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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, August 31, 2012

Top Under-Appreciated Parks has this interesting article listing what the author calls the Top 10 under-appreciated National Park Service properties in the US. Utah's 5 national parks do not make the list. Utah is famous for its national parks and they are well appreciated.

However, two close neighbors are listed.

#1 is Great Basin National Park, which is located a few feet across the border into Nevada. A major access route to the park heads west from Delta, Utah, across our West Desert to the Nevada border. The article offers this introduction to the park:

Feel the urge to climb a 13,000-foot mountain? Want to tour a beautiful cave? Eager to backpack to alpine lakes and through high desert where few others venture? Want to marvel at some of the oldest living things on Earth? All that and more awaits at this park in eastern Nevada...

#4 on the list is Colorado National Monument, located near Grand Junction, not far from the Utah border. National Geographic says this:

The red-rock country of the Southwest is justifiably famous for its spectacular canyons, buttes, spires, and other sandstone formations. Colorado National Monument offers a splendid array of eroded cliffs and pinnacles in an accessible and easily toured location, without the crowds and long-distance drives associated with more famous sites in the region.

Colorado National Monument is just a short drive from Moab, Arches and Canyonlands.

A sidebar to the article lists the most popular parks. Arches, Zion and Grand Canyon make that list.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

What To Do This Labor Day Weekend

Utah's parks, campgrounds and recreational areas will be crowded this weekend, with large numbers of people expected to take advantage of the holiday to enjoy the end of summer holiday.

AAA Utah expects more people to travel this year than last. This Salt Lake Tribune article carried the AAA forecast. Here's one quote: “AAA Utah forecasts that 2.4 million people in the (Mountain West) region will travel 50 miles or more from their homes this coming three-day weekend, an increase of 3.2 percent compared with last year.”

Road construction will be minimized to eliminate traffic delays, as much as possible. In general, our major highways are in good condition and no problems are anticipated.

If you do not yet have firm plans, this Deseret News article gives some pretty good ideas on places to visit and things to do. Below are some highlights.

...But four of Utah's 32 state parks have sites remaining for campers: Otter Creek State Park, Sand Hollow State Park, Steinaker State Park and Starvation State Park...

Antelope Island's Stampede Festival offers a collection of family events Friday through Sunday. The stampede kicks off with a hot air balloon launch Friday morning at the Kaysville ponds and more balloons will launch from Antelope Island in the evenings, weather permitting.

The Soldier Hollow Classic sheepdog show features competition, food, demonstrations and music Friday through Monday.

For families looking to get away, the Parade of Lights at Flaming Gorge is a unique Labor Day celebration. Boats decked in colorful lights will bring new meaning to the term "parade floats" as they cruise around State Line Cove for spectators.

The Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City will close several of the 2012 season's shows this weekend, including "Mary Stuart," "Scapin," "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "Titus Andronicus" and "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Lovers of town fairs can check out Onion Days in Payson, Peach Days in Hurricane or Tomato Days in Hooper.

Read the entire article.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fall Colors Are Coming Early In Utah This Year

Foliage colors are already changing at high elevations in Utah this year. We had little rain during the early summer and that has prompted the trees and bushes to advance their schedules a little.

Colors will get better and better during the next few weeks, with peak viewing coming in mid or September in northern Utah and in mid-October at lower elevations in southern Utah.

ABC4 has this news report about the early fall leaves. The video clip below comes from their report.

Our website showcases some of Utah's better fall colors drives, in all parts of the state.

This Las Vegas Review Journal has this article recommending Cedar Breaks National Monument as a great destination for a fall trip. The article correctly says the Cedar Breaks area is one of the best spots in southern Utah to see spectacular colors.

Here's the video from ABC4.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Enjoy Oktoberfest At Snowbird

Oktoberfest is a huge celebration at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, with German food, music, dance and fun. It runs Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day through October 7.

The festival website has complete details. Below are excerpts.

Oktoberfest Halle located in the Snowbird Event tent is chock full of music, dancing and traditional German cuisine. Enjoy a bratwurst and sauerkraut and apfelstrudel and more.

