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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thanks For Utah Travel Brochures

We received the text below as a comment posted on It refers to the free brochures available on this page. Many people also find our Canyon Country National Park Map & Guide to be valuable as they plan trips.

We have just returned to the UK from an extended vacation in Utah. I am writing to thank you for the wonderful information packs we received from Utah tourism. Would you please pass on our gratitude to your colleagues in Salt lake City, Moab, Cedar City, St. George, Garfield County, San Juan County, Kane County and Wayne County who took the time and trouble to send their information too.

(You can tell from the list that it was a fairly lengthy trip- and that doesn't include our "discovery" of Logan and its canyon en route for Yellowstone. The maps and brochures greatly assisted in the planning of a wonderful holiday (sorry-vacation!) I am enjoying looking back at the contents of the brochures now and wishing I was back in Utah. Maybe next year or sometime soon?!

Thanks once again
Best Wishes
Graham E

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hiking Upper Muley Twist Canyon

Matt H sent us these photos and this short description of a recent hike he did in Upper Muley Twist Canyon, in Capitol Reef National Park:

"As mentioned, here are some photos from my hike of Upper Muley Twist Canyon at Capitol Reef National Park. The hike was a bit more strenuous than anticipated, but it was still enjoyable. The drive to the trailhead was a bit arduous, with washboards for about 30 miles. We were in a Jeep, so we took the road on in to the Strike Valley Overlook trailhead.

"I was surprised by the number of arches on the trail, and the view of the Waterpocket Fold from the rim route portion of the trail was stunning. The canyon portion was easy to follow, but we did get off track once trying to follow the trail to the rim."

Monday, June 22, 2009

Moab and Dead Horse Point

If you want to know what's happening in Moab, follow Our friend Michele Hill sends tweets on a regular basis to help people stay informed about events there.

Michele works for the Moab Area Travel Council and she sends us info about what's happening in the area. Below we list her report on programs offered at Dead Horse Point State Park.

We have interpretive programs at the park every Thursday thru Sunday this summer. You can find the program descriptions on our State Parks website. Here's the list:

Geology Rocks! Thursdays 2:00 p.m. If you love rocks, this is the program for you! Meet at the Dead Horse Point overlook under the shelter at 2:00 p.m. on Thursdays for a program about the
rock cycle and how it relates to Dead Horse Point State Park.

Guided Hike. Fridays 10:00 a.m. Join Ranger Ramona on Friday at 10:00 a.m. for a guided hike to Dead Horse Point. Learn about some of the geology and plant life of the area, and discover the exact location of "Thelma and Louise Point."

See the Rainbow! Fridays 8:00 p.m. Join park staff at the visitor center amphitheater at 8 p.m. for a program about flowers at Dead Horse Point State Park. We will discuss what a flower actually is, what its purpose is, and view a slide show on the wildflowers found in the park.

Junior Ranger Program. Saturdays 10:00 a.m. Hey kids! Join Kim for a program about water in the desert! We will meet at the visitor center amphitheater at 10:00 a.m. If conditions allow we will take a short hike to the potholes north of the visitor center.

Uranium: The Passionate Heart of the Desert. Saturdays 8:00 p.m. We know uranium as the element that made the atomic bomb possible, but there is much more to this element than meets the eye. Come discover how uranium is ultimately responsible for the stunning landscape surrounding Dead Horse Point State Park, and why this element deserves to be called the passionate heart of the earth. Saturday, 8:00 p.m. at the visitor center amphitheater.

Insect Safari! Sundays 10:00 a.m. Hey kids! Join Ranger Ramona on an insect safari at Dead Horse Point State Park on Sunday at the visitor center amphitheater at 10:00 a.m. Learn about these amazing creatures, then see how many different insects you can find!

Leapin' Lizards. Sundays 8:00 p.m. Meet at the visitor center amphitheater at 8:00 p.m. for a program about reptiles. We will learn what snakes and lizards call this park their home.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Zion Tops TripAdvisor Parks List

Zion National Park is the best in the country, according to

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article detailing the website's park rankings. Below are excerpts.

