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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, February 28, 2014

Utah: A People-Friendly Town

The title for this post comes from this New Zealand Herald travel article, which actually focuses on Salt Lake City and describes it as a fun, friendly place. Below we give the article's subhead and then list the featured attractions:

There are plenty of fun - and free - things to do in Utah...
  • City Creek Centre
  • Downtown Light Rail
  • Salt Lake City Library
  • Utah Museum of Contemporary Art
Utah is a friendly little place and we appreciate the exposure.

The 18 Best Hot Spots for Park City Eating and Drinking has launched this series focusing on great places to eat and drink in North American ski towns: "To get things started, we've personally researched and curated the top spots to eat, drink, snack, and double-down in Park City, Utah. You'll find everything from DIY and fast-casual meals (handy when the kids are in tow) to fine dining."

Sounds good. Their list is impressive and includes the properties below:
  • Fireside Dining At Empire Canyon Lodge
  • Deer Valley Grocery Cafe
  • O'shucks Bar & Grill
  • No Name Saloon & Grill
  • Silver Restaurant & Lounge
  • Talisker On Main
  • Riverhorse On Main
  • Yuki Yama Sushi
  • Collie's Sports Bar & Grill
  • Davanza's
  • High West Distillery & Saloon
  • Atticus Coffee, Books And Teahouse
  • Lindzee O' Michaels
  • Vinto
  • El Chubasco
  • Silver Star Café
  • Cloud Dine At The Canyons Resort
  • Whole Foods Market

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Moab Skinny Tire Festival & Other Events

During March, the weather in Moab is usually perfect for biking, hiking and other outdoor spots and so the town begins to come alive. The annual Skinny Tire Festival and other popular events are just around the corner now; we highlight some of them below.

March 8-11 - Moab Skinny Tire Festival - Road Cycling Tour - Four days of road cycling along the Colorado River, Dead Horse Point State Park, and the coveted ride through Arches National Park. This event benefits cancer survivorship programs and research. For more info visit or call 435.260.8889.

March 14-15 - Canyonlands Half Marathon - Join us for the 39th annual Canyonlands Half Marathon and Five Mile Run! The scenic USATF sanctioned and certified course follows the Colorado River through a dramatic redrock canyon. Food, awards, raffle, beer and live music await you at the finish in downtown Moab. Registration is $75 and opens on Wednesday, November 13. This race is on a first-come, first served basis. For more info visit or call 435-259-4525.

March 8 - Beginning archery clinic sponsored by Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources and LaSal Mountain Outfitters. This is a free family archery shoot at the LaSal Mountain Outfitter's shop and indoor archery range, which is located at 3031 South Hwy 191 just south of Moab. From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., families and individuals can come and try out the sport of archery. Bows, arrows and targets will be provided, free-of-charge, to anyone who wants to participate.

March 21-23 - Moab Munifest - The Moab Mountain Unicycling Festival (Munifest) is the most fun you can have on a unicycle! Hosted at the intersection of the world’s best trails and scenery, Moab is the perfect place for a festival of riding, food, and fun in southern Utah’s playground. In other words, it’s a party and a chance for riders of all skills levels from around the world to come together to have a great time unicycling! For more info visit or call 801-742-1826.

March 22-23 - 24 Hours of Utah - It is a series of endurance races that brings out the sense of adventure, stubborn determination and fun in every competitor! This race is all day and all night where runners can participate in a number of distances or timed events. For more info visit or call 303-249-1112.

March 29 - Behind the Rocks - A 54 and 28 mile trail running race featuring Behind the Rocks, Amasa, Hurrah Pass and Hunter Canyon. For more info visit or call 719-429-9501.

April 12-20 - Moab Easter Jeep Safari. This consists of trail rides, mostly day long trips, departing from Moab. The Red Rock 4-Wheelers of Moab officially runs approximately 9 different trails every day, with "Big Saturday" culminating in the largest ever single trail ride departure happening - around 30 groups line up in down town Moab to head off in every direction for 30 different trails! For more info visit Note: This massive week-long event is one of the largest events of the year for Moab. Please make your camping/lodging reservations as early as possible!

