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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, August 30, 2013

Low Water Levels Mean Boaters Need To Be Cautious

Water levels are low in many of our reservoirs, but there is still plenty of opportunity to boat and fish this Labor Day Weekend.

Our reservoirs are designed to capture high water in the spring and release it through the summer, so it is naturally that they become "drawn down" toward the end of the summer season. This year some are extra low because of snowpack was meager last last winter and summer temps have been hot.

Most of our reservoirs still offer good or very goat launching and boating conditions. At a few, ramps have lane restrictions or rough launching conditions, where 4X4 vehicles are needed to get trailered boats into and out of the water. At a few others, ramps are closed because of the low water.

Many of our most popular reservoirs are managed as Utah state parks. See the current conditions report for information about parks you may want to visit.

Lake Powell is also low but still offers a tremendous amount of boatable water. At this writing, all ramps are open in the Wahweap, Bullfrog and Halls Crossing areas. As the water level drops, launching may soon become difficult at the Antelope Point ramp. The concreat ramp at Hite has not been usable for some time but fishermen launch small boats in other areas at the top of the lake.

The Deseret News has this article on how low water is affecting boating conditions. Below are excerpts.

"Things are different, not worse," said Eugene Swalberg, spokesman for the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. "Wouldn't we all love to have full reservoirs? We would. But there are still plenty of places to go."

Swalberg noted that, on the flip side, less water means more beaches. At places such as Bear Lake, which still has plenty of water to go around, more exposed sandy beaches will be perfect for building sandcastles, playing volleyball and enjoying the sun.

As you boat, use caution and watch for underwater obstacles. That's always important but particularly now with conditions changing rapidly.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Film Contest and Salt Lake Comic Con

The Utah Film Commission is calling for entries for its new 'Spot On' commercial contest. The object of the contest is to “produce and direct a 30 second commercial that promotes Utah as a viable place to make motion pictures.”

The Film Commission adds this detail:

Contestants may submit individual spots or campaign style commercials. Up to eight (8) winning commercials will be chosen to represent the Utah Film Commission in the upcoming year. The winning spots will air on broadcast television during the Sundance Film Festival. A panel of judges consisting of motion picture and advertising professionals, will choose the winning commercials.

Utah is a premier place to shoot all filmed entertainment! Utah has world-class locations. Utah has a crew base that is second to none. Utah is an hour and a half from Los Angeles. Utah has a large talent pool.

See this Utah Policy article for details. Also see the Film Commission's website.

Salt Lake Comic Con
Calling all geeks, science fiction and comic enthusiasts!

The 2013 Salt Lake Comic Con will be held September 5-7 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City. Promoters think it will attract it will be as high or higher than any other first year comic convention ever held in the U.S.

The official website has details, a schedule of events and an impressive list of special guests. The list of spotlight guests includes:
  • Henry Winkler
  • William Shatner
  • Adam West
The website provides this additional details.

Salt Lake Comic Con and GEEX
The GEEX Gaming and Electronics Expo has been a long running and well loved event in Salt Lake City, but this year we are adding all the excitement and flair of today’s Comic Book and Entertainment Conventions. The result is a whole that is a lot more fun than its parts… your one stop event for the best in Gaming, Comics, TV, Movies, Technology and Pop Culture.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Spend Labor Day Weekend In Park City has this interesting article in its Budget Travel section:

Park City is included on the list with this teaser line:
For historic parades and the Running of the Balls

Below are a couple quotes from the article:

Each year there's a celebration in honor of the area's rich mining heritage, complete with a community pancake breakfast, live music, races and games for the kids, the Funky 5K Fun Run and the annual Miner's Day Parade down Historic Main Street.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the celebration is the annual Running of the Balls, a charity fundraising event held on Monday at 10:45 a.m. where participants "adopt" a ball for $5 (or 5 balls for $20), and watch in awe as thousands of them are released down Main Street, racing to the bottom of the hill.

The Park City blog provides more details:

...Our town celebrates the Labor Day Holiday as a remembrance of our town's historical mining roots - thus the name, Park City Miner's Day...

Our mucking and drilling competition is famous. It draws competitors from Utah and surrounding states, involves miners who dump rock in a mucking machine (muck is the rubble made after rock is dynamited) and drill concrete blocks with massive pneumatic drills. Both are timed events.

