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Utah Travel Headlines

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ironman Race Will Bring Thousands To St. George Saturday

The annual Ironman 70.3 mega-race will be held on Saturday in St. George. It will bring thousands of people to the city and there will be some road closures along the route. has this article describing how the race will play out in the city. Below are excerpts. Below that we offer a video showing highlights from last year's action. See the Ironman website for complete details.

In order to accommodate the 2,500 amateur and 80 professional athletes competing Saturday as well as protect the thousands of volunteers and other participants, road closures throughout the route will be effective during the early portion of the day.

Traffic re-routes and delays are expected in Hurricane, Washington City, St. George and Ivins City.

Major streets in St. George, including portions of Red Hills Parkway, Snow Canyon Parkway, Bluff Street, as well as State Route 19 and State Route 9, are being impacted by the closures.

Residents and visitors who are looking to plan their travel on Saturday can contact the Ironman help line, said Marc Mortensen, St. George assistant to the city manager.

By calling 435-627-4766, travelers can get immediate information as to which areas of town are closed, delayed and advised alternate routes, Mortensen said.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Timpanogos Cave Will Open May 10 With New Online Ticket System

Popular Timpanogos Cave National Monument will open on May 10, and ticket sales will begin May 5. The cave is located in American Fork Canyon, in the Provo area. A news release about the opening is given below.

Nearby, Rock Canyon has been purchased by Provo City in an effort to protect it. The Deseret News has this article about the purchase. Here's an excerpt:

Provo officials announced Tuesday, April 29, 2014, that the city has purchased Rock Canyon in order to preserve it and protect its beauty. The canyon is popular with residents who like to hike, rock climb and just enjoy the outdoors. The $1.6 million deal will keep the land as it is and prevent any mining to occur.

Here's the news release on Timp Cave:

Timpanogos Cave Open for Tours on Saturday, May 10 with new on-line tickets sales and slightly higher ticket fee.

Visitors have been buying tickets to tour Timpanogos Cave for 92 years, and on May 5, they will finally be able to do it on-line. Daily tours begin Saturday, May 10 and are expected to run through late September. Tickets will also be sold over the phone through a nationwide toll-free number and in person at the park. The new service, which many visitors have been requesting for several years, will add between 50 cents and one dollar to the price of each ticket.

Beginning May 5th, the Monument visitor center and bookstore will be open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through Labor Day, and from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the remainder of the season. Tours begin on May 10, the Saturday of Mother's Day weekend, as is tradition at the Monument. Groups enter the cave every 15 minutes, weather permitting, and each tour is limited to 16 people, regardless of age.

Each year, rangers lead over 70,000 people through the Timpanogos cave system, and tours often sell out well in advance, especially on weekends and holidays.   Visitors will now able to reserve tickets up to 30 days in advance through the National Recreation Reservation System, on-line at or by calling (877) 444-6777, toll free. The website will be available 24/7 and phone sales available 8 10 p.m.

 Previously, the park added a 50 cent processing fee to the price of each ticket purchased by phone. That fee will be replaced with a straight $1.00 per ticket service fee regardless of when or how they are purchased. The service fee will cover the contract costs for the improved system.   New ticket prices are $8 for visitors age 16 or older, $6 for children ages 6-15, $4 for children age 3-5, and 2 and younger are free. Seniors (age 62 and over) with a Golden Age Passport or Senior Pass are $4.00.
When this system was originally considered, the service fee was $3.00 per ticket, but the National Park Service negotiated the lower $1.00 per ticket fee after public comments favored the concept but opposed the cost.

"We don't expect this price change to generate any additional funds for tour guide salaries or maintenance work, but it will cover the cost of utilizing the National Recreation Reservation System, and that should significantly improve the visitor experience in planning a trip to the cave" said Superintendent Jim Ireland.

In late summer and early fall, the park hopes to complete several projects to improve safety and resource protection, including construction of permanent safety fences along parts of the cave trail, repairs to rock fall protection facilities above the trail, and replacement of several doors inside the cave. The exact timing of this work is uncertain, but may require closure of the trail and cave from late September through October.

