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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Misuse Of Technology Creates Problems For Backcountry Rescuers

Electronic devices, used properly, can make backcountry travel safer and more enjoyable. GPS systems, cell phones, satellite phones and other devices can help people stay out of trouble, and can facilitate rescue in emergency situations.

But the devices sometimes give people a false sense of security that can lead to trouble, according to this interesting NY Times article. Technology also sometimes allows people to call for help for ridiculous reasons, tying up resources and wasting time and money. Below are excerpts from the article.

People with cellphones call rangers from mountaintops to request refreshments or a guide; in Jackson Hole, Wyo., one lost hiker even asked for hot chocolate.

A French teenager was injured after plunging 75 feet this month from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon when he backed up while taking pictures. And last fall, a group of hikers in the canyon called in rescue helicopters three times by pressing the emergency button on their satellite location device. When rangers arrived the second time, the hikers explained that their water supply “tasted salty.”

“Because of having that electronic device, people have an expectation that they can do something stupid and be rescued,” said Jackie Skaggs, spokeswoman for Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

In an extreme instance in April, two young men from Las Vegas were killed in Zion National Park in Utah while trying to float a hand-built log raft down the Virgin River. A park investigation found that the men “did not have whitewater rafting experience, and had limited camping experience, little food and no overnight gear.”

“They told their father that they intended to record their entire trip on video camera as an entry into the ‘Man vs. Wild’ competition” on television, investigators wrote.

Far more common but no less perilous, park workers say, are visitors who arrive with cellphones or GPS devices and little else — sometimes not even water — and find themselves in trouble. Such visitors often acknowledge that they have pushed themselves too far because they believe that in a bind, the technology can save them.

One of the most frustrating new technologies for the parks to deal with, rangers say, are the personal satellite messaging devices that can send out an emergency signal but are not capable of two-way communication. (Globalstar Inc., the manufacturer of SPOT brand devices, says new models allow owners to send a message with the help request.)

In some cases, said Keith Lober, the ranger in charge of search and rescue at Yosemite National Park in California, the calls “come from people who don’t need the 911 service, but they take the SPOT and at the first sign of trouble, they hit the panic button.”

But without two-way communication, the rangers cannot evaluate the seriousness of the call, so they respond as if it were an emergency.

Read the entire article.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Enjoy The Antelope Island Stampede Over Labor Day Weekend!

Looking for some family entertainment over Labor Day 2010? Come to the Davis County area of northern Utah for kite flying, hot air balloons, live music and fun. With over 21,000 attendees in 2009, the Antelope Island Stampede has grown and evolved into a premier regional event. Professional balloonists and kite fliers, nearly non-stop local entertainment on the stage, outstanding food, family activities, and the island mystique.

The event begins at 5pm on Friday and continues through Sunday,

The info below is from a festival news release.

The festival will be bigger and better than ever with local bands stacked up on the main stage all weekend long with non-stop entertainment such as, Red Shot Pony, d. Scott Williams, Crossfire and Shades of Grey to name a few.

Balloons will launch early each morning and put on a spectacular glow in the evenings (weather permitting). Scenic backdrops provide stunning vistas for guests to the island not to mention spectacular sunsets.

The professional kite demonstrations were a big hit last year and new performers such as I Quads, are sure to amaze the crowds. Kiters have also been incorporated into the educational component at the Davis County elementary schools for the first time and promise a fantastic show for the students.

Food, Art and Craft vendors have been expanded with more variety and Really Good Eats! Other activities include Horseback riding, Large Inflatables / Kids Area, Go Fly a Kite Area and more.

Last year the festival drew approximately 22,000 people. Aside from the event there is so much to do and discover about Antelope Island. It is a captivating place with 36 miles of hiking and biking trails, the beach where you can swim and float in the Great Salt Lake, Buffalo Island Grille, The Visitors Center or Historic Fielding Garr Ranch. You11 never run out of things to discover on the island and the sunsets, spectacular!

Bring your family and friends out for a great time Labor Day Week-end event and see why folks come back time after time to discover or rediscover Antelope Island.

For additional information and updates on the entire festival.
- Visit us at
- Or Contact: Kathi Dysert at 801-774-8200

Friday, August 27, 2010

Utah State Fair Runs Sept 9-19

The Utah State Fair will open on Sept 9 and run through Sept 19, at the Fairpark, 155 North 1000 West, in Salt Lake City.

