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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Delicate Arch Has A Twin; Dinosaur NM Wins Accolades

Arches National Park is showcasing the two interesting photos shown above:

"Delicate Arch just discovered it has a long-lost twin in Bolivia's Tucabaca Park." (See the full-sized photos.)

The resemblance is amazing. I know Delicate Arch is stunning when you see it in person. It's one of my favorite photo subjects. I'm sure Bolivia's arch is also impressive. Makes me want to go see.

Dinosaur National Monument has this interesting article about Dinosaur National Monument. Here are a couple quotes:

It’s a park to make Steven Spielberg proud, with not only one of the world’s largest concentrations of dinosaur bones from the Jurassic Period ever discovered, but also white-water rafting wild enough to make the most jaded action-film fan squeal.

Twenty miles east of Vernal, Utah, is the Dinosaur Quarry (accessible only from the Utah side), the destination for most day visitors to the 325-square-mile monument. More than 1,500 bones of the so-called ‘terrible lizards’ that lived here 150 million years ago have been exposed on a 200-foot rock face.

Dinosaur is located just east of the town of Vernal, in NE Utah. The monument sports a bran new
Quarry Building and Visitor Center. It's one of the great places in the world to bring kids for education and adventure.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Zion Narrows Closed Until Runoff Subsides

Hiking The Narrows - by Dave Webb
The snowpack in Utah's mountains is melting and the resulting runoff is cascading down streams. As a result, some streams are running high and and have dangerous conditions.

In Zion National Park, the very popular Narrows hike has been closed and will not reopen until runoff subsides. The magic number for The Narrows is 150 cubic feet per second – the canyon will reopen to hiking when the Virgin River drops to that level for 24 hours.

When will that happen? Probably won't be long this year. Our snowpack is meager and so runoff is not expected to be particularly heavy or last very long. The Narrows will certainly be open by June 1, and may opeen much sooner (depending on weather conditions.)

Other streams will also be high. People need to exercise caution when traveling or recreating near streams. Some backcountry roads ford streams (no bridges). Don't drive into a stream that is flooding. When hiking, use extreme caution when crossing streams and don't go into the water if it looks unusually high or dangerous. Keep a sharp eye on kids and don't let them play near the streams.

Often, water will be deeper, faster and colder than expected. Crossing will probably be more difficult than you anticipate. Take care.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring Fishing Is Hot At Lake Powell And Around Utah

New Utah tecord catch and release channel catfish caught by John Konzelman
Spring Fishing Is Hot At Lake Powell And Around Utah

Striped bass fishing is red hot on the lower end of Lake Powell, with fish eagerly taking anchovies and other baits. Smallmouth bass fishing is also very good and that action will peak during the next couple weeks. Largemouth bass, walleye, catfish and sun fish are also cooperating with anglers.

Meanwhile, ice is now coming off some of Utah's most popular trout waters. The ice is going quickly at Scofield and fishing there has been very good for cutthroat and tiger trout.

At Strawberry, ice is now pulling back and the much anticipated "ice off" fishing will take place during the next few days.

We've also heard that ice is pulling back at Current Creek Reservoir.

Is is completely off Otter Creek and many other reservoirs in southern Utah. Fish Lake is the exception – it will still be a couple of weeks before it opens up.

The ice-off period often brings great trout fishing. The fish seem to congregate along the edge of the ice as it pulls back from shore. Anglers who position themselves so they can cast and work lures along the edge of the ice often do very well. Come cast flies or lures onto the ice and then hop it along the surface until it falls off the edge. Trout often hit lures as the fall vertically at the edge of the ice.

During spring fish can be finicky and there are no guarantees. Many factors affect success and action is slow at times. But, on average, you have a very good chance of catching nice fish if you get out during the next couple weeks.

Our streams are mostly in good shape and also offer great fishing. Snowpack is low and so runoff has not yet become a problem. If the weather stays warm for an extended period, we may get some high water that makes stream fishing difficult. But if we continue to have warm/cold cycles, runoff may never be a big problem this year.

The Green, Provo, Ogden, Weber and many other streams now offer good fishing.

Boulder Mountain and the High Uintas will not open up until mid or late June.

Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources confirms a new "catch and release" record channel catfish was caught caught April 12 at Cutler Reservoir.. It measured 36-inch long. We are using of photo of that fish to illustrate this blog post.

For detailed Lake Powell reports and fishing tips, see Wayne Gustaveson's excellent website.

The DWR gives frequent updates on fishing conditions, along with timely tips. I'm aggregating them here.

