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Utah Travel Headlines

Monday, June 30, 2014

4th Of July Celebrations Around Utah

Virtually every community in Utah will offer some kind of 4th of July celebration and visitors are always welcome to join the fun. Activities often include:
  • Pancake breakfasts
  • Parades
  • Rodeos
  • Patriotic programs
  • Fireworks displays
America's Freedom Festival At Provo offers a wide range of activities culminating in the Stadium of Fire program and fireworks show. It is one of the largest patriotic celebrations in the US. The show features country music star Carrie Underwood again this year.

The Deseret News has this comprehensive list of July 4th events around Utah. Below are highlights from just a few locations. See the article for complete details and/or inquire locally for events where you will be traveling.

Stadium of Fire is part of America's Freedom Festival at Provo, a celebration intended to “strengthen the traditional American values of family, freedom, God and country,” according to the organization’s website.

Utah State University
July 3, 8 p.m., Romney Stadium “Freedom Fire” featuring the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Mile Marker 6 and a fireworks display,

Fort Duchesne
Fourth of July Powwow, July 3-6, with booths, contests and performances (435-823-6132)

Cedar City
July 3, 7 p.m., Cedar Area Interfaith Alliance patriotic program, Christ the King Catholic Church, 690 S. Cove Drive. July 4, 10 a.m., Main Street parade; food, games, entertainment and more at Main Street Park throughout the day

Hogle Zoo
July 4, all day, military appreciation discount, veterans and immediate family receive free admission, 2600 E. Sunnyside Ave.

July 3, 7:30 p.m., Air Force Band patriotic concert, Murray Park. July 4, 6:30-10 a.m., breakfast, Murray Park; 7 a.m, more activities throughout the day.

Spring Mobile Ball Park
July 4-5, 6:35 p.m., Salt Lake Bees vs. El Paso, fireworks after the game.

Temple Square
July 5, 7:30 p.m., Utah National Guard 23rd Army Band, Tabernacle.

This is the Place Heritage Park
Liberty Days, July 4, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.,

July 2, 4 p.m., special needs rodeo. July 2-5, 8 p.m., PRCA Rodeo with fireworks following.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Devils Garden Reopens In Arches National Park

Landscape Arch - photo by Dave Webb
The Devils Garden trailhead in Arches National Park has reopened following construction to improve and expand facilities.

The Devils Garden area is on of the park's major attractions, offering access to iconic features including Landscape Arch, Double O Arch and Dark Angel. The Devils Garden loop trail is one of the most popular in the park. has this article about the reopening. Below are excerpts.

The purpose of this renovation project was to construct a dedicated tour bus and large RV parking area as well as re-align the road to create more efficient angled parking to aid in decreasing vehicular congestion as popularity and visitations have increased.

Arches National Park gained about 45 more parking spaces — totaling a 40 percent increase in parking capacities — and is working toward further parking space expansion, said Chief of Maintenance for Arches and Canyonlands John Lewis.

Visitation is up again this year at Arches. John Lewis, Chief of Maintenance for Arches and Canyonlands, said visitation has been increasing about 5% a year, but so far this year it is up about 16%.

Hikers Urged To Carry Extra Water

Much of Utah is desert where water is scarce. Southern Utah in particular is dry this year. Springs which are normally reliable may not offer any water this summer. Hikers are urged to talk to rangers before venturing into the backcountry, and to carry extra water. has this article about a recent rescue in Zion National Park. Below are excerpts.

A Georgia couple needed the help of Washington County Search and Rescue after they ran out of water on a trail in Zion National Park early Thursday morning. They had a filter, but springs had all run dry.

“Because we’ve had so many dry years, the spring is not running. It’s pretty much mud,” says Cashin. “So they had no way of restoring, or getting enough water to get back out.”

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Utah Arts Festival Begins In Salt Lake City

The annual Utah Arts Festival started today and runs through Sunday at Library Square in downtown Salt Lake City. It is Utah's largest outdoor multi-disciplinary arts event and it attracts exhibitors from aroundthe country, plus a few international artists.

This is the festival's 38th year. It offers a wide range of experiences includes music, visual art, film, literary arts, kids’ activities and workshops. Plus food and drink, of course. There is always opportunity to purchase art at the festival.

The video below previews this year's festival.

Many Utah communities host art festivals. Some of our more popular annual events include:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

UTA Named Best Transit System In US; Plus Best Salt Lake Bars

Utah's public transit system has received the 2014 Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award given by the American Public Transportation Association, the international industry organization representing the United States and Canada.