(This information is courtesy of

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Quagga Mussels Prompt Restrictions At Lake Powell

Invasive quagga mussels have slowly been moving from water to water in the U.S., causing concern and damage wherever the appear.

Utah has had an aggressive campaign to keep the invaders out of lakes and reservoirs, and it has worked for the most part. But Lake Powell is the exception - the critters have become firmly established in the big reservoir. It is now imperative that boats leaving Lake Powell be cleaned and decontaminated to keep from spreading the mussels to other waters.

Decontamination stations have been set up at marinas on the lake and they will continue to be used. If you boat at Powell, expect to have an inspection and/or decontamination as you enter and leave the national recreation area. Inspections are quick and cause only a slight delay. has this article about the mussels. Below are excerpts.

Boaters have long been required to decontaminate their boats by cleaning, draining and keeping them dry for at least five days before entering the vicinity of another body of water.

"Park staff, partners and the public have worked hard to keep Lake Powell mussel-free for the last 10 years," Glen Canyon Superintendent Todd Brindle said. "It's very disappointing that mussels are in the lake, but most visitors will not notice them. The important thing now is to keep them from being transported to other lakes and rivers."

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is now working to develop a Quagga-Zebra Mussel Management Plan and public input is encouraged. See details here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Choose Your Adventure In Park City

Ski conditions are great right now at Utah's resorts and more snow is expected Thursday and during the coming weekend. We still have several weeks of good skiing ahead. has this interesting article about Park City, providing "insider tips" for skiers and non-skiers alike. The title for this post is taken from the article. We provide a couple excerpts below:

The snow is so powdery, you can blow it away with a kiss. The airport is only 35 minutes from the slopes, so you can be on your skis within hours of landing. And it’s home to dozens of Olympic athletes, including new gold medal snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg and silver medal skier Devin Logan.

But even if you aren’t an adrenaline junkie, there’s plenty to enjoy in this picturesque mountain town. From a surprising number of art galleries, as well as shopping and one of the best whiskey distilleries around, you won’t be bored.

The article gives specific recommendations on where to stay, where to eat and where to find adventure.

Spring At The Resorts
Meanwhile, resorts are scheduling spring specials and events. As the warms in March, ski conditions will start to deteriorate but there will still be plenty of opportunity for fun. For example, Canyons Resort hosts an annual Spring Grüv, offering free concerts and its very popular Pond Skimming Contest. Participants dress up, or dress down, and try to ski or snowboard across a pond of open water.

This year's Grüv will happen March 21-30. The video below shows some of the action.

Monday, February 24, 2014

National Parks Will Soon Adopt Spring Schedules

Utah is enjoying spring-like weather and that has many of us anxious for outdoor adventure. Now's the perfect time to hit the hiking trails in sunny areas in southern Utah, including many trails in our national parks.

The parks themselves will soon move to spring schedules.

Capitol Reef
Beginning on March 9, the visitor center at Capitol Reef will expand its hours and will be open from 8 am -5 pm. The park's Gifford House will open for the season on March 14.

Climbing routes on cliffs used by nesting Peregrine Falcons in Zion National Park will be temporarily closed beginning March 1, 2014, in order to protect the nesting success of this bird which is in recovery from endangered species status.

South Campground will open for the season on March 1.

The Zion Park Shuttle will begin operation on April 1. After that, access to the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive will be by shuttle bus only.

Smithsonian Channel Showcases Utah Scenery
On March 16 the Smithsonian Channel will air a special presentation showcasing some of Utah's dramatic scenery. It will be presented at 8 pm ET/PT. Here's the teaser:
From the unearthly pinnacles of Arches National Park to the blinding white terrain of the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah has an alien beauty that you must see to believe. It has a history uniquely its own, from the tragedy of the Donner Party to the arrival of Brigham Young, an American leader who built Mormonism into one of the most successful religions in the world. This journey over the Beehive State celebrates a land that offers endless surprises and possibilities.