- Dave Webb

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Great Escapes In Utah And Around The World has this interesting article suggesting great travel escapes, including ideas for a road trip in Utah. asked the experts at Black Tomato, "a very hip UK and US based travel agency," to make recommendations. The Black Tomato guys suggested:
  • A real Texas ranch
  • A trip to Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico
  • A stay in Charleston, South Carolina
  • And a road trip in southern Utah
In Utah they recommended the Zion Park and Moab areas: “We’d send you off to Zion Mountain Ranch for canyoneering, night campfires and horse back riding, as well as incredible landscapes and scenery. Then, we'd recommend you drive onto Sorrel River Ranch right in the middle of the dramatic cliff tops. This resort has farm-to-food plates, a great spa as well as national park walking, river rafting, off road touring and family friendly activities.”

The article goes on to suggest some international destinations including:
  • Sojourns in Italy
  • Botswana
  • Peru
  • Island hopping in Greece
I found the article to be an enjoyable read.

- Dave Webb

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Jarvie Ranch Hosts Family Fest and Archaeology Week Activities

Jarvie Ranch is a historic site on the Green River in Browns Park, in northeastern Utah. The area has a colorful history that included Native Americans, ranchers, cattlemen and Old West outlaws. It was one of the stops on the "Outlaw Trail" and was sometimes visited by Butch Cassidy and his gang.

The old ranch house now serves as a small museum showcasing relics from the area.

The BLM provided this information about Family Fest and Archaeology Week activities at the ranch:

What: John Jarvie Ranch Family Festival
Where: Historic John Jarvie Ranch at Browns Park
When: Saturday, May 4, 2013, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.       
Who: Public – everyone is welcome – no entrance fee
Why: Experience turn-of-the century days gone by!

Activities of the day include leather working, blacksmith demonstrations, period photography, crafts, bake sale and Browns Park Homemakers Club luncheon. Archaeology activities include flint knapping, atlatl throwing, making your own rock art, and a pottery demonstration.

Directions to the John Jarvie Ranch from Vernal, Utah:
  • Go north on Hwy 191 for 55 miles
  • Travel east on a gravel/paved road for 22 miles (two miles of up to 12 percent grade)
  • Follow Jarvie Ranch/Browns Park signs
  • Directions to the John Jarvie Ranch from Maybell, Colorado:
  • Go west on Hwy 318 for 70 miles of paved road and eight miles of gravel road
  • Follow Jarvie Ranch/Browns Park signs
  • For additional information on Jarvie Fest, call the Vernal Field Office at 435-781-4400 or the Jarvie Historical Ranch at 435-885-3307.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

St. George to Host Annual Utah Tourism Conference

Online registration is now open for the 10th Annual Utah Tourism Conference that will be held at the Dixie Convention Center in St. George from May 14-16, 2013.  The conference is co-sponsored by the Utah Office of Tourism and the Utah Tourism Industry Coalition (UTIC). 

“Tourism drives the Utah economy with jobs and tax revenues, so it's really important for all industry partners to gather once a year,” said Vicki Varela, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism, Film, and Global Branding, an agency of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.  “We will brainstorm, share successes and collaborate to make sure tourists experience the very best of Utah Life Elevated®.”

The agenda includes sessions on domestic and international marketing, research trends, social media, a legislative update, and other topics. 

“The Utah Tourism Conference is an excellent opportunity for businesses around the state to learn about what is new in the industry, what is working well for others, and how the efforts of all the state’s businesses collectively make the industry stronger and more cohesive,” said Marian DeLay, president of UTIC and executive director of the Moab Area Travel Council. “We have excellent speakers lined up, and a fun agenda planned. We hope to see more and more of our outfitters, lodging property owners and managers, restaurant owners and tourism providers present this year.”

“We are most anxious to host all of our tourism partners from around the state,” said Roxie Sherwin, director of the St. George Area Convention and Tourism Office.  “We have planned for an enlightening conference, a good time and great weather!”

Entries and nominations are being accepted for the Utah Tourism Hall of Fame Awards and the new 2013 Best Ideas in Advertising and Marketing Contest.  The deadline for the Hall of Fame nominations is April 26.  Details for the Hall of Fame can be found online at   The awards will be presented during the conference.

The Best Ideas in Advertising and Marketing Contest is an opportunity for the industry to learn from each other while sharing their successes in advertising and marketing. The deadline for the contest is April 26.  Entries can include successful events, PR stunts, advertising campaigns, online promotions, or any imaginative approach that has been taken to promote a destination.  There is no charge to participate, but tourism organizations are limited to one entry.  For more information on the contest, visit, or contact Rebecca Katz at the Utah Office of Tourism at

Tourism is one of Utah’s largest industries, generating $6.9 billion in traveler spending every year and $890 million in state and local taxes.  Utah’s Travel and Tourism-related employment is estimated at 124,059 tourism-related jobs in the state. In 2011, 22 million international and domestic travelers visited Utah.   

