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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, September 30, 2010

BYU Art Exhibit Captures Grandeur Of American Southwest

James Swinnerton's "Agatha's Needle
(El Capitan)," is part of the exhibit "Wide
Open Spaces" at the BYU Museum of Art.
Courtesy BYU Museum of Art

The BYU Museum of Art is hosting an exhibit featuring an impressive collection of Southwestern art. It will be on display through March 10, 2012, in the Robert W. & Amy T. Barker and Milton & Gloria Barlow galleries.

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

"Wide-Open Spaces: Capturing the Grandeur of the American Southwest" is the first in a series of exhibitions at the Museum of Art which, over the next five years, will explore the art of the Southwestern region. The exhibit will be on display through March 10, 2012, in the Robert W. & Amy T. Barker and Milton & Gloria Barlow galleries, which have been remodeled to extend the southwestern theme of the paintings to the galleries' surroundings.

"Dozens of talented artists educated in Europe and the eastern United States were attracted to the expansive vistas and awe-inspiring mountains of the American Southwest in the early 20th century," Anderson said. "This exhibition explores how these artists developed new approaches in composition, color and technique to capture the glories and grandeur of the region."

The 80 pieces featured in the exhibition include works pulled from the Museum of Art's permanent collection -- including works by influential Western artist Maynard Dixon -- as well as the Diane and Sam Stewart Art Collection, which is currently on loan to the museum and hosts a number of paintings from the art centers of Taos and Santa Fe, N.M.

"Together, these two collections give a more complete and impressive sample of American Southwest art than either collection alone," Anderson said. "This is a special opportunity to see the best of both collections."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Utah Shakespearean Festival Fall Season Is Underway

The Utah Shakespearean Festival fall season runs through Oct 23. The Tony Award winning festival is based in Cedar City. If offers three fall productions:
  • The Adventures of Pericles
  • The Diary of Anne Frank
  • Greater Tuna

  • The Las Vegas Review Journal has this news article about the festival. Below are excerpts.

    From Las Vegas, it's a quick trip to the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City. (A 2½-hour drive north on Interstate 15, to be specific.)

    Once there, however, theatergoers can travel across time, and territory, without ever leaving their seats at the Randall L. Jones Theatre.

    During the festival's six-week fall season, which began Thursday, a perilous odyssey inspires Shakespeare's seldom-seen "The Adventures of Pericles," while "The Diary of Anne Frank" revisits the harrowing, yet inspirational tale of humanity in the face of inhumanity. And two actors portray a wide range of Texas townsfolk livin' large in "Greater Tuna."

    "For the longest time in scholarly circles, people shied away" from "Pericles" and other "unusual" Shakespeare plays, Conlin notes, "but that has all changed in the last couple of decades."

    In part, she suggests, that's because "the influence of film, and adventure film in particular, has allowed audiences to understand quick changes of pace" -- and place.

    That comes in particularly handy when depicting the adventures of "Pericles' " seafaring title character (played by Tim Casto ), who sets sail in search of "fortune and glory" (as Indiana Jones himself might say), only to discover even more valuable treasure within.

    "As usual," Conlin says, "Shakespeare was about 400 years ahead of his time."

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010

    Park City Resort Helps Women Become 'Snowmamas'

    The Huffington Post has this interesting article about how Park City Mountain Resort is seeking to get more women involved in winter sport activities. Below are excerpts.

    These days, when every snow sports resort is courting the family market big time with special deals as well as activities (check to see what's going on around the country), Utah's Park City Mountain Resort is going the extra mile for moms.

    Spearheaded by Park City executive Krista Parry -- a snow loving mom herself -- the resort has launched -- a first for the industry -- and a place where moms can trade tips (even recipes for easy, healthy après-ski dinners), share experiences and even vent their frustrations. Full disclosure: I was so taken with the idea that I signed on to help edit the website.

    Now Park City Mountain Resort is looking for more Snowmamas and papas to join the inaugural group with a "Become a Snowmama" contest kicking off Sept. 28.