A couple clips from the video can be seen on the Smithsonian Channel website.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Theft Of Ancient Dinosaur Track Prompts Appeal For Help

You've probably heard by now, an ancient footprint from a dinosaur trackway near Moab has been stolen - yanked from the ground and hauled away. The tragic act of vandalism is prompting news articles in media around the world. has the complete story. Here's a couple quotes:

“A lot of the guides will pull off and show people the dinosaur tracks that are there on the cliff side so all of the public can enjoy them and unfortunately one of these guides who is very familiar with the tracks recognized that one of the blocks had been stolen and reported it to us," BLM Canyon Country district paleontologist ReBecca Hunt-Foster said.

The tracks are from the Navajo sandstone, which is Jurassic in age.

“You can’t assign a monetary value to it, they are priceless,” Hunt-Foster said. “They are one-of-a-kind, individual tracks a dinosaur made 190 million years ago, and they cannot be replaced.”

Utah has several such trackways and other dinosaur sites. We reported on four near Moab just a few days ago.

Public help is needed, perhaps to recover this track and also to protect others. What can you do? Here are ideas:

If you hear of someone trying to peddle a dinosaur track turn him in. Seriously.
If neighbor's yard sports a new slab of Navajo sandstone with funny markings, contact authorities.
If you were in the area and noticed anything suspicious, contact authorities.
Mostly, pay attention when you are out and about and report illegal activities.

BLM manages this particular trackway. That agency released this information. Here are excerpts.

Members of the public interested in protecting these important resources should consider becoming a paleontology site steward. The Site Steward Program uses volunteers to monitor significant sites for vandalism, looting, and natural impacts such as erosion, while also increasing public awareness about the preservation of our invaluable fossil resources. To learn more about becoming a paleontology site steward, please contact Rebecca Hunt-Foster at (435) 259-2179.
For more information on this case, please contact BLM Law Enforcement at (801) 539-4082. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message with the above individual. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

Law enforcement can't do it alone. There are so many significant but fragile sites, it is not possible to post guards at each one. And having tight security would diminish the experience for many of us. We go into the backcountry to get away stuff like that.

If we work together, pay attention and report problems, we can make a difference.

- Dave Webb

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Updates From Zion and Capitol Reef

Zion National Park provided information on these items:

Waste Removal Work to Briefly Close Scout Lookout, Angels Landing and the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive
Zion National Park will temporarily close access to Scout Lookout and Angels Landing between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 20 and Monday, February 24, 2014 for a waste removal operation.

Zion National Park Announces Approval of River Management Plan
Zion National Park is pleased to announce the completion of the Virgin River Comprehensive Management Plan and the signing of the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), providing protection for 144 miles of designated wild and scenic rivers within Zion National Park.

Capitol Reef National Park provided this item:

Capitol Reef National Park is looking to hire five full-time temporary employees for the coming season. Wage will be $13.35 per hour and the work is expected to be physical and demanding.

The primary purpose of the work is to perform heavy laborer work to include maintenance and cleaning of outdoor and indoor public use areas. Assists with pumping of pit toilets in backcountry and front country areas, cleans debris inside and outside of pit toilets in remote areas. Cleans fire pits and heavily used public camping areas. Completes janitorial and laboring duties that include moderately heavy physical effort requiring the use of common hand tools, power equipment and various types of custodial cleaning equipment. This position also includes types of laborer work such as cleaning/scrubbing indoor and outdoor restrooms, gathering large bags of garbage and disposing of various refuse from campground and public. Vacuums and scrubs floors and walls in buildings; cleans sidewalks and walkways and all types of weather conditions. Trims shrubs and trees and disposes of debris. In order to accomplish the laborer and custodial duties the incumbent may operate motor vehicles.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Timelapse Video Of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

The scenery in Arches and Canyonlands is stunning, regardless of the season of the year or time of day. The towering rock formations, sublime arches and stark backgrounds are amazing.

