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Utah Travel Headlines

Monday, January 31, 2011

Dew Tour Will Be Feb 10-13 At Snowbasin

Snowbasin Resort will be the site of the Toyota Championships, the third and final stop of the 2010-11 Winter Dew Tour, which will be held Feb 10-13.

The event features snowboard superpipe and slopestyle, as well as freeski slopestyle and superpipe events.

Hip hop legend Ice Cube will perform at a free concert that is part of the tour. The concert will be on Feb 11, beginning at 9 pm at Ogden's Historic 25th Street.

The information below is from the DEW TOUE website.


Making its debut in December 2008, the Dew Tour is the first ever winter action sports tour. Made up of three events over the course of as many months, all three stops feature snowboard superpipe & slopestyle, as well as freeski slopestyle & superpipe

The Tour crowns champions in each of the six disciplines (Men SNB Superpipe, Women SNB Superpipe, Men SNB Slopestyle, Women SNB Slopestyle, Freeski Superpipe, Freeski Slopestyle), giving away $2.5 million over the course of the year and awarding the Dew Cup at season’s end based on a cumulative points system.

At each Winter Dew Tour event, there is also a live concert featuring top artists and a huge Festival Village with video gaming, giveaways, tons of new products to try out, athlete autograph signings… and the list goes on and on.

More than 380 of the top winter action sports athletes in the world will return for the third season of the Winter Dew Tour to compete for the highly coveted Dew Cup. Last year’s 2009/10 Dew Cup champions include JJ Thomas (men’s snowboard superpipe), Kaitlyn Farrington (women’s snowboard superpipe), Sage Kotsenburg (men’s snowboard slopestyle), Jamie Anderson (women’s snowboard slopestyle), Jossi Wells (freeski superpipe) and Andreas Hatveit (freeski slopestyle).

Friday, January 28, 2011

Trip Advisory Ranks Moab Among America's Best Adventure Spots readers rank Moab at #3 among top US outdoor & adventure destinations. See the website's full report. Below are excerpts.

Moab attracts all types of outdoor adventurers. Mountain biking is huge here - experts claim it has some of the best trails in the world - as are rock-climbing and hiking. And the setting, with its gorgeous red rocks, can't be beat.

Don't miss
- Arches National Park
- Island in the Sky
- Dead Horse Point State Park

Thursday, January 27, 2011

See Bald Eagles On Feb. 12

Utah Bald Eagle Day will be February 12. On that day there will several opportunities for members of the public to see and learn about wild bald eagles.

A large number of eagles winter in Utah and are often seen along rivers where there is open water. People who seek them out often see dozens of birds. Photographers who use telephoto lenses are often able to get great close-up shots.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources sponsors events on Bald Eagle Day. Biologists lead tours to key observation spots and help people find positions where they can see birds. People are welcome to bring binoculars and telephoto lenses. Biologists will have spotting scopes set up for use by members of the public.

Utah DWR provided the news release below:

Bald Eagle Day is Feb. 12, 2011

If you've ever seen a bald eagle in the wild, you know it's an experience that can take your breath away.

On Feb. 12, 2011, you'll have a chance not only to see bald eagles, but to learn more about them. The Division of Wildlife Resources will hold its annual Utah Bald Eagle Day that day.

Bald Eagle Day is free. You can see eagles at five locations across the state. Viewing times vary depending on the viewing site you visit:

Northern Utah

Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area (Compton's Knoll), located about 10 miles northwest of Corinne

Viewing will take place at Salt Creek from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To reach the WMA, take Exit 365 off of Interstate 15 and travel west on state Route 83 through Corinne. Stay on Route 83 until you get to 6800 West (Iowa String). Travel north to 6800 N. Travel west on 6800 N. until you reach the Salt Creek WMA/Compton's Knoll Watchable Wildlife site.

Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, located on the west side of Farmington at 1325 W. Glover Lane (925 South)

Viewing will take place at Farmington Bay from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you're traveling north on Interstate 15, coming from Salt Lake City and other areas south of Farmington:

To reach the WMA, travel north on I-15, and exit the freeway at Exit 325. Turn left on Park Lane and travel west. The road will angle to the south, and you'll come to Clark Lane at the first traffic light. Turn right. Travel west to the first stop sign, which is at 1525 West, and turn left. Travel south to Glover Lane, and turn right. Travel west on Glover Lane for about one block until you come to 1325 W. Turn left on 1325 W. and travel south into the WMA.

If you're traveling south on Interstate 15, coming from Ogden and other areas north of Farmington:

To reach the WMA, travel south on I-15 and exit the freeway at Exit 325. Go to the stoplight and turn right on Park Lane. Travel south to the next light, which is at Clark Lane, and turn right. Travel west to the first stop sign, which is at 1525 West, and turn left. Travel south to Glover Lane, and turn right. Travel west on Glover Lane for about one block until you come to 1325 W. Turn left on 1325 W. and travel south into the WMA.