    "The Resort is looking for snowmamas and snowpapas from around the country who are passionate and excited about family winter vacations and want to share their experience and insider tips," says Parry. Entries will be accepted until midnight on October 15.

    Yes, Park City is searching for snow papas too. Plenty of dads, of course, do their share and then some on vacation -- including my own husband who likes nothing more than whipping up a big breakfast for the gang at a vacation ski condo and then chasing them down the mountain (long gone are the days when he led the way.)

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    I-15 Construction Will Hamper LDS Conference Travel

    The LDS (Mormon) Church will hold its general conference this weekend at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. The semi-annual event will bring thousands of people to the downtown area on both Saturday and Sunday. Traffic will be heavy and parking spots will be harder to find.

    Traffic problems may be a little more intense this year because of the massive I-15 CORE road construction project. The Daily Herald newspaper has this article that gives details about road closures and provides tip to travelers. Below are excerpts.

    Freeway traffic during LDS General Conference weekend is typically congested as people attend mission reunions and other meetings. This coming weekend is no exception. UDOT's Interstate 15 CORE project will have overnight closures, with one full freeway closure, and a traffic switch just about the same time visitors from all over the world are coming to Utah.

    "We want to let people know that while we close at night, we try to do these restrictions when we impact the least amount of people," said Scott Thompson, CORE spokesman. "We are trying to minimize the inconvenience."

    Thompson hopes that people would leave earlier and return a bit later as they attend conference. He also suggests mission friends try to carpool to their mission reunions on Friday. Above all he asks, "Please be patient; we're building a freeway."

    The first closure will be at 500 East in American Fork. All lanes on northbound I-15 will be closed at 500 East in American Fork on Friday from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. while crews set bridge girders on the south bridge of the new interchange. All lanes on southbound I-15 will close Saturday. Lane restrictions will begin at 8 p.m. leading to the full closure at 11 p.m. with traffic diverting to on- and off-ramps. In addition, the 500 East bridge will be closed both nights. For east and west access, motorists are advised to use 100 East or 300 West in American Fork or Pleasant Grove Boulevard.

    The other closure will be a full closure on the south end of the corridor at 2700 North in Spanish Fork. Both directions of I-15 will be closed between 400 South in Springville and Main Street in Spanish Fork on Oct. 4 from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Crews will be pouring concrete into pre-cast decks at the 2700 North Bridge. Lane restrictions will begin at 9 p.m. Traffic on I-15 will be detoured to Spanish Fork Main Street and State Road 77 (400 South in Springville). Motorists on U.S. 6 traveling to northbound I-15 will be detoured to State Road 51 and U.S. 89 (Main Street in Springville). Motorists from U.S. 6 to southbound I-15 will not be affected.

    Read the full article.

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Hardware Ranch Elk Festival

    The annual Hardware Ranch Elk Festival will be Oct 9 at Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area, which is located in the mountains near Logan.

    This is a great event geared for families. It provides a chance to learn about wildlife while also enjoying fall colors in Utah's mountains. The festival provided the information below.

    Free elk festival happens Oct. 9, 2010

    Hyrum — You and your family can participate in several outdoor activities at the Elk Festival at the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area.

    And if the weather gets colder, you might even see some wild elk!

    The festival is free of charge. It will be held Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010. Activities run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    You can reach the ranch by traveling 18 miles east of Hyrum on state Route 101.


    Taking a free wagon ride, painting pumpkins, turning balloons into antlers, and shooting pellets guns at targets are among the nature-related activities you can participate in.

    Whether you'll see some elk is still in question.

    "We have not seen any elk in the meadow yet," Marni Lee, assistant manager of the Hardware Ranch WMA, said on Sept 22. "Right now, the elk are at higher elevations. But we're hoping some of them will come into the meadow before the festival starts."

    Lee encourages you to bring some binoculars and to dress for all types of weather. "We will host the event, rain or shine!" she says.