The timelapse video below shows some of the best of the scenery with the added dimension of time - showing progression of sunlight and cloud movements and star trails. I've been to most of these places and I assert that there is nothing like seeing them in person. But this timelapse presents scenes that you can't see in person, adding depth to the experience.

It was published, along with some text, here on

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ski Utah's Best Runs

Which ski runs in Utah are considered the very best? That is subjective, of course, but this article has a pretty good list. And the diversity surprised me. I expected the article to focus on the adventurous runs that thrill hardcore skiers, but this list has a little for everyone.

The 14 greatest ski runs in Utah

WITH 14 RESORTS combining for more than 26,000 skiable acres, there are close to a thousand ‘official’ ski runs in Utah. Which makes a list like this pretty tough to put together. But after consulting with my crew, all of whom have been skiing and riding these mountains for many years, we feel the picks below represent pretty much the most epic Utah ski mountain treasure hunt imaginable.

Their list draws from most Utah resorts, highlighting runs from Beaver Mountain in the north to Brian Head in southern Utah. We list the run names below. You'll have to read the article to learn their justifications.
  • Milly Bowl – Brighton
  • Canis Lupus – Canyons
  • Fantasy Ridge – Solitude
  • Night skiing – Wolf Mountain
  • Mt. Baldy – from Alta or Snowbird
  • Grizzly Downhill – Snowbasin
  • McConkey’s – Park City
  • Flux Capacitor – Snowbird
  • Bishop’s Bowl – Sundance
  • Carpe Diem, James Peak – Powder Mountain
  • Jordanelle – Deer Valley
  • Giant Steps – Brain Head
  • Vertigo – Eagle Point
  • Beaver’s Powder – Beaver Mountain

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dinosaur Trackways In The Moab Area

Photo by Dave Webb
This article caught my eye and I found it to be an interesting read.

Check travel column: Dinosaur trail helps tourists find fossils

Bound for the Grand Canyon in Arizona, we crossed into Utah out of Colorado and hung a left. Heading south, Ruthie and I were open to see other sights on the way. Stopping in at the first visitor’s center we came to, we asked attendant Helen if there were any interesting places around for us to visit.

Her face lit up. “We just opened another part of our state park at Mill Creek Canyon. The rock formations are beautiful, but the new part has dinosaur fossils, and we love showing them off! Interested?”

The article goes on to describe a hike along the Mill Creek Dinosaur Trackway, just north of Moab.

Just one clarification. The quote above makes it sound like the area is part of a state park. It is not. It is a remote area managed by BML. There is a parking area and a marked trail, but no services and little my way of facilities. There may be nobody else in the area, so you need to be self-sufficient.

There are actually four interesting dinosaur trackways in this area and BLM offers good information about each:

Each area is worth a visit. Just remember, there are no services at any of them.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Enjoy An Adventurous President's Day Weekend

Our best wishes go out to people in the Southern and Eastern portions of American who are battling cold and storm.

In Utah, we are enjoying amazingly mild weather - perfect for travel and all kinds of outdoor adventure.

Ski & Ride
Ski conditions are superb at Utah resorts. Recent storms have dumped plenty of powder, and it looks like we may get fresh snow on Monday. Presidents Day is always a prime day to ski Utah.

Don't forget about snowmobiling and other winter sports. has this excellent report about snowmobiling along Hwy 150 and along the North Slope of the Uinta Mountains.

(Avalanche danger remains high in the backcountry. Take care if you venture off the groomed trails. View the conditions report provided by the Utah Avalanche Center.)

