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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

What’s New on Utah’s Ski Slopes

With snow just around the corner, Utah resorts are busy preparing for what everyone expects to be another great ski season.

Last season was the best ever for Utah resorts and 2005-06 should be as good or even better. Resorts are adding lifts and terrain parks, acquiring new grooming and snowmaking equipment, improving restaurant and lodging facilities and making other improvements.

This article describes improvements being made at each resort.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Oktoberfest Begins Saturday at Snowbird

Oktoberfest is Utah’s premier celebration of German food, music, dance and fun. Activities are offered weekends from Aug 27 through Oct 9 at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.

Since it started some 31 years ago, the festival has grown steadily and now attracts some 70,000 visitors annually. The celebration has three basic parts:

Oktoberfest Halle features the tastes of Bavaria with entertainment from local and national German bands and yodelers.

Kinderland offers fun for children of all ages.

Der Marktplatz allows shoppers to browse through a variety of crafters.

More details

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Cabela's Store Will Attract 4 Million Visitors

Cabela's has come to Utah. Their store opened today in Lehi, just off I-15 in northern Utah County.

Cabela's stores are more than stores – they become tourist attractions wherever the pop up. They include wildlife and outdoor displays amid a huge assortment of recreational gear. The new Utah store is expected to serve 4 million visitors during its first year. The store at the company’s headquarters is the single largest tourist attraction in the state of Nebraska.

This article provides more information.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Rescued From a Slot Canyon

Canyoneering the slots in southern Utah can be fun, exciting adventure. However, some of these narrow canyons are extremely difficult and can be dangerous. Some are technical, meaning specialized gear and knowledge is required.

Over the weekend a group had difficulty getting through Englestead Hollow, a hard-core technical slot canyon in Zion National Park. A friend, Jamie Carpenter, provided this interesting account and photos. It serves as a reminder that people need to take care when entering these canyons. (In the photo below, the small thing in the middle is a person rappeling down the cliff.)

“We did Englestead Hollow on Saturday and there ended up being 11 people in our group plus 4 guys that came up behind us. The canyon was way intimidating, a 300 foot rappel followed by a 60 foot and a 150 foot right after that. It went straight down and was like going into the depths of the deep unknown. It took forever to get all those people down those first 3 rappels; I wouldn't ever recommend a group size more than 5 on this.

“After the 3rd rappel the groups kind of spread out and we took off hiking to the next set of rappels. After waiting for some time, a couple of the others caught up to us and were in a panic. One of the guys was climbing over a huge boulder and the bottom of it broke off and landed on his foot, shearing off his big toe and breaking all his others.

“The rest of the hike was a scurry to get out of the canyon as fast as possible to get paramedics. Two of the guys took most the ropes and headed on ahead and I was with a group of 5: two kids their father and another girl my age. Four people stayed with the injured hiker.

“The first two guys made it out of the canyon at around 4:00 (we all started the trail at 8 am) and our group of five emerged shortly after 8 pm. It was quite the experience. On our last rappel, only we didn't know it was our last rappel, the rope got stuck. It was about 30 feet up. I started to use prussics to climb back up but it was way to sketchy. It was the only rope we had so we were hesitant to leave it. We hiked ahead and ran into the group of four guys that had come into the canyon after our group and passed us. We borrowed their knife and cut our only rope and moved on. Thank goodness, that was the last place we needed to use the rope so we would have been ok!

“After all, it was a long hike! The park flew in paramedics and they spent the night in the canyon Saturday night and Sunday morning they would hook up all the pulley's and gear and get the guys out of the canyon! I still haven't heard how all that went!

“Just another lesson: the canyon is a dangerous place; it should never be taken for granted!”

Update 8-23: "They did get the guy out the next morning but the park rescue team was very disappointed in how unprepared we were. No one had any matches and all we had for medical supplies was a wrap and some asprin. We didn't even bring extra food in case anything happened.

"Next time I go into a slot canyon, I will bring a KNIFE, matches, first aid kit, extra food, lots of ibiprofin, and extra water. If anyone even gets slightly injured it's almost impossible to get them down any more rappels let alone the swimming and down-climbing and mounds of tree branches and obstacles in the canyon. There is no way even 11 people could have gotten that guy out of there.

"Another great thing, if you get a permit for your hike in Zion, even if it’s a back country permit, and something does happen, search and rescue is FREE!

"Now I don't feel so bad about paying that $50.00 a year for a pass!"