    On your way to the ranch, you can enjoy the fantastic fall colors in Blacksmith Fork Canyon. Food is not available at the ranch, but you're welcome to bring a picnic lunch and eat it in the dining room at the ranch.

    Hours of operation

    Another chance to take a horse-drawn sleigh or wagon ride through the middle of hundreds of wild elk starts at the ranch on Dec. 17, 2010.

    Starting Dec. 17, 2010, the ranch's visitor center will be open and sleigh rides will be offered during the following days and times:

    Day Time
    Friday noon to 5 p.m.
    Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Monday noon to 5 p.m.

    If you want to go on a sleigh ride, you must buy your ticket at the visitor center before 4:30 p.m.

    On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, the sleigh rides will not be running and the visitor center will not be open. You can still bring your binoculars and view the elk from a distance, though.

    For more information, call the Hardware Ranch WMA at 435-753-6206.

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Bike Center in Downtown Salt Lake City Will Open Saturday

    A new center offering bikes for rent will open Saturday, serving people who want to ride FrontRunner or TRAX trains into Salt Lake City and then use 2 wheels to get around downtown.

    The center is part of a public-private partnership designed to encourage people to use public transportation and alternate methods of travel. The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about the center. Below are excerpts.

    Commuters looking to ditch the car in favor of trains and two wheels finally have a friend in a long-promised downtown bike center.

    Located inside Salt Lake City’s transit hub, the Canyon Sports Bicycle Transit Center — which opens Saturday — offers secure bike storage, rentals, a maintenance shop and a shower.

    Canyon Sports, which won the operator bid, has a ready fleet of road, commuter and mountain bikes that can be rented from $5 to $8 an hour or $25 to $45 a day, depending on the model. There also is a two-tiered, 64-slot storage rack on a tension cable, where “parking” spaces can be rented for $1 a day, $12 a month or, for a full membership with perks, $96 a year. (Members also must pay a $20 activation fee.)

    The public-private partnership, years in the making, hopes to service FrontRunner and TRAX commuters who want to bike to their office, as well as downtown tourists. But it also provides a “reverse-commuting” model, designed to accommodate Salt Lake City residents who ride downtown and need a place to stash their bike before catching a train to Sandy or Davis County or elsewhere.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Two New Dinosaur Species Discovered In Southern Utah

    Paleontologists announced today that they have uncovered fossils belonging to two totally new dinosaur species. The find was made in the Grand Staircase-Escalante area in southern Utah.

    Utah has long been famous for its dinosaur sites and some are popular tourist attractions. Grand Staircase was not known as an important dinosaur area until about a decade ago, when scientists started to probe its remote backcountry. Since then it has yielded several important fossil sites.

    KSL has this news report about the discovery. Below are excerpts.

    Scientists said Wednesday they've discovered fossils in the southern Utah desert of two new dinosaur species closely related to the Triceratops, including one with 15 horns on its large head.

    The discovery of the new plant-eating species -- including Kosmoceratops richardsoni, considered the most ornate-headed dinosaur known to man -- was reported Wednesday in the online scientific journal PLoS ONE, produced by the Public Library of Science.

    The other dinosaur, which has five horns and is the larger of the two, was dubbed Utahceratops gettyi.

    The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument has been a hotbed for dinosaur species discoveries in the past decade, with more than a dozen new species discovered. While it is a rocky, arid place now, millions of years ago it was similar to a swamp.

    The Utahceratops has a large horn over the nose and short eye horns that project to the side rather than upward, similar to a bison. Its skull is about 7 feet long, it stood about 6 feet high and was 18 to 22 feet long. It is believed to have weighed about 3 to 4 tons.

    The Kosmoceratops has similar facial features at the Utahceratops, but has 10 horns across the rear margin of its bony frill that point downward and outward. It weighed about 2.5 tons and was about 15 feet long.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Fall For Fish At Strawberry

    Many people think fishing is a summer sport and they move on to other things during the fall. But fishing success actually improves at many Utah waters during the fall. Strawberry Reservoir is a prime example. As the colors on the leaves start to turn, the trout fishing heats up. Fishing is good right now and it will actually get better and better as the season progresses.