The park plans to increase the variety and frequency of ranger programs other than cave tours. Even if cave tours are sold out, ranger-led visitor center deck talks are offered free of charge each afternoon on a variety of topics. Talks on Wednesdays and Saturdays will be specifically designed for Cub Scout and Boy Scout audiences, though everyone is welcome.  Grotto talks will be offered at the cave entrance four times each day for those waiting for tours as well as those just out for a hike. In addition, evening programs are each Friday and Saturday evening in the visitor center at 7pm, free of charge, Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Many local residents enjoy hiking the cave trail for exercise even if they don't take a cave tour. Hiking the trail is free, but rangers encourage fitness walkers to come in early morning to avoid the heat of the day. More information about trail safety and hiking for fitness will be available in the visitor center.

The three mile round-trip hike to the cave is considered strenuous, climbing almost 1,100 feet in elevation from the parking lot to cave entrance. Altogether, the hike and the cave tour takes approximately three to four hours. Afternoon temperatures on the trail often exceed 100 degrees, while the average cave temperature is a cool 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Light jackets, plenty of drinking water and sturdy walking shoes are recommended.

Trip planning and safety information is available at, and visitors can connect to the park via Twitter at #TimpCaveNPS and Facebook at for updates on Junior Ranger programs, evening programs, and other monument events.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Snowbird Named Best Overall Ski Resort By has released its winners for best overall, terrain, park & pipe and family-friendly resorts, and Utah's Snowbird won top honors, for the second time in three years. Here's their introduction and then some ski tidbits.

Each season, we ask our millions of skiers and riders in North America to tell us about and rate their ski experiences. Our readers reviewed thousands of resorts all across the continent, bringing us to the 2014 Visitors’ Choice Awards winners.

Snowbird is still open. It will offer skiing daily until May 11, then Fri-Sun through May 26.

Nearby, Alta will offer skiing the weekend of May 2-4 and then close for the season.

We received heavy snow last weekend – Snowbird picked up 19 inches, to keep things interesting.

Here's the awards announcement.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Antelope Island Makes List of Most Epic Places

Huffington Post has an interesting article listing what the writer considers to be the "most epic places on earth." Grand Canyon makes the list, of course. Surprisingly, so does Utah's Antelope Island. Here's the title and then the list:

...After pouring through the tips and experiences from the minube travel community, we're happy to present this list of the 17 most amazingly EPIC places on Earth.
  • Playa de las Catedrales, Spain
  • Scottish Highlands, Scotland
  • Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia
  • Erta Ale, Ethiopia
  • Antelope Island, USA
Antelope Island, the largest in Utah's Great Salt Lake, is one of the most spectacular areas of the American West. If the basin's surreal and swirling colors aren't enough, the fact that this state park is full of wild bison, antelope, and coyotes should help get you into the frontier spirit.
  • Okavango Delta, Botswana
  • Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
  • Yalta, Ukraine
  • Sol de Mañana, Bolivia
  • Namtso, China
  • The Grand Canyon, USA
  • Ijen, Indonesia
  • Iceland
  • Breithorn, Switzerland
  • Bransfield Strait, Antarctica
  • Geiranger Fjord, Norway
  • Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
"Best of" lists are always subjective. Antelope Island, in my opinion, is a great spot, scenic, with fun opportunities to hike, bike, camp, boat, see wildlife and enjoy other activities. Bust among the most epic spots on earth? I'd rank it among the 20 best spots in Utah.

I place a high value on "uniqueness." Some of our attractions are totally unique - nothing else like them on earth. Among those, I'd put these spots on my totally epic list:
– Dave Webb

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Epic Zion Park Hike - 50 Miles In One Day

Michael Lanza has written an interesting article about a mega-day hike, across much of Zion Park in just one day. Here is the title, then a couple excerpts, then a video from the trip. Some of the video is shot before daylight and so the first half doesn't show much scenery. The article is illustrated by many very nice photos - it is worth clicking just to see them.