Central Utah

Fountain Green State Fish Hatchery, located east of Nephi

Viewing will take place at Fountain Green from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you're coming from the north, you can reach the hatchery by taking Interstate 15 and exiting the freeway at the second Nephi exit (Exit 225). After exiting the freeway, turn east on state Route 132 and travel about 10 miles. About 1 mile before the city of Fountain Green, a Bald Eagle Day sign will point you to an access road that leads to the hatchery.

Once you reach the hatchery, you'll be given a driving map of the Sanpete Valley that highlights the best areas in the valley to view eagles. Literature, displays and bathroom facilities will also be available at the hatchery. Spotting scopes will be set-up at a viewing location about one mile from the hatchery where eagles often gather in a large tree.

Northeastern Utah

Split Mountain/Green River, located north of Jensen and below the Dinosaur Quarry in Dinosaur National Monument (DNM).

Viewing will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To reach the site, drive north from U.S. Highway 40 in Jensen on the road (state Route 149) to the Dinosaur Quarry.

Your first stop should be at the staging area located just inside the DNM boundary. Displays and spotting scopes will be available at the staging area, and you might be able to see bald eagles and other raptors in the distance.

You can also see live birds close up! At least two live birds of prey and maybe as many as four will be on display at the staging area.

From the staging area, biologists will direct you to other sites where you may have better views of eagles and other wildlife of interest. In past years, visitors have seen bald and golden eagles hunting and feeding, as well as prairie falcons, hawks, mule deer, river otters, pheasants, turkeys, sandhill cranes, porcupines, mergansers, Canada geese and other wildlife.

During your trip, you may also want to stop and visit the Dinosaur National Monument. The monument's dinosaur quarry is closed, but you can see a few dinosaur bones at a temporary visitor center near the quarry. The visitor center also includes a small bookstore.

Southern Utah

Cedar Valley, about four miles northwest of Cedar City

Viewing will take place in Cedar Valley from 3 p.m. until dusk.

To reach the site, exit Interstate 15 at Exit 59, and travel west on state Route 56 to 3900 W. Turn right on 3900 W., and travel north to 2800 N. The viewing site is at 3900 W. and 2800 N.

Get a close look

Bob Walters, Watchable Wildlife coordinator for the DWR, says spotting scopes will be set up at each viewing site so you can get a good look at the eagles. "Biologists and volunteers will also be on hand to help you spot the eagles and to answer your questions," he says.

You can also pick up information about bald eagles, and wildlife watching and birding opportunities in Utah, at each location. The materials will be available for free, or for a small cost.

The best time to attend

The best time to see eagles on Feb. 12 depends on whether you want to sacrifice staying a little warmer for a chance to see more eagles!

If you want to attend during the warmest time of the day, attend late in the morning or early in the afternoon. Walters says the warmer temperatures are especially important if you bring young children with you.

Late morning and early afternoon are also usually the clearest times of the day to see eagles.

If you want to see the greatest number of eagles with fairly good light conditions and reasonably warm temperatures, attend between 2 and 4 p.m. Walters says in late afternoon, eagles at most of the locations start flying to trees to roost for the night.

"If you want to see the greatest number of eagles," he says, "mid to late afternoon is usually the best time to attend."

Items to bring

If you attend Bald Eagle Day, dress in warm clothes and bring waterproof boots. Also, if you want to get pictures of the eagles, bring a telephoto lens.

"The eagles will be some distance from the viewing areas," Walters says. "In the past, we've had photographers try to get close to the eagles. They ended up scaring the eagles away."

Utah's most popular viewing event

Walters started Bald Eagle Day in 1990 as a way to introduce people to Utah's wildlife.

"I started Bald Eagle Day because I wanted to make people aware of the wildlife around them," Walters says. "I wanted to whet their appetite to see more."

Since it began, Bald Eagle Day has become Utah's most well attended, and one of its most enjoyed, wildlife-viewing events.

"I think the event is still accomplishing its intended purpose," he says.

For more information about Bald Eagle Day, call Walters at (801) 538-4771, or Division of Wildlife Resources offices in Ogden, Springville, Vernal or Cedar City.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Celebrity Sightings Around Snowy Park City

The Sundance Film Festival runs through Jan 30, but it is already being called a huge success. The festival seems to be recovering nicely after a couple of down years caused by the great recession.

The Deseret News has this article about the festival. Below is the headline and excerpts.

Sundance Festival looms bright for Park City

He doesn't have the numbers yet, but to Bill Malone, the Sundance Film Festival feels like it's shaking off the effects of a hunker-down economy, grooming itself for a possible return to all the swag — and swagger — of years past.

With the festival gearing up to wind down, Malone said the city will next jump headlong into hosting the FIS Freestyle World Skiing Championships, with four days of competition slated from Feb. 2-5.