    I fished Strawberry today and had great fun. We caught 4 big cutthroat ranging from 19-21 inches, plus a bunch more smaller fish. A 21 inch trout is a very nice fish, but there are bigger ones in there. During fall people occasionally catch 25+ inch fish. There are also some big rainbows in the reservoir.

    Fall colors were gorgeous on the hillside above the reservoir, and in the canyon about Heber on the way up the mountain. Colors will probably peak up there in about 1 week.

    Flaming Gorge, Fish Lake, Lake Powell and many other waters are fishing very well right now and will continue to get better during the next few weeks.

    This is a great season to get out and enjoy Utah's outdoors.

    Click on one of my photos to see a larger version.

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Wildfire Causes Closures In South Salt Lake Valley

    (Update, 9-21-2010, the Herriman fire is still burning on the mountainside but has moved away from homes and roads. It destroyed 3 homes and one out building. Major roads are open but some neighborhoods are still under an evacuation order, and roads in those neighborhoods are closed. They will probably reopen during the next couple days.)

    A massive wildfire burning near the community of Herriman has prompted many road closures, school closures and home evacuations. The fire has destroyed 4 homes and is still considered to be out of control. The area affected is in the SW part of Salt Lake Valley.

    There is no word on when people will be allowed back into their homes, or when roads in that area will reopen.

    KSL news has this summary of conditions there, with video.

    I-70 Closures
    Meanwhile, the Twitchell Canyon Fire in central Utah continues to inhibit travel in the area between I-15 on the west and US 89 on the east.. At this writing, I-70 has lane restrictions in spots. The Interstate freeway has been closed off and on in that area when smoke from the fire becomes dense and reduces visibility. Details.

    See the Utah Fire Info website for updates these and other blazes.

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Four Corners Monument Reopens With New Plaza

    The Four Corners Monument, which marks the junction of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, has reopened after a summer-long construction project. The site now boasts a new plaza, visitor services and interpretive panels.

    Thousands of tourists from around the world visit the monument every year.

    The monument is located on Native American land and is managed by the Navajo and Ute nations, with help from the Four Corners Heritage Council.

    Visitor access to the monument was restricted this summer during construction. Now that construction is over, the monument is open for business as usual.

    The monument is located in a remote area. Visitors need to be prepared to travel for long distances between towns with services.

    For more info about the area, watch the video on our Four Corners page.

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Dew Tour Returns to Salt Lake City For 4 Day Competition

    Dew Tour events will be held at and around Energy Solutions Arena in downtown Salt Lake City today through Sunday. The tour will attract crowds to the downtown area and so traffic will be heavy and parking will be tight.

    The Tour provides the news release below:

    Dew Tour Returns to Salt Lake City for the Toyota Challenge


    Competitions with FMX Legends Mike Mason, Adam Jones, Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg and Nate Adams

    Burr Ridge, Ill. – September 13, 2010 – The Dew Tour returns to Salt Lake City for the fourth consecutive year for the Toyota Challenge, September 16-19, at EnergySolutions Arena. The four-day event will feature competitions with the best skateboard and BMX athletes, along with the largest FMX competition on the 2010 Dew Tour. Reserved tickets, which guarantee a seat at Final competitions on the day of purchase, are available for $35.

    Freestyle motocross returns to Salt Lake City bigger and better than ever, with two exciting competitions on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s Open Qualifiers will showcase new talent in FMX, where those that advance will face off against the legends in the sport on Saturday in a winner-take-all final. The best talent in FMX has been invited to the Toyota Challenge, including Adam Jones, Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg, Mike Mason and Nate Adams.