According to travelers and editors from TripAdvisor, Utah's Zion National Park is the best in the country. Zion was No. 1 on a top 10 list of U.S. national parks. The publication picked Zion because its "stunning red monoliths and canyons of the park invite visitors to explore its beauty by camping, biking, touring by car, hiking and more. Adventurous travelers can embark on the exciting Angels Landing hike, and the views make the daring climb well worth it." According to one TripAdvisor traveler, "It's the best view in the entire park, and best hike I have ever done! Do not miss it!"

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Grill On The Hill BBQ Championship and Brewfest

Grill on the HillJun 19 - Jun 21
Barbecue lovers, don't miss the The 2nd Annual Snowbird Grill On The Hill BBQ Championship and Brewfest, June 19 -21st, a state championship qualifying event sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society. Top BBQ chefs from across the U.S. will compete in the categories of pork ribs, pork shoulder, beef brisket and chicken for a chance to win a share of more than $10,000 in cash and prizes. Eat championship BBQ as the best pit men in the country line up ready to do battle, apron to apron.

Event Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Admission: FREE
Address: Little Cottonwood Canyon, Snowbird
Phone: 801-933-2222
Contact: Teri Mum
Web Site: Click here

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Utah Resorts Sizzle with Summer Fun

Ski Utah provides the news release below about summer activities at Utah's Ski resorts.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - When the days get longer and temperatures rise, Utah ski resorts bloom with a host of summer activities perfect for everyone in the family. Whether you prefer the challenge of a stimulating bike ride or hike, or are just looking to cool down, let summer breezes blow you to your favorite Utah resort.

- Alta Ski Area is open to the public all summer long for hiking and biking. Enjoy a fabulous lunch or brunch on weekends at the Alta Lodge. Alta’s famous Wildflower Festival will also take place July 17-19, 2009.

- Beaver Mountain rents its facilities to groups, great for company parties or family reunions. Facilities include the lodge, a yurt, 10-man tents, tent sites and RV hook-ups. New this summer, Beaver Mountain will host a summer music festival Sat., Sept. 12 from 3-9 p.m. Enjoy many bands and food vendors while resting on Beaver Mountain’s grassy slopes.

- Brian Head Resort offers hiking, biking, ATV rides and dining daily throughout the summer. Weekend visitors can also enjoy scenic chairlift rides, lift-accessed mountain biking, mountain disc golf, concerts and various special events.

- Brighton Resort will show its summer colors with a variety of flora and fauna. Enjoy flowers, fresh air and wildlife in beautiful Big Cottonwood Canyon. Join the Resort this summer for the Keep on Rollin classic car show July 18, 2009 organized to raise money for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

- The Canyons Resort will be running summer operations daily from June 19-Oct. 4. Enjoy gondola rides, lunch at Red Pine Café, mountain biking, disc golf and hiking. Don’t forget The Canyons Free Saturday Summer concert series every Saturday, starting July 18 and ending August 29. Also, check out the hugely popular 3rd of July Celebration with a free concert in the Resort Village by the Disco Drippers followed by an enormous fireworks show.

- Deer Valley Resort will offer lift-served mountain biking, hiking and scenic chairlift rides seven days a week June 19 through Labor Day and weekends only through Sept. 13 (conditions permitting). Hikers and bikers will have access to 55 miles of trail, and can enjoy scenic deck dining at the Royal Street Café. Deer Valley will host over 40 evening concerts in the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater.

- Park City Mountain Resort’s family activities include the Alpine Slide, with four lanes available to ensure a new thrilling experience each ride; ZipRider; Utah’s only Alpine Coaster; lift-served mountain biking, hiking; scenic chairlift rides; climbing wall; the Legacy Launcher; Little Miner’s Park; horseback riding and much more.

- Powder Mountain will begin Summer Safari 4 X 4 Adventure Tours in mid-June. Guided tours in an oversized four wheel drive vehicle will take guests to spectacular sites over the 10,000 acres within the resort that would otherwise be inaccessible to the public by vehicle. The Resort will also host a series of exciting sporting events including the Powder Mountain Hill Climb presented by Diamond Peak Mountain Sports on June 27 and the Powder Mountain Motorcross presented by Monster Energy August 27–30, 2009.

- Snowbasin offers 2,650 acres of scenic beauty with gondola-accessed mountain biking, hiking and fine dining from June 27-October. Snowbasin also offers novice to moderate trails with shuttles back to the base, bike rentals, guided tours and a nine-hole disc golf course. Free concerts are held on Earl’s Patio every Sunday throughout the summer. The XTERRA National Championships will also take place Sept. 25-26 at Snowbasin.

- Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort will offer the ZipRider, Alpine Slide, hiking, biking, horseback and ATV riding, tram and lift rides, camps, concerts, festivals, and NEW this year, the Wasatch Mining Company Gemstone Mine. In addition, the Resort will host a number of national and local musical acts throughout the summer, including the new Tent Revival which will be the biggest gospel music festival west of the Mississippi.

- Solitude Mountain Resort, in beautiful Big Cottonwood Canyon, offers the opportunity to enjoy peaceful alpine hikes, heart racing descents on mountain bikes, or a quiet weekend brunch with the family. Summers always cover the canyon in blankets of vibrant wildflowers and lush foliage, providing the perfect backdrop for outings.

- Sundance Resort offers the perfect family getaway with something for everyone, including summer theatre under the stars, concerts, hiking, biking, horseback riding and moonlight lift rides. Everyone in the family will enjoy the Sundance Summer Theatre production of the musical, The Fantasticks, from July 31-Aug. 22 at the Eccles Outdoor Amphitheater, presented in partnership with Utah Valley University.

- Wolf Creek Utah Ski Resort will host the 4th Annual Music in the Mountains from June 27 - Sept. 5. Guests will never run out of things to do with Wolf Creek Adventures. Summer adventures include horseback riding, Powzilla Tours, guided hikes, geo-cache hikes, hot air balloon rides, mountain and road bike tours, tennis lessons, white water rafting, flat water kayaking, Chuck Wagon Dinners and Wild West Games, lift-accessible bike rides, scenic rides, fishing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, and golf.

- The Utah Olympic Park will have you feeling like a champ with bobsled rides, the Quicksilver Alpine Slide and zip-lines. Watch Olympians and national team members soar up to 60 feet in the air, performing acrobatic feats at the Flying Ace All-Stars shows. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays June 13- Sept. 5. Introductory Olympic sports camps are also offered for all ages and abilities.

For more information on these or other activities visit to link to resort websites. A complete summer activities calendar may also be found by visiting For media information, contact Ski Utah Director of Communications Jessica Kunzer at 801.647.2510 or by email at

Ski Utah is the marketing firm owned and operated by the 13 statewide ski resorts that make up the Utah Ski and Snowboard Association. The organization has been creating brand awareness of and demand for the Utah wintersports product since its inception in 1978.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Disney, Pixar Will Shoot Sci-Fi Movie in Utah

Utah's exotic landscape has often appeared in movies and TV shows, sometimes being used to depict alien worlds. Most recently, a portion of the San Rafael Swell stood in for the plant Vulcan in the last Star Trek movie.

Now we'll be depicted as Mars in a new Disney-Pixar movie, "John Carter of Mars," based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs science-fiction book series.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about the production. Below are excerpts. Also see this MTV blog.

Disney and Pixar, makers of classic animated movies such as "Toy Story" and the recent hit "Up," are expected to partly film the pulp science-fiction adventure "John Carter of Mars" in Utah from November to July 2010.

Portions of the Beehive State will double as Mars, including Lake Powell (where the original "Planet of the Apes" was partially filmed), Moab, and Kane and Wayne counties.

"It's the biggest movie we've ever used incentives on," said Utah Film Commission executive director Marshall Moore. "We haven't seen these kinds of numbers since doing a TV series for a year."

According to a GOED executive summary, the filmmakers are committed to spend $27.7 million in the state and employ 398 Utahns during the seven months of pre-production and shooting. In turn, the production would receive a $5.5 million tax credit under the state's incentive program.

In the past, the comedy "Unaccompanied Minors" resulted in $16 million being spent in Utah, while "High School Musical 3" resulted in $14 million.

Monday, June 15, 2009

National ATV Jamboree

This is a major ATV event that includes rides on some of the best trails in the region. It will take place June 22-27, and is centered in Fillmore, in central Utah.

The event offers approximately 30 different rides each day in the Pahvant Mountains, with experienced local guides making stops along the way to describe history, geology, flora and fauna. Participants will enjoy seeing wild turkeys, elk and mule deer as you travel the Paiute ATV Trail and experience some of the most spectacular scenery you can imagine. Pizza parties, pot luck dinners and a progressive dinner in Chalk Creek Canyon are just some of the activities planned during the week-long event.