Individual conference registration is $175.  Two or more representatives from the same company can register for $150 per person.  A student registration is also available for $50.  For conference information and registration, visit or call UTIC at (801) 505-5266 or contact the Utah Office of Tourism at or (801) 538-1900.

Read more: Utah Pulse - St George to Host Annual Utah Tourism Conference

Monday, April 22, 2013

Enjoy Red Rock Therapy During National Parks Week

 Parunuweap Canyon, by Dave Webb
This is National Parks Week (April 20-28, 2013). Entrance fees are waived at properties managed by the U.S. National Park Service. That includes Utah's 5 national parks, our national monuments and our national recreation areas.

Special activities are being held at some parks. We encourage you to get to know our parks, and to enjoy the scenery, activities and adventures they offer.

The Utah Office of Tourism sponsors a blog with tips and information to help people interested in traveling to Utah. In this post, writer Ben Dodds describes a trip to southwestern Utah where the beauty and serenity helped him find relief from physical ailments. He talks about his adventures in the Needles District of Canyonlands, Natural Bridges National Monument and the Sand Island area on the San Juan River near Bluff. Here are excerpts from his blog post:

...I explored Chesler Park. An 11-mile roundtrip hike into a world of spires, whose contrasts, colors, and shapes are amplified by the rising or setting sun. I carefully and deliberately made each step on the trail, so as not to aggravate my back. The surreal experience of hiking through such intensely colored rock and spectacular beauty was heightened by the absolute silence and perfect serenity of Canyonlands.

...A few minutes later, I observed a coyote walk into the river just a few hundred yards upstream. It noticed me and stopped. Locked in eye contact, I remained absolutely motionless until it decided I wasn't a threat. It moved deeper into the river until the current carried it downstream. It continued paddling to the south bank of the river and pulled itself up a few hundred yards downstream from me. The fleeting interaction, no more than a minute, left me awestruck, and will be an enduring memory.

Read the entire post.

Photos of Zion
The Office of Tourism also has this page showcasing beautiful photos of various destinations in Zion National Park. The images are outstanding and fun to view.

I was pleasantly surprised to find one of my photos displayed among the collection. It is a shot of Double Falls, on the right Fork of North Creek in the Kolob Terrace section of the park.

It's a nice photo, but I don't consider it one of my best.

The page has numerous photos from The Narrows, The Subway and the Angels Landing areas, which is understandable because they are very popular destinations.

I found it interesting that the page does not include any photos from Parunuweap Canyon, which I consider to be one of the most interesting and photogenic in the area. Parunuweap is similar to The Narrows, deep, dark and narrow, but more challenging to explore. Hikers are allowed to descend a wild section immediately east of the park, but are not supposed to follow the canyon downstream into the park itself. (Maybe that's why it is not represented on the page.)

I've used one of my Parunuweap shots to illustrate this blog post. See more of my Parunuweap photos here.

- Dave Webb

Friday, April 19, 2013

Discover And Explore Cedar Mesa

Road Canyon Ruin by Dave Webb
The Washington Post's travel section has this interesting article giving a first person account of a trip to Cedar Mesa, in southeastern Utah. Writer Kate Siber recounts her trip and notes that the area offers impressive natural beauty plus amazing ancient Native American sites and artifacts in an unspoiled wilderness-like setting where it is still possible to enjoy solitude.

I love the area and explore there often. I've struggled with the dichotomy: should I write about, draw attention to and encourage people to visit an area I love because of its unspoiled, undiscovered qualities?

In the case of Cedar Mesa, I think it is appropriate to tell the world about its wonderful qualities. I'm glad that Kate and others write good, responsible article about the place.

Kate notes that there are still artifacts scattered on the ground in many spots: pottery shards, ancient corn cobs and other relics from pre-history. The reason they are still there is that most visitors are ethical and work to protect and preserve the area.

Cedar Mesa and other similar spots are being discovered. It is impossible to hide a place so beautiful, with such remarkable ancestral Puebloan structures, rock art and artifacts. Our best hope is to help educate people about the place, and encourage them to be responsible visitors.

Below I give Kate's headline and then quotes from the article:

On Utah’s Cedar Mesa, solitude and the thrill of discovery

In a forgotten corner of Utah between the towns of Blanding and Bluff, Cedar Mesa is a riddle of canyons, moss-draped oases and sandstone spires. Despite the area’s desolate beauty, travelers routinely overlook it in favor of better-known national park sites such as Canyonlands, Arches, Mesa Verde and Chaco. They’re missing out.

...Many sites have never been excavated, named or mapped, and few modern eyes have seen them. Although ruins in national parks can be larger and more elaborate, Cedar Mesa offers a rare slice of solitude and the thrill of discovery.

...Cedar Mesa’s wildness is what preserves it. It’s also a large part of its appeal, and the reason it perennially lures me from my Colorado home, a half-day’s drive away.