He said he believes as people begin to shed their weariness and distrust of what's proven to be a ruthless economic poke in the eye, the parties are becoming more plentiful, the hors d'oeuvres are more upscale and corporations are loosening their wallets.

"The corporate presence is on an uptick once again," he said. "It seems to be the swag is back."

The LA Times has this article about celebrity sightings around Park City, with details about spots where there have been major parties and where celebs have been hanging out. Below are excerpts.

The 2011 Sundance Film Festival raged on this week in Park City, Utah -- despite the teensy distraction of Oscar nominations Tuesday -- with some serious boldface names playing in après ski wear and getting down with indie filmmakers.

Bing Bar served as a major mecca for creative panels, after-parties and simply happy hour. The hot team from "The Details" celebrated their film there, with appearances by Tobey Maguire, Kerry Washington (drenched in Lia Sophia jewels), director Jason Reitman, Dennis Haysbert and movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Meanwhile, the Fender Music Lodge hosted a charming portrait studio with a chalkboard, where the likes of "Worst Enemy" director Lake Bell and Oscar winner Michael Shannon got to express themselves with doodles, while the chance to participate in Save the Children PSAs brought stars like Rosie O'Donnell, Chelsea Handler, Patrick WIlson and Emily Mortimer to the House of Hype Livestyle lounge.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Luxury Travel Magazine Finds Adventure In Moab

Luxury Travel Magazine has this new article about the Moab area, saying is a great destination for spectacular adventure. Below are excerpts.

Off the beaten path in the American southwest, nestled in a lush green valley beneath towering red rock rims, is a hidden gem called Moab, Utah, a unique little town where you could spend weeks and awaken to a new adventure each day.

Where else in the west, or perhaps the world, can one hike in the warmth of the desert sun one day and cross-country ski the next, or raft the wild Colorado River one day and mountain bike on a cool aspen trail the next, without changing cities or even hotels! Days full of exhilarating adventures, and scenic beauty that will permeate your soul, are but a taste of what makes Moab one of the most sought after destinations of the southwest.

Internationally known for its mountain biking, Moab also offers an amazing array of activities including, rock climbing, rappelling, hiking, road biking, fishing, hunting, golfing, 4-wheel driving, ATVing, horseback riding, skate parks, disc golf, skydiving and ballooning.

Arches National Park, just 6 miles from downtown Moab, is a red rock wonderland containing some of the most scenic and inspiring landscapes on Earth, with over 2,000 arches and an astounding variety of other geological formations...

Canyonlands is the largest national park in Utah, and is divided into three districts by the Green and Colorado Rivers - the Island in the Sky, the Needles and the Maze. Named for their most prominent geologic characteristics, these districts are quite diverse, and to take a "seen one, seen them all" attitude would be a great mistake...

In addition to these beautiful national parks, Moab is also home to Dead Horse Point State Park, which is one of Utah's most spectacular state parks.

A few astonishing finds in this quaint western town are gourmet restaurants that rival those found in New York, two wineries, two breweries and several fine art galleries. Unique again describes the world renowned sound and light show that transports you to another world with Indian stories and legends, the natural wonder of the canyons and patriotism, with words and music. Floating on a large boat with theater seating, the stage is southeastern Utah's amazing night sky, 300 to 500-foot canyon walls illuminated with lights, and the mighty Colorado River.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hike St George Sunshine Trails

When Sundance is in town, I head to St George - at the extreme other end of Utah. Sundance takes place in mid-winter, when Park City is blanked by snow and cold. Sundance brings celebrity watchers, crowds and a well-oiled hype machine. I choose to trade all of that for sun and solitude.

I hiked in the St George area over the weekend and had a great time. Conditions were perfect, with blue skies and warm temperatures. We hiked in shirtsleeves and enjoyed warm sunshine.

We hiked in the Red Cliffs Reserve are in total solitude. We had grand kids with us and they really enjoyed running around in the sand.

On the way to our trailhead we drove past a couple golf courses and they were busy with people enjoying the greens. It was also a perfect day for golf.

The forecasters expect St George weather to be beautiful for the next week or more, putting us into February. Spring comes early in the St George area. The almond trees bloom in mid or late February, and the desert wildflowers start to appear about that same time.

February is the dead of winter in many parts of the US, but it is a delightful time to visit St George.

- Dave Webb

Friday, January 21, 2011

Affordable Park City

Sunset Magazine has this article about Park City, with this subhead:

Go after Sundance and you'll be rewarded with peace, quiet, and plenty of deals

The Sundance Film Festival is now underway in the Park City area and so the town will be busy until Jan 30, when the festival ends. After that, the community will settle back to a more relaxed pace, catering to people concentrating on enjoying Utah's great skiing and riding.

Below are excerpts from the Sunset article.

Why go in February: The frenzy of Sundance is over, and believe it or not, there are plenty of cheap thrills in Utah’s glitziest mountain town.