    The star-studded field of skateboard and BMX athletes competing in this weekend’s Toyota Challenge includes reigning Dew Cup champions, Olympic gold medalists and X Games 16 gold medalists. Among them are:

    • Shaun White (skate vert): two-time Olympic gold medalist, summer and winter Dew Cup champion, X Games gold medalist, and 1st place Skate Vert finisher at the Wendy’s Invitational
    • Pierre-Luc Gagnon (skate vert): ’08 Dew Cup champion, X Games 16 gold medalist
    • Ryan Sheckler (skate park): Three-time Dew Cup champion and X Games 16 gold medalist
    • Paul Rodriguez (skate park): X Games gold medalist, skate park winner at the 2010 Dew Tour Wendy’s Invitational
    • Garrett Reynolds (bmx park): Defending Dew Cup champion and recent X Games gold medalist
    • Dave Mirra (bmx park): BMX legend and second overall in last season’s Dew Cup standings
    • Brett Banasiewicz (bmx park and dirt): 15-year-old rising star in BMX and 1st place BMX Dirt finisher at both the Nike 6.0 BMX Open and Wendy’s Invitational

    Taking place in conjunction with the Toyota Challenge are the Gatorade Free Flow Tour Finals, the official amateur series of the Dew Tour. Over 70 of the best amateur skateboarders and BMX riders will be in Salt Lake City vying for a chance to compete against the pros at the Dew Tour Championships in Las Vegas this October.

    In addition, the Toyota Challenge schedule of events is as follows:

    Thursday, September 16th – Gates Open at 3:00pm
    3:30PM – 4:30PM BMX Vert Prelims
    4:30PM – 6:30PM Skateboard Park Prelims
    7:00PM – 8:30PM BMX Dirt Prelims

    Friday, September 17th – Gates Open at 1:00pm
    1:00PM – 2:30PM Skateboard Vert Prelims
    3:00PM – 4:30PM Gatorade Free Flow Tour Skateboard Park Final – Round 1
    4:00PM – 6:30PM BMX Park Prelims
    5:00PM – 7:30PM Freestyle Motocross Open Qualifier
    7:30PM – 8:30PM BMX Vert Final
    9:00PM – 11:00PM Neon Trees and Paper Tongues Concert

    Saturday, September 18th – Gates Open at 11:30AM
    12:15PM – 1:30PM Gatorade Free Flow Tour Skateboard Park Final – Round 2
    2:00PM – 4:00PM BMX Dirt Final
    5:00PM – 6:15PM Skateboard Park Final
    6:15PM – 7:00PM Gatorade Free Flow Tour BMX Dirt Final
    8:00PM – 9:30PM Freestyle Motocross

    Sunday, September 19th – Gates Open at 11:00AM
    11:30AM – 1:30PM Gatorade Free Flow Tour BMX Park Final
    2:00PM – 4:00PM Skateboard Vert Final
    5:00PM – 6:00PM BMX Park Final
    6:00PM – 6:45PM Gatorade Free Flow Tour Skateboard Vert Final

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    I-70 Reopens In Millard And Sevier Counties

    I-70 has been reopened east of I-15 in central Utah. The freeway was completely closed for a time because of heavy smoke from a nearby wildfire. Conditions have now improved and so traffic is being allowed on the freeway, with some lane restructions.

    Utah's Department of Transportation provided the info below:

    Sevier County
    I-70 between Millard and Sevier counties is now open with restrictions. Both westbound lanes have been opened. Eastbound right lane is closed between milepost 13 and milepost 15. Motorists are advised to avoid stopping in the fire area to prevent
    additional hazards. Due to the extent of the fire, motorists should be prepared for a
    closure of the interstate at any time.

    Salt Lake County
    Eastbound I-80 is closed at the 600 S exit. All traffic is being routed to northbound I-15.

    Motorists can exit Northbound I-15 at 600 North exit to re-enter southbound
    I-15. Truckers

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    I-70 Closed in Central Utah Because of Fire

    I-70 has been closed in central Utah because smoke from a wildfire causing poor visibility in the area. The fire may approach the freeway and cause other safety hazards.

    The Utah Department of Transportation reports that the freeway is closed from it's junction with I-15 west to Hwy 89. The closure will remain in effect until conditions improve. It is unknown when that will happen.

