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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Provo Makes Kiplinger's List of Great Places to Live, Work and Play

Provo City is on Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine's new list of "10 Great Places to Live, Work and Play" this year.

The Provo Daily Herald has this article about the listing. Below are excerpts.

The magazine calls Provo a "pristine software mecca" -- a locale whose mountain views are as charming as its resume of high-tech employers is impressive. The article... says employers like Novell, Micron Technology and Omniture make Provo the country's second-largest software hub.

"It's hard to argue down a city with so many great things going for it," said Kiplinger's Senior Editor Bob Frick. "I would kind of put it in that category of places that people don't naturally think about as being very intellectual and vibrant, but they are. In addition to that, you have the whole natural beauty, clean living kind of thing."

Provo has been a recurring favorite on several of Kiplinger's lists over the past few years. In June 2006, the magazine included the city on its "50 Smart Places to Live" list. And in June 2007, Provo showed up in Kiplinger's "Best Cities for Married with Children" rankings.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Climbing Towers Built by Nature

Rock climbers come from around the world to test their skills on sandstone walls and towers around Zion and Canyonlands national parks.

The Wall Street Journal has this new article about climbing, from a climber's perspective. Below are excerpts.

We were scaling North Six Shooter, which rises dramatically from the fringe of Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah. North Six Shooter (along with its shorter sibling, South Six Shooter) is a sheer sandstone tower crowning a huge talus cone that etches an unforgettable silhouette against the desert sky....

Around us spread the massive Colorado Plateau, which stretches across four Southwestern states -- a stunning, crumbling tableau of erosion that opens a geology textbook writ large everywhere you look. Plateau is something of a misnomer, however, since the landscape is constantly relieved: cut by great canyons, hogbacked with buttes and mesas, and pierced with spires -- many of which are catnip to climbers....

Then it was Liz's turn. I grew a bit alarmed when the rope barely budged during the better part of an hour. Eventually she came gasping to the belay and told me what had happened. The crack had proved as difficult as expected, so she decided to aid through the roof, standing in slings attached to gear. But the rope got entangled with the gear, and after much effort she found herself hanging even lower than before. Finally a climbing team on a nearby route offered to drop a line to her, which Liz ascended Batman-style, hand over hand. On the way up she also dropped a carabiner -- something I've never seen her do before....

Even Liz, after the fact, seemed to enjoy the climb. Driving past North Six Shooter another day, she shook a well-bruised fist at the tower and made an oath. "Just wait," she said, "until I get better at crack. I'll be back."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

President Bush Visit Prompts Tight Security in Salt Lake City, Park City

President Bush will be in Utah Wednesday afternoon and will leave Thursday, prompting tightened security around Salt Lake and Park City. Exact travel routes are confidential but traffic may be disrupted in some places during the visit.

The Deseret Morning News has these details about the visit. Below are excerpts.

"Bush is scheduled to arrive in Utah Wednesday afternoon to attend two fundraisers for McCain, his party's presumptive presidential nominee. The president is also to meet with LDS Church leaders Thursday morning before he leaves the state.

"McCain won't be in Utah, but his former rival for the GOP nomination, Mitt Romney, is coming to host one of the fundraisers at his Deer Valley vacation home....

"Two protests are planned in Salt Lake City during Bush's visit, including an hour-long "Peace and Human Rights Rally" set to start at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Salt Lake City-County Building led by former Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson.

"Another protest organized by the grassroots group is scheduled at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Salt Lake City Library."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Superbike World Championship At Miller Motorsports Park May 29-June 1

The most significant racing event in the history of the State of Utah will be held at Miller Motorsports Park May 29 through June 1.

The Salt Lake Tribune calls it Utah's biggest international sporting event since the Olympic Winter Games in 2002.

A press release from Miller says, "The HANNSPREE SUPERBIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP makes its return to the United States for the first time in four years, bringing one of the top three international racing series to Miller Motorsports Park in what will be the most significant racing event in the history of the State of Utah."

More details.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Memorial Day Travel Tips

Memorial Day traditionally kicks off the summer travel season, and brings crowds to popular Utah recreation spots. Some unique conditions may affect travel plans this year.

High Gasoline Prices
Because of high fuel costs, some people will stay closer to home this year. That means parks, picnic spots, campgrounds and reservoirs close to the Wasatch Front will be crowded. Drive a little farther and you will find more room to play. For example, Jordanelle and Deer Creek reservoirs will be crowded, while Yuba and Starvation reservoirs will have fewer people and thus may offer a better experience.