A hike this long is no leisurely stroll. I had laid out target times for reaching key points: meeting up with Mark’s wife, Lisa, their daughter, Skye, and friend Amy Mingels, who would have water and food for us when we reached Hop Valley Trailhead at mile 13 around 7 a.m.; meeting them again at Angels Landing by around 4 p.m.; and reaching a water cache on the West Rim Trail by mid-afternoon and an energy-drink cache on the East Rim Trail in the evening. My friend Mark Godley hauled both of those liquid loads into the backcountry yesterday and plans to rendezvous with us in Zion Canyon to hike the final 11 miles tonight.

Unfortunately, as we descend toward Angels, my left knee feels like nails are being pounded into it; David’s feet are fairly trashed with blisters. We slowly come around to the idea that hiking all the way across Zion is not in the cards for us today—that we will exercise the bailout option of catching a park shuttle bus in Zion Canyon back to our hotel in Springdale, just outside the park’s south entrance.

All five of our comrades will continue late into the night to complete the full traverse around midnight (some before, some after), in roughly 21 hours, toasting their achievement with celebratory beers that Lisa and Amy deliver when picking them up at the East Entrance Trailhead...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

8 Southern Utah Places You Need To Visit - Plus Moab Video

The Las Vegas Review Journal is a great promoter of southern Utah. That isn't surprising because many Utah places the RJ features are closer to Vegas than to Salt Lake City. And we appreciate the exposure.

The Journal has this new article featuring Utah parks, monuments and other play areas.

Here's their list:
  • Delicate Arch
  • Rainbow Bridge
  • Calf Creek Falls
  • Monument Valley
  • Great Gallery
  • Bryce Canyon
  • Dead Horse Point
  • Zion National Park
That's a pretty good list, although you could argue that Bryce and Zion are mega-destinations including many remarkable places. Delicate Arch is one specific spot in Arches National Park. What specific spots do they recommend in Zion and Bryce?

We also stumbled the stunning video below, which features the Moab area (including Arches and Canyonlands national parks). We found it on, and it looks like the original source is Vimeo. Anyway, enjoy...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Impressive Video: Logan And Extreme Biking

Two videos caught my eye today, and I have embedded them below.

The first was made by the Logan, Utah, Chamber of Commerce and it is an impressive work intended to entice people to travel to, play in and move to the Cache Valley area. The photography is splendid - worth taking a look.

Then there is the little biking video, showing part of the Red Bull Rampage. It has become a viral hit on the Internet and we are pulling it from the UK's Daily Mirrorwebsite. Here are quotes from the accompanying article:

This video will have you holding your breath as you watch a brave cyclist navigate his way down a rocky mountainside in Utah.

But this is no ordinary cyclist, mountain biker Geoff Gulevich is known for tackling the world's most extreme landscapes on two wheels and living to tell the tale.

But it's not often that we can experience all the gasp-inducing drops and dramatic stomach-churning turns for ourselves without leaving the comfort of our own home.

The video doesn't show much scenery, just a razor thin trail under the bike's wheels. But you get a good taste of the action. Of course, there are plenty of Utah bike trails that are not this extreme. Still, enjoy...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Celebrate International Dark Sky Week At Utah's Dark Sky Parks

This is National Park Week in the U.S. and special activities are being held at many of Utah's Mighty 5 parks.

The is also International Dark Sky Week (April 20-26, 2014). Some of our national parks and monuments have certified dark skies and often host star parties and other events. Below we provide dark sky info about some of our parks, along with links where you can get additional information.

Natural Bridges National Monument
On March 6th, 2007, Natural Bridges National Monument became the first International Dark Sky Park certified by the International Dark-Sky Association. This is one of the great places in the world to set up a telescope or do time-lapse photography to capture star tracks.

Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce will host its 14th Annual Astronomy Festival June 25 - 28, 2014, when the park's Dark Rangers and the Salt Lake Astronomical Society welcome Australia's award-winning photographer and amateur astronomer Alex Cherney. Don't miss this keynote presentation on Friday, June 27 at 9 pm.

Cedar Breaks National Monument
To celebrate and share the beauty of its dark night skies, Cedar Breaks will be hosting a series of Star Parties, to be held at the Point Supreme Overlook on Saturday nights beginning July 6 through August 31. A constellation tour and telescope viewing through several large telescopes will be facilitated by park staff and astronomy volunteers. Visitors who have their own telescopes are invited to bring them to the Star Party.