    UDOT provided the detour info below:

    I-70 between Millard and Sevier counties is closed due to poor visibility and potential fire danger. I-15 traffic needing to cross over to US-89 is currently being detoured to SR-50 Scipio to Salina. Westbound I-70 traffic from Sevier County is being diverted south on US-89 at Joseph.

    KSL TV has this report about the closure, which includes a map.

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Fall Colors Are Starting In Utah's Canyons

    The leaves are turning in canyons and on mountains in northern Utah and colors will peak in about 2 weeks. Areas in southern Utah run a little slower – leaves in most southern areas will peak in mid-October. In the St George and Zion Park area, colors will peak in early November.

    I drove through Logan Canyon today and enjoyed the spectacular scenery. Logan Canyon is considered one of our prime spots to view fall colors. Today, many tree leaves were still green but the grass along the roadside was turning amber, the willows along the river were showing golden hues and individual quaking aspen trees were painted with yellow and orange.

    I took these photos today, showing a little sample of what is to come. Click on one of them to see a larger version.

    The colors will intensify every day now. Soon the thick stands of quakies on the mountainside will be a sea of color and the mountain oak will light up with rich reds and scarlets.

    This page lists some of our best spots to see fall colors. I will be out enjoying them. I hope you can do the same.

    - Dave Webb

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Salt Lake City Greek Festival Is Underway

    The Greek Festival runs Sept 9-12, with activities centered at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox‎ Church, 279 South 300 West, in downtown Salt Lake City.

    Some 50,000 people are expected to attend the festival, which includes food, music, dancing, 5k and 10k runs and plenty of celebration of Greek culture. Admission is $3.

    The Salt Lake Tribune has this summary of the festival:

    This ethnic festival is celebrating its 35th anniversary with a full menu of food and baked goods. Guests can take a church tour, sit in on a cooking demonstration or watch youth dance performances. A portion of money raised during the event is donated to Utah charities. The festival runs Thursday from 5 to 11 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For a full schedule, visit

    Thursday, September 09, 2010

    Mineral Bottom Road in Canyonlands Closed Indefinitely

    The Mineral Bottom Road is part of the White Rim loop and provides access to the Green River in Canyonlands National Park near Moab. The road has been closed indefinitely because part of it was washed out by recent flooding. Other roads are also closed.

    Canyonlands NP provided the details below.

    Severe storms close many roads

    Two NPS rangers lend some scale to the washouts along the Mineral Bottom Road switchbacks. This portion of the road will be closed indefinitely.

    Updated: September 8, 2010

    On August 19th, severe storms caused flash flooding and rock falls that blocked or washed away roads throughout the Canyonlands area. One of the more dramatic washouts occurred on the Mineral Bottom Road switchbacks (see photo), where significant portions of the road were obliterated. This damage will affect all groups traveling the White Rim Road or planning river trips that launch or take-out at Mineral Bottom.


    Island in the Sky District - White Rim Road

    Due to the total failure of the switchbacks on the Mineral Bottom Road, it is currently impossible to complete the White Rim as a loop. The Shafer Trail and Potash roads are open; however the White Rim Road is currently closed to motor vehicles just beyond Potato Bottom. Hardscrabble, Labyrinth and Taylor campsites are not accessible by motor vehicle.

    There are currently no estimates for when the Mineral Bottom Road switchbacks will be repaired; however, it will likely be several months. We have temporarily suspended making reservations for the White Rim for calendar year 2011.

    Anyone with reservations for White Rim permits during fall 2010 should contact the backcountry reservation office to make arrangements:

    Phone: (435) 259-4351
    Fax: (435) 259-4285
    Send an email...

    Green River - Mineral Bottom

    It is not possible to access the Green River via the Mineral Bottom Road. Other launches are available upstream of the Canyonlands National Park boundary. Please contact the Bureau of Land Management, river outfitters or the Canyonlands Reservation Office for more information.