The traditional-style fair features entertainment, food, demonstrations, craft items, agricultural displays and more. See the fair website for detailed information.

Grandstand entertainment:

Here is a tidbit from the fair's website:

The Ham Bone Express Racing Pig Show is included with your gate admission. And so are Sea Lion Splash, Rock-It the Robot, Amazing Rainforest Experience, Farmer Bob and Johnny the World's Funniest Tractor, George of the Juggle, and SO MUCH MORE!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Red Rocks Ring the Greens in St. George Utah

The St Louis Post Dispatch has this interesting article about the great golf available in the St George, Utah, area. Below are excerpts.

When Mormon leader Brigham Young passed through a small settlement in 1861 in what is now the southwest corner of Utah, he looked at the desolate landscape and made a prophecy.

"There will yet be built between those volcanic ridges a city with spires, towers … and homes with many inhabitants."

If Young had been able to see further into the future, he might have added "and some really fine golf courses."

As the population grew, so did the number, and quality, of the golf courses. The St. George area boasts 11 public courses in an idyllic setting between the ridges, buttes, mesas and mountains that once caught Brigham Young's eye. While St. George previously attracted primarily snow birds, it now also lures golfers, who are drawn by the scenic beauty, favorable weather and reasonable greens fees.

"It's turned into a little golf mecca," said Colby Cowan, head professional at Sand Hollow Resort, whose 18-hole championship course is a stunning layout that opened in August 2008. Sand Hollow was No. 7 on Golf Digest's list of the nation's best new public courses for 2009. Golfweek lists Sand Hollow as No. 1 among Utah public courses. Coral Canyon, another St. George-area course, is No. 3.

I played four of the area's courses on a visit last month — Sky Mountain, Sand Hollow, Sunbrook and The Ledges — and Sand Hollow stood out. (I thought Sky Mountain and The Ledges tied for second, with Sunbrook fourth.)

Nine of the area's courses comprise the Red Rock Golf Trail, in association with 14 lodging properties within 15 minutes of St. George. Stay-and-play packages can be arranged online at or by phone at 1-888-345-2550.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Park City Resort Offers Customizable Ski Passes

Park City Mountain Resort ski passes passes are now on sale for the 2010-2011 season. New this year is a "My Pass My Way" option where people can customize the pass to get just the features they want. has this article about the new option. Here are excerpts.

“With the extension of our night operations we felt that this was a perfect time to unbundle our season passes,” said Jenni Smith, president and general manager of Park City Mountain Resort. “Our new pass products allow the guest to choose the options that are important to them at the price point that is right for them. If you only want access to our lifts your Adult season pass costs $699, but if you want all of the options (Fast Tracks, underground parking and night access) you will pay $1299.”

All season passes include unrestricted “Mountain Access” to Park City Mountain Resort’s 16 lifts. Users can choose one, two or three customizable options that include Fast Tracks (access to the express lanes at the resort’s five busiest lifts), night skiing and riding (extended this season until 9 p.m.) and/or slopeside underground parking. The customizable season passes are now on sale.

See the Park City Mountain Resort website for details or to purchase the pass. Comments about the pass on the resort website are mostly positive. Here's a sample:

I love the custom pass option! Bought my pass today and instead of having to pay $1299, only had to pay $899 for the options I wanted. So kudos to PCMR for taking an innovative approach to season passes. That $400 I saved will pay for a lot of apres' : )

Posted by: Rob S

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Fuel Station Opens Up Vernal Area to Natural Gas Powered Vehicles

Natural gas powered cars have long been able to refuel along the I-15 corridor, from the Salt Lake area all the way to Los Angeles, but few stations offer natural gas in rural Utah.

Now a station has opened in Naples, just south of Vernal, so people traveling in the Uinta Basin can fill up with the alternate fuel.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about the new station. Below are excerpts.

The Uinta Basin is suddenly on the map of destinations for drivers of compressed natural gas vehicles, now that Questar Gas and partners have opened a first Utah fueling station well away from the Interstate 15 corridor.

It’s still unlikely that drivers could get from Salt Lake City to Denver unless they have a bi-fuel vehicle and can switch to a gasoline tank. But Giles said Colorado has a coalition committed to rapid expansion of the CNG fueling network, and such a corridor likely will be completed soon.