Park City's Miner's Day Celebration activities and events

7 a.m. • Pancake breakfast, City Park

8:30 a.m. • Funky 5K Run, City Park

10:45 a.m. • World Famous Running of the Balls, Main Street

11 a.m. • Miner's Day Parade, Main Street Park City

11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. • Music by Salt Lake Scotts, City Park stage

Noon - 3 p.m. • Bar-B-Que lunch, City Park

12:30 - 1 p.m. • Kids Races, City Park stage

1:15 - 2 p.m. • Music in the Park, City Park stage

2 - 2:45 p.m. • Mucking & Drilling Competition, Skateboard Park parking lot

2:45 - 5 p.m. • Music in the Park, City Park Stage

The video below shows highlights from past Miner's Day celebrations.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Utah State History Conference Runs September 5-8

If you are interested in the history of Utah and the Intermountain West, consider participating in the 61st annual State History Conference. It is free and open to the public. No registration is required for workshops or regular sessions. This year’s field trip does require reservations and a registration fee.

Events will be held at various locations around Salt Lake City. The conference provided the information below.

Thursday, September 5, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm, Rio Grande Depot, 300 S. Rio Grande Street, SLC

Workshops on family history research, incorporating geography into historical research, writing for the Utah Historical Quarterly, laws surrounding ancient human remains, and historical preservation consultation.

Thursday, September 5, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm, Main Salt Lake City Public Library, 210 E. 400 South, SLC
Keynote Address, “The Making and Unmaking of Utah,” an illustrated presentation by Dr. Jared Farmer. People of different cultures shape their local environment in different ways, influenced by their societal values, their religious ideas, and their economic systems. Dr. Farmer’s presentation will bring to light unique and complex relationships between Utah’s historic landscapes and cultures—and how these past relationships still influence us today.

Friday, September 6, 9:00 am – 4:15 pm, Rio Grande Depot, 300 S. Rio Grande Street, SLC
  • Session 1: Places of Amusement
  • Session 2: Government and the Western Environment
  • Session 3: Archaeology and Landscape
  • Session 4: Salt Lake City Architecture
  • Session 5: Making Place through Water Development
  • Session 6: Exploration of Place
  • Session 7: Brown-bag Movie
  • Session 8: From Mansion to Modern: The Evolution of Place on South Temple Street
  • Session 9: Immigrant Communities
  • Session 10: Place Names
  • Session 11: Culture and the Utah Diaspora
  • Session 12: Utah and the World
  • Session 13: Deep History in the Desert
Saturday, September 7, 9:00 am – 4:15 pm, Fort Douglas Officers Club, 150 S. Fort Douglas Blvd, SLC
  • Session 1: The Workplace
  • Session 2: Native-Anglo Interactions
  • Session 3: Tourism in Utah
  • Session 4:  The Old West
  • Session 5: Final Resting Places
  • Session 6:  Film and Utah’s Landscape
  • Session 7: Walking Tour of Fort Douglas, meet at the Parade Ground Bandstand
  • Session 8:  A Conversation with Past Directors of Utah State History/Utah State Historical Society
  • Session 9:  Making Culture in Utah
  • Session 10:  Ramrod, Utah’s 1947 Centennial Film
  • Session 11:  Urban Resilience
  • Session 12:  A New Deal for the Land
Bear River Massacre Field Trip: Sunday, September 8, 9:00 am – 6:30 pm

The Bear River Massacre: a day when many Fort Douglas soldiers and Shoshone tribe members lost their lives. The attack of a Shoshone Village on Bear River has created controversy over the years. To memorialize this controversial occasion, the Fort Douglas Museum offers a field trip to all history lovers, guided by Historian Ephraim Dickson III. The field trip will commence at the Fort Douglas Museum and participants will follow the route of the soldiers. A route starting at Fort Douglas and continuing till the Bear River Battle Site. This dramatic conclusion to the Utah History State Conference includes transportation, lunch and a field trip booklet.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Volunteers Needed To Plant Trees In Scenic Utah Areas

TreeUtah is looking for volunteers to help plant trees around Alta Ski Area, Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort and Wheeler Farm (in Salt Lake City).

The planting events will take place on these dates and at these times:
  • Alta: Saturday, September 7th, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Snowbird: Thursday, September 12th, from 8 a.m. to noon
  • Wheeler Farm: Friday, September 20th, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
See for more details, and to sign up to help.

TreeUtah is a non-profit organization seeking to plant trees and also "inspire and empower our communities to become active, knowledgeable stewards of our natural environment."