Vendors from around the region peddle their wares. You will find many unique gifts. Shop early for the Holidays. Located at the entrance.

Attracting over 50,000 visitors over the seventeen-day celebration, Oktoberfest has grown to become one of the largest festivals in the state of Utah. Oktoberfest includes Oktoberfest Halle featuring the tastes of Bavaria with entertainment from local and national German bands and yodelers.

Snowbird encourages Oktoberfest guests to drink responsibly. If you or someone in your party needs a ride home contact any Snowbird employee and a free ride will be arranged.

Monday, August 27, 2012

HawkWatch International Needs Volunteers To Protect Raptors

HawkWatch International is a conservation organization based in Salt Lake City. It's mission: Conserving Raptors and Our Shared Environment.

The organization sponsors many events throughout the year where people can learn about raptors, and often help with projects to protect them and enhance their environment.

HawkWatch International's annual fundraiser, "Wings Across the West," will be held on Sept. 20 at the Rice Eccles Stadium Tower on the University of Utah campus. Guest speaker will be Brian Sullivan from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. He will present "The Evolution of Birders," his personal story of birding and eBird: Citizen Science.

See the Wings Across the West news release for details.

Volunteers Needed For Frontline Sceince

HawkWatch International has a unique opportunity for normal people to work with scientists to count, band, measure and release raptors as they migrate through the Great Basin. This news release has details. Below are excerpts:

If you've ever dreamed of working as a field biologist, this is your chance! Be a part of our new Frontline Science program--an all-access, backstage pass to HawkWatch's migration work. Spend a weekend working side by side with our field biologists and get a glimpse of what it's like to live on top of a mountain for three months monitoring raptors.

Help our observers collect bird and weather data while picking up key insights on in-flight raptor identification. You will learn the tricks of the trade when it comes to identifying and counting birds of prey as they begin their trek south for the winter, and get an inside look at our banding operations as you help trap, band, measure, and release the birds alongside the crew. Be prepared to get your hands dirty!

Available dates include:
  • August 31-September 3
  • September 7-10
  • September 14-17
  • September 21-24
  • September 28-October 1
  • October 5-8

A tax-deductible donation of $300 per person is requested to cover the costs of this once in a lifetime experience. Food, water, and materials are included. Space is limited.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Moab Music Festival Will Run Aug 29 – Sept 10


That's the theme of the Moab Music Festival. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the annual festival, which brings world famous musicians to outdoor venues in scenic spots around Moab, in SE Utah.

The festival website sums it up this way: Every September, the award-winning Moab Music Festival brings world-class musicians to stunning red rock venues around Moab, Utah for a feast of chamber music, jazz, and traditional music concerts. We call it "music in concert with the landscape," celebrating old and new chamber music, jazz with a Latin flavor, and traditional music from around the globe.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article giving background on the festival, along with highlights of this year's extravaganza. Below are excerpts:

Featured artists include banjoist Bela Fleck and the Marcus Roberts Trio, the EarRegulars, members of University of Utah Lyric Theatre, folk musician Christopher Layer, stage director Jamie Bernstein and about 30 professional chamber musicians, most based in New York.

Concert venues include Moab’s historic Star Hall and Old City Park, Sorrel River Ranch, Red Cliffs Lodge and a natural stone grotto on the Colorado River.

...That’s a good thing for Jamie Bernstein and others who view their annual trips to Moab Music Festival as a form of sacred renewal.

"I’m not a churchgoing person," she said, "but I’m pretty sure the way I feel about the concert in the grotto is how people feel when they go to their house of worship."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Travel: Utah’s Rock Climbing Country, from way across the water, has this interesting article describing rock climbing in Zion Park and Moab, along with other national park adventures. The title of this post is also the title of the article. Below are excerpts.

He (Dougal Tavener) is a world-class professional who can be found regularly gracing the pages of international climbing magazines, and favours Utah’s parks for the challenging and exciting climbs. Places such as Zion, which offer big-wall climbing up to 1,000 metres, and Moab, in eastern Utah, are among his favourites.