National Parks
Remember, there will be no entrance fee charged this weekend at National Parks and other properties managed by the U.S. Park Service. 2014 free-entrance days are listed below.
  • January 20 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 15-17 - Presidents Day weekend
  • April 19-20 - Opening weekend of National Park Week
  • August 25 - National Park Service Birthday
  • September 27 - National Public Lands Day
  • November 11 - Veterans Day
Spring is now taking hold in Zion Park and the St. George area. That area has the lowest elevation in Utah and so winters are short. has this interesting article about early spring opportunities in Zion Park.

See our events calendar for information about events wherever you will be traveling.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Where To Propose, Eat On Valentine's Day

Bonneville Salt Flats

4 Naturally beautiful places to propose on Valentine's Day

The easiest way to raise the impress factor is by changing the scene. Make it somewhere as breathtaking but naturally as the earth from where that that diamond came. Think massive, edge of the earth, colorful rock formations, spectacular crystal formations, incredible mineral deposits. Get it? Rock. Diamond. Beautiful vistas.

And, here are their suggestions:
Interesting... Antelope Canyon is near the Utah/Arizona state line and so it is in our neighborhood.

Where To Eat In Utah

A nice dinner is an essential part of Valentine's Day, at least for many of us. Our restaurant guide will give you good options, no matter where in the state you are traveling.

In Salt Lake, Park City, Ogden and Provo, our friends at the Salt Lake Tribune offer this guide to finding a romantic meal.

Park City continues to win accolades for its fine restaurants. This travel piece gives suggestions about some of its best.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

15 Most Incredible Slot Canyons on Earth

Purnaweap Canyon by Dave Webb
Utah is famous for its slot canyons, and for the canyoneering treks that descend them. People come from all around to hike in and photograph these canyons, and for good reason: thay are beautiful and fun. has a this interesting photo essay on slots. Below we give the title, the introduction, and then their list of canyons.

15 Most Incredible Slot Canyons on Earth
Slot canyons are fantastically narrow gorges that are much deeper than they are wide. Formed by water rushing through sandstone and limestone (although some are also shaped in granite and basalt) they can be less than three feet across yet well over 100 feet deep! Hidden away, and with walls that remind one of abstract art, they are like sanctums provided by nature, but they can also be dangerous – even deadly. Notwithstanding, we've brought together some of the most interesting and beautiful ones we could find.

15 - Spooky Gulch - Utah
14 - Pastel Canyon - Nevada
13 - Rattlesnake Canyon - Arizona
12 - Red Canyon - Utah
11 - Secret Canyon - Arizona
10 - Dry Fork Narrows - Utah
9 - Buckskin Gulch - Utah
8 - Echidna Chasm - Australia
7 - Water Holes Canyon - Arizona
6 - Zebra Canyon - Utah
5 - Antelope Canyon - Arizona
4 - Subway Canyon - Utah
3 - Al-Siq - Jordan
2 - Peek-a-boo Gulch - Utah
1 - Happy Canyon - Utah

On a personal note, I've hiked six of the canyons on the list. I love canyoneering and I'll be doing more in the future.

- Dave Webb

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

World's Best Hikes: 20 Dream Trails

Our title comes from this post featuring 20 of the top hikes from around the world.
This year we asked 20 outdoor luminaries—from trail runners to CEOs to beloved authors—about the trails they dream about. Here are their picks for the world's best hikes. Ready for adventure?

King's Peak in Utah's High Uinta Mountains makes the list. King's Peak is the tallest mountain in Utah and it takes most people 3-days to hike to the top and back. It is a wonderful trek but I don't think it is Utah's best. I can think of several Utah hikes that could be on the list, that I'd rate above King's.