"Since 1990, TreeUtah has planted more than 325,000 trees with the help of over 125,000 volunteers around Utah. We need your help to maintain and increase our urban forests... (to) help us to continue to plant, care for and protect trees in our communities."

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Utah State Fair Runs Sept. 5-15

The annual Utah State Fair will be Sept. 5-15 at the Fairpark in Salt Lake City. It is a traditional fair with a wide variety of exhibits and activities. People from around the state bring their finest wares, from agricultural products to art and photography to home crafts. There are also many commercial and educational exhibits.

There will be carnival rides, food vendors and all kinds of amusements. Many people come for the grandstand entertainment. This year's lineup includes:
  • AMERICAN PICKERS "Treasure or Trash"
  • 38 SPECIAL
The video below shows images from past fairs.

The Fairpark is located just west of downtown, at at 155 North 1000 West SLC 84116. The main driving entrance to the Fairpark is located at 200 North 1000 West.

From Northbound and Southbound I-15
Take the 600 North off ramp ( Exit 312) and turn West. Proceed to 1000 West and turn left. Proceed south bound on 1000 West four blocks until you see the Fairpark on your right.

From I-80 Eastbound
Take the North Temple / City Center Exit ( Exit 115). This exit will put you east bound on North Temple, parallel to I-80. Proceed east on North Temple to 1000 West.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sheepdog Championship & Festival Labor Day Weekend

The annual Soldier Hollow Classic Sheepdog Championship & Festival will take place Labor Day Weekend (Aug. 30 - Spet 2), at Soldier Hollow in Heber Valley. It provides a fun way to see working dogs, particularly sheep dogs, and engage in all kids of fun outdoor activities.

The Classic provided the introduction below. See the official website for more details.
Plan now to join us in Utah's beautiful Rocky Mountains for the world's premier annual sheepdog championship.  Canine athletes come from around the world to Soldier Hollow's spectacular Olympic hills to match wits and athletic ability with wild'n wooly range Utah sheep.  It's easy to see why one British magazine recognized this event as "...positively the foremost trial in the world..."
Soldier Hollow is located in beautiful Heber Valley, just 45 minutes from Salt Lake City and 20 minutes from Orem and Park City.

The Classic always offers great food representing the shepherding cultures of the world, plus traditional Scottish music performed throughout the event by the Salt Lake Scots.

Addition activities include:
  • Canine Acrobats
  • Wild Wonders Animal Show
  • High flying Splash Dogs Championship
  • Biathlon shooting
  • Face painting
  • Contests for kids
  • Dutch oven cooking
  • Much more
The Classic provided the overview video below:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What's Happening At Utah State Parks

Activities galore are offered at the many State Parks scattered around Utah. Some of those activities caught our attention and so we report on them here. But this is by no means an exhaustive list. Check our events database to see what is going on at Utah parks where you will be traveling.

The park will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday, August 23 to approximately 2 p.m. Saturday, August 24 for a triathlon. Boaters and anglers are urged to use Lincoln Beach or Lindon harbors for lake access.

Dutch Oven Lovin' Cook-Off
Saturday, September 7, 2013 - 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Test your skills in the park's second annual Dutch Oven Cook Off!

Camp Floyd Days Civil War Encampment
Saturday, August 31, 2013 - 10:00am to Monday, September 2, 2013 - 4:00pm
Camp Floyd State Park hosts Camp Floyd Days on Labor Day Weekend, August 31st and September 2nd, 2013.

Cowboy Poetry Series
Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Come and join us from 4:00- 5:00 p.m. for a fun filled experience with our Cowboy Poetry Series. Featured poet is Stan Tixier. For more information call (801) 649-5742.

Antelope Island Stampede Festival
Friday, August 30, 2013 - 5:00pm to Sunday, September 1, 2013 - 8:00pm
The Antelope Island Stampede Festival features kite flying demonstrations, BMX demonstrations, music, vendors, and more! The festival will take place from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Friday, noon to 10:00 pm on Saturday, and noon to 8:00 pm on Sunday.

Constellation Hike: White Rock Bay
Friday, August 30, 2013 - 8:00pm to 10:30pm
Dark skies are becoming harder and harder to find. Join the Park Naturalist for a guided hike from 8 pm to 10:30 pm to one of the darkest areas of Antelope Island. Meet at the White Rock Bay Trailhead for a 3 ½-mile round trip hike to discover and learn about some of the many constellations in our night sky.