Tavener speaks in a voice that is quiet and cool. “I’d heard lots of good things about climbing in Utah, so I came here to try it for myself. The crack-climbing – climbing fissures that go all the way up the wall – is outstanding, but you need to be experienced. Utah is the only place in the world where you can find this type of climbing,” he says.

We try our hand at canyoning, dressed up like seals in wetsuits with climbing gear on top. It’s fun sliding down rock chutes and ending up in deep-water pools, and we down-climb narrow, twisted, super-tight slots, abseil down walls and walk through a labyrinth of 50m-high canyons barely a metre wide.

The article describes adventures in these places:
  • Zion National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Along Highway 12
  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Arches National Park
It is a good article, worth reading.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Plan To Attend The Utah Sate Fair

The Utah State Fair will be held Sept 6-16 this year. It's an old fashioned extravaganza that is well worth attending. It is held annually at the Fairpark in Salt Lake City. The fair website has complete details. Below are some highlights.

Grandstand Entertainment
  • Parachute
  • Wilson Phillips
  • Jars Of Clay
  • Sheena Easton
  • Victoria Justice
  • Lonestar
  • Blues Traveler
  • Frank Caliendo
  • Texaco Country Showdown State Final
  • Fiesta Mexicana
The Fair showcases animals, home crafts, kids activities, food, educational displays, art items, vendors and exhibits of all kinds.

Special schedule items include:
  • Opening Day: September 6
  • Utah Dairy Council Ice Cream Festival: September 10
  • Utah Beef Council Beef Feast: September 14
  • Closing Day: September 16
Fair Hours
  • Sunday - Thursday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday - Saturday: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Regular Admission Prices
  • Adult $10.00
  • Senior (62 and over) $7.00
  • Youth (6-12) $7.00
  • Children (5 and under) FREE
  • Season Admission Pass $40.00
The Utah State Fairpark is located just outside Downtown Salt Lake City at 155 North 1000 West SLC 84116. The main driving entrance to the Fairpark is located at 200 North 1000 West.

Come on in and join the fun.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Utah's Most Famous Dinosaurs

Dinosaur National Monument, Cleveland Lloyd Quarry, the North American Museum of Ancient Life and many other sites make Utah a key destination for people interested in seeing fossils and learning about dinosaurs.

Over the years, Utah has yielded some unique fossils, including a number that have resulted the in discovery of entirely new species. This KSL TV report talks about some of our most famous prehistoric residents. Below is the headline and the excerpts.

5 dinosaurs from Utah and why they are amazing

“The discovery of the Apatosaurus put Utah on the map. It led to Utah's being the center of dinosaurs both in terms of science and tourism," according to Brooks B. Britt, Associate Professor and Paleontologist at Brigham Young University.

Allosaurus... Parts of at least 42 individuals were found at the Cleveland-Lloyd Quarry where more than 12,000 bones have been discovered. The collection at the museum by the same name as the quarry has been replicated and shipped to other museums all over the world.

Utahraptor... This particular species is extremely rare, with only a few known examples, all of them from western North America. The Utahraptor is a predator that walks on two legs and scientists have found strong evidence that it possessed feathers.

Abydosaurus... The bones that have been discovered so far include 4 partial skulls and two 2 complete skulls. Such complete examples of skulls are extraordinarily rare.

Kosmoceratops, is a horned dinosaur, discovered in 2010, in Utah... It has one of the most ornate skulls with 15 horns or horn-like structures, more than any other ceratops-like dinosaur.

“One of the most interesting and active excavation sites in Utah is at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument," said Randall B. Irmis, Assistant Professor of Geology & Geophysics at the University of Utah. "We’re making new discoveries every year and and we’re uncovering a lost ecosystem that no one really knew about before.”

The KSL report includes video that is worth watching. See it here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunset Magazine Features Antelope Island

Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake is featured in this Sunset Magazine article featuring 10 islands where you can get away from it all. Antelope Island is a Utah state park and is a popular local play area.

Below we give the article's title and introduction.

10 all-to-yourself islands

10 all-to-yourself islands We all dream of that Robinson Crusoe deserted-island moment. Well, it’s time to stop dreaming. We found 10 islands you can have (practically) to yourself.