Meantime, Clean Cities and Questar are committed to making a new push along Interstate 80 at the Wyoming and Nevada state lines, giving Utahns another east-west CNG route.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Oktoberfest Is Underway At Snowbird

The 38th annual Oktoberfest is now underway at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. It runs every weekend (plus Labor Day) through Oct 10.

The festival offers live music, authentic food, dancing, beer and other brews, family activities and more. See the Snowbird website for more information. Below is a news release about the festival.

Snowbird, Utah – Snowbird’s annual Oktoberfest celebrates its 38th anniversary this year with eight weekends of fun beginning Saturday, Aug. 21. More than 50,000 visitors are expected to enjoy one of Utah’s largest festivals, which includes live music, dancing, authentic German food and children’s activities at Snowbird every Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day through Oct. 10.

Oktoberfest features live musical performances each day in the Snowbird Event Center tent from acts including The Bavarians and Salzburger Echo. Visitors will find art for all tastes at “Der Marktplatz,” where more than 35 local and regional artists display and sell handmade arts and crafts. Oktoberfest food includes bratwurst, sauerkraut, apple strudel, pretzels and Bavarian roasted almonds. Local Utah breweries will also be featured. 

Admission to Oktoberfest is free. Hours are noon to 6 p.m.

Special Oktoberfest entertainment and activities for children include Shan the Juggler/Magician, Dale the Yo-Yo Man, face painting, caricature artists, and more. Visitors can also catch the Alp Horns on Hidden Peak throughout Oktoberfest. A Tram pass is $18/day or $12 for a single ride with discounts for children, seniors and with Oktoberfest meal purchases.

In addition, Snowbird will also be offering a variety of summer activities for all ages. The Tram, Peruvian Express Chairlift and Tunnel will be open for scenic rides throughout Oktoberfest. Other activities include the new Ropes Course and Monkey Motion, four-station climbing wall, ZipRider, Alpine Slide, Bungy Trampoline, Kid’s Inflatables, Mechanical Bull, horseback and ATV tours, mountain biking and scooters, and lots of hiking options. All-day activity passes are $39 for adults, $25 for children under 75 lbs.

Snowbird will also play host to two premium cycling events this weekend. The Bicycle Hill Climb, Utah’s oldest bike rice, takes place the morning of Aug. 21, pitting amateur racers on a 10-mile course that ascends 3,500 vertical feet before finishing at Entry 2. Sunday, Aug. 22, the Tour of Utah concludes at Snowbird with 18 professional cycling teams totaling 144 cyclists competing for a cash/prize purse of $45,000. The final “Queen Stage” begins in Park City at 11 a.m. before winding more than 100 miles through Heber and the Salt Lake Valley up to Snowbird for a total climb of 11,000 vertical feet. Spectators are advised to park at the resort by 2 p.m. to avoid the Highway 210 road closure, which is anticipated between 2 and 4:30 p.m.

For more Oktoberfest information please call the Snowbird Event Hotline at (801) 933-2110 or visit “Stay and Play” lodging packages are also available starting at $75 per person/double occupancy, including breakfast and an all day activities pass. Contact Central Reservations at (800) 453-3000 for more details.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Western Legends Roundup Runs Aug 26-28

The 12th annual Western Legends Roundup will be held 26-28 in Kanab, Utah.

The Roundup website has this summary:

Movie Stars * Eatin’ * Singin' * Dancin' * Stompin' * Shoppin' * Shootin' * Quiltin' * Parade * Cowboy Poetry * Tractor Pullin' * Workshops * Kid's Roundup * and MORE!

If you are interested in cowboys, Western history, Western movies and folk culture, you'll love this event. The stated mission of the Roundup is: To Develop, Promote and Preserve Our Western Legends, Culture and Heritage.

Dozens of Hollywood feature films and TV shows have been filmed in the Kanab area. Stars from some of those films will participate in the festival. Events include dinner and breakfast with the stars, with autograph sessions.

Guest stars include:
Clint Walker
James Drury
Peter Brown
Neil Summers
Ed Faulkner
Lee Meriwether
William Wellman Jr
Cheryl Rogers-Barnett
Wyatt McCrea
Don Collier
Ted Markland
Miles Swarthout

Headliner entertainers:
Friday Night
RW Hamptom
With Belinda Gail

Saturday Night
David John & the Comstock Cowboy's!
With Rachel Veater

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Raft the San Juan River For Mental Clarity

The New York Times has this article with video, about five neuroscientists who rafter the San Juan River in the Monument Valley area of SE Utah. The scientists set out with this goal: “To understand how heavy use of digital devices and other technology changes how we think and behave, and how a retreat into nature might reverse those effects.”