27th Annual Bison Roundup
Friday, October 25, 2013 (All day) to Saturday, October 26, 2013 (All day)
Come experience the Wild West as riders on horseback round up the Island's herd of over 600 bison. Spectators can view this unique event on Friday October 25th beginning at 8:00 am.

Rider Information: Online registration will begin September 2nd. Campers may arrive Thursday, October 24th. The main push will be Friday.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Join Us At The Annual Timpanogos Storytelling Festival

Timpanogos Storytelling Festival will be held Aug. 29 - 31, 2013, at Mt. Timpanogos Park in
Orem (just north of Povo).

The festival is a great family event with something for everyone including tall tales, inspirational stories, performances, arts/crafts and other activities.

Timpanogos is a towering mountain that dominates the Utah County skyline. It offers great opportunity for adventure - the hike to the summit is one of the classic mountaineering treks in the Western U.S.

The mountain has long inspired tall tales, some of which have grown into legends in their own right. The storytelling festival grew up as an effort to preserve and promote these local legends, in an entertaining manner. Now it has expanded to include guests from around the world.

The festival website has complete info, including a schedule of events.

The festival provided the info below:

It’s story time! The Timpanogos Storytelling Festival is the premier family event of Utah Valley. We invite storytellers from around the nation and across the waters to join some of our homegrown talent and share stories under our own majestic Mount Timpanogos. Stories range from fairy tales and fables from various cultures to personal stories of growing up in the Appalachian Mountains. There are historical tellers, tall tale tellers, and youth tellers.

Between storytelling hours, younger ones love to watch the puppeteers while older festival goers enjoy making vases and cups with the potters. Everyone enjoys the food (provided by some of the valley’s finest food vendors) and the jugglers who entertain during lunch and dinner. You can also relax in the music tent and enjoy an incredible array of music. In fact, you could call us a music festival if it wasn’t for all the stories!

... Though it started out as a backyard event in a small town neighborhood in 1990, it is now the largest storytelling festival in the west and sets the standard for festivals across the nation. From that humble beginning we have grown steadily each year.

In addition to the festival, we now support the annual Timpanogos Storytelling Conference and several storytelling contests and retreats. But it doesn’t stop there. We have expanded our influence to reach children in schools and youth across the country in ways we would have never imagined 24 years ago.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Zion Park Seeks Public Comment On Possible Management Changes

Zion National Park is the most popular park in Utah and one of the most visited in the U.S. The Park Service has drafted proposals to deal with the growing number of visitors, and is inviting public comment on the different ideas.

Comments are invited at these public meetings:
  • 08/20/2013,    6:00 PM    8:00 PM     Dixie Center, Entrada Room, 1835 Convention Center Drive
  • St. George, Utah
  • 08/21/2013,    6:00 PM    8:00 PM     Canyon Community Center, 126 Lion Blvd., Springdale, Utah
  • 08/22/2013,    6:00 PM    8:00 PM     University Park Marriott, Connor Room, 480 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, Utah
You can view information about the proposals by clicking here.

You can also make comments online from the page linked above.

The discussion keys on management of the Virgin River and its tributaries. The river was designated as "Wild and Scenic" in 2009. The proposals now being considered seek to find ways to protect the river while also allowing people to enjoy the park.

Many people value solitude as an important quality in national parks, and the proposals deal with how to balance that with the growing number of visitors. Options include placing more restrictions on the number of people who can visit certain areas in the park, and engage in certain activities.

The Deseret News has this article about the proposals.

We encourage you to share your opinions by participating in the meetings and making comments online.

Friday, August 16, 2013

New Utah County Trail Guide App; More Accolades For Park City

Utah County has released a new trail guide app for iPhones and Android devices. The County provided the information below:
Utah County is pleased to announce our new free Utah County Trail Guide application for iPhones and Android devices.

The Utah County Trail Guide application highlights many of the County's beautiful trails and details where you can access them, what types of activities (hiking, biking, horse riding, etc the trail supports) and where amenities such as restrooms and parking can be found and much more. Use this handy application to find a trail that sparks your interest and give it a try. If your phone or android device is GPS enabled, you will be able to see your current GPS location and track your progress along the trail as well. This initial version of the application is just the beginning.

Future versions will include many more trails, more user interaction, the ability to leave a breadcrumb trail displayed on your device and saved for recall, enhanced (current and average) speed display (we already display current speed in the GPS coordinate label), and distance, trail photos and much more! So watch for updates.

Download the application today and give it a try this weekend at the "Try a Trail" event at the Timpanogos Cave Trail this Saturday at 8:30 am.