The article lists these islands:
  • Isla Espíritu Santo near La Paz, Baja
  • Lummi Island, San Juan Islands, WA
  • Angel Island, San Francisco Bay
  • Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands N.P., CA
  • Sauvie Island, Near Portland
  • Kodiak, Kodiak, AK
  • Elk Island, Grand Teton N.P., WY
  • Antelope Island, Great Salt Lake, UT
  • North Mokulua Island, Just off Kailua, Oahu
About Antelope Island, the article says:

Day-trippers are drawn to Antelope Island for its starkly beautiful windblown landscape. Picture miles of empty hiking and mountain biking trails, quiet roads for cyclists—even a surprise herd of free-range bison roaming around.

All to Yourself moment: Leave the beach frolickers behind for the secluded 5.6-mile round-trip Lakeside Trail, with views across the chalky blue lake.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Antelope Island Stampede Offers Kites, Balloons, Outdoor Activities And More

Antelope Island is one of Utah's most popular state parks. It is conveniently located in the Great Salt Lake, close to Salt Lake City. It is a great place to hike, bike, ride horseback, camp, swim and engage in other activities.

One of the most popular events at the park, called the Antelope Island Stampede, is held every year over Labor Day Weekend. The park provided the information below about the stampede.

Antelope Island Stampede

2012 Schedule and Activities

Labor Day Weekend:
August 31 - Sept 2 (Fri - Sun)
Hot air balloons are scheduled to launch from the Kaysville ponds at sunrise on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Event Hours on the Island:
Friday    5 PM - 9:30 PM
Saturday  12 Noon - 9:30 PM
Sunday    12 Noon - 8 PM

The Antelope Island Stampede runs from Friday through Sunday on Labor Day weekend (the first weekend in September). Most activities take place at White Rock Bay (see the map).

If you want to go horseback riding, at the Fielding Garr Ranch, call 888-878-8002 to reserve a time. This is not nose-to-tail riding; your outfitter rides with you, but you go side by side across the plains of the island. Be on the lookout for bison, pronghorn, mountain sheep and other critters You can ride for 1 hour, and hour-and-a-half, or two hours. Costs are $50 for the first hour, $75 for 1.5 hrs, and $100 for 2 hrs per horse. The animals are very calm, docile and used to riders of all abilities. The youngest one can be as a rider is 6 years old.

You might even want to check out Gonzo Boat Rentals at the marina, as soon as you cross the causeway. Dave has kayaks, bicycles, pedal boats and even several jet boats if you want to toodle around the island in style. For an inventory of what they offer, and a pricing schedule, click here.

In fact, there's so much to do over Labor Day weekend you may want to camp on the Island or stay nearby in one of our comfy hotels. Reserve your camping space early. Call (800)322-3770 for more camping info.

The Hilton Garden Inn is our headquarters hotel, and they're offering a tremendous $69 room rate during Labor Day weekend. Use code "STAM" when you call for a reservation (801) 416-8899 to get that price. Other hotels with great rates are listed at the bottom of our sponsor page.

There will be many activities for the children in the "Kids' Tent". They may spend time in the tent when accompanied by a parent, and there they can color, make their own (free) kites that actually fly, get their faces painted, learn about the island from the park's naturalist, and participate in other activities.

There will be kite-flying demonstrations by kite flyers from across the country throughout each day, nearly non-stop stage entertainment, and lots to eat from all the vendors. You'll be amazed at how much talent is on display from local entertainers. Feel free to bring your own kites and join the other kite flyers in the free-fly zone! You might want to bring your own chairs too for the entertainment and the fireworks shows on Friday and Saturday nights. If you you do plan to buy anything from the vendors, remember most vendors only accept cash for payment. Some may accept credit and debit cards - but they all accept cash.

In 2012 there will be Kite flying demonstrations, BMX demos and clinics for the kids, a climbing wall and inflatable bouncy toys, a kiddie "train", horseback riding for the kids (led by the outfooter on foot), music, hot-air-balloon glows followed by fireworks on Friday and Saturday nights, lots of places to buy food, wild animals roaming the island, lots of old friends and opportunities to make new ones. There are over 50 kite flyers from across the country! This is going to be amazing!