Best deal for out-of-staters: Ski free the day you fly into Salt Lake through the QuickStart program (Feb 1–12; register at

Did you hear? The state’s “private club” laws are history, which means you don’t have to plonk down a membership fee to grab a drink at bars.

See Park City’s artsy side: Not all ski towns have sophisticated museums, so the Kimball Art Center is a noteworthy surprise―and it’s free. Local artists teach workshops in every­thing from silversmithing to digital photography.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Utah Considers Closing 5 State Parks To Ease Budget Deficit

In this tough economy, Utah has fared better than many states and is poised to recover faster than many of our neighbors. We consistently rank as one of the best-managed states in the US in terms of economic policies. Part of that comes from carefully balancing budgets with actual revenue.

Some Utah state parks do not generate enough revenue to support their operation, and so there is debate right now over whether we should continue to subsidize them from general revenues. An analysis committee has recommended that the legislature pass a resolution closing 5 state parks that are not self-sustaining.

There is considerable debate over that recommendation and legislators will weigh public opinion as they decide if that proposal should be advanced. People who have strong feelings should express them to state legislators.

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

“We’re crying,” said Valerie Newland, a seasonal worker at Green River State Park’s golf course, which joined Blanding’s Edge of the Cedars, Vernal’s Utah Field House Museum, Fillmore’s Territorial Statehouse and Cedar City’s Frontier Homestead on a legislative audit’s list of money-losing facilities that should be closed. “There are 850 people in this town, and the course provides a few nice little jobs. For six or eight families, this is going to wipe us out. We rely on this.”

On Utah’s Capitol Hill on Wednesday, the Legislative Fiscal Analysts Office suggested that lawmakers adopt the audit recommendations for$3 million in savings.

Green River Councilman Keith Brady said that though the golf course is important to residents and tourism, the city can’t afford to operate the course on its own.

Four parks on the chopping block are museums, which seldom make money and almost always need government help.

Charlie DeLorme, director of economic development and visitor services in San Juan County, called closing Edge of the Cedars “absolutely ludicrous.”

He argues that the museum is the largest federal repository of Ancestral Puebloan artifacts in the Four Corners region and may become even bigger after the fallout after the raids of private citizens holding artifacts in the area in 2009. He points out that federal funds help pay for some of the operations.

Nikki Farmer, director of Uintah County Travel and Tourism, said Utah Field House Museum and the nearby Dinosaur National Monument quarry — scheduled to reopen later this year — are among the main reasons people visit Vernal.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kolob Canyons Visitor Center Closed, Access Free Until January 31

The Kolob Canyons Visitor Center in Zion National Park is temporarily closed for reconstruction work on the building. It is scheduled to reopen on Feb 1. While it is closed there is no fee to access the Kolob Canyons section of the park.

The National Park Service provided the news release below.

Temporary Closure of Kolob Canyons Visitor Center

Date: January 11, 2011
Contact: Meri Sias, 435-586-0895
Contact: David Eaker, 435-772-7811

The Kolob Canyons Visitor Center will be temporarily closed for approximately two weeks while the building undergoes reconstruction. The closure will begin on Monday January 17, 2011 and run through January 31, 2011. The closure may last longer if problems are encountered during reconstruction. The Kolob Canyons Visitor Center is located in the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park, along U.S. Interstate 15, 20 miles south of Cedar City, UT. The Kolob Canyons Scenic Drive will remain open during this period as long as weather permits. The main park visitor center (Zion Canyon Visitor Center), located near the park's south entrance in Springdale will remain open.

The Kolob Canyons Visitor Center reconstruction project is intended to create more and safer work space for the employees and make the area more accessible for disabled visitors and staff. It will also incorporate new interpretive and informational displays, including a video highlighting the Kolob Canyons area of Zion National Park.

During the temporary closure of the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center all backcountry permits must be obtained from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center located near Springdale, UT. There will be no entrance fees charged to the Kolob Canyons area of the park during the visitor center closure. Restroom facilities on the Kolob Canyons Scenic Drive will be available at the Timber Creek Overlook at the end of the drive. There is also a rest area with full facilities available approximately four miles north of the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center along Interstate 15.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Outdoor Retailers Show Will Bring Crowds To Salt Lake This Week

Salt Lake City will be extra busy later this week, with the Outdoor Retailers show opening on Thursday and then the Sundance Festival opening on Saturday.

During the past few weeks we have provided considerable information about Sundance. Below we provide excerpts from this Deseret News article about Outdoor Retailers.

More than 18,000 outdoor recreation professionals are expected to descend on northern Utah as the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2011 expo kicks off at the Salt Palace Convention Center Thursday. The four-day event draws participants from around the globe and infuses about $16.6 million of direct economic impact into the state, based on data from the University of Utah’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research.

The yearly Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade event will run from Jan. 20 through Jan. 23 and showcases the latest products from manufacturers, suppliers and retailers worldwide.