The application is now available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store (an iPad version is coming soon)!
Park City
We mentioned in an earlier blog that Park City has been named the best town in the Universe by Outside Magazine. Now the magazine has released this photo tour of Park City. And the video embedded below:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Utah Beer Festival Will Be Aug 17

Utah has a surprising number of breweries that create award-winning brews. On Saturday, interested parties will be able to learn more about these businesses and taste their best products, at the annual Utah Beer Festival, sponsored by City Weekly. The event will be held at the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake City.

The information below was provided by the festival. See this web page for more info. City Weekly also has this interesting rundown of the state of brewing in Utah.

The 4th annual Utah Beer Festival will take place on Saturday, August 17th from 3-8PM with more brewers than ever before.

The Utah Beer festival features over 125 different beers from local & regional breweries!
This year we are proud to announce an expanded beer section featuring beers from around the world. At the festival attendees will be able to choose from 4 oz samples and 12oz pours of full strength & draft beers. Token price is based on the cost of the beer.

This event will help raise much needed funds for Best Friends Animal Society.

Come enjoy one of the most talked about festivals in the state and have a beer all while helping to raise money for a very deserving charity.

NEW! For the Beer enthusiast:
We have added an Early Beer Taster ticket which will allow a
limited number of festival goers to enter the festival an hour early to
avoid lines, taste the beers and talk with the brewers.
Click on tickets for more info on this option.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Progress On Utah Wildfires, But Some Closures Remain

Update: On Aug 15, officials announced that all facilities at Rockport State Park are open, but the lake is closed to boating.

Crews have worked hard and made considerable progress containing the devastating wildfire that has destroyed homes near Rockport Reservoir, northeast of Park City.

Hwy 32 has reopened along the reservoir, according to news reports. Rockport State Park is open. At this writing, the following communities are under an evacuation order. The closures will last at least until 6 pm tomorrow.
  • Rockport Estates
  • Rockport Ranches
  • Bridge Hollow
  • Promontory
Millville Fire
Another fire burning near Millville, just south of Logan, has caused officials to close part of Blacksmith Fork Canyon. People camping in that area have been ordered out and no private vehicles will be allowed in the canyon until fire danger abates.

Other Fires
At this writing, these major fires are burning in Utah:
  • Rockport northeast of Park City
  • Millville southeast of Logan
  • Patch Springs in Skull Valley west of Tooele
  • State Fire along the Utah/Idaho line near the town of Portage
Other, smaller fires are burning in some but are not causing significant closures.

Utah's national parks are located in southern Utah and are not affected by these fires. Rockport State Park is the only major park or recreation area being affected by fire.

See the website for current info on Utah fires.

The Deseret News has this article giving the latest information about the Rockport Fire.

This KSL report talks about other Utah fires.

Utah has aggressive programs to mitigate wildfire danger. This article talks about a reseeding effort that is being called a great success.

Weather and fire conditions can quickly. Always check locally for current conditions where you plan to travel.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wildfire Destroys Homes, Closes Rockport State Park

It was a relatively quite summer fire season in Utah, until this week. Now, several fires are burning and one near Rockport Reservoir has destroyed homes - and more are threatened. Rockport Reservoir and State Park have been closed to allow emergency crews to operate in the area. Highway 32 past the reservoir is also closed.

Homes around the reservoir have been evacuated. As of this writing, the fire was pushing toward Park City and neighborhoods in Promontory and Wanship had been evacuated. Park City itself was not threatened and there are no closures around the old town or immediate suburbs.

Multiple teams from various agencies are fighting the fire, which was started this afternoon by lightning. It spread rapidly and, as of this writing, at least 12 homes have been destroyed. There are reports that more buildings have burned but it is not known how many were homes or cabins, vs outbuildings.

The Deseret News has this article about the fire. Below are excerpts.

Paul Ewald, of South Jordan, said he was fishing at the reservoir when he saw dark clouds rolling in and decided to head to his car. Just as he got to his vehicle, he saw lightning strike the hillside about a half mile north of where he was standing.

"I drove down there in a couple of minutes and talked to two guys that were in the parking lot there and they both confirmed that lightning hit a telephone pole right opposite the dam, about 15 or 20 yards off the road," Ewald said. "It started very rapidly."

The area where the fire was burning is mainly rolling hills with oak and sage brush and some pockets of Aspen. The fire burned near state Route 32 in Rockport, south of Wanship, which led to the closure of the road at Rockport Dam.