A schedule of 2012 activities can be found on the festival website.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bridge Move Will Cause Closures On I-80 This Weekend

Utah crews are working hard to complete major freeway reconstruction projects before cold weather sets in. This weekend the westbound bridge on I-80 at Wanship will be replaced. The westbound lanes will be totally closed from Friday (Aug 17) at 7 pm until Saturday at about 7 pm. Eastbound lanes will remain open.

The eastbound bridge is scheduled to be replaced August 25-26.

Crews will demolish the current bridges and then move pre-built new bridges into place, using innovative technology.

I-80 is a major east-west artery that carries heavy traffic across much of the U.S. Utah's Department of Transportation encourages drivers to use I-70 through Weber Canyon as an alternate route to avoid the closures. I-70 connects with I-15 in the Ogden area and I-15 connects with I-80 in Salt Lake City, so the detour does not cause much problem for people driving east-west.

I-80 in Parley's Canyon (between Salt Lake City and Park City) is being restricted to one lane each direction at night through the end of August to allow crews resurface the road.

In Salt Lake City, the ramp from northbound I-15 to westbound I-80 will be closed Friday night for maintenance.

I-15 in the Provo area is still under major construction but conditions there are now improving every week as segments are completed. That project will be finished this fall.

Meanwhile, the southbound exit from I-15 to US Hwy 6 in Spanish Fork will be moved this weekend and that will briefly disrupt traffic.

Watch the UDOT website for construction updates.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Utah's Canyon of Gold Gets A Facelift

Bullion Canyon supported a booming mining community in the late 1800s, when a large quantity of gold was removed by panning the stream and working mine shafts.

Today the canyon includes a ghost town and a few relics from its glory days. It is a pretty canyon with a sparkling stream, located west of the town of Marysvale in Central Utah. One of the most photogenic waterfalls in Utah can by seen by following the stream up the canyon.

Recently a crew of volunteers from around the U.S. Completed a project to preserve ruins and improve facilities in Miners Park, in the canyon. The Forest Service provided this news release about the project:

The Canyon of Gold Gets a Facelift

Over a two week period from July 23 through August 3, this summer volunteers through the Passport in Time (PIT) program came from far and wide to renovate Miner’s Park, an outdoor museum dedicated to the mining industry in Bullion Canyon, southwest of Marysvale, Utah.

“Geographically, we had people from Utah, Georgia, Oregon, and Ohio,” said Fishlake National Forest Archeologist Bob Leonard. “One person owned a bike shop, another was a machinist, one fellow was an emergency room doctor, and another a safety officer with a fire department.” Working with a Forest Service crew, they rebuilt fences, replaced picnic equipment, surfaced trails, replaced signs and installed solar panels to light the cabin. The park now looks just about new.

In addition to the work at the park, Jim Peterson of Marysvale is building an informational kiosk that will be placed at the Canyon of Gold Trailhead at the bottom of the canyon.

So how did Miner’s Park get its start? In the early 1990s, Rell Frederick, a “retired” miner (they never really retire), proposed that the Fishlake National Forest sponsor the construction of an outdoor museum dedicated to the mining industry in Bullion Canyon. He had a wonderful idea but there were two major hurdles. One was to gather a workforce with the skills to build such a facility. The second was reconstructing a history left by miners who were not particularly interested in recording their own experiences.

Miner/historian Clark Elder provided specific information, including probate court documents from the late 1860s that solved many of the mysteries of the canyon including the precise location of a major mining camp. This camp, named Bullion City was established in 1869 at the mouth of the canyon just four years after three veterans of the strike at Sutter’s Mill found color in the creek flowing from Bullion Canyon. Bullion City, from 1869 to the census of 1880, grew in population to 1,651 people and the canyon, now a part of the Ohio Mining District, was booming.