Below are excerpts from the article:

They spent a week in late May in this remote area of southern Utah, rafting the San Juan River, camping on the soft banks and hiking the tributary canyons.

Cellphones do not work here, e-mail is inaccessible and laptops have been left behind. It is a trip into the heart of silence — increasingly rare now that people can get online even in far-flung vacation spots.

As they head down the tight curves the San Juan has carved from ancient sandstone, the travelers will, not surprisingly, unwind, sleep better and lose the nagging feeling to check for a phone in the pocket. But the significance of such changes is a matter of debate for them.

They awaken at the Recapture Lodge, a rustic two-story motel surrounded by cottonwood trees. There are no phones in the rooms, but there is wireless Internet access, installed a few years ago because, the proprietor says, people could not stand to be without it.

A short distance downstream they see it: a narrow steel bridge 150 feet above the river — after which there is no longer any cellphone coverage.

“It’s the end of civilization,” Mr. Atchley jokes.

The conversations blur, with periods of silence and awed looks at surroundings — the circling hawks, the bighorn sheep. There are moments, too, when the men experience intense focus during physical challenges, like rafting the rapids or hiking narrow canyon walls.

This is the rhythm of the trip: As the river flows, so do the ideas.

“There’s a real mental freedom in knowing no one or nothing can interrupt you,” Mr. Braver says. He echoes the others in noting that the trip is in many ways more effective than work retreats set in hotels, often involving hundreds of people who shuffle through quick meetings, wielding BlackBerrys. “It’s why I got into science, to talk about ideas.”

Mr. Strayer, the believer, says the travelers are experiencing a stage of relaxation he calls “third-day syndrome.” Its symptoms may be unsurprising. But even the more skeptical of the scientists say something is happening to their brains that reinforces their scientific discussions — something that could be important to helping people cope in a world of constant electronic noise.

Mr. Kramer says he wants to look at whether the benefits to the brain — the clearer thoughts, for example — come from the experience of being in nature, the exertion of hiking and rafting, or a combination.

“If we can find out that people are walking around fatigued and not realizing their cognitive potential,” Mr. Braver says, then pauses and adds: “What can we do to get us back to our full potential?”

Mr. Kramer says he wants to look at whether the benefits to the brain — the clearer thoughts, for example — come from the experience of being in nature, the exertion of hiking and rafting, or a combination.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tips For A Perfect Family Outing In Salt Lake City

AOL Travel has this article outlining what it calls a perfect family outing in Salt Lake City. Below are excerpts from the article.

Here is our suggested itinerary of fun and exciting travel destinations that you and your kids will love to explore in Salt Lake City.

After eating a hearty breakfast somewhere convenient, start your family vacation day at This is the Place Heritage Park (2601 East Sunnyside Ave.; 801-582-1847). Nestled in beautiful Emigration Canyon, this interactive historic park will take you back in time to the earliest settlers and the Native Americans who called Utah home.

For lunch, head to the Old Spaghetti Factory (602 South 500 East; 801-521-0424). Located in historic Trolley Square -- a real Trolley station converted into a mall -- The Old Spaghetti Factory in Salt Lake City, Utah has an environment your kids will love, starting with a real trolley car right in the middle of the restaurant!

Bellies full, you're ready for your next adventure on this family vacation day in Salt Lake City, Utah with kids -- atDiscovery Gateway children's museum (444 West 100 South, Gateway Mall; 801-456-5437). Pilot a medical helicopter. Become a paramedic to help save lives. Step in front of a camera to report the news. Grow your own garden. Work in a beehive. Or drive a real car. These are just some of the fun, interactive, and educational workshops your children can participate in at the museum. 

Finish off your day with a meal at The Mayan (9400 South State St., Sandy; 801-304-4600). Step into an ancient Mayan temple, and find yourself inside a tropical rain forest. Dine in an elaborate treehouse, complete with hanging lanterns, thatched roofs, and rope rails in front of a four-story waterfall. Your kids will love the animals singing and dancing the night away on the ancient cliff. Watch as cliff divers dive, spinning in the air, from the waterfall to the pool below. Diners beware: The front-row seats will get wet.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Utah Tourism Board Approves Cooperative Marketing Projects

Members of the Utah Board of Tourism Development have approved 28 of 43 Cooperative Marketing applications from non-profit tourism entities totaling about $1.4 million in funding to promote the state to out-of-state visitors.  The Utah Office of Tourism received requests totaling $1.8 million.  The program is now in its sixth year and eighth round of funding.

