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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, May 31, 2007

June 9 Is Free Fishing Day In Utah

You won’t need a license to fish in Utah on Saturday, June 9, which is designated Free Fishing Day.

"Fishing is an activity that everyone in your family can enjoy," says Roger Wilson, coldwater fisheries coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "We offer Free Fishing Day every year to attract people to an activity that can make the time they spend in the outdoors even more rewarding."

In preparation for Free Fishing Day, DWR personnel will stock extra fish into waters across the state. Wilson says most of the fish will be placed in lakes and reservoirs.

Wilson reminds anglers that while they don't need a license to fish on June 9, all of the other regulations in the 2007 Utah Fishing Guide will still be in effect. Anglers, especially those who might be fishing for the first time, are encouraged to obtain a copy of the guide and learn the rules.

Guides are available at the DWR's Web site ( and from fishing license agents and DWR offices.

DWR biologists and volunteers will staff clinics at various waters to help kids learn to fish. Other activities are scheduled statewide.

See the DWR’s full news release for more details.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Thunder Down Red Canyon Bike Trails

A series of mountain bike trails wind through and around Red Canyon, near Bryce Canyon in southern Utah. The scenery is spectacular and the trails provide thrilling rides.

This article from The Tribune, San Luis Obispo, describes a ride on the Thunder Mountain Trail.

Twenty exhilarating minutes brought us to a longer climb, then to a trail crest, where “hoodoos” began to dot the landscape. These sandstone formations looked like ghosts, dinosaurs, strange body parts, even grotesque people. Pausing for a photo, we could see our singletrack weaving through the rocks below. One section of trail clung to a cliff.

Read the complete article.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Holiday Camping, Fish and Bears

Campers are being advised to use common sense to avoid problems with bears, since the animals have caused three incidents in Utah during the past two weeks. The encounters happened in Provo Canyon, Park City and near Strawberry Reservoir, but similar encounters could happen almost anywhere in the state.

Utah has a sizable population of black bears. The animals normally live in remote areas and shy away from people. "Food is the number one reason bears and people come into conflict," says Steve Gray, a wildlife specialist with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. "We always say that a fed bear is a dead bear and for good reason."

"We simply must keep our campsites and cabin sites clean," Gray says. "The DWR has a strict bear policy that we've put into place to protect the public. Unfortunately, in accordance with that policy, we had to euthanasia one of the bears from last week's incidents."

Here’s more info about the bear incidents.

Mill Hollow is Closed
Mill Hollow Reservoir is a popular fishing and camping spot east of Heber City. It has been drained so crews can repair the dam. It will not be refilled and stocked with fish until after the project is completed in fall 2008.

The Mill Hollow campground is also being renovated and repaired. Thecampground will remain closed until 2009.

Mirror Lake Highway
Snow is rapidly melting from this area, in the High Uinta Mountains. People have been driving Highway 150 into Trial Lake, where they are finding good fishing. Most lakes in the area still have unsafe ice and have not been stocked. There are still snowdrifts in spots.

Fish stocking will begin as soon as trucks can get to the reservoirs – probably within the next couple weeks. Camping conditions will improve quickly now.

Monte Cristo is Open
Highway 39 across Monte Cristo is now open to automobile traffic. This high mountain area still has snow drifts but the road has been cleared. It makes a great scenic drive and provides access to popular camping, hiking and horse riding trails.

Lake Powll is on the Rise
The water level is rising quickly right now at Lake Powell, as runoff gushes down the Colorado and San Juan River.

As of today, the lake level was at 3607 feet above sea level. All developed marinas are fully functional and launching conditions are good, with the exception of the old Hite Marina. It remains closed, with no on-water services. Small boats can be launched on an old road bed but the paved ramp is not usable.

Runoff is carrying considerable debris into the reservoir. If you boat on the upper lake, watch out for floating logs and other material. At this time of year muddy water from runoff may extend downlake 2-3 miles.

Fishing very good at Powell right now. See this report for current fishing information.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Get Away From It All Over Memorial Day Weekend

Hordes of folks will be recreating over Memorial Day Weekend, exploring our national and state parks and our scenic byways.

Where then can you go to enjoy great activities while getting away from the crowds? Ray Grass has answers in this Deseret Morning News article.