The spectacular annual Perseids meteor shower will be highlighted with Star Party activities on August 12. Activities will begin at 9:30 pm in June and July and 9 pm during August. Call 435-586-0787 for more detailed dates and information. NOTE: These events are dependent upon good weather!

Summary of Star Party Dates:
July 5, 12, 19, 22, 26
August 2, 9, 12 (Perseids), 16, 23, 30

Friday, April 18, 2014

National Parks Are Free This Weekend, Other Spots Crowded

Admission will be free at U.S. National Parks tomorrow and Sunday - including Utah's Mighty 5 parks. Special events will be held at many, as we kick off National Parks Week. has this article about National Parks Week. Below are excerpts.

Entrance fees will be waived at all U.S. national park sites this Saturday and Sunday, April 19-20, to kick off National Park Week, which runs through April 27.

Visitors still have to pay the usual fees at campgrounds and concession stands.

Many of the parks will have special activities for kids on National Junior Ranger Day on April 24.

Expect Crowds At Little Sahara Recreation Area

Easter weekend always brings crowds to Little Sahara Recreation Area, in west central Utah near the town of Delta. Sand dunes there are ideal for buggies, ATVs, dirt bikes and other machines. Expect campgrounds to be overflowing and a party atmosphere.

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

This Easter tradition goes back a ways. The largest gathering at the dunes is reputed to have occurred in 1977, when some 60,000 sand enthusiasts showed up for the weekend. That was two years before the BLM organized Little Sahara into a national recreation area in 1979.

After that, user fees resulted, predictably, in lower but still impressive numbers. Anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000, depending on weather conditions, have showed up on Easter weekend ever since.

Jay’s point is that there is no “normal” when it comes to dune-seekers. Some come in families and play in the sand like they’re going to the beach. Some set up their 45-foot motor homes and dine on Chateaubriand. Some sleep under their dune buggy. Some go to bed at sundown. Some don’t go to bed at all.

This weekend kicks of the camping season for many people and many of our state parks and other recreation areas will see plenty of visitors.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Digging Utah's Dinosaurs

Major new dinosaur sites are discovered in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument on a regular basis and the world has taken note. News articles have been frequent. Now, National Geographic magazine is spotlighting the area in a huge, 20-page feature, complete with impressive photos and graphics.

National Geographic titles the feature: Digging Utah's Dinosaurs. It will appear in the May 2014 issue.

Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune both have background articles on the magazine article.

Here are a couple excerpts from the National Geographic article:

Around 75 million years ago, Utah was part of an island landmass called Laramidia. It was hot and swampy—and dinosaurs ruled...

...During the 20 million years or so that it existed, Laramidia seems to have been a runaway dinosaur factory, cranking out large and small dinosaurs in a surprising diversity of species. Figuring out how and why that happened, the researchers said, could tell us something fundamental about the interplay between ecology and evolution.

...That’s why he and his team return season after season to the Utah badlands, where every trek into the desert sheds new light on Laramidia’s story. “Every rock you crack open, you’re saying, Oh my God, I’ve never seen that before,” Miller said. “It’s brand-new. Unknown to science.”

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Comic Con Runs April 17-19 In Salt Lake City

Downtown Salt Lake City will attract legions of strange creatures during the next few days, as the huge Comic Con event takes place at the Salt Palace. Many actors and performers will be in custom, as will many fans. There will be plenty of opportunity to see, learn and participate.

The Deseret News has these two articles about the convention. Below are the headlines and then excerpts.

Narrowing down the staggering amount of options at this weekend's Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience can be a daunting task. The FanX event will play host to over 100 pop culture celebrities and provide over 200 hours of entertainment experiences, ranging from Q&A panels to dancing lessons, and from the cast of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" to the wildly popular actor Nathan Fillion, who was brought to the convention by the voice of FanX's Facebook fans.

From “The Walking Dead” stars Chandler Riggs and Jon Bernthal to the Monkees’ Mickey Dolenz to the Power Rangers and the recently announced appearance of the 1966 Batmobile, the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience will attempt to appeal to fans from many demographics.