    Needles District

    Many four-wheel-drive roads are closed, including Horse Canyon/Salt Creek and Lavender Canyon. Elephant Hill has been repaired and is now open (as of 9/4/2010).

    Maze District

    The roads from Utah Highway 24 to Hans Flat or Horseshoe Canyon are very rough, but passable to two-wheel-drive vehicles. The road from Green River to Horseshoe Canyon is being worked on and is not advised for travel. All other roads are open.

    Planning a visit to the backcountry?
    If you are planning a trip to the park that involves backcountry travel by vehicle, please contact district visitor centers for the most up-to-date conditions:

    Island in the Sky District Visitor Center: (435) 259-4712
    Needles District Visitor Center: (435) 259-4711
    Maze District Ranger Station: (435) 259-2652

    Wednesday, September 08, 2010

    What’s In Out Back Economic Summit And Golf Scramble

    Wasatch County’s annual What’s In Out Back Economic Summit And Golf Scramble will be held in the Heber City area on Sept 14. Below is a news release about the summit. See the summit website for more details.

    Economic Summit and Golf Tournament
    The Wasatch County Tourism and Economic Development office will host its fourth annual What’s In Out Back economic summit and golf scramble Tuesday, Sept. 14, at the Wasatch County Recreation Center and the Red Ledges golf course.

    “There is no better way to have your finger on the economic pulse of the Wasatch Back than to attend this summit,” said Luke Peterson, executive director of the Wasatch County Tourism and Economic Development office. “This event offers a valuable collaboration of both the public and private business leadership centered on the business growth of this

    Utah Governor Gary Herbert and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Managing Director of New Business Gary Harter will be the keynote speakers. The summit will also include a fast-track competition with area business leaders, open-forum discussions on topics focused on business issues in Wasatch County, and a golf tournament at Red Ledges, Golf Magazine’s top rated private course in 2009.

    Prices for the What’s In Out Back economic summit start at $40, and attendees can register online at Registration begins at 7:00 a.m., with Governor Herbert’s breakfast keynote beginning at 7:30 a.m.

    The title sponsor for this year’s event is Red Ledges. Supporting sponsors include Jones Waldo, The Boyer Company, the Utah Department of Natural Resources, the Utah System of Higher Education, Utah Valley University, Canyon Transportation and the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. For information on the What’s In Out Back economic summit, visit or call 435-654-3666.

    Tuesday, September 07, 2010

    Zion Park's Angels Landing Trail We Be Closed Briefly This Fall

    The Angles Landing Trail is one of the most popular in Zion National Park. It will be closed at times this fall to allow crews to make improvements.

    The Deseret News has this article on the project. Below are excerpts.

    On Sept. 15-16 and from Sept. 20-23, the West Rim Trail will be closed from the Grotto to Scout Lookout. The Angels Landing route will also be closed from Scout Lookout to the summit of Angels Landing.

    All climbing routes on the cliff faces of Angels Landing will also be closed for those time periods.

    Superintendent Jock Whitworth has also announced that from Sept. 27 to Oct. 14, the Angels Landing route from Scout Lookout to the summit and climbing routes on the Angels Landing cliff faces will be closed Monday through Thursday. The Angels Landing route and climbing routes will still be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

    The West Rim Trail from the Grotto trailhead will be open at all times, Sept. 27-Oct. 15, for those hikers wishing to visit Scout Lookout or the West Rim of Zion Canyon.

    A Zion National Park trail crew will be working on route improvements, including re-chiseling existing steps, drilling and installing new posts and chains in some areas to better delineate the route, and adding dry stone masonry to improve footing.

    Meanwhile, a wildfire burning near The Subway has forced closure of the Park's Wildcat Trail on Kolob Terrace. The Subway route remains open. The closure is not expected to be lengthy so contact the park if you want to go into Wildcat Canyon area.

    Monday, September 06, 2010

    Flaming Gorge Over Labor Day Weekend

    I’m just back from an enjoyable trip to Flaming Gorge, where we boated and fished and had fun soaking up the sunshine.