The system provides, bus, light rail and commuter rail through Utah's population center, which includes the Salt Lake, Provo, Ogden and Park City areas. Riding public transportation, visitors can easily get from Salt Lake International Airport to downtown SLC hotels and the Park City ski resorts.

The Deseret News has this article on the award. Below are excerpts.
There are three such awards based on the size of the transit system. UTA won for large systems providing 20 million or more annual passenger trips. The agency has previously been honored in 1986, 1996 and 2002.

Last year, the agency experienced a year of record ridership exceeding 44 million boardings, along with the opening of multiple new light rail lines. During a 12-month period concluding in December 2013, UTA opened four rail lines including one commuter rail line, two light rail lines, and Utah’s first modern streetcar line.
Best Bars In Salt Lake City has this post listing what it calls the best bars in Salt Lake City. Written by Kelli Nakagama, the post identifies great drinking spots by various criteria. Here's the introduction and then a summary of the list.
The Salt Lake City bar scene is finally overflowing with places to drink. Several new bars just joined the scene while old favorites continue to be great standbys. These days there’s a bar for all your drinking needs, you just have to know where to go.
  • For whiskey: Whiskey Street
  • For wine: BTG Wine Bar
  • Creative cocktails: Bar X
  • For beer: The Beerhive
  • For dinner + drinks: Copper Common
  • For watching sports: Lumpy's Downtown
  • For Secret Meetings: The Rest
  • For a great view: The Green Pig
  • To catch up with friends: Dick 'n Dixe's
  • Late night pub and grub: Beer Bar
  • For date night: The Red Door
  • Best bar with a patio: Gracie's
  • Off the beaten path: The Garage

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Starvation State Park Creates 3-D Archery Range

Starvation State Park Archery Range
Starvation State Park and the Utah Division of Natural Resources have joined forces to create a 3-D archery range, which will open this Saturday. The park provided this information:
3D Archery Range Grand Opening
Saturday, June 28, 2014 - 11:00am to 4:00pm

Join us for the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the 3D archery range. Ribbon cutting ceremony begins at 11 a.m., free hot dogs and soda from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and hands-on instruction, demo equipment and outfitter booths available until 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public; however the $7 day-use fee applies to those not attending the event.
In other state park news...

Get close to bats on Antelope Island

Antelope Island State Park provided this information.
On June 27, a biologist with the Division of Wildlife Resources will trap and identify bats at Antelope Island State Park. And he's inviting you to join him.

In addition to getting close to bats, you'll learn about the important role bats play in the natural world.

If you'd like to participate, space is limited, and you must pre-register. To register, call the Wild About Birds Nature Center at 801-779-BIRD (2473).
More information.

Utah Studies Expanding Goblin Valley State Park

There is considerable talk right now about expanding Goblin Valley State Park. The proposal would involve a land swap that would bring a section of the BLM-controlled San Rafael Swell into the state park. Utah Public Radio has this report. Below are excerpts.
A massive expansion of Goblin Valley State Park is in the works. The BLM, Utah State Park Service and Emery County are working together write a proposal to push the boundaries 40-fold.

“This was an opportunity to maybe take care of an area that is, some would say, getting loved to death. So if state parks were allowed the opportunity, we’re thinking that we can do a pretty good job at putting some amenities there.”

Some locals have voiced a concern over a possible restriction of motorized vehicles; however, vehicles, hikers, bikers and other outdoor sportsmen will still be able to use the land, according to Swalberg.

Monday, June 23, 2014

All American Highway 12 – Utah's Path To Adventure

Spooky Gulch is located just off Hwy 12
The most scenic byways in America are given the additional designation of “All American Road.” Among other things they must:
  • Have features that do not exist elsewhere in the United States.
  • Be unique and important enough to be tourist destinations unto themselves.
Utah Highway 12 is one of the most popular of the All American Roads. It boasts outstanding scenery that is totally different from any found anywhere else. The “Hogsback” section literally takes people's breath away.

Highway 12 also serves as a primary gateway to Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef national parks, GrandStaircase-Escalante National Monument and three Utah state parks, plus Calf Creek Falls, Boulder Mountain, the Burr Trail and other popular attractions. It makes and incredible day trip and wonderful multi-day excursion.

Economic Impacts of Scenic Byway 12 All-American Road Designation Evaluated

(Editor's note: The news release below was provided by the Scenic Byway 12 Committee.)

In 2013 the Scenic Byway 12 Committee commissioned the consulting group at Zion’s Bank Public Finance in Salt Lake City to conduct a research project in order to measure the economic and fiscal impacts of the All-American Road designation on the communities along the byway.