The Salt Lake Comic Con website has this list of special guest. Many guests will participate in photo ops and sign autographs.

The convention released this interesting tidbit:

Salt Lake Comic Con 2013 was a record breaking event. In Utah, the previous largest convention in the state’s history was 27,000. Our first year Comic Con was attended by over 72,000 people. It was also the largest first year Comic Con in North American history and we sold over 50,000 tickets. On April 17-19, 2014 expect the event to be better in every way. Thanks for your support.
Here's a video clip from last year's event.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Utah Symphony To Perform At Utah's National Parks

Utah Symphony and the Utah Office of Tourism are partnering to bring musical performances to gateway communities near our Mighty Five national parks.

The Symphony held a news conference today announcing the tour. Here are some details:

The Utah Symphony's Mightly 5 Tour
Five National Parks. One Epic Week.

Only in Utah
When the heat of the summer day wears off, let the Utah Symphony’s Mighty 5™ Tour take you away to the desert evening sky for an inspiring symphonic experience you can only get in Utah. Go hiking, climbing or sightseeing in Southern Utah and capture these unforgettable performances set against the backdrop of Utah’s nationally treasured parks. In honor of the beautiful surroundings, supportive patrons, and generous sponsors these concerts are being presented for free.

Tuesday August 12 / 8 pm
Teasdale Community Park, Teasdale, UT (near Capitol Reef National Park)

Thursday August 14 / 8 pm
Red Cliffs Lodge, Moab, UT (near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks)

Friday August 15 / 8 pm
Ruby's Bryce Canyon Rim at Ruby's Inn, Bryce Canyon, UT (near Bryce Canyon National Park)

Saturday August 16 / 8 pm
O.C. Tanner Amphitheatre, Springdale, UT (near Zion National Park)

The Deseret News offers more detail in this news article. Here are excerpts.

These concerts will be free for tourists and our community members, making them as accessible as possible and allowing us to give back the great gift of music to our community,” (Symphony President and CEO Melia) Tourangeau said.

Tickets will be made available May 1 through select partners when booking lodging and recreation packages. Starting July 1, tickets will then be made available at select Zions Bank locations and online. Any remaining tickets will be distributed at the gate on the evening of the performance. Visit for additional information.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Enjoy A Taste Of Cache Valley Plus Volunteer At State Parks

Now's the perfect time for spring road trips and one destination often overlooked this time of year is the Cache Valley/Logan area in northern Utah. Logan is a beautiful small city surrounded by checkerboard farms and towering mountains. It is fun to watch the agricultural land come to life now that the earth is warming.

The Cache Valley Visitor Bureau has put together this fun "Food Tour," providing information about local businesses that provide outstanding service and tasty culinary offerings. Here are a few excerpts, title lines. You'll have to view the complete guide to get the details.

Bluebird Candy Company, 75 West Center, Logan
(435) 753-3670

Dairy Products
Aggie Ice Cream and True Blue Aggie Cheese, USU Nutrition & Food Science Building, 750 North 1200 East, Logan
(435) 797-2109

Cox Honeyland, 1780 South Hwy. 8
(435) 752-3234

Volunteer At Great Salt Lake Nature Center
If you enjoy children and wildlife, consider becoming a volunteer at GSL Nature Center, located just northwest of the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area near Farmington, in Davis County.

Diana Vos, director of the nature center, says the center's spring field trip season for school kids is underway. "We're looking for energetic and enthusiastic people to help us run the weekday field trips," she says.

If you'd like to help run field trips or staff the nature center, contact Vos at 801-589-2373 or

Work At Jordanelle State Park
Jordanelle State Park provided this information:

Would you like to work in the outdoors? Jordanelle still has some openings for Quagga techs and maintenance. Contact the park and pick up an application if you are interested in a summer job. 1-435-649-9540

Friday, April 11, 2014

Explore Utah's Mighty 5 During National Parks Week

National Parks Week is April 19-27. On opening weekend, Saturday and Sunday, April 19-20, admission will be free at every US national park! Special activities will be held at the parks during the week. See the National Parks Week website for details.