    Flaming Gorge is a massive reservoir that startles the Utah/Wyoming border, on the edge of the Uinta Mountains north of Vernal. On the Utah side the reservoir has inundated steep-walled canyons, with a pine forest coming down to the water’s edge. It is a very beautiful area.

    The water is deep and blue and cool - an ideal playground during warm weather. It is a popular place to boat, ski, wakeboard and swim.

    The reservoir is also a great fishery, and that is why we were there. We fished hard and enjoyed excellent action for rainbow trout. We also caught kokanee salmon and smallmouth bass.

    Flaming Gorge offers trophy-sized lake trout – the record fish caught there weighed over 51 pounds. The big lake trout are hard to find and catch, and we did not target them on this trip.

    We knew there would be crowds at the lake’s bigger marinas over the holiday weekend and so we camped and launched at Sheep Creek. That was a good decision – launching conditions were excellent and there was not a line at the ramp. Only a few people were camping there – we did not have any trouble finding a spot in a nearby campground.

    Boat traffic was heavy on the lake but that did not interfere with our fishing. How many did we catch? I honestly lost count. We probably boated about 20 rainbows and lost several more at the boat. We also caught 4 kokanee and a half-dozen bass.

    It was a fun and productive trip.

    - Dave Webb

    Thursday, September 02, 2010

    The Canyons Ski Resort Gets Heated Chair Lift, Other Major Improvements

    Suddenly Utah ski resorts are in the news, as we move into fall.

    The Canadian Press has this article about refinements and expansion at The Canyons Resort, which is getting North America's first heated ski lift, complete with a “bubble shield that swings over passengers like a pair of orange goggles.“ Below are excerpts.

    The changes at The Canyons, one of Park City's three ski resorts, highlight some of the biggest development projects or plans at Utah ski areas since the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics drove major expansions.

    The resorts are moving despite the down economy and saving on construction costs because of it. Ultimately they hope to steal market share from Colorado, which draws three times as much skier traffic. Utah's resorts, with advantages like double Colorado's snowfall and a short drive from Salt Lake City's airport, aren't shy about making investments.

    "This is the future," Mike Goar, managing director of The Canyons, said at the base of the 1,600-hectare resort as bulldozers reshaped land for new lift terminals and outdoor patios. "The experience will be so different — it will be like a new resort. The big story is the faith we have in the potential of The Canyons."

    Now, Talisker (the resort owner) is on a tight schedule to remake Utah's largest ski resort by December. It is opening an eighth peak for skiing and adding or realigning several lifts, while redesigning the village base.

    The Canyons is also offering a “dream job to one lucky blogger.” The blogger will get a $40K salary for four months work, will be put up for free in a suite at the Waldorf Astoria and receive full VIP treatment including heli-skiing, avalanche training, spa treatments and full gear. Details.

    Discounted season ski passes are now being offered to locals, according to this Deseret News article.

    Wednesday, September 01, 2010

    Get Discounts When You Stay An Extra Day

    The Utah Department of Transportation is encouraging travelers to “stay an extra day” to avoid Labor Day Weekend traffic. The department has partnered with many Utah lodging properties, guides and outfitters and other businesses to provide discounts or special deals for people who take advantage of the promotion.

    The text below is from the department's webbsite. See this list of participating businesses.

    Don't Let Our Work Delay Your Play
    "Stay an Extra Day"

    UDOT has partnered with travel venues and attractions across the state to offer discounts and incentives to travelers to extend their summer weekend vacations. Each offer is based exclusively on the Thursday or Tuesday surrounding the Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Pioneer Day and Labor Day holidays and/or on a Thursday or Monday for any other weekend this summer.

    The "Stay an Extra Day" promotion will help reduce the number of vehicles traveling during peak travel times, as well as bolster in-state tourism by encouraging extended stays. Travelers can take advantage of these great offers by viewing the details below and then contacting the destination directly.
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