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Utah Travel Headlines

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.


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