Building the park, and an associated driving tour and waterfall trailhead, was accomplished principally, between 1993 and 1994 by PIT volunteers. As a Forest Service program, PIT projects are open to volunteers on National Forests across the United States. During the construction of the Miners’ Park, people came from 15 different states and offered a variety of skills from carpentry to posthole digging.
“Rosalie Peterson and her sister Delma Jukes came up from Marysvale to help, and Rell served as our technical advisor,” offered Leonard. By the end of the summer session of 1994, the park offered 15 interpretive displays including an “adit” (mine tunnel) and a furnished miner’s cabin. On the way up to the park, nine interpretive stops along the Bullion Canyon Road offer visitors a glimpse of life during the days of the mining boom. A toll road, the foundations of a boarding house, mine dumps, and mill sites can be seen. A trail also leads to an overlook above 60 foot waterfalls.

Through the years, the appearance and condition of Miner’s Park began to sag under the weight of heavy visitation and the elements. Fishlake Forest Supervisor Allen Rowley decided to fund a much needed face lift to a facility that has attracted a large number of visitors including school children, a lieutenant governor, a US congressmen, and KSL Channel 5. The site also plays an important role as an interpretive stop in both the Paiute Trail UTV and Rocky Mountain ATV jamborees.

For more information about Passport in Time, or if you ever get the hankering to do something interesting and very rewarding, most anywhere in the United States, visit

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Alta Joins 3 Other Iconic Resorts To Offer Joint Ski Pass

Utah's Alta Ski Resort is offering a new joint pass is cooperation with Jackson Hole, Aspen and Squaw Valley. The Salt Lake Tribune has this article announcing the pass. Below are excerpts.

"Everyone has a bucket list, and that’s what the four destinations talked to each other about" in creating the "Mountain Collective" pass, Alta spokeswoman Connie Marshall said Tuesday, when the pass was unveiled.

For $349, an adult passholder receives two free days at each of the four resorts plus 50 percent discounts on daily lift passes thereafter. Lodging discounts also are available. The pass is $229 for children 12 and under.

But Marshall said Alta could benefit greatly if skilled skiers at these other Western resorts get a first-hand feel for powder runs off the High Traverse or in Devil’s Castle.

The news has stirred considerable discussion on Twitter, and in the comments below the Trib article. We are interested to watch and see how it works.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Western Legends Roundup Will Run August 16-18 In Kanab

Experience the Old West "the way it was." That's the theme for the Western Legends Roundup, which is one of America's largest and most authentic celebration of Western life and film.

Kanab is know as Utah's "Little Hollywood" because countless Western movies and TV shows were filmed in the area. Many stars come back every year to participate in the Roundup.

Movie stars for the 2012 Roundup include:
  • Clint Walker (Cheyenne)
  • James Drury (The Virginian)
  • Neil Summers (Stuntman/Star)
  • Ed Faulkner (Have Gun, Will Travel)
  • Wyatt McCrea (Producer and Grandson of Joel McCrea)
  • Gary Clarke (The Virginian)
  • Mike Moroff (Three Bad Men)
  • Peter Brown (Lawman & Laredo)
  • Bob Fuller (Wagon Train & Emergency)
  • Cheryl Rogers-Barnett (Daughter of Roy Rogers & Dale Evans)
  • Bo Hopkins (The Wild Bunch)
  • Sara Lane (The Virginian)
  • Don Quine (The Virginian)
  • Michael Chapin (The Dakota Kid)
  • Diane Roter (The Virginian)

The Roundup includes the change to eat breakfast with the starts, mingle with them at other times and get autographs.

There will also be Western music, cowboy poetry, other entertainment, chuck wagon food, vendors, a Children's Roundup, a Mountain Man Camp and other events.

Sets from some of the old Western shows can still be seen in the Kanab area.

See the Roundup website for complete details.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Utah's Olympic Venues Continue To Draw Crowds With New Features, Activities

The title of this blog post comes from this Deseret News article about Utah's legacy Olympic venues.

Our state created world-class facilities in preparation for the 2002 Winter Olympics. The games went well - they were characterized as one of the most successful Olympics in modern times. And the venues continue to be used for sporting events.

That comes in contrast to facilities at other venues, where many fall into disuse and disrepair .

Below are excerpts from the D-News article.