In addition, new products will be on display at Solitude during the All Mountain Demo on Wednesday.

In 2010, a record number of retailers registered for the 2011 Winter Market — and to date more attendees than last year have registered, the SLCVB stated.

Read the full article.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Survival Guide To The Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival begins on Saturday, Jan 22. It will run through Jan 30. Screenings and other events will be held in Park City, Salt Lake City and nearby communities.

The Salt Lake Tribune published its annual guide to Sundance in its Sunday paper. It is worth scrounging to find a copy. The Trib will be running daily articles about the festival every day, which can be ready online. It is a great, objective guide to the festival.

Right now the Trib website has several good articles to help people enjoy the festival. Below are some linked headlines:

Sundance guide: What's new, survival tips, much more

Are you on the Sundance party list?

Sundance: Cinematic views of the music world

Sundance: The films look the same on Salt Lake screens

No Sundance tickets? Don’t have a meltdown — yet

Get hip to Sundance at home

Stargazing at Sundance

Friday, January 14, 2011

Utah Road Trip - We Have The Lowest Gas Prices In The US

Now would be a great time to take a road trip through Utah, since we have the lowest gas prices in the US.

AAA Utah reports that our average price for a gallon of unleaded was $2.80 on Wednesday. That's 29 cents lower than the national average. The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about gas prices. Below are details.

In fact, Utah’s unleaded average of $2.80 as of Wednesday was a whopping 29 cents lower than the national average. Neighboring Wyoming was next lowest at $2.83. On the other end, excluding Hawaii and Alaska, was California, at $3.35.

“The low price in Utah is typical for this time of year as winter weather settles in and discourages all but necessary driving,” said AAA spokeswoman Rolayne Fairclough.

Although the statewide average on Wednesday was $2.80, motorists in the Salt Lake area reported filling up for as little as $2.60 per gallon, according to, a gas-price comparison website.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bryce Canyon Will Wave Entrance Fees Jan 15-17

Some think the scenery at Bryce Canyon National Park is most spectacular during winter, when orange hoodoos are glazed with snow and ice. To encourage people to visit the park during the winter season, entrance fees will be waved over the Martin Luther King Jr weekend (Jan 15-17).

The park service provided the new release below.

Experience the Beauty of Winter at Bryce Canyon National Park During the Fee-Free Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend

Bryce Canyon National Park will waive the $25 entrance fee during the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, January 15-17, 2011. Throughout the extended weekend, park rangers will offer a variety of winter activities. As always, our ranger programs are offered free of charge.

Geology Talks - Bryce Canyon's mild winter days and subzero nights create the repeated freezing and thawing that sculpts this unique national park's bizarre and beautiful hoodoos. Learn more about the geology behind this beauty by attending 30-minute Geology Talks, daily at 11:30am. Check at the visitor center for location. No reservation necessary.

Snowshoe Hikes - Join a park ranger on a 2-hour 1-mile snowshoe adventure. On these outings you will not only receive helpful snowshoe lessons, but also learn how humans have developed winter survival technology and skills from studying animals. No prior snowshoe experience is necessary and state-of-the-art snowshoes and poles will be provided. Dress warmly and wear snow boots to keep your feet warm and dry. Sign up at the visitor center or call 435-834-4747 for reservations and starting locations.

Snowshoe hikes will be offered on the following dates and times:
1:30pm Fri., Jan. 14 4:30pm Sun. Jan. 16 – Twilight moonlight snowshoe hike!
1:30pm Sat., Jan. 15 1:30pm Mon. Jan. 17

Astronomy - Bryce Canyon is the place to go to learn about Astronomy. Not only does the park have some the darkest skies left in North America, we also have proud a tradition of offering enthralling multimedia astronomy programs, and weather permitting, they are followed by stargazing with large telescopes. Bryce Canyon's Head "Dark Ranger" Kevin Poe notes that "Our winter sky is so cold and dark, that we can show visitors things in our telescopes that can only be better viewed by huge research telescopes!" Poe adds, "Astronomy buffs can travel to many different places to see the summer Milky Way – our galaxy's inner arm, but it's usually only those that come to Bryce Canyon who can brag that they've seen the much fainter outer arm – the winter Milky Way!"

Astronomy programs, followed by telescope viewing, will be offered on the following dates and times:

7:00 pm Sat., Jan. 15: "The Lives of Stars"– Bryce Canyon Visitor Center
8:00 pm Sun., Jan. 16: "Lunacy: The Myths, Legends, & Reality of Our Moon"– Bryce Canyon Visitor Center

Hot apple cider and hot chocolate will be provided after the programs.

Other Activities - Many people assume that with Bryce Canyon National Park's 8000-foot elevation, the park is closed for the winter; but the park remains open year-round! The park visitor center is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. An award-winning orientation film is shown upon request, and the Bryce Canyon Natural History Association sells a variety of publications in the park bookstore.