I know this is subjective; here's my list of Utah's best:
Again, King's is a great hike. One strike against it, in my book, is its popularity. Every summer countless Boy Scout troops find their way to the top. I would definitely include it on a list of the world's great kid adventures. has several such lists on its website, and hikes in our area appear on many of them. Here are some samples:

  • Hayduke Trail, Utah and Arizona (Named for Edward Abbey's fictional eco-warrior (introduced in The Monkey Wrench Gang), the Hayduke traverses six stunning national parks of the Colorado Plateau—Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Zion.)
  • Grand Canyon Rim To Rim
  • Grand Canyon Rim Trail
  • Arches National Park Devils Garden Trail to Landscape Arch
  • Grand Teton Cascade Canyon Trail to Lake Solitude
  • Yellowstone Mt Washburn from Dunraven Pass
  • Zion Narrows
  • Canyonlands Elephant Hill to Druid Arch

Monday, February 10, 2014

Massive Snowfall Creates Amazing Conditions At Utah Resorts

One storm after another has dumped on Utah and so all of our resorts report great conditions.
 Powder Mountain sent this in:
 The past few days have produced an extremely memorable storm. Over 36" of new snow have fallen so far and more is expected throughout the week.
This morning Solitude reported 26 inches of new snow during the past 48 hours. That was this morning and more snow fell during the day. Many resorts are reporting 18-22 inches new.

The weather forecast calls for a break tomorrow and then more snow later this week. Conditions are lined up for amazing skiing over the upcoming Presidents' Day holiday weekend.

Valleys have had mostly rain and so our road conditions are good. However, backcountry avalanche danger is high and people have died in recent backcountry avalanches. Always check the Utah Avalanche forecast before heading into the backcountry. (Avalanche control work is routinely performed along highways at at developed ski resorts, so danger is minimal in those areas.)

See the weather report for the best forecasts for various spots around Utah.

See our ski report for current snow conditions at the resorts.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Volunteers Needed For Raptor Survey; Land Swap Enhances Recreational Opportunities

BLM Released this information about its upcoming raptor nest survey:

The Bureau of Land Management Utah is seeking volunteers to help conduct the annual Raptor Inventory Nest Survey (RINS) this spring in northern Utah. RINS offers a unique opportunity for volunteers to become involved as “citizen scientists” in a long-term raptor nest monitoring project. The RINS organization collects and manages vital data regarding the ecology of eagles, falcons, hawks, osprey and owls.

Those interested in becoming a volunteer do not need previous experience or science credentials. The requirements are that you enjoy Utah’s outdoors, particularly the West Desert, have a desire to help the magnificent birds of prey and attend one training session. It is recommended that you own a pair of binoculars, a GPS unit, and have an e-mail address. The time commitment involves two field days per month from March through July to effectively monitor an assigned area.

Those individuals wanting to volunteer, contact RINS at 801-554-0807 or For more information, visit

Land Trade Will Enhance Recreational Opportunities, Land Management

BLM has also been involved in a land trade with the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration. This news release has full details. Below are excerpts:

The BLM will acquire 58 parcels with high conservation and recreation value, totaling 25,034 acres, primarily in Grand County. These parcels will expand the BLM backcountry with world class recreation sites like Corona Arch and Morning Glory Arch. This exchange will improve the quantity and quality of recreational experiences for visitors to public lands and waters managed by the BLM. The State will acquire 34 parcels with high mineral development potential, totaling 35,516 acres, primarily in Uintah County. The state expects development of these high potential parcels to boost public school funding across Utah.

The appraisal documents and revised maps showing the parcels to be exchanged will be available for public inspection for 30-days from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday at the BLM-Utah State Office, 440 West 200 South, Suite 500, Salt Lake City. The exchange maps and additional documents supporting the exchange, including the environmental assessment and Decision Record, are available online at

For a period of 45 days from the date of publication of this release, interested parties may submit written protests to the BLM-Utah State Director at the address below. Written protests may be mailed, hand delivered, or faxed. Telephone calls and email will not be accepted.