High Stream Flows
Streams are very high and flooding may occur in a few spots. High flood danger is reported on the Provo River near Woodland and on the Green River near Jensen. All streams should be considered dangerous. Flows are high and fast and water is cold. Supervise children rigorously if you camp or picnic near streams. Don't wade, not even on the edge of a stream.

Mountain Snow
Snow still blocks roads in many mountain areas. On Hwy 150 in the Uintas, lower campgrounds will be open but higher campgrounds are not accessible. Gravel and dirt roads probing the Uintas and other high elevation areas are still closed. That means there is essentially no camping at higher elevations. Lower elevation campgrounds are open; many will be crowded.

There are plenty of places to recreate in Utah. You many need to drive a little further than you'd like, or switch locations, but conditions are great in many areas.

Lake Powell marinas will crowded. Go early to avoid lines at the launch ramps. Boat away from the marinas and you will find plenty of water, sand and rock.

Capitol Reef National Park offers splendid solitude in an amazing natural setting. The campground and scenic loop will be crowded but the backcountry is inviting.

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is very appealing at this time of year. Get out and enjoy some canyon hikes.

The San Rafael Swell includes a few popular spots, where there will be crowds, but vast backcountry areas where you can get away from it all...

The holiday is quickly approaching - plan to get out and play.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Open-Water Fishing Begins at Strawberry, Scofield

I put my boat on Strawberry Reservoir Saturday, and fished in open water. Action was a little on the slow side - we had to work hard for each of the 4 fish we caught. But they were big, beautiful, healthy cutthroat trout and we had an enjoyable afternoon.

The ice came off Strawberry and Scofield reservoirs last week. Their waters are still very cold and fish are a bit lethargic. But the fish will become more active as waters warm and insect activity picks up. Both reservoirs should offer good action within a couple weeks.

Strawberry is Utah's most popular fishery. It usually offers consistently good angling for very nice cutthroats, rainbows and kokanee salmon.

Scofield is also a very popular reservoir and usually has good action for rainbows, cutthroats and tiger trout.

Bear Lake is also ice free and has fair to good action for cutthroat and lake trout. Fish Lake should lose its ice cap any day now and it will offer great fishing for rainbows, splake, lake trout and perch.

Utah's other major fishing reservoirs have had open water for some weeks, and have generally good fishing. Lake Powell has excellent fishing right now.

Waters at extremely high elevations, in the Uinta Mountains, along Skyline Drive and on Boulder Mountain, are still covered by ice and snow. They will open up during the next few weeks.

Our streams now have very high water from spring runoff. Many are dangerously high and unfishable. Some fly fishing is available on the Green, Weber and Provo rivers, if you use extreme caution. Stream flows in far southern Utah will be receding now and fishing will be good as they return to normal flows. Northern Utah streams will be high for the next few weeks.

Fishing is always a key activity over Memorial Day Weekend. Crews work hard to stock reservoirs and community ponds, and most will offer good fishing.

June 7 is Utah's Free Fishing Day. Anyone can fish on that Saturday without a license. All other regulations are still enforced.

More info about Utah fishing regulations.

More info about Utah fishing licenses.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Utah Rivers Are High and Dangerous

Warm temperatures this weekend will bring extra runoff into our streams and rivers. Serious flooding is not expected but the rivers will be flowing fast and high, and will be dangerous.

The Deseret Morning News carried this article about high water dangers. Below are excerpts.

"Every year when we have above-normal flows, people die just by using poor judgment," said Brian McInerney, hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Utah.

Near or above record temperatures in the Salt Lake area are expected to reach 85 Saturday, 93 Sunday and 95 on Monday, at a time when the thermometer should be reading closer to 70.

The more dramatic jump in creek and river levels this weekend are expected in northern Utah. Flooding from runoff alone isn't expected, but the rains could cause some waterways to reach flood stage, the National Weather Service is reporting.

McInerney said that, with any rain next week, there may be a greater chance for some localized flooding in newly developed residential areas near a creek or river or in some bench areas. People should be vigilant about keeping an eye on any nearby waterways, especially with children, who are particularly attracted to streams.

Read the entire article.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wild Outdoors Festival

The two-day Wild Outdoors Festival will be held June 6-7 at Thanksgiving Point. It will feature top-ranked lumberjacks, the world's best speed climbers, and female boom runners. ESPN2 will broadcast four 30-minute programs of this event later in the year.

The festival will showcase all things outdoors. Vendors will provide demonstrations and education; live entertainment will go on throughout the festival, and various activities will be available for guests of all ages.

For more information on local festivals, lodging and dining visit

Location: Thanksgiving Point,

Monday, May 12, 2008

Zion Trails & Wildflowers

I hiked in Zion National Park over the weekend and had a marvelous time. The air temperature was perfect, warm but not hot, and wildflowers were blooming everywhere. The scenery was spectacular. Now's the time to hike in this popular area.