Touring the park by car to view and photograph the winter vistas is the most popular activity. As park staff and returning visitors can attest, Bryce Canyon's snow-capped hoodoos enhance the beauty of the park. Park roads are kept open in winter, but some sections of road may be temporarily closed following heavy snowstorms.

Snowshoes are required for the longer hiking trails, but many of Bryce's shorter, more popular trails can be hiked with just snow boots or even waterproof hiking boots. To negotiate icy section of trails, boot traction devices are highly recommended. Visitors may purchase traction devices at the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center for $25, if they so desire.

Though downhill skiing, snowboarding, or any other "off the rim" snow sliding sports are prohibited, visitors can enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing through the forest and meadows of Bryce Canyon, or among the hoodoos of nearby Red Canyon on the Dixie National Forest.

Bryce Canyon Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh, explains that it is especially important to dress warmly for nighttime activities. "While our daytime high temperatures are usually above freezing our nighttime temperatures are normally below zero Fahrenheit."

For more information, please contact Bryce Canyon National Park at 435-834-5322.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Airport Opens In St George

A new, larger airport opens today in St George, the popular retirement and recreation community in SW Utah that serves as gateway to Zion National Park and other scenic areas.

City officials say the airport opens a "new era" for the community. The Spectrum newspaper has this article about the expansion. Below are excerpts.

After more than 20 years of dreaming, planning and building the $160 million project, those officials will finally have the opportunity to see the airport and community begin down a path they say will bring exponential growth and economic recovery.

Thanks to the new airport's larger and sturdier runways, St. George-based SkyWest Airlines will begin the first commercial jet flights to and from St. George on Jan. 13.

City spokesman Marc Mortensen said such capabilities are huge not only for travelers, but also for the local economy.

Mayor Daniel McArthur said the airport would also attract development and businesses in its immediate vicinity, bringing both aviation and non-aviation-related jobs alike. With nearly 15 percent of the area's employment revolving around construction, McArthur added the airport would help create jobs in a variety of fields.

Beginning at 2:30 p.m. at the airport's main terminal, Wednesday's festivities will include an F-16 flyover, a Life Flight helicopter demonstration and three SkyWest test flights. There will also be addresses by city officials and a dedicatory prayer by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, First Presidency, second councilor, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Expect A Rollicking Sundance Film Festival

The media is already cranking out articles about the Sundance Film Festival, saying it could be one of the best ever. The festival runs Jan 20-30 in Park City, Salt Lake City and surrounding communities.

There is still time to get involved in the festival. Find information here.

The Park Record newspaper has an article titled: Prepare for a rollicking Sundance: the big-spending corporations might be back. Below are details.

The 2011 festival, which starts Jan. 20, could be a rollicking affair, replete with ambitious new setups from the corporations and the return of some that had been missing for a few years, people with knowledge of the intentions said just after New Year's.

Some of the most ambitious of the newfangled corporate setups -- the Tao nightclub turning part of an Old Town garage into a hot spot for Sundance and Microsoft search engine Bing creating a space in the vacant Claim Jumper building -- have been publicized. Others might not have finalized the plans yet and will seek the proper permits as the festival approaches.

"Companies who hadn't had places recently are spending money again. They're back to spending money," said Christopher Ryan, the Los Angeles-based curator of a compilation of corporate setups and parties during Sundance.

Here are more headlines:
- Sundance Preview: 10 Movies I'm Excited About
- Film by directors in 192 countries to stream on YouTube from Sundance
- Free High Speed Wi-Fi Coming to the Sundance Film Festival

Monday, January 10, 2011

Utah's Ice Fishing Season Heats Up

Fishing enthusiasts are enjoying good ice fishing on popular Utah waters. I speak from experience - on Saturday I had a great time fishing through the frozen deck on Rockport Reservoir. We caught five fat rainbow trout.

The photos at right show two of our fish.

Many of our lakes and reservoirs offer good fishing right now. Here are some of the more popular spots.

Strawberry Reservoir for big cutthroat and rainbow trout.

Fish Lake for big splake and lake trout.

Scofield Reservoir for fast family fishing for smaller rainbows.

Pineview Reservoir for good perch fishing.

Many other waters also offer good action. Check my Utah fishing report for more ideas.

- Dave Webb

Friday, January 07, 2011

What's New At Park City Resorts?

We are now in the heart of the ski season and improvements made at Utah ski resorts are helping to make this one of our best seasons ever. The Montreal Gazette has this article about improvement made at the three Park City resorts. Below are excerpts.

Park City is one of North America's most accessible ski towns, located 58 kilometres from Salt Lake City's international airport. Its three vast downhill areas, Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain Resort and The Canyons, are connected by frequent shuttle buses and all boast vertical drops of more than 915 metres, with a combined total of 426 trails, 58 lifts and terrain. Thanks to the dry air from Utah's Great Basin Desert, the state's ski areas have the lightest powder snow in the United States.