This is an ideal time to visit Utah's five national parks. Spring flowers are blooming and air temperatures are delightful. Conditions are perfect for auto touring, camping, hiking, biking and exploring.

The video below shows some of the fun you can have a Utah national parks. The bottom video shows stunning black and white images shot by Zion Park artist-in-residence Rick Braveheart.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Volunteer At Best Friends Plus Best Road Trips

West-Centric travel has this new blog post by a guy who spent a day volunteering at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, located near Kanab and Zion National Park.

Best Friends is the largest no-kill sanctuary in the US and it depends on volunteers to help care for the animals. Volunteers can do a variety of jobs including walking and grooming and cleaning up. Some animals are even available for sleep overs.

Not just dogs and cats but birds, bunnies, larger animals, reptiles...

Here's a quote from the blog:

After a brief orientation for Dogtown, it was off to the Puppy Preschool area. I chose to work with the puppies (who wouldn’t??) but you can also spend time with senior dogs, which I plan to do next time I visit.

Volunteers do a variety of tasks, and the day I was there I took puppies for walks and played with them in the fenced-in exercise area. Yeah, it’s hard work but somebody’s gotta do it. The pups have temporary names based on random things. I played with some of the “cheese” malamute mixes, Havarti and Mozzarella…:

Best Friends has many friends in high places, including numerous actors and preformers.

Lonely Planet's Best Road Trips

To promote release of the second edition of it's book, USA's Best Trips, lonely planet has named five trips in this teaser article. Here are names of the five trips highlighted:

Coastal New England
Michigan’s Gold Coast
Four Corners
Ivy League Tour
Mighty Mo

Comments on the article are also worth reading. Many commentators share my view that Four Corners is worth seeing - once - but that the area around Four Corners is amazing and warrants repeated trips.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Graffiti Prompts Closure In Arches; Unwind In Zion And Bryce

An area just southeast of Sand Dune Arch, in Arches National Park, has been closed to the public because of excessive graffiti - mostly names that have been carved into the sandstone. The park is considering ways to prevent more damage in this and other areas. has this on the problem, information including this quote:

"Some of it is so deeply incised, we're really sort of pondering what the options are. Some of it is pretty easy to erase, some of it is probably not," said Paul Henderson, the park's assistant superintendent, on Wednesday. "Unfortunately, it grows like a cancer. As soon as there is some, everybody else, 'Hey, I want my name, I want my design.'"

Unwind In Utah

The Wall Street Journal online has this interesting article about challenging adventures where you can be papered. Bryce and Zion make the list. Below we list their destinations and then a quote from their section on Utah.
  • Unwind In Utah
  • Find Calm In Canada
  • Sip And Stride In Italy
  • Take A Historic Route In Japan
"Austin Adventures offers a tour that covers Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks in a way that's both strenuous and indulgent. Travelers spend six days in the area, exploring canyons and rock formations on hikes that range from 2 to 20 miles long. They overnight near the trails in hotels, including Seven Wives, a historic inn on the edge of Snow Canyon..."

Monday, April 07, 2014

Backpack, Camp and Glamp In Utah

Now's the perfect time to backpack in the desert canyons in southern Utah. Days are mild and water is plentiful (relatively speaking, considering we are a desert). Nights are crisp but not too cold.

Great destinations include Dark Canyon, Grand Gulch, Coyote Gulch and the backcountry in most of our national parks and monuments.

As the season progresses, snow will melt from our mountains and they will become popular backpacking areas. When the desert gets hot, the mountains are cool and inviting.

This article lists five great backpacking destinations in Utah. These spots make the list:

1. Zion National Park
2. Arches National Park
3. Wasatch Front
4. High Uintas
5. Bryce Canyon National Park

Most people don't think of Arches as a backpacking destination. It is relatively small, compared to other Utah parks. The most popular attractions can be reached via short hikes off the scenic drive. But the park does include considerable backcountry area. Two parcels in particular are very scenic, attract relatively few visitors and can only be seen by people willing to lace up their boots and follow long trails into wilderness settings.