“The annual cooperative marketing program is more important than ever to our partners and allows us to expand our out-of-state marketing efforts,” said Leigh von der Esch, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism, an agency of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).  “For the last six years, funding has been provided to promote destinations in nearly all of Utah’s 29 counties. This is a win-win for our partners and the state.”

“Business Facilities Magazine, a leading site-selection publication, just ranked Utah’s overall quality of life as #1 in the nation,” said Spencer Eccles, executive director of GOED. “Quality of life is an important tool for us to promote the state not only to visitors, but also to businesses looking to relocate or expand their operations in Utah.” 

Applicant - Amount Approved
San Juan County Economic Development & Visitors Bureau - Trade Shows - $824.50
Zion National Park Foundation - $2,182.50
Tuacahn Center for the Arts - $2,425.00
Park City Convention and Visitors Bureau - $169,750.00
Ski Utah - $169,750.00
Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau - $166,840.00
Utah Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau - $56,943.88
Utah Shakespearean Festival - $108,873.77
San Juan County Economic Development & Visitors Bureau - Sales Missions - $29,907.53
Ogden Weber Convention and Visitors Bureau - $42,154.40
Alta Visitors Bureau - $10,120.00
Zion Country Action Tours/St. George Area Convention and Visitors Bureau - $27,600.00
Cedar City/Brian Head Tourism Bureau - $32,430.00
San Juan County Economic Development & Visitors Bureau - Radio - $43,700.00
Moab Area Travel Council - $161,000.00
Wayne County Travel Council - $29,394.00
Sandy Chamber of Commerce - $22,950.00
Garfield County Office of Tourism - $54,283.05
Tuacahn Center for the Arts - $76,500.00
Daggett County - $15,988.50
Kimball Art Center - $6,750.00
Park City Performing Arts - $37,741.50
Cache Valley Visitors Bureau - Top of Utah - $11,424.60
Meet in Utah - Utah Association of Destination Marketing Organizations - $37,440.00
Foothill Cultural District - $5,670.00
Red Rock Golf Trail - $27,000.00
Emery County Travel Bureau - $11,250.00
Davis Area Convention and Visitors Bureau - $68,856.75
Total: $1,429,749.97
Those eligible for the Cooperative Marketing program include cities, counties, non-profit destination marketing organizations, and similar public entities that have been established as a non-profit for a minimum of one year. The Utah Office of Tourism matches up to 50% of the cost of the applicant’s marketing project.  All projects must utilize the Utah “Life Elevated®” brand.
For additional information on the state’s Cooperative Marketing program, contact the Utah Office of Tourism, 300 N. State St., Salt Lake City, Utah, 84114, (801) 538-1900 or visit .

Monday, August 16, 2010

Climbing The Crack: Utah's Indian Creek

Active Junky has this report about rock climbing in the Indian Creek area near Moab. The report includes nice photos and a fun video. I’ve embedded the video below. Here are a couple excerpts from the report.

While Moab is an obvious hotbed of adventure sports and activities, from biking, hiking, rafting, four-wheeling and general climbing, it’s also one of the most famous crack-climbing spots on the planet. This is proven within only a few minutes of our arrival, when we immediately meet people from all over the States, Spain and Scandinavia, all eager to tackle the walls. You can see the additional draw to this place: there is an abundance of climbs, as well as two national parks (Arches and Canyonlands) and several State Parks, within the area.

Utah’s Indian Creek certainly has something special about it, a combination of the red rock, blue sky, pristine white clouds – it feels almost magical. Combine this scenery with a hard day of superior climbing and you’ll truly relish that cold beer at sunset. Indian Creek shoot on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Almost Perfect At Lake Powell

The latest newsletter is out and it focuses on Lake Powell. You can see it here.

In the newsletter I tell a little about my recent trip to the lake, and describe what conditions will be like there in the fall.

My recent trip was almost perfect. I include two of my photos here, to give you a glimpse of the fun. We camped on the beach, in our own private cove with a sandy beach and warm water where the kids swam and played. We pulled kids on wakeboards, kneeboards and tubes, enjoyed the scenery and did some fishing.