Utah's largest downhill area, The Canyons, has made significant updates for this season, including the installation of a new orange-bubbled, high-speed quad chairlift with heated seats, the first of its kind in North America...

A former Olympic venue and a top-rated family resort with lots of snowboarding terrain, Park City is expanding its night skiing and riding. Park City's Snowmamas are a specialized source of family vacation information (see

Another Olympic mountain, the posh Deer Valley Resort, has been rated the No. 1 area in the United States in the annual Ski Magazine Readers' Poll, for four consecutive years. Strong on impeccable snow grooming, attentive customer service, fine dining and upscale lodging, Deer Valley does not allow snowboarding and limits the number of skiers for safety and comfort.

Now marking its 30th season as the fancier next-door neighbour to Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley has updated its skiers' day lodges and opened the Deer Valley Grocery-Cafe for condo dwellers' convenience.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month Deals

January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, and resorts around the country are participating in programs to help people get involved in the sports. Utah resorts are also participating, offering attractive deals.

Ski Utah provided this news release about the program.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - Utah’s ski and snowboard resorts will be joining 34 other states in January, offering special deals for first time skiers and snowboarders to promote National Learn to Ski and Snowboard month. Once again, Utah resorts are offering incredible deals, which make it easy and affordable for locals to learn to ski and snowboard.

Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month is a national initiative that began in 2007 and has grown to 34 states and over 300 resorts participating. The program strives to make learning skiing and snowboarding easy, accessible and affordable for children and adults. Many governors from across the country have endorsed this program including Utah’s very own Governor Gary Herbert. Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month has challenged everyone to get out and exercise this year with the theme “Humans Were Never Meant to Hibernate.”

“Learning to love winter recreation and lifetime sports is a great way to stay healthy all year long,” noted Ski Utah Marketing Director Raelene Davis. “Additionally, we hope this initiative will encourage more Utahns to enjoy the state’s most famous resource, The Greatest Snow on Earth®.”

Utah’s resorts have celebrated this challenge and will be offering unique deals to each resort including the following:

• Alta Ski Area is offering First Time Skiers Learn to Ski Package all season long in the spirit of January’s Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. For a total package price of $179, first time skiers will receive four two-hour class lessons, four beginner lift tickets and four days of equipment rental. To make reservations for all four days, contact the Alf Engen Ski School at Alta at 801.359.1078 ext. 271.

• Brighton Ski Resort is offering a complete ski package for $39 which includes morning or afternoon lessons, all-day rental and a day-learner lift pass. Available dates for this offer are valid through January 1- February 2, 2011. More information available at

• Canyons is offering a $39 package for children ages 4 -14 through the month of January. The package includes a lift pass, lesson and rental for $13 each. More information can be found at

• Deer Valley Resort is hosting a Ski Utah Learn to Ski Program Jan. 29, 2011, for never-ever skiers and Utah locals, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. The clinic cost is $39 and includes rentals, lift pass and a three hour ski lesson. Make reservations by calling 435.645.6648 and mention “Ski Utah Learn to Ski Program.”

• Utah’s newest resort Eagle Point is offering several different packages to fit your family. For $36 enjoy an adult or child afternoon group beginner lesson, half-day lift ticket and rental. For adults, an all-day lift ticket, group lesson and rental is only $49. Another perfect option for the kids, is an all-day child lift ticket, group lesson, rental and lunch for $59. Pre-register by calling 435.554.8777.

• Park City Mountain Resort’s popular StarNOW program is back this year and a great offer for beginner skiers and snowboarders. StartNOW offers a pay-as-you-go program, for up to five times, for $25 each day. The package includes lift access, afternoon ski or snowboard lesson, and equipment rental. Lessons filled up quickly last year so reserve your spot now at

• Snowbasin is offering incentive for learning to ski or snowboarding this January. Through their offer, children seven and older, and adults, who complete three beginner lessons, which include rentals and beginner lift pass, and a Snowsport Recreational Program are eligible to receive a free season pass. For information, pricing and reservations call 801.620.1015.

• Starting January 7, 2011, Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort will be offering a $39 inclusive package for Adult beginners 16 and older. Package includes beginner lift ticket, morning or afternoon ski or snowboard lesson and equipment rental. Also, return during January and receive $30 off a regular workshop price. Log onto for more information.

• Solitude Mountain Resort is offering a Learn to Ski package on select days in January at a 58 percent discount to celebrate January’s Learn to Ski and Snowboard month. First time skiers or snowboarders receive three half-day beginner lessons, rentals and a lift ticket for $165 plus a free lift ticket. To make reservations now call 801.536.5730 or

•Sundance is offering a $75 half-day lesson and a $50 nighttime lesson Sunday-Thursday all season long. Skiers must be six or older and snowboarders seven or older. The package can be purchased at

• Wolf Mountain is offering a $39 package for beginner skiers and boarders over the age of 8. The package includes lift pass, group lesson and rental and is valid any weekday up until January 31, 2011.