See for details.Contact: Nola Whatcott or Jayne RasmussenPhone: 435-759-2543

Thursday, June 11, 2009

On Horseback In Red Canyon

Red Canyon offers stunning red-rock formations set amidst an evergreen forest. It is located near Bryce Canyon National Park and offers similar features. There is no better way to explore the area than on horseback.

Deseret News writer Amy Donaldson describes the adventure in this article. Below are excerpts. The News also has this video showing the ride.

Imagine wildflowers, three or four different types and colors, growing on a red rock ledge. A few hundred yards later, you're surrounded by Ponderosa pines, junipers and Douglas fir. Overhead is a clear, blue sky marred only by birds that draw your attention away from the trail up into the vastness of the beauty that surrounds you for hundreds of miles.

As we rode along the trails — of which there are about 50 miles for horses, mountain bikers and hikers — that dipped and climbed through Red Canyons' hills and cliffs, I had a hard time not repeating myself.

"Look at that!" I exclaimed, pointing out whatever it was that had pulled my attention to it this time. "Isn't that amazing!"

In some places, words really do fail a person.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

24 Indicted For Looting Ancient Indian Artifacts

Twenty-four people have been named as criminal defendants in the theft of archaeological and cultural artifacts from public and Indian lands in the Four Corners area.

That's from this Deseret News article about a federal investigation into allegded looting of ancient graves and other sites, many of which are located in southeastern Utah. Below are excerpts from the article.

The stolen artifacts, some of which were on display during the news conference, including an Archaic period obsidian blade and a black-on-white bowl recovered from San Juan County.

Utah's cultural treasures have often been the target of vandals and thieves, with arrowheads stolen from museums and damage reported to ancient rock art in the southern Utah area.

A 2006 report by the National Trust for Historic Preservation concluded that artifact hunters, off-roaders, urban sprawl and vandals are "robbing the nation" of cultural resources.

It's illegal to take artifacts from public or Indian lands without a permit or from private lands without permission from the landowner, said (Utah State Archaeologist Kevin) Jones.

Federal and state officials have been tracking down and prosecuting Utah looters for years.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about the investigation.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Stories Mark Zion Park Centennial

Several special activities are being held this year, as Zion National Park marks its centennial. The park has published this Official Centennial Newspaper, titled "A Century of Sanctuary 1909-2009. It is interesting reading.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article featuring stories about the park submitted by readers.

And Trib outdoors writer Tom Wharton shares his experiences related to the park. Below are excerpts from Tom's article.

My late wife and I spent the first two nights of our honeymoon camping here in 1972. She was trying to turn me into an outdoor lover but didn't help her cause when we climbed to the top of Angels Landing on a hot June day with no water.

I've watched as snow covered Checkerboard Mesa on a Thanksgiving weekend and as a late summer monsoon storm created waterfalls nearly everywhere. Zion was one of the last national parks my late wife visited before her death. We hiked the Watchman Trail, her once sturdy body struggling with the combination of cancer and chemo.

After reading a couple of dozen stories about Zion submitted by Tribune readers for the centennial celebration, it's obvious that I am not alone in my feelings for this place. On warm March weekends, first surrounded by strangers from all over the world and then by kids and grandkids, I realized that Zion is a spiritual place. I can only marvel at the wisdom and foresight it took 100 years ago when few visited this land of towering sandstone cliffs for someone to see its value and set it aside so millions of us can now enjoy its largely unspoiled views.

Read his complete article.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Kanab Ranked As Best Utah Town For Sportsmen

Kanab is the best Utah town for sportsmen, according to Outdoor Life Magazine. That southern Utah community came in at #12 in the magazine's national List.

The magazine's June/July edition issue provides the rankings. You can see them here.

The Deseret News has this article on the magazine's list. Below are excerpts.

"Outdoorsmen want world-class hunting and fishing, but like everyone else, they also want to have a high quality of life," says Todd Smith, Outdoor Life editor-in-chief. "The towns on this list offer the best of the outdoors as well as decent homes and schools and good-paying jobs. They are truly dream towns for sportsmen."

In addition to Kanab, Heber City, Vernal, Richfield, Cedar City, Logan and Price made the list from Utah.