In contrast, Utah has seen consistent use of its Olympic facilities in the 10 years since the cauldron's flame was extinguished at Rice-Eccles Stadium. According to the Utah Sports Commission, all 14 world-class venues created and enhanced for the 2002 Games continue to be used to host events, elite training and recreational programs.

More than 45 World Cups or championships have been hosted in the State of Utah since 2002, including the Nordic Combined National Championship, which was held last week at the Olympic Park.

Soldier Hollow has added to its miles of cross-country ski trails and transitioned into a year-round resort.

...The (Olympic) park's latest attraction, a set of ropes courses and a 65-foot drop tower, opened this summer and has attracted thousands of visitors.

Olympians regularly train at the Olympic sites and the national governing bodies of the U.S. speed skating team and ski and snowboarding team are based in Utah.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

10 Great National Parks Hikes In Utah

I'm always interested to see other peoples "best hikes" lists. I've been on most popular trails in Utah, and a bunch that are lesser-known, and I have my own favorites. But Utah has so many tails, there is no way anyone hike them all in a lifetime. So I scan other people's lists to make sure I haven't missed any of the great ones.

The Salt Lake Tribune Hiking Utah blog has an interesting post with this title: 10 great national parks hikes in Utah

The blog includes two hikes in each of our 5 national parks. We list their recommended hikes below.

Are these the "best" hikes in our national parks? Well, that's very subjective. These are great family hikes. There are many others equally good. My personal favorites are hikes that include a little more adventure, but these are certainly hikes I enjoy doing with my kids and grand kids.

Here's their list:

- Devils Garden
- Fiery Furnace

- Hat Shop
- Peekaboo-Queens Garden Loop

- Neck Spring Trail
- Slickrock Trail

- Cassidy Arch Trail
- Grand Wash

- Scout Lookout
- Pa'rus Trail

The blog provides details about each hike.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Gallop: Utah Will Be Best Place To Live In Five Years

Utah often rants at or near the top of "best lifestyle" surveys. Now Gallop, the famous polling company, is out with a new study predicting what conditions will be like in five years. The study concludes that Utah will be the best place in the U.S. to live.

We knew that, of course. Yes, Utah is more than skiing, national parks and incredible scenery. Below we g excerpts from the Gallop report. See the full report.

Utah easily leads the nation in terms of its performance across 13 forward-looking metrics that might determine which states will be the best places to live in the future. Minnesota, Colorado, Nebraska, and North Dakota round out the top five.

Utah does best in part because it is among the top two best-performing states for low smoking habits, ease of finding clean and safe water, having supervisors who treat workers like a partner rather than a boss, learning something new or interesting on any given day, and perceptions that your city or area are "getting better" rather than "getting worse."

These are five of 13 metrics encompassing economic, workplace, community, and personal choices...

The remaining eight metrics include evaluations of one's life five years from now, economic confidence, job creation, standard of living momentum, obesity, ease of finding a safe place to exercise, visits to the dentist, and the percentage of workers employed full time for an employer.

Come to play. Come to live. Come enjoy all Utah has to offer.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Cooling Off Under A Waterfall

We have a friend visiting from out of state and so we wanted to show her some of Utah's attractions. She has been to some of our national parks and major playgrounds and we wanted to show her something unique.

We settled on the fascinating rock art in Nine Mile Canyon, in Castle Country in eastern Utah, but fate intervened. Just as we get into Spanish Fork Canyon on Hwy 6, traffic came to an abrupt halt. We sat there for half an hour as half a dozen highway patrol and sheriff vehicles whizzed past, lights flashing. Then came the fire trucks and ambulances. They all went up, but nothing was coming down, so we knew we would be in for a long wait.

We heard there was a fatal accident a few miles above us and the highway might be closed for some time, so we turned around and reconsidered options.

We choose to hike to a series of waterfalls up Battle Creek Canyon, on the east edge of the town of Pleasant Grove, just north of Provo. We had great fun playing in Battle Creek, which is a small stream. We had more fun darting into the spray from the waterfalls. The water was cool and refreshing on a hot summer afternoon.