Glamping Utah
Utah is a famous destination for camping, with numerous sites in our national and state parks, forests and desert playgrounds. Now, we also offer some luxury "glamping" opportunities. One commercial venture in Moab provided this news release. Below is the Headline and introductory paragraph.

Introducing Utah’s First Glamping Destination

On April 4th, 2014, Moab Under Canvas will open for guests with a safari-style luxury glamping. Following the overwhelming popularity of Yellowstone Under Canvas, comes additional luxuriously furnished safari tent and tipi accommodation, deluxe suites with king sized beds, and light and bright en-suite bathrooms with flushing toilets and hot water.

Volunteer At National Parks, Utah State Parks

April 6-12 is National Volunteer Week in America. That designation was established by Presidentialproclamation, part of which reads:

By performing acts of service, we can shape a Nation big enough and bold enough to accommodate the hopes of all our people. Across our country, volunteers open doors of opportunity, pave avenues of success, fortify their communities, and lay the foundation for tomorrow's growth and prosperity. They are often equipped with few resources and gain little recognition, yet because of their service, our country is a better and a stronger force for good.

If you are looking for a place to volunteer, consider offering your services at national and stateparks in Utah. Volunteers donate thousands of hours of service, making the parks safer and more pleasant while helping to keep operating costs down.

The video below highlights some volunteer opportunities at Zion National Park.

We encourage you to watch for opportunities to volunteer. Such opportunities are often posted on bulletin boards at the parks and on park websites. You can also find out about opportunities by talking to the rangers at the information desks.

Visit your favorite parks and look for opportunities. The aren't hard to find.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Utah Ski Resort Closing Dates

It is spring but the snow keeps coming down at Utah's ski resorts. The weather is warming and conditions are deteriorating, but there is still plenty of opportunity to ski and ride, at least for a few more weeks. provided this updated list of resort closing dates:
  • Alta - April 20, 2014 But open for the weekends of April 25-27 and May 2-4
  • Beaver Mountain - Closed March 31-April 2. Open April 3-6, officially closed after April 6, 2014. 
  • Brian Head - April 20, 2014
  • Brighton - April 20, 2014
  • Canyons - April 13, 2014
  • Deer Valley Resort - April 13, 2014
  • Eagle Point - April 6, 2014
  • Park City Mountain Resort - April 20, 2014
  • Powder Mountain - April 13, 2014
  • Snowbird - Open daily until May 11, 2014, then Fri-Sun through May 26, 2014 (conditions permitting)
  • Snowbasin - April 20, 2014 (weather dependent)
  • Solitude -April 20, 2014
  • Sundance - April 6, 2014
  • Wolf Mountain - Closed for the season
Ski and Golf
The snow is gone from valley locations around Utah and many of our golf courses have opened. Our friend, Ray Grass, wrote this interesting article about wrapping ski and golf into one action-packed adventure. Here are excerpts:
There are, for example, more than 40 public golf courses in less than an hour's drive of seven ski areas — Snowbird, Alta, Brighton, Solitude, Canyons, Deer Valley and Park City. Many of those courses are less than 30 minutes and some less than 10 minutes away from the slopes.

 "I don't know of another place in the country, and even in Canada, where people have such flexibility. We are unique in that we have the mountains so close to the valleys. When I talk with other people about the variety and convenience we have they're surprised,'' said Scott Whitaker, executive director of the Utah Section Professional Golf Association.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

LDS Conference Will Bring Crowds To Downtown Salt Lake City

Downtown Salt Lake City will be busy this weekend, with crowds converging on Temple Square and the LDS Church Conference Center, as Mormon's gather for their semi-annual General Conference. See the Church's website for details about the conference.

Expect traffic congestion and limited parking downtown on Saturday and Sunday. Access streets will be very busy before and after conference sessions, which run from 10-Noon and 2-4 both days, and 6-8 pm on Saturday.

Trax trains will run on an expanded schedule to help shuttle people into and out of the downtown area. has this report about the extra public transportation options. Here are excerpts:

Conferencegoers can schedule trips at UTA’s group pass is available for purchase after 8:30 a.m. and allows four people to ride to and from conference for just $15.

