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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

My Favorite Places Not Shut Down By The Government

Tear Drop Arch In Monument Valley - by Dave Webb
With our national parks and other federal properties closed, many people are offering ideas about alternate attractions. Below I provide links to a few notable suggestions and then I list some of my favorite spots.

Campgrounds Open During The Shutdown – This is an interactive map that shows state and private campgrounds in Utah and surrounding states.

50 Awesome Alternatives to Utah's National Park – The Utah Office of Tourism is updating a travel advisory page with information on the government shutdown. In addition, the office is proposing good alternatives to the national parks:
My Picks

I'm planning my weekend and I'm considering these options:

Drive All American Road Hwy 12 and play at the three excellent state parks along the way.
Calf Creek Falls recreation area is located along Hwy 12. The campground and trail to the lower falls is closed but I suspect the trail to the upper waterfall is still open. It is a fun hike into the backcountry.

Boat Sand Hollow State Park. Since Lake Powell is closed, Sand Hollow is my next best choice. It is smaller, of course, but very fun, with plenty of sand, sun and good fishing. In NE Utah, Starvation State Park offers great boating and fishing with sandy beaches.

Monument Valley is a Navajo Nation Park, every bit as spectacular as any U.S. national park. The Navajo Nation is smart enough to stay open for business. Stay at Gouldings or The View and tour the valley with native guides. Ride horseback between the towering rocks.

Also consider driving over to Four Corners Monument, which is also on Native American land.

Up north, consider stopping by Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Temple Square is actually Utah's most visited attraction. This weekend the LDS Church will hold its semi-annual General Conference, so the Square will be bustling with people from all around the world. Most Conference activities are open to the public. (Some require a free ticket.)

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