The nice thing about Utah is that if a person chooses to avoid crowds, he or she can, and it doesn't take much time or planning to do it, Ray says, and then he gives details.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article describing Memorial Day events at Utah state parks.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

IKEA Store Opens In Draper, Reroutes Traffic

A big IKEA Scandinavian-style furniture store opened today in Draper, attracting a huge crowd. Some people actually camped out at the store to get a good position in the line because early comers received free gifts.

Big crowds are common at IKEA grand openings. The city of Draper prepared in advance for the event, and has rerouted traffic for the first six days of the store's opening.

This Deseret Morning News article gives details:

Through Memorial Day, customers will only have one way in and out of the store, from the I-15 Bangerter Highway exit to 200 West. Other freeway exits and surface streets will be off-limits for IKEA customers.

Draper will devote 38 police officers to the traffic enforcement, said Draper Police Sgt. Scott Peck.

Read the complete article.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Plan to Participate in Summer Festivals in Utah

Heritage festivals, art extravaganzas, cowboy rodeos and many other entertaining and educational events will take place in Utah communities this summer.

Communities large and small host festivals and events. Visitors are always welcome at these activities; indeed, some are designed to attract visitors.

This newspaper article has an alphabetical list of interesting summer festivals.

Also see our events database for happenings in or near areas where you will be traveling.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Annual Moab Arts Festival

The popular Moab Arts Festival will run May 26-27 this year. It is a fun, family-oriented event of interest to people of all ages. It provides a chance to view pottery, jewelry, wood, sculptures, clothing, fine art, photography and more. There will be entertainment and a food court. Admission is free.

See the festival website for details.

This is a great time to be in Moab, with all kinds of recreational activities available. Hike in Arches, raft the whitewater, bike the Slickrock. Take in the festival and enjoy your favorite activities.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hike With Experts Near Cedar City

The Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Southern Utah University, and Cedar City Parks and Recreation have teamed up to offer family hikes during the summer months, mostly around the Cedar City/Brian Head area.

Our intent is to get families out recreating together, said Kenton Call, Dixie National Forest public affairs officer, quoted in this article in the Cedar City Review.

Call said there are many wonderful hiking opportunities “in our backyard” and more people ought to know about them.
Anyone interested can come to some or all of the hikes, Anne Smith, SUU Outdoor Center director, said. The series is designed to be flexible and fun.

Read the entire article.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Cowboy's Ain't Dead Yet Festival

This lively festival runs May 17-19 in Panguitch. It is held in conjunction with a National Senior Pro Rodeo. It provides a chance to experience genuine Western entertainment and get a taste of authentic cowboy life.

Come and watch the rodeo, participate in cowboy activities, music and cowboy poetry. There will be a dinner on May 17th to honor 3 local cowboys and their families. The Bar J Wranglers will perform on May 18.

For more info phone Scott Christensen at 435-676-8949, or see the info about the festival on this website:

Monday, May 14, 2007

Great Salt Lake Bird Festival

The ninth annual Great Salt Lake Bird Festival runs May 17-22. It offers birding trips, workshops, lectures and educational booths at the Davis County Events Center, 151 S. 1100 West, Farmington.

Right now is an optimum time to see the many migrating species of birds that stop at the Great Salt Lake. Festival field trips cover northern Utah from Utah Lake to the Idaho border and from Great Salt Lake to Wyoming.

Featured guests Ron Rohrbaugh and Denny Olson (aka Professor Avian Guano) will add humor and science to the festival. Ron and Denny will each be giving special presentations to local school children as well as participating in their other festival events.

For more info visit or call the Davis County Events Center at 801-451-3286.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

1st Annual Amazing Earthfest, Kanab, May 21-26

Note: We are posting this at the request of the event coordinator and Kane County Tourism:

1st Annual Amazing Earthfest
May 21- 26, 2007
At Various Public Land Locations in Southern Utah & Northern Arizona

Hub in Kane County, Utah (

Education and Learning, Scientific Discovery
Resource Management, Recreation
Ecological Understanding
Cultural Heritage, Arts and Entertainment

For Information & Schedule Of Events Visit: WWW.AMAZINGEARTHFEST.COM

For Additional Media Information Please Contact:
Event Coordinator - Rich Csenge - 207-729-5825
Kane County Tourism Director - Cowboy Ted Hallisey - 435-899-1102 -

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tips For A Memorable Mothers Day In Utah

Salt Lake Tribune writer Jennifer Barrett offers insightful ideas about how to pamper a mother on her special day.