Saturday, April 5

In addition to the regularly scheduled trains, extra trains will depart from the Draper Town Center Station at 8:19 a.m., 8:39 a.m., 12:19 p.m., 12:39 p.m., 4:19 p.m., and 4:39 p.m. Extra Blue Line trains will run to Draper Town Center after each conference session to help riders return home.

Sunday, April 6

Early TRAX service will be offered to enable riders to attend the 10 a.m. session of general conference. FrontRunner does not operate on Sunday.

Red Line trains will run every 20 minutes from Daybreak Station starting at 7:49 a.m. and from Medical Center Station starting at 8:56 a.m.

Blue Line trains will run every 20 minutes from Draper Town Center Station starting at 7:49 a.m. and from Salt Lake Central Station starting at 8:52 a.m. Extra trains will leave Draper Town Center Station at 8:19 a.m., 8:39 a.m., 12:19 p.m. and 12:39 p.m.

Extra Blue Line trains will run to Draper Town Center Station after each conference session to help riders return home.

Green Line trains will run every 20 minutes from West Valley Central Station starting at 8:19 a.m. and Airport Station at 9:16 a.m.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Best-Kept Secret: Capitol Reef National Park

One of America's best ideas is also one of our best kept secrets. Capitol Reef National Park is featured in this photo essay on The photos are well worth viewing and the text offers useful insights. Below are excerpts.

With such natural beauty, it's a surprise that more people don't come in crowds to visit the park. But the nearest traffic light is 78 miles away, reported National Geographic, and it's Utah's least-visited national park. Strolling alone along the lengthy trails in the park, you might think you're the last human on earth.

In addition to breathtaking scenery and a long history, Capitol Reef offers a number of outdoor activities, from rock climbing to off-road driving, says the Utah Travel Industry. The National Parks Traveler particularly recommends the newly reopened Hickman Bridge Trail, a 2-mile-round-trip that gives hikers views of the Hickman Bridge, the reef, Capitol Dome and the Rim Overlook.

"Hot and Smart" College Students

Another well-kept secret secret is the quality of our universities, and students. Brigham Young University in Provo recently came out on top of a "hot and smart" survey by Business Insider magazine. Who would have guessed that conservative, Mormon-owned BYU would win that contest.

The website reportedly based the rankings on data that included nearly 1 million student reviews of more than 8,000 schools, and at the end Brigham Young University was ranked No. 1 on the list.

Well, those of us who live in the Provo area aren't that surprised.

Dave Webb

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Zion Announces Trail Closures on East Rim, Observation Point and Hidden Canyon

This information was part of this news release provided by Zion National Park:

The Zion National Park trail crew will begin a multi-year project to rehabilitate several of the trails out of the Weeping Rock shuttle area during the summer of 2014. Trail work will begin in early June. From June 16th through the end of September, the Hidden Canyon Trail and portions of the East Rim and Observation Point Trails will be closed for several days each week to allow newly-poured concrete to dry. Concrete pouring will occur on Monday or Tuesday of each week, which should allow the trail to be open most weekends.

The trail crew will also repair retaining walls on the Hidden Canyon Trail this summer beginning as early as July 7th. Once the work begins, the Hidden Canyon Trail will remain closed until the end of the project, which should be no later than the end of August.

Trail work is also planned for the Canyon Overlook Trail during the months of September and October, which will lead to Monday through Thursday trail closures.

Zion also provided the information below about this year's Ranger-led activities.

Ranger-led Programs
Enhance your understanding and enjoyment of Zion National Park by taking part in a ranger program. Programs are offered at Zion Canyon and Kolob Canyons from April to November. Topics include geology, plants, animals, human history, and more.

All ranger-led programs are free and for all ages. Check the current Map and Guide, or at visitor centers and bulletin boards throughout the park for times, places, and subjects.

Youth Programs
Youth programs are designed specifically for families and children. Children must be accompanied by an adult while attending the programs.
Youth programs are offered intermittently through March and April, from Memorial Day through mid-August, and during Labor Day Weekend. Programs take place throughout the park, at the Zion Nature Center, and at the Zion Lodge.

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