Read the entire article.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Come To Utah To Find Happy, Flirtatious People

Utah has a well-deserved reputation as a friendly place. Come here and you'll be greeted by smiling people who will offer kind words and helpful advice. Travelers are always welcome at our parks and recreation areas and our festivals and events – even those in small communities.

Two new studies suggest you will also encounter happy people, and in some places you may encounter flirtatious behavior.

Flirtatious? That's correct. is out with a study that suggests Provo is the most ‘flirty’ city in the U.S. The website set out to discover is political persuasion related to degree of flirtatiousness. The preconception was that liberal-leaning people would be more flirtatiousness, but that proved to be incorrect. Provo consistently ranks as one of the most conservative cities in the country. The website had this to say:

“Given the conservative nature of most people in Provo, it is ironic how flirtatious and forward students often are when it comes to dating,” he said. “I believe this stems from people feeling more comfortable and confident because they know those around them have similar backgrounds and share commonalities.”

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index reveals measures many factors that contribute to well being. The latest data was evaluated and compiled into a "Happiest States" list, with Utah coming in at number 4. The study's ranking of the 10 happiest states is given below.
  • Hawaii: 70.2
  • North Dakota: 70.0
  • Minnesota: 69.2
  • Utah: 69.0
  • Alaska: 69.0
  • Colorado: 68.4
  • Kansas: 68.4
  • Nebraska: 68.3
  • New Hampshire: 68.2
  • Montana: 68.0
Many factors go into the mix, including Utahns healthy lifestyle, our beautiful natural surroundings and our abundant recreational opportunities.

Happy and flirtatious. Not bad. Come enjoy the fun.

- Dave Webb

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dead Sea Scrolls, 600 Artifacts Be Exhibited At The Leonardo

People in Utah will have a rare opportunity to see some of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other artifacts from ancient Israel, when a major exhibit comes to The Leonardo museum in Salt Lake City. The exact dates of the exhibit have not been announced but it will be sometime in the fall.

Scholars from Brigham Young University have been involved in the effort to translate the scrolls, and discover when they were written. Information about BYU's involvement will be showcased along with the artifacts.

KSL has this report about the exhibit. Below are excerpts:

Wednesday, The Leonardo museum announced that they would be showcasing 20 scrolls, including the oldest known copies of the Hebrew Bible, alongside about 600 artifacts from ancient Israel. They will display only 10 scrolls at one time.

Included in the exhibit will be portions of Genesis, Psalms, Exodus, Isaiah...

"It is a high compliment from Israel that Utah residents and visitors will be one of the few places in the country that will have the privilege of seeing the Dead Sea Scroll exhibition," Governor Gary R. Hebert said Wednesday. "The scrolls and the 600 other artifacts coming to Utah along with a several ton section of the temple mount 'wailing wall' will give many people a chance to experience a unique part of world history they might not have otherwise."

Read the full report.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Attend The Ultimate Outdoor Expo This Weekend In Heber

The Ultimate Outdoor Expo should be a fun extravaganza for the entire family, with plenty of opportunities for hands-on experiences enjoying and learning about recreational activities, lifestyle and adventure.

The expo will be held in Heber City at the Wasatch County Events Center. The Heber Valley website has maps and directions.

Friday, April 19: 12 - 8 pm
Saturday, April 20: 10 am - 8 pm
Sunday, April 21: 10 am - 5 pm

Scheduled events include:
  • ATV & Power Sport Test Track sponsored by Swire/Coca-Cola
  • Archery Range sponsored by The DWR, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife and The Utah Bowman's Association
  • Gun Range Clay Shooting at Big Hollow Gun Range by The Mule Deer Foundation, UT Chukar Foundation, Safari Club International
  • Fishing Pond for kids with instruction sponsored by The DWR & Wasatch State Park
  • Gun / Hunting Safety Training & Anti Poaching Trailer sponsored by The DWR
  • Hunting Dog Trials Competition sponsored by Green Valley Kennels
  • Bird Dog demos, Goose Spread Set up, Goose Calling Contest sponsored by Ducks Unlimited
  • Golf equipment testing sponsored by Superior Golf
  • Dutch Oven Cooking with Bakin' Bill sponsored by The International Dutch Oven Society
  • Wild Game Cooking on Sears Cooking Stage
  • Fly Fishing Demo & Tips
  • Boating Safety activities sponsored by Utah State Parks Boating Program & The Coast Guard Aux
  • Geo-Cache pre-show and on site sponsored by Utah State Parks Dept
  • Mock Pheasant Hunt sponsored by Greater Salt Lake Pheasants Forever
  • Air Gun Range and Hunter Safety Trailer sponsored by The National Wild Turkey Federation
  • Small Game Guzzler Display sponsored by Utah Chukar Foundation
  • Falconry Demonstration sponsored by The Falconry Club of Utah

The video below provides an overview of the expo.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Salt Lake Marathon Will Take Place Saturday, April 20

Our hearts go out to the people affected by the bombings at the Boston Marathon. To the people from all around the world who were running in the race. To the staff and volunteers, and to the spectators. We're all affected by these senseless tragedies, to a greater or lesser extent.