Bureau of Land Management
Utah State Office
Attn: State Director
440 West 200 South, Suite 500
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101

Thursday, February 06, 2014

World's Best Horse Trails; Great Sleigh Rides

Where in the world can you find the best horse trails? Well, lots of places, including Utah, according to a new travel article. It includes Bryce Canyon on its list, "15 of the world's great horse treks."

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the world's most striking places to ride horses.
The canyon is filled with a sea of pink and red hoodoos, bizarre rock spires that over time have been eroded by the elements into peculiar formations....

Cowboy guides recount the history and distinctive geology of this spectacular national park, as you ride among bristle cone pine trees, one of the oldest living organisms on the planet.
Spring, when there's still snow atop the rusty red hoodoos, is a particularly beautiful time to visit.

Other trails on the list are in places like Mongolia, Chile, Ireland, Iceland, Costa Rica, those kinds of places.

Bryce is a good choice with excellent trails amid splendid scenery. Still, Monument Valley is my choice for classic western horseback trail rides.

Top 10 sleigh rides in North America

Horsedrawn sleigh rides are the subject of this new report on Number one on the list is the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, just south of Yellowstone. Can't argue with that choice.

Rocky Mountain Sleigh Company: Park City, Utah, is #5 on this list. That's also a good one, but we do have several other sleigh companies that are just as good.

The Homestead Resort in Midway is also an excellent choice.

-- Dave Webb

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

What Does It Take To Photograph Zion National Park?

Rick Braveheart
Zion National Park welcomes Rick Braveheart as artist in residence. He will live and work in the park from February 3 - March 4, 2014.

Rick is a photographer and has created many stunning images of natural landscapes. You can see some of his work here. He will use this blog to document his work in Zion.

So, if you were Rick coming to Zion, what would you bring and how would you begin?

In his blog, Rick says:

Earlier today I finished packing the camera equipment, research material and a “few” pieces of clothing for this assignment. For those who enjoy knowing the details, over the past few months I have read more than 30 travel and historical books on Zion and Utah, carefully read over 60 websites and carefully studied 4 road, hiking and satellite maps of the area. The result: I begin this project with 86 pounds (39 kg) of camera gear, 48 pages of notes and numerous3 well-marked topographic, hiking and road maps.

Like all lengthy assignments, each piece of camera gear was carefully selected for this specific assignment. For this assignment it includes 3 Canon DSLR cameras with 6 lenses, 2 Canon point-and-shoot cameras, 2 GoPro portable cameras, 2 Brinno motion sensing cameras, 8 memory cards, 3 tripods, 5 terabytes of hard drive storage, 2 GPS unit, dozens of cables, 4 battery chargers, and 27 rechargeable batteries! I have also packed a Mamiya medium format B&W film camera and, as always, my favorite coffee cup.

Interesting... But that describes the mechanics more than the art. On the Zion Park website he says this:

Early in my photography career, I sought out subjects relying solely on my eyes and 'the rules of photography.' Now, the cameras are guided by my heart and a sacred respect for Nature. Instead of looking for subjects to photograph, I now listen quietly to the land and its creatures. Over time, some begin to speak or move themselves to the forefront of my awareness and reveal their beauty in ways my eyes alone would have never seen. When this occurs, I often discover that the camera has already taken the photograph.

And he concludes:

As a Native American (Tuscarora), I am guided by the principles of walking gently upon the Earth and honoring the land, its people and creatures to help maintain harmony in Nature. Where that harmony exists, beauty flourishes. My wish in each photograph I capture is to share the beauty of Nature and of the Earth. The more others can see and appreciate this beauty for themselves, the more they may come to realize the importance of helping to maintain it for future generations.

I, for one, look forward to seeing his work. Zion is one of my favorite subjects and I'm still trying to get to the stage where I discover my camera has taken a masterpiece.

- Dave Webb

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Public Comments Sought On Rainbow Bridge Trail Improvement Plan

The National Park Service is considering options for improvements to the trails in Rainbow Bridge National Monument, which is located inside Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and accessible from Lake Powell.

