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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Snow, Snow and More Snow

The storm that walloped northern Utah today is expected to dump on southern Utah tonight. A snow advisory is in effect for much that area until 5 am Wednesday morning.

The storm snarled traffic, briefly shut down Parleys Canyon and the Cottonwood Canyons, and prompted officials to cancel classes at the University of Utah. This news article has details.

The weather is expected to remain unsettled during the next few days, with a good chance of more snow in northern Utah on Thursday.

Meanwhile, skiers are loving the weather. Alta, Brighton and Solitude all have a mid-mountain base of more than 100 inches. Solitude has received more than 28 inches of new snow during the past 48 hours. The Canyons received 29 inches of new powder during that period.

Ski conditions couldn’t be better. Historically, March brings the most snow to Utah mountains, and so spring skiing should be great this year.

Watch the weather report and get out and enjoy our white paradise.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Alta Snow is News in India

Deseret Morning News outdoors reporter Ray Grass was vacationing on a tropical beach in India when he noticed an article in the local newspaper about Alta Ski Resort. The experience prompted him to write this interesting article.

"The story was about Alta's ability to fend off change in its 68 years of operation. There have, of course, been changes, many, including a new Watson Shelter, a high-speed lift and even a little snowmaking."

"Oddly enough, the story quoted a Colorado skier claiming that once he skied Utah snow, he was hooked and now makes an "annual pilgrimage" to Utah. This couldn't have made Colorado resorts happy."

Read the entire article.

Friday, February 23, 2007

New Snow Brings More Avalanche Warnings

All that new snow piling up on Utah’s mountains is mighty attractive to people who like to get into the backcountry, but enthusiasts need to be beware because avalanche danger is high on steep slopes throughout the state.

Check >Utah Avalanche Center forecasts for areas you may want to visit.

Skiers should be safe if they stay "in bounds" at developed resorts. Avalanche control work there minimizes danger.

People skiing, cross-country skiing or snowmobiling away from the developed resorts need to be extremely careful.

A body was pulled from an avalanche in Big Cottonwood Canyon Thursday. In all, four people have died in Utah avalanches during the past week. This Salt Lake Tribune article has details.

Snow conditions will be great this weekend, and more new powder is expected next week. We encourage people to get out and enjoy it. Just follow safety rules.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Still Great Opportunity for Cross Country Skiing

We talk often about our great ski conditions, but usually fair to mention Utah’s cross country ski options. With mild temperatures and new snow ever few days, conditions couldn’t be better for gliding through the forest.

The Deseret Morning News has this new article about cross country skiing. The focus is on the beautiful area around Sundance Resort, but it also includes info about other Utah cross country destinations.

“Two minutes from the parking area and people can be cross country skiing at Sundance. Four minutes and they can be lost among the tall pines, the quiet and overpowering beauty of Mount Timpanogos.”

"In some cases they simply don't want to go that fast anymore. They want to take their time and enjoy themselves. We're seeing more and more women sending their families off to (alpine) ski and coming to our track. And we're seeing parents out there with their kids."

Read the entire article.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Great Ski Conditions, Avalanche Danger High

Utah ski resorts are enjoying great conditions thanks to a storm that dumped on them last weekend. As much as 17 inches fell in some areas. Another big storm is due Friday. Ski conditions are expected to remain good for the next several weeks, even as mild spring-like weather settles over the area between storms.

All of the new snow has created high avalanche danger on steep backcountry slopes. Avalanche control work is performed routinely in developed ski resorts and along highways and so danger is minimal in those locations.

Snowmobilers and skiers/riders venturing away from the controlled areas need to use extreme caution.

This Daily Herald newspaper article describes the avalanche danger.

Three people died in Utah avalanches during the past week. This Boston Herald article gives details.

Always check Utah Avalanche Forecast Center reports before heading into the backcountry. You can get forecasts on-line or via telephone. The center recently upgraded its phone service. You can now get specific reports for various regions in Utah by calling this toll free number: 1-888-999-4019.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Riders Tout Moab Skinny Tire Festival

Pro Cycling News has this excellent preview of the Moab Skinny Tire Festival, which will be held March 2-5. The annual Lance Armstrong Foundation benefit ride winds through the Moab area’s red rock wonderland, including Arches National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park.

“In the world of cycling, Moab is legendary.” Chris (Brewer) says, “As a long time rider it has been on my life’s checklist of places to ride. Now I will not only be riding in Moab at a great Festival, but I will also be helping in the fight against cancer, and it just doesn’t get any better than that.” Doug Ulman agrees. “It brings people around an amazing event in a very special place,” he states. “A little bit of money combined with visibility can make a big difference in the fight against cancer, and this Festival helps to make that happen.”