The lower waterfall is the most impressive and it is just a short hike (about 1 mile round trip) above the parking area, located at the eastern end of 200 South Street. The trail is broad and relatively easy. The final 100 yards become steep, but not bad. Viewpoints along the trail provide sweeping views of Utah Lake and the surrounding countryside.

You can hike for miles above the lower waterfall, seeing other cascades and small waterfalls. The trail in the upper section comes more steep.

We had a great time. On a summer day, you can't beat playing in a waterfall.

I love to seek out and photography waterfalls. Many people are not aware that there are dozens of waterfalls in the canyons along the Wasatch Front (the populated region that includes Provo, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and the areas in between). Many can be seen at the end of short hikes into scenic areas. See our hiking section for ideas.

- Dave Webb

Monday, August 06, 2012

Tour of Utah Bike Race Begins In Northern Utah

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah bicycle race begins tomorrow (Aug 7). It is billed as the "America's Toughest State Race" and it has grown into a large event. It runs through Aug 12 and it will affect traffic in Ogden, Park City, Snowbird, Lehi, Miller Motorsports Park, and points in between.

Many people enjoy watching the racers from key spots along the route.The official tour website has detailed information about the race and route. Here are excerpts pulled from the race site:
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah has grown from a respected, amateur cycling race in to one of only four internationally-sanctioned, multi-stage, American pro cycling events in 2012. Boasting 545 miles of racing and 38,500 feet of elevation gain, the Tour showcases some of the most beautiful and challenging cycling terrain in North America.

The Tour of Utah is the world’s first major professional stage race that follows the Tour de France and the 2012 Olympic Games. Many athletes who will have competed in these two pinnacle events will travel to Utah in August for our race. The Tour of Utah is free to all spectators and easily accessible to anyone who wants to catch the spirit of professional cycling. Browse the site for more information on our history, cycling terms and basics.

The calendar of events details some great places to view the race, along with key events and special activities, including the KJZZ Team Presentation Ceremony, Lifestyle Expo presented by Geigerrig and Autograph Alley. There is also a comprehensive array of experience packages for insider access, plus a lot of opportunities for true-blue cycling fans to volunteer and actually help out with the logistics of the race.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Remarkable Summer Travel: Park City has this interesting article touting Park City as an amazing luxury summer travel destination. Writer Tracey Greenstein has apparently been smitten by Utah's most famous ski resort town. Here are excerpts from her article:

…Whether you’re outdoorsy, keen on luxury, traveling with the kids, artsy, adventurous, spa bound or simply looking to get away, Utah’s resplendent mountain views and never ending list of activities creates the perfect environment for every type of traveler.

I recommend a stay at the Waldorf Astoria Park City, a mix of classic elegance with a rustic western feel.

Every guest should schedule a treatment at the Golden Door Spa...

...the French-inspired and locally sourced menu at Slopes by Talisker (in the Waldorf Astoria) will surpass your highest expectations.

If you haven’t tried mountain biking, you’re missing out. Instructors teach the basics, outfit travelers with the gear and gondolas bring riders and bikes to the well-appointed routes.

Park City is an inviting mountain town, home to every outdoor gear store under the sun, local jewelry boutiques and a weekly farmers market...

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Jordan River Parkway Trail System Map

The Jordan River Parkway includes an extensive trail system that follows the Jordan River from Utah Lake up to the Great Salt Lake – through the heart of Salt Lake Valley. It has become a popular place to walk, jog, bike, skate and engage in other recreational activities.

The trails have been completed in stages, partly because they extends through a number of municipalities and even parts of 2 counties. The result has been a sort of hodge-podge. Now that the system is virtually complete, work is underway to unify the system

One important step has been the creation of a comprehensive map. That is now finished. There is now an excellent map – an electronic version can be downloaded here or printed copies can be picked up at various places around town.

The Salt Lake County Parks website has this info about the new map:

A complete map of the Jordan River Parkway Trail system has been designed and printed with the assistance of the National Park Service Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program and the Jordan River Commission.

The new map highlights trailheads, public transit areas, urban parks, and conservation areas. Hard copies are available... or simply download your electronic version...
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