In addition to evacuations at Rockport Estates, Sunrise Loop in the Park City community of Promontory and the Bridge Hollow subdivision in Wanship were also evacuated as a precaution.

Rockport Estates are located on the west side of Rockport Reservoir, also south of Wanship. Some residents live there year-round, but most are there for the summer.

Watch for information on all Utah wildfires.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Park City Named Best Town In America

Outside Magazine says Park City is the best town in America, thanks to its abundant recreational opportunities, cultural offerings and close proximity to Salt Lake International Airport. In this article describing the ranking, the magazine uses this introduction text:

There’s no better blend of small-town friendliness, absurdly easy access, and five-star culture than Park City -- if you can afford it.

Below are a couple more exceprts from the article:

Park City feels like a Colorado ski town dropped into Utah’s 12,000-foot Wasatch Range, with one significant difference. Unlike Telluride or Aspen, it has a major city, Salt Lake, and an international airport 30 minutes away. Local love for Park City can feel a little over the top—it got two-thirds as many votes in our contest (5,179) as it has residents. To see if that affection was justified, I parachuted in for a 72-hour, Chamber of Commerce–led recon tour. What I found was a town that breeds the active lifestyle.

Picking the Winner
To find the best place to live well, we started with the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual list of the country’s 50 healthiest cities, then added a few small and midsize active towns that the metro-centric pool overlooked. We called local runners, cyclists, climbers, and surfers to help narrow the finalists to ten places where it’s easy to eat healthy, find work, and quickly access great trails, beaches, and mountains. Then we put them up for a three-week vote on Facebook.

The Top Ranked Towns:
  • Park City
  • Greenville, South Carolina
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Bozeman, Montana
  • Spokane, Washington
  • Carbondale, Colorado
  • San Diego, California
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Waitsfield, Vermont
  • Oklahoma City
  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Carrboro, North Carolina
  • San Anselmo, California
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan

Friday, August 09, 2013

Bonneville Speed Week Runs August 10 – 16

Annual Speed Week is ready to blast off at the Bonneville Salt Flats, with participants hoping to set new land speed records.

This is the 100th anniversary of motor races at the classic speedway and a record 515 vehicles are registered to compete. Participants come from all around the world.

There is also plenty of opportunity for spectators.

Speed Week is organized by the Southern California Timing Association. The official website is a bit old school but has some good info. See the schedule here.

The Bonneville Raceway is located just north of I-80 west of Salt Lake City, near the Nevada border. Wendover is the closest community with services.

To illustrate the international appeal of the event, below are excerpts from this news release:

PARIS, Aug 09, 2013 (Marketwired via COMTEX) -- For speed addicts, the month of August means one thing -- Bonneville Salt Flats Speed Week. Since 1912 speed aficionados have been uniting at this world class event, which has spurred numerous land speed records. Marking their commitment to timeless quality, smart travel and avant garde style, DELSEY is extending their support, sponsoring record holder and fellow Frenchman Laurent Dutruel.

...Dutruel set records at both the 2009 and 2011 Speed Week races, reaching 143,990 MPH. To kick-off Speed Week 2013, Dutruel and his team have set up a road trip from San Francisco to Bonneville, carving out a 2,020 mile route on the most beautiful highways California, Nevada and Utah have to offer.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Utah Ski Resorts Offer Better Deals On Season Passes

Compared to quality resorts in other states, Utah's ski resorts offer some of the best prices around. Regular day passes at our mountains provide excellent value, and our season passes include some of the best deals you will find anywhere.

And now season pass options have just become sweeter, with Solitude and Brighton offering a combined pass and Canyons Resort offering a pass that is good at other properties in the Vail Resorts family. (Canyons is now operated by Vail.) has news releases providing details about the new options. Below are news release titles and then excerpts. Click the titles to read the full news releases.


PARK CITY, Utah (August 8, 2013) - Canyons Resort today unveiled an epic line-up of 2013-2014 season passes, offering the best value and greatest flexibility in Utah for skiing and riding at Canyons and 17 other iconic resorts in the U.S., Switzerland and Austria. Skiers and riders can choose the season pass that best meets their needs, from access to Canyons only or skiing and riding in three countries. The lowest prices on next season's passes are only guaranteed through September 2, 2013.

"We are thrilled to offer Canyons as part of next season's Epic Local Pass for Utah skiers and snowboarders. Adding Canyons to our already robust offering of mountain resorts on the Epic Local Pass gives Utah skiers and snowboarders the greatest choice of resort access for the best value in the ski industry," said Kirsten Lynch, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts.