The study started with three different surveys conducted to gather information from three different groups. Travelers on Highway12, prospective/future travelers and area businesses were each surveyed. Visitors from 48 U.S. States and 28 foreign countries participated in the surveys. A total of 13 businesses participated by completing and returning their surveys.

While the surveys took place over a period of one-year Zion’s Bank Public Finance, working under an agreement with Garfield County and Wayne County, gathered data from the Utah State Tax Commission for the purpose of measuring the fiscal size and shape of local economies and to identify sales and tax collection trends. A third component of the research involved working with Utah Department of Transportation and area Parks and Visitor Centers to measure visitation trends over time.
Combining all the information received, Zion’s Bank Public Finance calculated the economic impact of the Scenic Byway 12 All-American Road designation. In the process a lot of other useful and interesting information was amassed. Here are just a few of the highlights:
  • More than 85% of visitors surveyed are aware of the National Scenic Byway designation on Scenic Byway 12.
  • 47% of those travelers considered the designation extremely important when they planned their trip.
  • The average group traveling through on Scenic Byway 12 includes 3 people that spend 4.2 days in the area spending $854 while they are here.
  • In 2013 there were 117,000 trips on Scenic Byway 12 attributable to the travelers’ desire to visit the All-American Road resulting in visitor spending of $12.75 million that year.
  • The Byway impact of $12.75 million in spending in 2013 represents 8.5% of the total sales in Garfield and Wayne Counties that year.
  • Tax collections of $482,195 resulted from the incremental visitor spending in 2013.
Also reported in the study are the changes in taxable sales since 2001 in each of the towns on Scenic Byway 12 and comparisons of sales in various segments of the local economy, each year since 2008, between the Scenic Byway area, the State of Utah overall, and other areas in Utah also dependent upon tourism or not.

Finally, a number of case studies are presented in the economic study results allowing further comparisons between Scenic Byway 12 All-American Road and other nationally designated scenic byways around the United States.

Highway 12 was designated an All-American road in 2002 through an application to the National Scenic Byways Program. The Scenic Byway 12 Committee decided in 2012 to pursue the economic study. “After 10 years of national designation and recognizing the growing challenges associated with securing grants and other funding for projects on the road we decided it would be a good idea to measure the impact of our efforts so far”, said John Holland, the Scenic Byway 12 Coordinator. “Now that we have this assessment the Byway Committee will use the information to estimate the value of proposed future projects and to build support for our work”, Holland said.

The full report of the economic impacts of Scenic Byway 12 is coming in early July. The presentation of the research and analysis by Zion’s Bank Public Finance can be downloaded in its entirety on the Scenic Byway 12 website at

The Scenic Byway 12 Committee would like to thank their many partners for participating in the study including Garfield and Wayne Counties, the National Parks and State Parks, the Dixie National Forest, the BLM/ Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Bryce Valley Business Association, Escalante-Boulder Chamber of Commerce, Wayne County Business Association, the towns and cities of Torrey, Boulder, Escalante, Henrieville, Cannonville, Tropic, Bryce Canyon, and Panguitch and local citizens and area businesses. Funding for the study was provided by the aforementioned partners and through a grant from the Federal Highways Administration/National Scenic Byways Program.

Friday, June 20, 2014

5 Spectacular Mountain Peaks Plus 13 Little-Known Adventures

The snow is about gone from most mountain peaks in northern Utah and the wildflowers are coming on strong. The next two months will provide the best conditions of the year for people interested in climbing to the summit of one of our challenging mountain.

Utah offers a variety of summit hikes, from half-day treks to multiday adventures. If you have the desire, we have a mountain peak that will suit your physical condition and skill level.

The mountain trails east of the Salt Lake Valley are excellent choices because they are readily accessible, offer plenty of trail choices and provide incredible views.

This blog, originally published on Liftopia and picked up by, provides a good rundown of the Salt Lake peaks. Here's their five recommendations:

  • Mount Wire (Big Beacon) - Difficulty: Moderate, only because the distance is short.
  • Grandeur Peak - Difficulty: Moderate
  • Mount Raymond - Difficulty: Strenuous.
  • Mount Olympus - Difficulty: Strenuous
  • The Pfeifferhorn - Difficulty: Strenuous butt-kicker

The title above comes from this article by Carrie Clark, published on and sponsored by the Utah Office of Tourism.

The adventures mentioned are great but, with all due respect, the title and slant are deceptive. I list their 13 adventures below. A few are relatively unknown, at least to a national audience. But seriously, do they really expect us to believe most people have never heard of car racing on the Bonneville Salt Flats? Or adventure racing in Moab? Give me a break.