The weather was hot, blazingly hot, and that's the reason the trip was only almost perfect. During the day the air temperature climbed into the high 90s F, and the breeze felt like it was coming from a blast furnace. The water temperature was a very pleasant 80 F, and so we spent as much time as possible in the lake. The water felt delightful.

We had a sliver of a moon at night. As it set the stars were left to themselves and they rose to the occasion. The night sky was amazing.

In August, Lake Powell is wonderful during the morning, and in the evening as the sun goes down. During the afternoon you hunker down in shade or play in the water.

September and early October my favorite times to visit Lake Powell, as I said in our newsletter. The air is warm but not oppressively hot. The water is still warm and enjoyable and the fishing is great.

We had great fun on our trip. Now I'm anxious to go back. If I can work out my schedule, I'll be back in late September.

- Dave Webb

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Timpanogos Storytelling Festival Will Be Sept 2-4

The 21st annual Timpanogos Storytelling Festival will be held Sept 2-4 at Mt Timpanogos Park, in Orem near the mouth of Provo Canyon. The festival is billed as the largest storytelling festival in the Western US.

See for details. Below are highights.

From across the country, storytellers as varied as Mount Timpanogos is tall enter the shadow of the mountain, clad in practiced skill and bearing a hundred tailored tales. Twenty-seven thousand listeners of all ages gather around them because they know when they hear the echoing fables, they cannot help but to become a bit wiser, a bit more human.

Enjoy the stories of many Festival favorites including Donald Davis, David Holt, Bil Lepp, Carmen Deedy, Charlotte Blake-Alston, Syd Leiberman, Connie Regan-Blake, Barbara McBride Smith, John McCutcheon, Bill Harley, Heather Forest and Angela Lloyd.

September 2 - 4, 2010
Days of the Week: Thu, Fri, Sat
Location: Mount Timpanogos Park
Provo Canyon, Hwy 189, shuttles available from Orem, UT
More Info: 801-229-7436

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pollina Report Says Utah Is 2nd Most Business Friendly State In US

In the annual study of job retention and creation by the 50 states and the federal government, the annual Pollina Report emphasizes, “The effort to make America more business-friendly must come from all levels of government. Many states are doing such a poor job of creating a pro-business environment that they can’t even come close to competing with each other, much less compete globally.”

“There are, however, states that serve as a model for the rest of the country. Brent Pollina, Vice President of Park Ridge, Illinois-based Pollina Corporate Real Estate and author of this year’s study, names Virginia as “America’s most pro-business state” followed closely by Utah, Wyoming, South Carolina, and North Carolina,. For the seventh consecutive year, California ranked dead last.”

The study evaluates and ranks states based on 31 factors including taxes, human resources, right-to-work legislation, energy costs, infrastructure spending, workers compensation laws, economic incentive programs and state economic development efforts.

See the Pollian website for more information about the report.

Fox 13 News has this news report about the Pollian study. Below are excerpts.

It is the latest in a string of good news reports about Utah's business climate. Business Facilities Magazine ranked Utah in the top 10 for quality of life, tax structure, and business climate.

Recently, Utah has landed some big corporations. Twitter, Adabe and the Outdoor Retailers Trade Show announced they were moving in or expanding. But state officials are quick to point out they are not throwing cash at these companies to bring them in. The state touts its younger, higher tech workforce and business friendly tax codes.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Four Corners Area on Two Wheels

On bicycles, a dozen riders set out on a 400 mile course to see the best of the Four Corners area in five days, Hovenweep National Monument, Monument Valley and Natural Bridges National Monument before ending at Lake Powell. The New York Times has this article about the adventure. Below are excerpts.

It takes nearly a day on these trips, John said later, but you always see it: Shoulders drop their tension. Eyes unpinch from their accountant’s squint. With every mile, the in-box and the BlackBerry retreat a little more in the rear-view mirror. People shed their daily worries, until their world reduces to the clean feeling of the right gear underfoot, and the blur of the gray road. As Mike put it: “I don’t have to think. I don’t have to do a damn thing, if I don’t want to. I get to ride my bike.”