The Salt Lake Tribune has this to say about the festival: Moab Skinny Tire Festival is fat with scenic wonders

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sky Should 'Turn White' at Snow Goose Wildlife Festival

Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources provided the following news release:

DELTA - The sights and sounds of thousands of pure white snow geese flying and feeding will be enjoyed at the Tenth Annual Snow Goose Festival.

Snow geese may be viewed at and near Gunnison Bend Reservoir, west of Delta. The festival runs Feb. 23, 24 and 25. Admission is free.

"Spotting scopes will be set up so participants can get a close view of the geese. Division of Wildlife Resources personnel will also be available to answer any questions you might have," says Bob Walters, Watchable Wildlife coordinator for the DWR.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, free wildlife-related workshops, and arts and crafts and photography exhibits, also will be offered.

Walters encourages visitors to view the geese with binoculars or a spotting scope. "If you get too close to the geese, you'll probably scare them away," he says.

When viewing from the side of roads, visitors are strongly encouraged to use caution and to watch for vehicles. You should also prepare for cold or wet weather by wearing the proper clothes.

The areas where you can see geese vary according to the time of the day. "The geese usually feed in fields that surround the reservoir early in the morning. Then they fly back to the reservoir before about 10:30 a.m.," Walters says. "They usually stay at the reservoir until about 4 to 6 p.m., and then they fly out to the fields again to feed."

Walters says DWR personnel will watch which fields the geese fly to and will direct visitors, who arrive after the geese have left the reservoir, to the fields where the geese are.

For more information about the 2007 Snow Goose Festival call Walters at (801) 538-4771; the Division of Wildlife Resources' Southern Region office at (435) 865-6100; or the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce at (435) 864-4316.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Presidents' Day Brings Great Opportunity To Ski, Hike, Bike

Presidents' Day weekend is always a big ski holiday in Utah and conditions should be excellent on the slopes this year.

A storm last weekend dumped on Utah's mountains, bringing fresh powder to Utah resorts. Deer Valley received the most snow with a whopping 21 inches of new. Brighton picked up 20 inches. Park City received 18.

More snow is possible every day this week, as a series of weak impulses brush by. The best change for new snow will come Thursday, with a 40% probability.

We are enjoying mild weather. Daytime highs are reaching the upper 30s F at Park City - very nice ski weather.

Meanwhile, spring has arrived early in southern Utah. St George is expected to reach 69 F on Saturday, then cool to the mid 60s with a slight chance of rain on Presidents' Day. Moab will see temperatures in the mid to upper 40s, with only a slight chance of rain.

Brian Head Ski Resort, located above Cedar City in southern Utah, has a healthy 45 inch snow base and offers good skiing.

At lower elevations in southern Utah the weather is perfect for hiking, biking and many other outdoor sports.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Park City Mountain Resort To Host 5th Annual World Superpipe Championships

The following news release was provided by Park City Mountain Resort:

Park City, Utah (February 8, 2007) - Park City Mountain Resort once again welcomes the world's top skiers and snowboarders to the fifth annual World Superpipe Championships on March 10 and 11, 2007. The invited riders will compete for a piece of the $90,000 purse in the Eagle Superpipe, the world's largest superpipe and the site for the 2002 Winter Games.

"This is our fifth year hosting the World Superpipe Championships and we couldn't be happier," said Jim Mangan, director of action sports marketing at Park City Mountain Resort. "Shaun White, Torah Bright and Tanner Hall will compete against the world's top riders in their respective fields, making this the best World Superpipe Championships we've ever had."

On Saturday, March 10, the best male and female snowboarders in the world will compete for a piece of the $90,000 purse in a best of three-run format. Shaun White, 2006 Olympic Gold Medalist, will compete for the first time in the World Superpipe Championships. Other invitees include: Mason Aguirre, Danny Davis, Kelly Clark and Antti Autti. On Sunday, March 11, the best male skiers, including Tanner Hall, will compete in the same three-run format. Other invited skiers include: Simon Dumont, Jon Olsson and Candide Thovex.