The Virgin River was high and muddy. The popular Narrows hike is not yet accessible because of the high water. But most tributaries are now running low and clear. Flows in the main river will drop during the next few weeks. I expect the Narrows and other water hikes will open in early June.

Water temperatures are still cold, and will continue to be cold into June. That didn't stop us from looking for a handy swimming hole, after we completed our hike in the sunshine. We jumped in, but didn't stay in the water long. It is still a bit early for canyon hikes where you have to wade or swim long distances. But, again, that will change during the next few weeks.

We hiked up Pine Creek, above Hwy 9, and then up the slickrock toward the pass just below Deertrap Mountain, looking for ancient Native American rock art. We found some there and more in a side canyon farther up Hwy 9.

Orange/red Indian pain brush was in full bloom along the trail, clinging to the sides of sheer cliffs. Cacti were also blooming, in several effulgent colors. The blossoms on most cacti were not yet full - that will come during the next week or two.

As the afternoon waned, we drove back through the tunnel and down the switchbacks, stopped at the bridge and then hiked up Pine Creek the short distance to its waterfall. We played in the water there, and at the deep swimming hole just downstream, cooling off before starting the journey home.

It was a great trip.

- Dave

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Timpanogos Cave Will Open Saturday; Snow Cleared From Trail

Timpanogos Cave will open as scheduled Saturday because employees and volunteers spent some 1,128 hours shoveling snow from the trail. Park officials had expressed doubts earlier that the massive snowpack, said to be the deepest in 25 years, could be cleared in time. Drifts were up to 15 feet deep in some areas.

Park officials say they're now down to bare asphalt on the trail, which climbs 1,160 feet from the parking area to the cave entrance. The cave it located in the mountains northeast of Provo.

Timpanogos Cave is a national monument and is managed by the National Park Service.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Snowbird Extends Skiing, May Be Open Into Summer

(The information below was provided as a news release by Ski Utah.)

SNOWBIRD, UTAH – With more than 11 feet of snow on the ground at mid-mountain, Snowbird announced today it will extend its season into June and possibly beyond.

Snowbird President Bob Bonar said today he feels confident the resort will be able to offer skiing and riding daily through Sunday, May 11, and then Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through June 1 (including Monday, May 26, Memorial Day).

“With last week’s storm and additional precipitation this week it looks like we’ll have plenty of snow for great skiing through the last weekend of May, beginning of June,” said Bonar. “We will continue to offer skiing and riding as long as the conditions are safe, enjoyable and there’s interest.”

Snowbird lifts have run as late as July 4 in two previous seasons. Bonar said this week it is too early to know if that’s a possibility this year.

Previously not scheduled to operate for the remainder of the spring schedule, the Little Cloud chairlift began operating today and will continue to do so for the remainder of the spring schedule along with Peruvian Express, Mineral Basin Express and Peruvian Tunnel. The resort is open for skiing and riding 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sunday, May 11. Beginning May 16, the hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lift tickets are $59.

The Aerie and Atrium restaurants, both located in the Cliff Lodge, celebrate Mother’s Day with brunches beginning at 9 a.m. in the Aerie and 10:30 a.m. in the Atrium. For reservations call (801) 933-2181.

Spring vacation packages and additional information about operating days and hours are available at

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Register Now for the Golf Wasatch Long Day Challenge

The Long Day Challenge is a four-person team scramble golf tournament set in scenic Heber Valley. It is scheduled for June 20-21.

It will be held on Heber's three distinctive, award-winning golf courses, and will include 72 total teams, 288 players and 45 holes.

The first place team will win a golf trip to Pinehurst NC, to stay in a luxury home provided by The Markers - Golfers Residence Club.

Tournament Overview
Tournament Details

Golf Wasatch website

Friday, May 02, 2008

New Visitor Center In Monument Valley

A new visitor center in Monument Valley will officially open on May 5, 2008, as the keys to the $2.8 million facility are handed from Utah to the Navajo Nation during a sunrise ceremony. The Navajo Parks and Recreation Department will operate the facility, located at the Monument Valley Tribal Park entrance on U.S. 191 at the Utah-Arizona border.

“We are delighted this state of the art facility is opening for travelers. The ability to assist the 500,000 visitors attracted to Monument Valley each year is invaluable,” says San Juan County Visitor Services director Charlie Delorme. “Personal interaction will allow us to share information with our guests not only about the valley, but also additional Utah travel destinations.”

For more information on the Monument Valley area, contact Charlie Delorme at (435) 587-3235 ext. 5006.
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