People interested in making comments can do so from this page.

Here is background information provided by the National Park Service:

A trail management plan is needed to support the ongoing maintenance, rehabilitation, and improvement of the existing trails within Rainbow Bridge National Monument, including the trail from the dock on Lake Powell and the overland trail that enters the monument from the adjacent Navajo Nation.

The existing trail from the lake is affected by fluctuating lake levels and periodic flood events. In 2013 a large section of the trail was damaged during a flash flood. Although short-term repairs were made to provide interim visitor access, a long-term trail repair is still needed.

The proposed Rainbow Bridge Trail Improvement Plan will also evaluate the feasibility of improving universal accessibility to comply with Outdoor Accessibility Guidelines and will evaluate the potential to develop a new trail segment around Rainbow Bridge to provide one continuous path from the shore of Lake Powell to the monument boundary.

Currently no trail around Rainbow Bridge exists and visitors are asked to not walk under Rainbow Bridge in recognition of the sacred nature of this site to several Indian Tribes.

The National Park Service (NPS) is preparing an environmental assessment (EA) to evaluate different trail improvement alternatives. The Rainbow Bridge Trail Improvement EA (RABR EA) will be developed through a public process that complies with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and other applicable laws, regulations, and policies.

Zion Park Snow Photos
This last storm dropped snow in Zion National Park and created very interesting scenery. The park has posted many winter photos on its facebook page. Take a look, they are spectacular.

Monday, February 03, 2014

See Bald Eagles, Snow Geese, Big Lake Trout

Photo by Lynn Chamberlain
Several special events in February provide the opportunity to see some of Utah's spectacular wildlife.

Utah Bald Eagle Day - Feb 8
Many bald eagles spend the winter in Utah and congregate in predictable locations this time of year. Wildlife biologists will be on hand at these locations to help people see and learn about this majestic bird.

Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources hosts viewing events at these locations. Click here for more details.
  • Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area (Compton's Knoll), located about 10 miles northwest of Corinne in northern Utah
  • Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, located on the west side of Farmington at 1325 W. Glover Lane (925 South)
  • Fountain Green State Fish Hatchery, located east of Nephi
  • Split Mountain/Green River, located north of Jensen and below the Dinosaur Quarry in Dinosaur National Monument (DNM).
  • Rush Lake Ranch, located on the Minersville highway (SR-130) about 12 miles north of Cedar City.
In addition, the Bear River Bird Refuge will host several events including a live eagle presentation by the Ogden Nature Center. More details.

Delta Snow Goose Festival - Feb 21-22
During mid- and late-February, thousands of beautiful snow geese migrate through the Delta area in west-central Utah. They stop in area files and rest on local reservoirs. It is often possible to see hundreds of birds and to get amazing photos. See the snow goose video below. More details.

Ice Fish and Learn About Lake Trout
Several ice fishing events will take place during the next couple weeks including a free fishing clinic on Feb 8 at Fish Lake. This lake, located in central Utah, is populated by several game fish including large lake trout. DWR biologists will be available to help people learn to ice fish, and learn about lake trout:
You can learn how to fish through the ice at a free ice fishing clinic on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Fish Lake. Division of Wildlife Resources biologists will teach about ice fishing, tackle, bait, ice safety, drilling holes and fishing techniques! Bait, tackle and fishing poles will be available for those who don't have ice fishing equipment.

The clinic will begin at 8 a.m. Although our exact location on the ice will depend on ice conditions, you'll be able to see our banners and setup from the main road. To participate, you will need to have a valid Utah fishing license.

Some other fishing events are listed below: More details.
  • Wasatch Back Quad-fishalon Deer Creek Event - Feb 8
  • Wasatch Back Quad-fishalon Rockport Event - Feb 15
  • Fourth Annual Steinaker Ice Fishing Derby - Feb 15
Below is video from the 2012 Snow Goose Festival
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