The event is free to the public and will include live music, food, and giveaways. For a complete schedule of events and other information please visit:

About Park City Mountain Resort
Park City Mountain Resort encompasses 3,300 acres, 3,100 vertical feet, nine bowls and eight peaks offering Signature groomed runs, bumps, powder, trees, terrain parks and the Eagle Superpipe, North America's largest superpipe. The Resort has received numerous accolades, most recently being named a top-five Resort by the readers of SKI Magazine and "Terrain Park of the Year" for the third year in a row by the readers of Transworld Snowboarding. The Resort is conveniently located 36 miles from the Salt Lake International Airport, offering more than 800 in-bound flights daily. For more information about Park City Mountain Resort visit us online at

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Bear River Refuge Needs Volunteers For Birding Tours

A major road improvement project this summer will restrict access to the main part of Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. To continue allowing public access, the refuge is seeking volunteers to guide tours into an alternate area. The refuge provided the information below. Stop at the Wildlife Education Center (one block west of I-15 at the Forest Street exit (#363) in Brigham City) for more details.

Refuge Road Project
The federal roads project to raise (in certain places), widen and pave the refuge road is set to begin this spring. Although some work may begin as early as April, the road will be COMPLETELY CLOSED to the public for approximately 3 months - June 1 through August 31. There will be NO access to the refuge or auto tour route AT ALL during this time - at least via the main road (please read on...).

The project will begin out at the main part of the refuge, in the area of our security gate (Duckville - where the old tundra swan sign is) and work toward town. Phase I construction (2007) will have the road mostly completed from the refuge to approximately the Canada Goose Club by fall. Phase II (2008) will complete the road from the Goose Club to Interstate 15. In addition, they will work on a piece in front of the wildlife education center this summer - widening, putting in turn lanes, etc. Besides raising and widening the road, there are several large culverts that will be installed in certain places, where there has historically been water over the road during high water times. The decision to allow complete closure of the road was made because it will significantly shorten the amount of time the road is under construction.

Refuge Guided Tours
Because our refuge staff feels it's important to allow visitors to see SOME part of the refuge, I'm launching our volunteer "Refuge Tour Guide
Program." We will train volunteers to take visitors on guided car caravan tours of the refuge, beginning in April and continuing through fall. Although the program will continue on into future years, we're really in a "crunch" this summer because of the road closure. We're asking for YOUR help!

We need folks with good bird identification AND people skills, who are willing to be trained to lead tours for the refuge. We will begin the training sessions in early March. Sessions will be one day long (6-8 hours), partly classroom, partly out on the refuge. Guided refuge tours will begin in April. During the time the road is completely closed (June through August), trained guides will take visitors on tours "behind the gates." This is a MAJOR perk for those willing to help us, as you'll get to bird in an area of the refuge not normally open to the public! And it's a REALLY COOL part of the refuge...lots of birds out there!

Training will be provided on:
1) Brief history of the National Wildlife Refuge System
2) History of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge / wildlife education
center tour
3) Management of the Bird Refuge / a little on history and uniqueness of the area
4) Bird hot spots on the refuge
5) Customer service skills
6) Managing a tour group

Guides should be able to identify MOST of the birds they see on tours. We don't expect folks to know every single one. Guides may work in teams of two as well. Tours will last approximately two hours total. A "kit" will be available for guides to take along on tours. Kits will contain a "leader manual" with lots of good resource information in it, bird checklists, field guides, a spotting scope, a few sets of binoculars, etc.

We'll send along whatever folks think they need.

We'll ask that trained tour guides commit to a schedule for leading tours - at least twice per month during the three months the road is closed. More, if they're able and willing. We'll set up the schedule according to how many volunteers will lead tours and what days they're available. Saturdays will be our number one priority. Other days of the week, priority order, to be determined. We'll offer tours as many days of the week as can.

We're going to need a SET SCHEDULE, so the information can be advertised to the public. Example: Every Saturday at 10 am and 1 pm, Fridays 10 am and Tuesdays 7 pm ... or whatever. The tour days and times will remain constant during the road closure.

If guides are willing to lead tours before and after the June-July-August closure, that will be wonderful, as we plan to continue guided tours after the road project is done, and "seasonally" on into the future. However, this is strictly voluntary. Right now, my main concern is June-July-August.

Anyone interested should contact me. If I don't know someone personally, I'd appreciate a reference as to their birding and people skills.

THANK YOU for considering this request! I hope we can get a good group of birder volunteers, so that we can offer lots of refuge tours during our "peak" tourist season!

And if you think it will make a difference, tell folks I'm a pretty darn good cookie baker...

Betsy Beneke
Outdoor Recreation Planner
Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Festivals for Sportsmen

The ambitious Sevier Valley Sportsman Expo will take place in Richfield this Friday and Saturday (Feb 9-10). It will include exhibits on hunting, fly fishing, dog training, archery, bass fishing and game calling, plus mounted game displays and more.

For information call Lorraine Gregerson, 435-896-4241.