The Salt Lake Marathon will go forward as planned on Saturday, April 20, albeit with heightened security. We must all press forward...

The local event is a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon. We're proud of that affiliation.

The Salt Lake Marathon will bring crowds to Salt Lake City and will disrupt traffic in some areas. The Marathon provided this course description:

Runners of all ages and ability levels will enjoy crisp, cool running weather in April, in a setting that surrounds them with snow-capped peaks contrasting with spring blossoms, all along a flat and slightly downhill course. The Marathon, Half marathon, and Bike Tour all start at the Olympic Legacy Bridge at the University of Utah, the site of the 2002 Winter Olympic Athlete Village. The gentle course then skirts the base of the towering Wasatch Mountains, passes by cozy neighborhoods and elegant estates, and winds through Salt Lake’s legendary wide streets, finishing in beautiful Liberty Park! Shuttles will provide transportation from Liberty Park to TRAX after the race.

The Marathon website provides details about the race, and related events. The video below was provided by USEntertainmentGroup.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Arches Celebrates Birthday, Named Family-Friendly Park

Arches National Park celebrates its birthday today. The iconic landscape found within the park was originally designated as a National Monument on April 12, 1929. It was redesignated as a National Park on November 12, 1971.

Arches is named as one of the top 10 national parks for families in a new ranking by Bryce Canyon also makes that top 10 list. Here is the full list:

10 Best National Parks for Families
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Arches National Park
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  • Voyageurs National Park
  • Shenandoah National Park
  • Acadia National Park
Remember, entrance fees at US National Park properties will be waived during National Park Week, April 22-26.

New Advanced Bike Trail
In other news from the Moab area, the new Captain Ahab bike trail is winning fans. has this fun review of the trail.

Captain Ahab is a classic new-school Moab trail being about views, contours, rock-benched singletrack and exquisite route-finding. As a trail builder and a rider I was probably even more stoked about the building part of the video than the riding; giggling like a kid when I saw the trail crew pry out 600 pound sandstone rocks. I knew I had to find out more about Captain Ahab so caught up with Tyson who gave me a run-down on how the trail came to be.

This video by Tyson Swasey (Poison Spider Bike Shop) captures the excitement of the trail.

Captain Ahab Trail from Tyson Swasey on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Slide Occurs At Kennecott; Visit Center Closed Indefinitely

Ravell Call, Deseret News
A massive slide occurred today at the Kennecott open pit mine in the mountains southwest of Salt Lake City. The company had been monitoring ground movement and anticipated the slide. No one was injured.

The mine is enormous – it is one of the largest man made holes on earth. It has been in operation for more than 109 years and is one of Utah's largest employers. Copper is the main product but many other minerals are also recovered.

The view into the mine from the rim is impressive. A visitor center on the rim has welcomed Utahns and tourists alike for many year. The visitor center has provided detailed information about the mine, its history, and how the company is working to be a responsible community partner and land steward.

The visitor center is normally open from April through October. A small entrance fee has been charged, with all proceeds going toward charitable work.

When officials detected the land movement they decided not to open the visitor center at all this season. That proved to be a wise decision. Had there been people at the visitor center today they would have been in danger.

The Deseret News has this article about the slide. It is illustrated with 36 amazing photos that show the mine and the huge ground movement.

Officials say they are working to have some kind of visitor facility available for 2014.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

TRAX Will Now Take People To Salt Lake Airport

Getting to and from Salt LakeInternational Airport will become easier as of this weekend, when the Utah Transit Authority officially launches the new Airport TRAX light rail line.

The line will have convenient stops in downtown Salt Lake City, along North Temple and at the airport. The airport stop will be within easy walking distance of both terminals.

This means that travelers will be able to use public transportation to easily get from the airport to downtown hotels, or to stops where they can catch buses up to our ski resorts.