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Ultra-Luxury Resort Announced for Lake Powell

An ultra-luxury resort will be built along the Utah/Arizona border just across Hwy 89 from Stateline Marina at Lake Powell. Singapore-based Amanresorts is the hotel management partner for the project, which will be built during the next two years.

Amanresorts manages luxury resorts in such exotic locales as Thailand, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, France, French Polynesia and Mexico. Their only other US property is located in Jackson Hole.

Amanresorts has a loyal following of guests who expect the best in terms of accommodations and activities. From the new resort they will enjoy water sports, boating, fishing, rafting, golf, heliskiing, helicopter tours, a spa, hiking, canyoneering and mountaineering.

This article has more details.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Lake Trout vs Kokanee At Flaming Gorge

Flaming Gorge Reservoir offers very good fishing for kokanee salmon, lake trout, rainbows and smallmouth bass. And in late summer the kokanee turn a bright red and spawn in tributary streams, creating a unique opportunity to view this interesting species.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources biologists are afraid there are too many lake trout in the reservoir – that the lake trout are preying too heavily on the kokanee. They are proposing fishing regulation changes to protect the kokanee and allow a more liberal harvest of lake trout. Public meetings are being held around Utah to gather input.

This newspaper article describes the issues.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Higher Water Brings Life To Lake Powell

With the water level up 53 feet, Lake Powell is bigger and more enjoyable than it has been in many years. More beaches, more coves, more narrow canyons...

After years of drought, the lake is back in full glory. And people are responding. Visitation is up, as is the quality of experience they report.

This article provides an in-depth look at Powell’s re-birth.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Hwy 6 To Reopen After Explosion

Highway 6 through Spanish Fork Canyon has reopened after a tanker truck accident caused an explosion that damaged the road.

The truck was carrying explosives. The driver lost control, causing the truck to roll and the explosives to ignite. The result was a massive explosion that left a deep crater in the road. The crater has now been filled and crews are preparing to repave the section.

More details

Friday, August 05, 2005

Good Archery Deer Hunt Expected

The archery deer hunt begins on August 20, kicking off Utah’s big game hunting seasons. Good hunts are expected this year because animals are abundant and range conditions are very good in most locations.

Here’s a region-by-region forecast for the archery deer hunt.

Permits are still available for some hunts. Interested people should apply immediately because most permits sell out. Click here for details.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Ice Skaters Look for World Record

Ice skaters are invited to participate in an attempt to set a new world record Saturday, Aug 6, at the Utah Olympic Oval. Event organizers hope more than 2,500 people will be on the ice at 5:30 pm. If things go as expected, the massive skate-in will be documented and submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Olympic speedskating gold medallist Derek Parra and the US National Speedskating team will participate in the event, which begins at 3:30 pm and concludes with fireworks at 9:30 pm.

The Olympic Oval is located in Kearns, a suburb of Salt Lake City.

Click here for more information.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Escape to the Cool Uinta Mountains

August is the month for fishing, camping, hiking and backpacking adventures in the Uinta Mountains. When it is scorching hot throughout most of Utah, the Uintas are cool and inviting. These are the highest mountains in Utah. They are heavily forested and team with wildlife. Hundreds of small lakes and streams are found here and fishing is almost always good.

Scenic Highway 150 probes the mountains and offers access to many campgrounds, trails and lakes. Opportunities range from auto touring to easy day hikes to extended backpacking trips.

Visitors need to be aware that it rains almost every day in the Uintas. And it can snow at any time, even during August. Afternoon thunderstorms are common and lightning is a serious threat. Much of the area is included in a high-elevation wilderness and hikers need good route finding skills.

These newspaper articles provide overviews of recreational possibilities:
Outdoors: Uinta Mountain adventures
Outdoors: Fishing Whiskey Island for grayling

Monday, August 01, 2005

Multi-Media Depicts Utah's Top Spots

We are creating a series of Flash movies to show the spirit of Utah’s most exciting adventures and destinations. We now have two live on our website we’ll add more over the next few weeks. They use photos, sound, text and animation. In the future we’ll produce some that include video.

Using just text and still photos, it is impossible to capture the essence of a place like Moab: the excitement of whitewater rapids, the challenge of biking on slickrock, the quietude of a desert sunset. These multi-media presentations allow us to use more tools in an attempt to do justice to those areas. It is still a difficult task. We know our presentations aren’t perfect but they are a good start. We’ll get better as we gain experience.

We’ve kept them short and punchy to make load time reasonable. Still, people using dial-up connections will have a hard time viewing them. We recommend DSL speed or above.

Take a look and let us know what you think.
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