New this year! Brighton Resort and Solitude Mountain Resort team up to introduce the Big Cottonwood Pass with access to over 3,700 acres of terrain, 130 plus trails and 15 lifts all in the “Heart of the Wasatch”.  The scenic SolBright Trail connects the two resorts. For $999, this joint pass is valid at both resorts throughout the entire season with no blackout dates and includes night skiing at Brighton! These two great resorts combined to ensure the best of what Utah offers: powder, steeps, groomers, trees, parks, and pipes.

“Brighton is excited to partner with Solitude in creating the Big Cottonwood Pass.  With the new improvements to the SolBright trail skiing between the areas is quick, easy and will add an entirely new dimension to skiing in Big Cottonwood”, said Randy Doyle, Area Manager of Brighton Resort.

“Big cottonwood canyon is a uniquely beautifully place and for us to be able to offer to our guests unlimited skiing and riding privileges at both resorts represents a tremendous experience that has more variety of terrain and amenities than any other area can provide,” said Dave DeSeelhorst, Area Manager of Solitude Mountain Resort.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

No Entrance Fee At National Parks On Aug 25

Bryce Canyon - photo by Dave Webb
The next no fee day will be Aug 25 at at federally managed parks and recreation areas, including the fiveUtah national parks, our many national monuments and and maany of our other playgrounds.

Entrance fees will be waived but other charges will still be enforced including fees associated with camping and special activities.

The U.S. National Park Service provided this information:

America's Best Idea - the national parks - is even better when it's free!

Mark your calendar for these entrance fee-free dates in 2013:
  • 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
Here's a tip - 268 of your 401 national parks never charge an entrance fee. so start planning your visit!

If you're planning a trip that includes multiple national parks, you might consider the $80 annual pass that provides entrance to all national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and many other federal lands - more than 2,000 in all. This America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is offered free to all active duty military members and their dependents. Information on these and other pass options is available online.

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

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Experience The Western Legends Roundup, August 22 - 24

Clint Walker - "Cheyenne"
The annual Western Legends Roundup will be held August 22-24 in Kanab. It is a celebration of all things related to the Old West, including:
  • Movie stars
  • Cowboy action shooters
  • Country music
  • Dutch oven cooking
  • Antique tractor pull
  • Photography
  • Old fashioned hand quilting
  • Old West apparel making
  • Western swing dancing
  • Wheelwright demonstration
  • And much more
See the Roundup website for complete details.

James Drury - "The Virginian"
Kanab is known as Utah's “Little Hollywood” because many movies and TV shows have been filmed in the area, including dozens of classic Westerns. The town offers a Walk of Fame with tributes to the stars of those productions.

Some actors from the old shows will be in town for the festivities. The 2013 roundup will honor:
  • Clint Walker
  • James Drury
  • Neil Summers
  • Wyatt McCrea
  • Dan Haggerty
  • Peter Ford
  • Robert Fuller
  • James Hampton
  • James Stacy
  • Peter Brown
  • David Ladd
  • Lynda Ford
  • Don Shanks
  • Darby Hinton
  • Lana Wood
  • Roberta Shore
  • Kathy Garver
  • Ed Faulkner
  • Cheryl Rogers Barnett
  • Denny Miller
  • Andrew Prine
  • Johnny Crawford
  • Mike Moroff

Monday, August 05, 2013

Top 10 Outdoor Activities In Utah

What is your favorite outdoor activity in Utah?

Many people would say skiing, and that would certainly be on my list, but there are many, many other great choices.

Local writer Brett Prettyman penned this article published in The Guardian (UK) in which he gives the top 10 as listed below. There is no mention of whether this is his personal "best of list", or if he used some criteria to come up with a generalized consensus. Regardless, these are all must-does, in my opinion.
I know Brett and so I'm surprised the list doesn't include anything on boating/fishing Lake Powell or any mention of hunting sports.

Still, I think it is a great list highlighting some of Utah's best.

What do you think? What would be on your best activities list?

-- Dave Webb

Friday, August 02, 2013

Best Spots For Families With Kids In Southern Utah publishes information about travel for families with kid. They do a lot of "best of" articles, relying on information from people who have done and enjoyed the activities.

The website offers this section on southern Utah, with great information about family adventures in our national parks, with Zion, Arches and Bryce earning rave reviews.

The list below shows their top recommendations.