UTA provided the information below. You may also want to read this Deseret News article: Here's what you need to know about taking TRAX to the SLC airport

Airport TRAX Grand Opening Festivities April 13, 2013Come join UTA as we open the Airport TRAX line with music, food and fun. Donate a can of food to ride the new line anywhere between Arena Station and the new Airport Station. All food donations will all benefit the Utah Food Bank.
Food is Your Fare10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
All stations
Donate a can of food at the bins located near the stations to ride the new Airport Line before it opens.
Community Celebrations10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All stations except for Arena
Join with UTA, Salt Lake City and the North Temple community as we celebrate the opening of the line.  Each station location will have music, food and fun activities. Make sure to pick-up your commemorative Airport Line Passport and get it stamped at all the stations for the chance to win great prizes. Different local food vendors will be sampling their wares, and a wide variety of local musicians will be performing all day. The Utah State Fair Park will also be hosting a mini-Fair, so come check out the inflatable slide, a petting zoo and more.
Grand Opening Ceremony2 p.m.
North Temple Bridge Station
The governor and members of Utah’s congressional delegation will join with UTA and other local elected officials to kick-off the highly anticipated service to Salt Lake City International Airport.
The Airport Line will begin revenue service on Sunday, April 14 as part of UTA’s Green Line, which will offer service between West Valley City and the airport. Riders wanting to travel to the airport can transfer from TRAX anywhere between Central Pointe Station (2100 South) and Arena Station. FrontRunner riders may transfer to the new line at the North Temple Bridge Station

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Utah Resorts Get Heavy Snow; Skiing Continues

A big storm has just left Utah, after dumping heavy snow at many areas. Here are some 24-hour totals from Utah ski resorts.

Deer Valley: 18 inches
Canyons: 17 inches
Park City: 17 inches
Alta: 12 inches
Solitude: 13 inches
Brighton: 12 inches

Many of our resorts are open at this writing but most will close after April 14. Some will offer skiing on weekends for several more weeks. Here are projected closing date\:

Eagle Point: Closed
Sundance: Closed
Wolf Mountain: Closed
Brian Head: April 14
Canyons: April 14
Deer Valley: April 14
Park City: April 14
Snowbasin: April 14
Solutide: April 14
Brighton: April 21
Alta: April 28
Snowbird: May 27

See the resort websites for spring schedules.

Snowbird may stay open longer if conditions permit.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival Runs April 12 – 27

Thanksgiving Point is a fun destination with a wide assortment of attractions including:
  • Extensive Gardens
  • Children’s Discovery Garden
  • Farm Country
  • Museum of Ancient Life
  • Emporium
  • Restaurants
  • Shops
  • Theaters
It is a great, family-friendly destination located halfway between Salt Lake and Provo.

Right now the gardens feature thousands of tulips in full bloom. The sight is impressive and has spawned an annual Tulip Festival. Thanksgiving Point provided the details below.

(Speaking of flowers, wildflowers are coming on strong right now in the SW Utah deserts around St. George. The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about wildflowers in Snow Canyon State Park.)

Welcome spring this April and enjoy all the colors of the rainbow spread throughout nearly 100 different varieties of tulips during the annual Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival. Featuring 250,000 tulips spread throughout the 55-acre Thanksgiving Point Gardens, the Tulip Festival is an awe-inspiring sight that is redesigned each year to create a new display.

In addition to the spectacular tulips, on Fridays and Saturdays the Tulip Festival includes music, vendors, and food. Garden tours and demonstrations run every day. And though there are hundreds of volunteers and staff working behind the scenes to create the festival, make no mistake about it: Mother Nature is in charge of the show. Regular Garden admission fees apply, free admission for Thanksgiving Point members

April 12 - 27, 2013 (closed Sundays)
10 am - 8 pm

Thanksgiving Point Gardens

Take I-15 to exit #284 (Timpanogos Hwy or SR92) in Lehi and proceed west on Clubhouse Drive. Cross the bridge and take an immediate right onto Garden Way and proceed to the Gardens area.

Monday - Thursday
$8/children & seniors

Friday & Saturday
$10/children & seniors


Friday, April 05, 2013

New Curatorial Facility At Utah Field House of Natural History Museum

Located in Vernal, in northeastern Utah, the Utah Field House of Natural History Museum is one of the great places to see dinosaur fossils, and other natural wonders, and to learn about earth's geologic history.

The museum has just completed construction of a new curatorial facility and is holding an open house to introduce it to the public. The museum provided this information:

New Curatorial Facility
Join us Friday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a ribbon cutting and open house celebrating the completion of the new curatorial facility of the Utah Field House of Natural History Museum.

This is the only time facilities will be open to the public!

Schedule of Events
Ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m.
Free entrance to the museum all day until 5 p.m.
Hands-on demonstrations, guest speakers and more.

The curatorial facility is where they keep fossils, bones and other artifacts that they don't have room to show in the museum.

Park Manager Steve Sroka says a humidity and temperature-controlled space helps preserve these important artifacts for future generations.

More About The Museum
Exposed rock in this area reveals more geologic time than you will see in the Grand Canyon. Within an 80-mile radius of Vernal, evidence of much of Earth's history is visible. The Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum is a 22,000-square foot structure built to preserve and reveal the wealth of prehistory found within Utah's Uinta Basin.

