, and learn about young Ruess, the legendary vagabond for beauty whose life and death inspired the festival.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Visit Utah's Best Museums Free On Saturday (Sept 27)

Saturday is Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day Live!, when admission is free at hundreds of properties across the U.S., including some of the best museum's in Utah.

Smithsonian Magazine gives this overview:
In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket… for free.

The Museum Day Live! Ticket provides free admission for two people.

See the event website for detains, including how to obtain tickets.

See an interactive map showing participating Utah museums. From north to south, these Utah properties are participating:
  • Nora Eccles Harrison Museum at Utah State University in Logan
  • Eccles Community Art Museum in Ogden
  • Kimball Art Center in Park City
  • Tooele Pioneer Museum
  • The Leonardo in Salt Lake City
  • Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City
  • Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk
  • Taylorsville Bennion Heritage Museum
  • Kearns Museum
  • Woodbury Art Museum in Orem
  • Museum of Peoples and Cultures at BYU in Provo
  • Peteetneet Museum and Cultural Arts in Payson
  • The Prehistoric Museum in Price
  • Utah Territorial Statehouse State Park in Fillmore
The Leonardo is right now launching its amazing new exhibit, Body Worlds and the Cycle of Life. That exhibit opens to the public on Saturday and is well worth making a visit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Zion Canyon Music Festival & Other Fun Events

The sixth annual Zion Canyon Music Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26-27, in Springdale, just outside Zion Park. It offers great music plus original art, fabulous food, vendors, craft items, plus 'handcrafted beer.'


The festival provided these tidbits:
Be sure to attend both days, which will be full of music, food, arts and crafts and of course the great weather of fall in Zion!

Admission is $5 per adult (21+) per day. A great price for over 12 hours of incredible music!

Bring a blanket or lawn chairs for your comfort during the performances. Plan to enjoy the entire day. No coolers, outside food or outside alcohol may be brought into the Festival. Backpacks will be inspected at the information tent. Please bring a reusable water bottle. Water stations will be available throughout the day. Check out the vendor page to see what else will be on site.

The Festival includes a silent auction of items donated by our vendors and by several local businesses are artisans. The silent auction will run both days and end before the final act on Saturday night (about 8:30). All proceeds from the auction benefit the Festival and keep the music going in Springdale.
Gates open at 3 pm both days. Live music begins at 4 pm. A drum circle led by Andy Jones begins at 3:00 pm on Saturday.

Here's the musical lineup.

Sunday, September 26th
  • 4:00 Jason Tyler Burton and Friends
  • 5:00 Many Miles
  • 6:30 The Record Company
  • 8:00 Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash
Saturday, September 27th
  • 4:00 Lyonhead
  • 5:00 Juniper City
  • 6:30 Coral Thief
  • 8:00 Coco Montoya
Other Area Events
  1. Santa Clara Swiss Days will be Sept. 25-27
  2. The St. George Marathon will be held Oct 4th.
  3. Huntsman World Senior Games will be Oct 6-18

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Register Now If You Want To Ride In The Antelope Island Bison Roundup

The annual Antelope Island Bison Roundup will take place October 24-25, at Antelope Island, in the Great Salt Lake just north of Salt Lake City.

A large herd of bison roam the island. Every fall, they are herded into corrals where they are given health checks and immunizations. People from around the region ride horseback and help round up the huge critters. Other folks observe from a safe distance. Either way, the roundup is one of the great true Western experiences available today.

People wanting to ride with the cowboys and cowgirls need to register in advance. See the official website for details. (This link is also good for general info about the roundup.)

Camping is available at the state park on the island.

A chili dinner will be provided by Friends of Antelope Island.

Fall is also a great time to observe the many other species on the island and to take in the scenery. There are great hiking, biking and horseback trails. The island is surprisingly scenic – seemingly another world, just minutes from downtown Salt Lake City.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Free Entrance To National Parks This Saturday

Make plans to visit a Utah national park this weekend - you can get in for free on Saturday, Sept 27.

Properties managed by the US National Park Service will waive entrance fees Saturday in honor of National Public Lands Day. There will be normal charges for camping and engaging in special activities, as determined by the individual parks.

Entrance fees will also be waived on Nov 11, which is Veterans Day.

Annually, the park service waives fees during these times:
  • Mid January - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Mid February - Presidents Day Weekend
  • Mid April - Opening weekend of National Parks Week
  • August 25 - National Park Service Birthday
  • Late September - National Public Lands Day
  • November 11 - Veterans Day
The park service provided this information:

Only 133 of our country's 401 national parks usually charge an entrance fee. So start Planning Your Visit!

If you're planning a trip that includes multiple national parks, you might consider the $80 annual pass that provides entrance to all national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and many other Federal lands-more than 2,000 in all. The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is offered free to all active duty military members and their dependents. Information on these and other pass options is available online.
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