A complete list of resort deals and discounts can be found at

Nationwide alpine ski, snowboard, cross-country and snowshoe packages can be found at

Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month is an industry initiative organized by numerous state and regional ski associations, the leading snow sports media outlets, snow sports rep associations, the Professional Ski Instructors of America, the American Association of Snowboard Instructors, SnowSports Industries America, the National Ski Patrol, and the National Ski Areas Association.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Utah Food Bank Wins $1 Million In Walmart Online Contest

Utah has long been known as a compassionate state where people care about each other, and about the poor. That’s part of the reason we consistently rank high in quality of life studies. Now Salt Lake City has rallied to win $1 million for the Utah Food Bank by getting 5.3 million supporters in Walmart's online "Fighting Against Hunger" contest.

KSL has this report about the contest. Below are excerpts.

The announcement was met with cheers at the food bank Wednesday afternoon.

Ogden finished in fourth place and is one of five cities that will receive $100,000 each.

Online votes for Salt Lake City — which were counted when users "liked" posts and links from the contest on Facebook — surged to nearly 5.3 million as the contest ended on New Year's Eve.

The Utah Food Bank provides food to 150 food banks and pantries statewide, spokeswoman Summer Pugh said. Cash donations are used to purchase food and the food bank's transportation network.

Thanks to an extensive volunteer workforce, 52 full-time employees and relationships with the food industry every dollar contributed to the Utah Food Bank can be leveraged in $7 in good and services.

For instance, Feeding America, the national food bank organization enables food banks to pick up produce from growers for only the cost of transporting the items.

Contest results
Salt Lake City, Utah
Fresno, Calif.
Columbia, SC
Ogden, Utah
Charleston, SC
Bakersfield , Calif.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

History & Lore of Logan Canyon

The Stokes Nature Center in Logan is producing a series of podcasts about Logan Canyon, which can be heard on the center's website or downloaded to mobile devices so people can listen to them while touring the canyon.

The center has also produced a brochure to compliment the podcasts.

Hwy 89 in Logan Canyon is a popular scenic byway that passes through beautiful mountain scenery. It follows the Logan River and provides access to quality fishing spots and historic sites. It is one of Utah's most popular mountain drives.

The first podcast is called Too Many Sheep. Here's how the Nature Center describes the podcast series:

This podcast consists of 15 stories on different historic sites and legends of the canyon. For the rest of the series, one podcast will be released each week beginning January 3rd, 2011. Each podcast is linked to a specific site in the canyon where you can listen to the story while experiencing a piece of the history or lore that sill exists. Download the tour brochure on the Stokes Nature Center website for directions to each site. Sources, text, and more information are also available on the Stokes Nature Center website.

Here's the intro from the brochure:

Stokes Nature Center (SNC) is proud to present the History & Lore of Logan Canyon tour and podcast. Take a tour through Logan Canyon and learn about its amazing history and fascinating lore! This brochure is designed to be used along with the History and Lore of Logan Canyon podcast series, which can be downloaded off the SNC website. Or rent an mp3 player at SNC with the program already downloaded. Each podcast (or audio-recorded story) is linked to a specific site in the canyon where you can listen to the story while experiencing a piece of the history or lore that still exists.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Bryce Canyon National Park A Special Treat In Winter

Bryce Canyon National Park is spectacular during the winter season, when it offers an experience that is totally different than a summer visit. The Las Vegas Review Journal has this interesting article about visiting Bryce during winter. Below are excerpts.

Winter works magic in Bryce Canyon National Park in Southern Utah. Snow frosts each of the weirdly eroded, wildly colored spires called "hoodoos," setting each apart from its sparkling neighbors. No other time of year creates such contrasts.

Despite several feet of snow deposited during an average winter, Bryce Canyon remains open so visitors can experience the season's marvelous scenery. Expect a park entrance fee of $25 per vehicle, reduced or waived for holders of federal recreation passes. Winter visitors find welcome at the visitor center, open at this time of year from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The park's road to viewpoints along the eroded rim is kept plowed and open for winter visitors. The road skirting the edge of the high, forested plateau that creates the geological wonderland of Bryce Canyon never fails to enthrall. Unplowed roads and some trails invite exploration. The park service encourages winter activities such as snowshoe touring, winter hiking, cross-country skiing, photography and stargazing. It prohibits the use of snowmobiles in the park, which are welcome on groomed trails near Highway 12 in the adjacent national forest.

On moonless nights, Bryce Canyon is one of the darkest places in the Southwest, offering splendid views of night skies. Dark-sky rangers introduce visitors to starry skies as they have never seen them before, particularly if they are from cities where stars at night have all but disappeared in the glare of outdoor lighting.
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