Outside the museum, and providing the greatest appeal to passing visitors, is the Dinosaur Garden, a prehistoric zoo of full-size replicas ranging in age from Pennsylvanian through Pleistocene. The garden includes a 20-foot Tyrannosaurus with six-inch, knife-like teeth, a horned Triceratops, six-ton Stegosaurus, winged Pteranodon and other full-size prehistoric animal replicas.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

LDS Conference Brings Crowds To Salt Lake City

People are already starting to arrive for LDS General Conference, which runs Saturday and Sunday this weekend. It brings thousands of people to Temple Square and the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City.

The semi-annual conference is a major event and will cause traffic congestion in the downtown area. Parking will be difficult to find. Public transportation will run on an expanded schedule to help shuttle people into and out of the downtown area.

Three sessions will be held on Saturday, beginning at 10 am, 2 pm and 6 pm. Two sessions will be held on Sunday, beginning at 10 am and 2 pm. Sessions run for 2 hours.

Members of the public are invited to attend. Since seats are in high demand, a free ticket system has been implemented and tickets are hard to come by.

Conference sessions are held in the Conference Center, across from Temple Square. Sound from the sessions is piped to Temple Square where it can be heard all around the grounds. People who cannot get tickets to get into the Conference Center often listen to the services while enjoying the beautiful spring gardens at Temple Square.

Most sessions are broadcast on local TV and the Sunday morning session is broadcast on many stations around the U.S. and across the world.

The Deseret News has this article giving more info on General Conference.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

National Park Week Is April 22-26; Entrance Fees Waived

From April 22-26 there will be no entrance fees at U.S. national parks and monuments, and other properties managed by the National Park Service. Camping, boat launching and other fees will still be accessed.

The waived fees come during National Park Week. Many parks will hold special activities during the week. (Check locally for activities at the parks you plan to visit.) Learn more about National Park Week.

To encourage people to enjoy our parks, the Park Service offers several days when fees are waived across the entire system, including these 2013 dates:
  • January 21, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • April 22-26, five days during National Park Week
  • August 25, National Park Service Birthday
  • September 28, National Public Lands Day
  • November 9-11, Veterans Day weekend
As spring progresses, more facilities are being opened. At the Grand Canyon, the North Rim will open on or about May 15.

Dinosaur National Monument provided the news release below:

Spring Brings Expanded Visitor Services to Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur, CO - "Now that spring is here, Dinosaur National Monument is preparing to offer expanded services for visitors, " announced Monument Superintendent, Mary Risser. 
On the Utah side of the monument, the Quarry Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The visitor center features exhibits, a film, and a sales outlet for the Intermountain Natural History Association; it also serves as the departure point for car caravans to the Quarry Exhibit Hall with its wall of dinosaur fossils. Caravans leave from the visitor center at scheduled times throughout the day. Visitors must first stop at the visitor center before driving to the Quarry. In addition to the fossil wall, the Quarry Exhibit Hall features exhibits about dinosaurs and other life during the Jurassic. Beginning on May 18, the shuttle which transports visitors between the visitor center and exhibit hall, will begin operations. For more information about seeing the dinosaur fossils, please visit the monument website or call (435) 781-7700.  
The Split Mountain Group and Green River campgrounds are scheduled to begin providing water and restrooms starting Friday, April 12. With the return of water and restroom services, camping fees will be charged. For the Green River Campground, the fee is $12.00 per night, per site. Each site can accommodate up to 8 people. Reservations are not accepted at this time. The Split Mountain Group Campground has four group sites. Each site can accommodate up to 25 people and six vehicles. The fee for Split Mountain is $25.00 per site, per night. Reservations for the sites at Split Mountain Group Campground are accepted through the online system managed by or calling 1 (877) 444-6777 (10:00 am - Midnight, Eastern Time). Split Mountain and Green River Campgrounds are located approximately four miles east of the Quarry Visitor Center on the Cub Creek road. More information on the campgrounds is available
Also on the Utah side of the monument, the Cub Creek Road is a 12-mile scenic drive beginning near the Quarry Visitor Center. Visitors in this area can see numerous petroglyph sites, explore the Josie Morris homestead, look for wildlife, or take a hike on several trails. On the Colorado side of the monument, the Harpers Corner Road will open on Friday, April 12 for the season.
The Harpers Corner Road is a scenic 32-mile one way drive that leaves U.S. Highway 40 two miles east of Dinosaur, Colorado. "Though the road is currently closed to vehicular traffic, bicyclists and hikers may travel on the road," commented Superintendent Risser, "but should use caution and watch out for any snow removal equipment." Cycling on the Harpers Corner Road may give visitors the opportunity to see an array of wildlife, including elk, deer, and grouse. The Canyon Visitor Center, located at the start of the Harpers Corner Road, is currently closed, but will open on Saturdays and Sundays starting April 13 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and daily beginning on May 24.
While there are no dinosaur fossils in the Colorado portion of the monument, overlooks along the road provide sweeping views of the Uintah Basin and into the canyons of the Green and Yampa Rivers. Several trails provide a closer look not only at the monument's scenery and but also its plant and animal life. Dirt roads leading off the Harpers Corner Drive are not maintained and are usually impassable when wet. Check at the visitor center before venturing onto the unpaved roads for road conditions. Visitors venturing into this portion of the monument should check the forecast prior to their visit and be prepared for rapidly changing conditions.
The Gates of Lodore Campground, located 106 miles north of the Canyon Visitor Center on the Green River at the head of Lodore Canyon, is scheduled to begin providing water and restrooms starting May 24. Once the water is turned on, camping fees of $8.00 per night, per site will be charged. May 24, is also when water is scheduled to be turned on at the Echo Park Campground, located 38 miles north of the Canyon Visitor Center near where the Yampa River meets the Green River, and at the Deerlodge Park Campground located 53 miles east of the Canyon Visitor Center on the Yampa River at the head of Yampa Canyon. Camping fees for both campgrounds are $8.00 per night, per site.
Entrance fees for Dinosaur National Monument are as follows: $10 per vehicle, valid for up to seven days; $5 per person for someone on a motorcycle or bicycle. Frequent visitors to the monument may want to purchase a Dinosaur Annual Pass for $20.00, which is great value for those who come often or bring family and friends when visiting the area. For more information, visit the fees and reservation section of the park website which also includes rates for commercial and non-commercial groups and how school groups can request anacademic fee waiver.
Remember that Dinosaur's weather is unpredictable and can change rapidly. Visitors should always be prepared for a range of conditions. Wildlife, like deer, elk and bighorn sheep, may be seen along the rivers. Please be alert for animals crossing the roads, particularly at dawn and dusk. For more information on Dinosaur National Monument, call us at (435) 781-7700. You can also visit us on the web at, find us on facebook at or follow DinosaurNPS on twitter.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Stunning Scenery On The Zion Narrows Hike