"No matter how much she protests, there's a good chance Mom would like someone to take care of her this Mother's Day. For some women, that means a day at the spa, complete with light, tasty meals, relaxing music, a fluffy white robe and pampering body treatments."

Read the entire article.

See our list of excellent spa resorts scattered around Utah.

We also offer restaurant suggestions near the bottom of each of our Utah Destination pages.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Help Us Improve the Camping Section

Calling all people who love camping in Utah!

The camping section on is ok, but it could be much better. Utah offers a tremendous number of campgrounds and it is difficult to keep the site updated with accurate information about each one. We need your help to make improvements.

New mapping technology allows us to show campgrounds on interactive maps, making it easy for people to locate them.

But to make the maps accurate we need GPS coordinates for each campground. We’ve uploaded a database that has coordinates but many are obviously are not accurate. So right now maps on our website may not show campground locations accurately. We’re working as fast as we can to add correct that problem.

If you know latitude and longitude coordinates for a campground, email them to me. The process will go much faster if we get that kind of input from the public.

Also include a sentence or two describing the campground and why you like it.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Dave Webb

Monday, May 07, 2007

Bryce Canyon May Get Public Astronomical Observatory

The night sky is bright over southern Utah. Bryce Canyon, in particular, is regarded as one of the best places in America to gaze at the stars. Organized star parties are held there on a regular basis.

Stargazing there could soon take a giant step forward with the construction of a public observatory with powerful telescopes.

This Deseret Morning News article has details. Here are excerpts:

The observatory would have a roll-off roof housing two or three telescopes, an imaging room that would be combined with a classroom, a deck for observing the sun with a telescope equipped with special filters, an "architectural sundial" and an amphitheater where as many as 500 people could experience lectures.

"Parks protect scenery, and that's one of the things that's in our mandate," he (Chad Moore, program manager for the Park Service's Night Sky Team) said. Parks have set up overlooks to display terrestrial scenery like the haunting spires of hoodoo formations at Bryce; in the same spirit, he believes, the stunning night scenery at Bryce also should get attention.

Bryce is a good place for astronomy because its high altitude and its distance from the light pollution of large cities mean the sky is darker than most sites.

Read the entire article.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Helping You Find State Parks in Utah

We have upgraded our main State Parks page to include an interactive map showing park locations.

The map makes it easy to see at a glance where state parks are located. Mouse over one of the pins and the name of the park is displayed. Click on a pin and a bubble opens showing details about the park, with a link to that park’s web page.

You can pan the map and make it zoom in and out. It will zoom down to street level, allowing you to see exactly where the parks are located and plan routes.

The page uses a Google map and it provides amazing detail. We’ve checked locations carefully. We think it is a great improvement.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Since this is a new service, there is always the possibility of mistakes. Let me know if you see any problems.

- Dave

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Utah Prehistory Week Offers Hands-On Activities

Utah Prehistory Week runs May 5-12, 2007, providing a chance for people to learn about paleontology (the study of fossils, including dinosaurs) and also archaeology (the study of past human cultures).

Events will be held all over the state and include tours to important archaeological and paleontological sites, free public lectures, museum tours, and many hands-on events.

The week of prehistory will begin with the annual Prehistory Open House at the Rio Grande Depot on Saturday, May 5, from 10 am until 3 pm. It is sponsored by the Utah Division of State History.

The open house will include:
- Hands-on activities for kids
- Spear and atlatl throwing
- Navajo tacos
- Demonstrations on prehistoric technology and rock art

More information

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Checklist for Hiking Arches National Park

Kristin Jackson wrote this article for the Orange County Register, providing an interesting narrative and very good list of tips for hiking in Arches National Park. Here are excerpts:

Double O, Landscape and the iconic Delicate Arch, a half-circle of stone that stands alone on pillows of smooth "slick rock" in another corner of the park, are some of the biggest and best known of the park's arches. But this geological wonderland in Southeast Utah's high desert has more than 2,000 known arches, the greatest concentration of natural rock arches in the world.

Back in the Devil's Garden, I managed to get myself lost. I veered onto what a signpost warned was a primitive (and optional) part of trail, took a wrong turn by a mound of slick rock and wandered up a narrow sandy wash.

I soon realized my error but enjoyed it, walking farther into the rocky wilderness to sit in the silence. In the searing heat, the only thing moving was a long-tailed lizard, skittering past my foot. The only sound was the wind, moaning through rock crevices.

For the loveliest and most photo-friendly light, go to Arches in the early morning or near sunset.

Read the entire article.
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