Following little-trafficked byways, our route would at times parallel the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers; swing past the ruins of Hovenweep National Monument and the rock bridges of Natural Bridges National Monument; dip into Arizona and Monument Valley; and do a flyby of the staggering goosenecks of the San Juan River, before finally turning north and plashing to the finish line in the wave-licked shoreline at the north end of Lake Powell at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. With more than 400 miles of spinning and about 20,000 feet of climbing in five days, it promised to be an undeniably stout ride, especially for a novice cyclist like me. Fortunately, riders had the option of trimming each day by hopping into the “sag wagon” that provided aid and lunch.

We traversed 60 to 80 miles a day while describing a J-shaped route — first deep into southwest Colorado, then west into Utah, briefly into Arizona and then north again. On a trip like this, seeing so much, the days lose their shape. Chronology breaks down, replaced by impressions that change with the swiftness of the click of a gear shifter.

The way northward toward the finish line went up and over sprawling Cedar Mesa — but how? The mesa ahead was a fortress, rearing up before us in a thousand-foot palisade of sandstone and shale; the world’s most intimidating layer cake.

This must be a mistake, I thought; there was no road. Only when we pedaled to the foot of the mesa did a small gash in the cliff appear, a pinched gravel byway that scissored up the rock face: the Mokee Dugway. Originally built in 1958 by a mining company to transport its uranium ore to a processing mill in Mexican Hat, the trail climbed a lung-searing 1,100 vertical feet in less than three miles of unpaved road.

At the north end of Lake Powell we tossed bikes aside and dived into the cool waves of the lake while still wearing bike shorts. Toasts were raised.

I toasted, too. As I was drying off, though, a different wave hit — a wave of melancholy. Part of me suddenly wanted badly to fill my water bottles and climb back in the saddle. After all, there was plenty of daylight left.

Friday, August 06, 2010

The High Uinta Mountains - Off the Trail

The Uinta Mountains in NE Utah are popular for hiking and backpacking. The mountains are dotted by small lakes, reservoirs and streams, which are very popular places to fish and camp. Much of the area is wilderness. You can drive to trailheads, but then you have to travel by foot or horseback to go farther into the mountains.

The area includes Kings Peak, the highest mountain in Utah. Every summer dozens of people trek to the top of the peak. Others hike or backpack just to relax, fish, camp and take photos.

The area includes a network of interconnecting trails, which lead to Kings Peak and the most popular lakes.

I really enjoy the Uintas and I've hiked many of its trails. Lately I've enjoyed hiking off the trail – bushwhacking to find lakes that seldom see humans. I'm a serious fisherman and some of these lakes provide excellent action for various kinds of trout.

I scour the Internet and guidebooks to find information about remote lakes. When one sounds interesting, I find its location, including latitude and longitude. Google Earth is a great resource to find coordinates, which I program into my GPS. I think let the GPS guide me to the lake.

Last weekend I bushwhacked to a small lake called Whiskey Island, located in the Bear River drainage. We drove up a rough 4X4 road to within a mile of the lake, then headed out into the forest to find it. The trees were think and we couldn't see more than a few dozen yards ahead. We had to climb a steep, rocky ridge, climbing over lots of dead fall. Rough going, but only for about 1.2 miles.

We hiked right to the lake, exactly as planned. I get a great rush when I find such a remote, beautiful spot.

One guidebook said Whiskey Island Lake has large Arctic grayling, a small, funny-looking fish in the trout/salmon family. A few lakes in the Uintas have grayling and they are fun to catch.

We fished hard but only caught tiny grayling. Many fish bumped our flies but they were so small they had a hard time getting their mouths over our hooks. So fishing was good but catching was slow.

It was a very fun trip.

- Dave Webb

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Eight National Parks in Eight Days

On a vacation road trip from Wisconsin, Jeff Holmquist and wife visited 8 national parks in 8 days. Jeff write this article about the trip. Below are excerpts.

Parks visited
- Great Sand Dunes National Park
- Mesa Verde National Park
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Zion National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Capitol Reef National Park
- Arches National Park
- Canyonlands National Park

A check of a new Rand McNally Atlas proved helpful. It appeared we could visit a large number of parks in a short period of time if we headed to Colorado, Arizona and Utah.

By keeping an eye on the online reservation system, we were able to book accommodations at all of those locations within two weeks of our travel date.

Next stop was Zion National Park in southern Utah, a good five hours away from the south rim. The east entrance into this park is perhaps one of the most dramatic sights you’ll encounter.

A variety of rock formations give way to a one-mile long tunnel. When you exit the other side, you’re surrounded by incredible beauty. This was clearly one of the highlights of the trip.