Matthew Karsten, a travel blogger and photographer, has this excellent blog post that includes a great description of The Narrows in Zion National Park. The post is illustrated with beautiful photos. He visited the park in November, when the water was getting chilly.

I'd love to post some of the photos here but they are copyrighted. So it is well worth your time to click to the blog and take a look. Here are excerpts from his text:

I’ve been on a lot of interesting hikes over the years, including wildlife abundant jungle in Costa Rica and up exploding volcanoes in Guatemala. But there are plenty of awesome hikes available in the United States too. By far one of the most unique is the Narrows hike in Utah’s Zion National Park.

After that it’s time to get into the water! During autumn months, most people wear waterproof pants & boots with neoprene socks to help stay warm in the 40 degree water.

But I’m too stubborn/cheap to rent extra gear, so I just wore shorts and a pair of regular hiking shoes. It was a poor decision.

The Narrows hike in Zion National Park made quite an impression on me. It definitely ranks up there as one of my favorite hiking trips.

Matthew mentions that The Narrows is included on National Geographic's list of America's 100 Best Adventures. Actually, several Utah adventures made that list. Here's the Utah list:
  • Raft the Green River
  • Scale Red-Rock Towers
  • Paddle Lake Powell
  • Backpack the Hayduke Trail
  • Canyoneer Grand Staircase-Escalante
  • Hike the Zion Narrows

Monday, April 01, 2013

Mesa Verde Set To Begin Selling Tickets For Cliff Dwelling Tours

Mesa Verde Cliff Palace by Dave Webb
Mesa Verde National Park will begin selling tickets for its popular Cliff Dwelling Tours on April 7. The park is open year-round but in winter snow restricts access in many areas. Now the snow is gone and the park is expanding to offer its full range of opportunities.

The park provided the news release below.

Mesa Verde National Park To Sell Tickets For Cliff Dwelling Tours Beginning April 7

Tickets for tours of the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park will go on sale April 7 at the park's new Visitor and Research Center.

The building is located just off U.S. Highway 160 at the park entrance and is currently open every day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Effective April 7, the facility will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tour tickets may also be purchased at the Colorado Welcome Center in Cortez.

Extended summer hours begin on May 24.

The Far View Visitor Center, located at milepost 15 on the park road, is now closed to the public. All visitors should stop at the new Visitor and Research Center as they enter the park to obtain park information and purchase tickets for the ranger-guided tours.

Ranger-guided tours of Cliff Palace begin on April 7, with tours offered hourly from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On April 21, Balcony House opens to the public for four tours daily, offered at 9:30 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Student-oriented tours of Balcony House for school groups are available by reservation: call 970-529-5079 for information. Wetherill Mesa and Long House open for the season on Friday, May 24; tour tickets are required for Long House. Spruce Tree House is open daily with no tour ticket required.
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