1. Zion National Park (overall)
2. Arches National Park
3. Bryce Canyon National Park
4. Weeping Rock Trail (Zion National Park)
5. Canyonlands National Park
6. Zion Canyon Shuttle Bus Tour
7. Lower Emerald Pool Trail
8. Tuacahn
9. Riverside Walk (Zion National Park)
10. Zion Canyon Visitor Center

The video below shows 5 of their recommended adventures.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Outdoor Retailers Show Brings Congestion To Downtown Salt Lake City

The annual Outdoor Retailers Summer Showcase is now underway in Salt Lake City. It is a huge show and held in the Salt Palace, in the downtown area. It runs through August 3. Streets in that area will be congested. People traveling into the city are encouraged to use public transportation.

The show totally fills hotels in the downtown area, and participants spill over into surrounding communities.

Yesterday participants spent the day in the field testing products displayed at the show. Today was the first day indoors.

The Deseret News has this article with this headline:
    Retailers set up shop as Salt Lake is still the place for premier outdoor trade show

The Outdoor Retailers Association provided the news release below:

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Kicks Off in Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY - The newest stand up paddleboards (SUP), canoes, kayaks, shoes, apparel and more hit the open water and trails at Jordanelle State Park yesterday as Outdoor Retailer Summer Market kicked off with the Open Air Demo. The show continues with the start of the four-day event in Salt Lake City today.

A day in the mountains of Utah gave retailers a chance to put the latest offerings from outdoor manufacturers to the test and get a first-hand feel for gear ranging from paddlesports to trail running before making buying decisions later this week at the Salt Palace.

"Every show we hear the same thing from retailers: Having a chance to test this equipment is invaluable in the decision-making process," said Kenji Haroutunian, vice president at Nielsen Expositions and OR Show Director. "With the scope of products at the Demo, retailers can test gear for every corner of their shop all in one place."

Some of the events at the Open Air Demo included a SUP vs. canoe race, the Paddle/Pedal Challenge, which pitted retailers against the clock on a SUP and mountain bike race, the O'Neill Psycho Joust, Redington Casting Competition, fun runs, Magellan GPS Treasure Hunt and more.

"In terms of tradeshows in either surf or outdoor industries, this is the show where all the retailers are, it's the right time of year for us to start taking orders and it's unbelievable to be able to come here and have the on-water day; it's the whole package. Participation is continuing to grow in this sport, and OR is at the heart of it all." Huntley Dornan, Surftech

"The best thing about this environment is that everybody gets to try out everybody's boats. By retailers coming here they get to see first-hand on the water the changes we're making so they're educated for their buying and educated for their customers. This is the hub of the industry, everybody comes here." Damon Bungard, Jackson Kayak

"Open Air Demo is a chance for us to get some of our newest product on the feet of shop employees and people who run shops, plus we get feedback here to find ways to improve product, improve the booth space and have a better event. The retailers that come out early to take part in demo days are the ones who we really want to be speaking to because they're the most stoked and they want to check everything out. It's a great audience." Mark Hofmann, Patagonia Footwear

"I'm here to meet with vendors to discuss possible equipment and clothing that could help the US military. The Demo and Outdoor Retailer are great because it brings everybody throughout the US to one central location so we can have 80 meetings in three days." John Hurley, US Army

"We're really trying to take our fly shop in a direction that's not so much selling equipment as it is selling fly fishing. Open Air Demo is a great opportunity to come out here and paddle around, check out the stability, see if I can stand up and cast from them in order to provide something for my customers that is really brand new. Right now I can learn the difference between types of kayaks because I got to use them and experience the tradeoffs you couldn't see if you were inside." Dave Leinweber, Angler's Covey, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Attendees now head to the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City for Summer Market 2012, four days of business education, events, networking and finalizing buying decisions. The indoor portion of the show runs August 2-5.

For photos of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market and the most recent show happenings, visit or and #orshow.
About Outdoor Retailer

Outdoor Retailer (OR) brings together retailers, manufacturers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of outdoor recreation through tradeshows, product demo events and web-based business solutions. Produced by Nielsen Expositions and based in San Juan Capistrano, California, Outdoor Retailer also provides and promotes retailer education, advocacy, responsibility and critical face-to-face business initiatives within the outdoor industry.

Recently named among Trade Show News Network's 25 fastest-growing tradeshows by attendance, Outdoor Retailer ( ) connects approximately 46,000 attendees on a semi-annual basis for its Summer and Winter Market shows, and thousands more through its year-round online resources and platforms.
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