The huge International Sportsmen’s Expo will take place in Salt Lake City, March 15-18. It is a large consumer show attracting hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of people from throughout the Intermountain West.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Skiing Snowbasin Called A 'Spiritual Exercise'

Snowbasin Ski Resort wins high praise from Nicholas Parkinson, writing in the San Antonio Express-News:

"A mere hour's drive from Salt Lake City International Airport and 20 miles east of Ogden, skiers and snowboarders have more than 2,400 acres with 3,000 vertical feet to feed their egos, including three peaks to hike, dozens of chutes reaching 65 degrees to drop, trails reaching three miles in length, and all the superfluous snowboard jumps, rails and half pipes you would want. In part because of its vastness, 60 percent of Snowbasin's runs are expert."

Read the entire article.

Ski resorts in the Western US have not had a lot of new powder this season, but all Utah resorts have a good base. Right now we’re enjoying a spell of warm weather, even up at the resorts, and many people prefer that to harsh cold.

A storm is expected to bring new snow to Utah resorts this weekend. Watch our weather forecasts.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Utah Gets Perfect Weather to Ski, Golf, Hike, Bike

After weeks of cold and storm, extremely nice weather has pushed over Utah - and it looks like it will stay around for the next several days.

Salt Lake City will have daytime highs in the mid to upper 40s, with mostly clear skies. Conditions will be very pleasant at area ski resorts. A storm may move in on Sunday, bringing welcome new powder to the ski resorts. All the resorts have a solid snow base and offer very good skiing.

In the St George/Zion Park area, highs will be in the low to mid 60s, with no storms in the forecast. Conditions will be perfect to golf the red rock courses, hike the lower trails in Zion, explore Snow Canyon State Park, ride ATVs at Sand Hollow State Park, or bike area trails.

Moab weather will also be very nice, with highs in the high 40s or low 50s. You can't ask for nicer weather to bike the Slickrock Trail, hike in Arches National Park, or jeep in Canyonlands. A small storm may move into this area Saturday night.

This delightful weather is a real bonus. St George may glide straight into spring, without any more winter-like storms. Apricot and almond trees will be blooming in just a few weeks.

Northern Utah will yet see cold and storm, but days are getting longer, average temperatures are inching up and spring is just around the corner.

I may have to ditch work and go hiking.

- Dave Webb

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Apply Now For Utah Big Game Hunts

If you want to hunt big game in Utah during 2007, you need to apply for permits right now. See the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources news release below for details.

In other wildlife-related news:
--- A new rule prohibits collecting shed antlers in northern Utah between Feb 1 and May 1, to keep people from putting stress on animals on winter ranges. See details.
--- Forty-two bighorn sheep were released at two sites along the Little Hole Road below Flaming Gorge Reservoir on Jan. 26. The animals were transplanted from Montana. See details.

Big Game Applications Due by Feb 16

Time is running out to get your application in for a Utah big game hunting permit, especially if you're applying through the mail.

To be entered in the 2007 Utah big game draw, mail-in applications must be received no later than 5 pm on Feb 16. Applications submitted through the Division of Wildlife Resources' Web site ( must be received no later than 11 pm on Feb 16.

With time running out, the Internet or an overnight mail service might be the best way to make sure your application meets the deadline. Hunters are reminded that applications postmarked before or on Feb. 16, but that aren't received by 5 pm that day, will not be entered in the draw. Applications are not accepted in-person.

Apply on the Internet
If you have a major credit card that's valid through at least May 2006, you can get your application in within a matter of minutes. Just log onto the DWR's Web site ( Once you're on the site, you can apply for a permit by clicking on the 'Apply online for available hunt drawings' choice under the 'Purchase a license or permit' heading on the right side of the home page.

Mail Your Application Early
If you don't apply on the Internet, please remember that it will take a few days for your application to arrive through the mail at the Utah Wildlife Administrative Services office. Because of this, an overnight mail delivery service is probably the best way to help ensure your application is received by the 5 pm, Feb 16 due date, says Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR.

In addition to arriving on time, applications must be completed correctly. Tutorow encourages you to take your time when completing your application. Please call the nearest DWR office, or the Utah Wildlife Administrative Services office at 1-800-221-0659, if you have questions or need assistance.

The Utah Wildlife Administrative Services office is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. DWR offices are open from 8 am to 5 pm, Mondays through Fridays.

Hunt Numbers
Hunters sometimes list the wrong hunt number - a mistake Tutorow sees every year.

"The number for your favorite hunt may have changed from last year," she says. "Before entering your hunt number, double check and make sure the number you're listing on your application is the correct number for the hunt you want to apply for."

Hunt numbers are listed on pages 34-45 of the 2007 Utah Big Game Proclamation.
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