Bryce is a compact and impressive sight. Colorful spires reach skyward and the view goes on for miles.

Later that evening, a storm in the distance offered up a spectacular rainbow that crowned Bryce’s glorious spires for well over an hour. The camera, however, failed to capture the moment.

Don’t miss some of the extra side trips along the way. We stopped at the Glen Canyon Dam and swam in Lake Powell on our way to Zion. It was a nice change of pace.

Also, the Four Corners monument (where you can stand in four states at once) was under construction when we drove by. We stopped anyway and found out that a huge flea market of authentic Native American arts and crafts operates daily at that location. The prices were more reasonable than items sold in the gift shops at the national parks.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Park City Kimball Arts Festival Opens This Weekend

The annual Park City Kimball Arts Festival, one of the top art festivals in the country, will be held August 6–8, 2010. More than 230 artists have been selected to participate in this juried show, featuring work in 12 categories – ranging from paintings to jewelry to sculpture and photography.

The three-day festival is set to offer a newly programmed multi-sensory artistic experience for its anticipated 45,000 attendees, including visual-art exhibitions, live musical performances, cuisine-related activities, art-focused film screening, as well as its largest fund raising event, The Park City Kimball Arts Festival Opening Night Gala and Auction.

See the festival website for more information.

The Park Record newspaper has this article on the festival. Below are excerpts.

The Opening Night Gala and Art Auction on Friday evening is sold out, but it's not the only way to kick off the festival and support the Kimball Art Center. The public is invited to a sneak peek at artist exhibitions on Main Street from 6 to 9 p.m. The preview is free with donations being accepted in any amount.

Weekend hours for the Arts Festival are Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $10 adults for adults and free for kids 12 and under. Tickets purchased on Saturday may be used for re-entry on Sunday.

Artists working in ceramics, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, metalwork, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and wood will be showcased in individual booths lining both sides of Main Street. The artists sell their own pieces and often work on-site.

A major focus this year is the musical aspect of the festival, which will encompass two outdoor stages and the BMI Music Café at Downstairs, a venue fashioned after the Sundance Film Festival's ASCAP Music Café. "People who are die-hard music fans can come enjoy these singer-songwriters and bands that are really on the cusp of breaking out," Marrouche says.

A new addition to this year's festival, Taste of Art, will showcase the menus and cuisine of Park City restaurants. Many local establishments have partnered with the Kimball Art Center to offer arts festival attendees exclusive discounts and deals.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Visit National Parks For Free August 14-15

Entrance fees will be waived at US national parks on August 14 and 15, as part of a program to encourage people to visit. Utah's 5 national parks are participating in the program, as are most of the state's national monuments and historic sites.

Here is a list of national sites participating in the program. Below is text from the National Park Service statement:

Free Entrance Days In Your National Parks

America’s Best Idea – the national parks – gets even better this year with several fee-free days at more than 100 national parks that usually charge entrance fees*.

Mark your calendar for fee-free days this year:

April 17-25, 2010 (National Park Week)
June 5-6, 2010
August 14-15, 2010
September 25, 2010 (Public Lands Day)
November 11, 2010 (Veterans Day)

And to make the fun even more affordable, many national park concessioners are joining the National Park Service in welcoming visitors on this summer’s fee free weekends with the their own special offers.

Here’s a tip – many of your 392 national parks NEVER charge an entrance fee. So start Planning Your Visit!

*Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Outdoor Retailer Show Set to Start in Salt Lake City

The twice-yearly Outdoor Retailers Show runs Aug 3 through Aug 6, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City. The sold out event is expected to attract some 21,000 people, so there will be heavy traffic and few parking spots in the immediate area.

Most events are closed to the public. The purpose of the show is to introduce the nproducts and technologies to retailers and to the press.javascript:void(0)

One exception is the free Slacker Clinics being held by Gibbon near the south entrance to the Salt Palace at 9 am, noon and 3 pm. Gibbon pro liners will be there to help participants learn to better master the balance game. Also, there will be some goodies given away at the clinics.

On Tuesday morning, US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Nancy Sutley, chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, will address those attending the show. They will then participate in two “listening sessions” to hear Utahns' ideas about conservation, recreation and management of public lands.

Both listening session will be on Tuesday. One will be at 10 am for the general public and another at 2 pm for youths. Both will be in the Wasatch Room of the Radisson Hotel Downtown, 215 W. South Temple.
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