Kanab is located on the Utah/Arizona border, close to Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks and Lake Powell. There are excellent deer hunting opportunities in the nearby mountain - including some units that consistently produce trophy animals. There are also great fishing spots nearby.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Outdoor Adventure Expo Friday and Saturday in Salt Lake

The Utah Outdoor Adventure Expo will be held June 5-6 (Fri and Sat) at the Utah State Fairpark in Salt Lake City.

Billed as "The Trailhead to Your Next Outdoor Adventure," the expo features information, demonstrations and exhibits to help people enjoy all kinds of outdoor recreational activities. There will be entertainment, food and discounted prices on all kinds of equipment.

See the expo webpage for details.

Also see this Deseret News article about the expo.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Documentary Film Promotes Kanab As Little Hollywood

Kanab, a small community in southern Utah, picked up the nickname "Little Hollywood" because many movies and TV shows have been filmed in the area.

Now a documentary film has been produced to showcase the area's film history and promote it as an attractive location for future films.

The Deseret News has this article about the documentary. Below are excerpts.

"Kanab has an amazing past," (documentary producer Stephen) Armstrong said. "As remote as this area used to be, it managed to attract some of Hollywood's greatest talent."

Since the 1920s, hundreds of feature films and television programs have been made there, most notably "Western Union," "Buffalo Bill," and Clint Eastwood's classic Western "The Outlaw Josey Wales," as well as the long-running TV series "Gunsmoke" and "Have Gun, Will Travel." Consequently, Kanab is often referred to as Utah's Little Hollywood.

"Movie stars like Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Dean Martin, Maureen O'Hara and James Garner made movies out here. World-class directors like Fritz Lang, John Sturges and Clint Eastwood worked out here, too," Armstrong said.

His documentary, "Return to Little Hollywood," provides audiences with the opportunity to view footage of locations and sets used in past movies and television productions. It also includes interviews with county residents who participated in those productions. Local officials, historians and several Hollywood professionals, including Clint Walker and Harry Carey Jr. also appear and are interviewed in the film.

The film will premier June 17 at 7 p.m. at the Crescent Moon Theatre in downtown Kanab. Producers then hope to screen the picture at various locations throughout the state.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Visit National Parks For Free This Summer

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that entrance fees will be waived on 3 summer weekends to encourage people to visit US National Parks, Monuments and Recreation Areas.

KSL carried this news release about the announcement. Below are excerpts.
"National Parks also serve as powerful economic engines for local communities and we hope that promoting visitation will give a small shot in the arm to businesses in the area," he (Salazar) said. The 147 National Park Service sites across the country that charge fees for entry will waive these entrance fees during the weekends of June 20-21, July 18-19, and August 15-16, 2009, Salazar said. Meanwhile, many park partners including tour operators, hotels, restaurants, gift shops, and other vendors will offer additional discounts and special promotions on those dates. More information on the fees and discounts can be found at

Most Americans live less than a day's drive from a park, the Secretary noted. Nationwide, parks last year attracted more than 275 million recreation visits. Spending by non-local visitor provided $10.6 billion for local economies, supporting more than 213,000 jobs, not counting National Park Service jobs.

"Tourism income helps America's economic recovery," Salazar said. "National park sites in the Great Lakes states, for example, attract 8 million recreation visits a year that bring $211 million into the local economies. Spending by visitors from out of the area supports 4,400 local jobs. So these areas need to maintain and expand this vital tourism."

Some businesses associated with National Parks are offering discounts or special promotions. Some are listed here. Below is one example.

Lake Powell - From Aramark Parks and Destinations -- Rainbow Bridge Tours: Buy One All Day and Get One 50% off (PROMOTIONAL CODE/REQUEST: NPSDAYS)

Monday, June 01, 2009

Southwestern Utah Backways and Byways

If you are interested in scenic drives off the beaten path, you'll love the backways and byways around St George, Zion Park and Bryce Canyon.

St George Magazine describes area routes in this interesting article, which includes beautiful photographs. It highlights these roads:

Mojave Desert-Joshua Tree Scenic Backway
Kolob Reservoir Scenic Backway
Gooseberry-Fremont Road Scenic Backway
Burr Trail
State Route 18
US Route 89
Old Highway 91
State Route 14
All American Road Highway 12
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