Here's their list:
1. Packrafting the Maze, Canyonlands National Park
2. Salt-flat car racing, Bonneville Salt Flats
3. Climbing the Fisher Towers, Castle Valley
4. Sailing on Utah Lake, Utah Lake State Park
5. Braving the via ferrata, Ogden
6. Adventure racing, Moab
7. Paddling the Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Manila
8. Canyoneering Neon Canyon, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
9. Wilderness survival camp, Boulder
10. Hang-gliding or paragliding in Flight Park State Recreation Area, Lehi
11. Mountaineering the Wasatch Mountains, Central Utah
12. ATVing, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
13. Mountain biking Antelope Island, Antelope Island State Park

– Dave Webb

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Top 10 US National Parks

The travel people at Fox News have come up with a list of America's Best National Parks and Zion comes in at number 4. Yellowstone and Grand Canyon top the list, which we show below. The article gives snippets about each park.

1. Yellowstone National Park
2. Grand Canyon National Park
3. Sequoia National Park
4. Zion National Park
5. Death Valley National Park
6. Olympic National Park
7. Acadia National Park
8. Glacier National Park
9. Yosemite National Park
10. Denali National Park & Preserve has a fun article with this title:

The article describes some Utah attractions including:

Bryce Canyon National Park: This is great country for hiking, horseback riding, photography, camping and other activities...

Zion National Park: The scenery here is wonderfully diverse, perhaps there is more variation here than in any area in the world...

San Juan River Rafting: The San Juan is especially appealing to groups because there is so much flexibility available, from time on the river to number of hikes and guide knowledge...

Arches National Park: A red rock wonder, this park is sure to fill you with shock and awe...

This particular West Valley is located in Arizona. It's fun to see how our attractions impact people from around the region.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Be Aware Of Utah Fire, Fireworks Restrictions

Fire and fireworks restrictions are going into effect in much of southern Utah, as officials try to prevent wildfires.

Zion National Park issued this news release on the subject. Below are highlights:

The following acts will be prohibited in Zion National Park until further notice starting Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 12:01 a.m.
  • Setting, building, maintaining, attending, or using a campfire or charcoal fire in Watchman and South Campgrounds, all picnic areas, or permanently improved places of habitation. Stoves fueled by petroleum, liquid Propane Gas (LPG) are allowed. Wood and charcoal fires are allowed at Lava Point Campground.
  • Smoking on all trails. Smoking is allowed within an enclosed vehicle, a developed recreation site or designated smoking area.
  • Discharging, or using any kind of fireworks or other pyrotechnic devices, is prohibited at all times on all federal public lands.
BLM West Desert District Implements Fire Restrictions

BLM issued this news release concerning implementation of fire restrictions beginning June 20, 2014, on BLM-managed lands in Tooele, Utah, Salt Lake, Rich and Box Elder Counties.

The West Desert District fire prevention order prohibits using steel-core, steel-jacketed, tracer or incendiary ammunition; sky lanterns or balloons and similar devices; and operating off-highway vehicles without spark arrestors. A key provision of this order also extends to possession of fireworks and exploding targets, which should be left at home when visiting public lands. The fire restriction on steel ammunition will be in effect through Sept. 30, 2014. All other fire restrictions will remain in effect until rescinded.

Other Areas
The United Fire Authority has this information on fireworks and open burning restrictions throughout Utah. Check it to learn about restrictions where you will be traveling.

As we approach the July 4th holiday, fireworks will be restricted or prohibited in many areas where wildfire danger is high.

Wildfires are now burning in several spots around Utah. At this writing they are not impacting major highways or recreational areas, but that could change at any time. Watch this blog and check locally to discover conditions when you plan to travel.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Celebrate Summer Solstice At Parowan Gap Or The Sun Tunnels

Parowan Gap rock art - by Dave Webb
The annual Summer Solstice will take place on Saturday, June 21. Two spots in Utah are of special interest on that date, and both will attract visitors.

Parowan Gap
Parowan Gap is a Native American rock art site northwest of Cedar City, in southern Utah. Rock faces on the east side of the gap are covered by interesting figures carved by ancient people. During the past several years, enthusiasts have discovered and documented how some of the figures can be used as a calendar system.

In addition, it is said that the gap itself is in perfect alignment with rays from the sun at dawn and dusk on the day of the Summer Solstice. The spot has become quite a famous astronomical attraction.

This year an educational event will be held at the gap on Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. This Deseret News article gives details. Below are excerpts:

The program will start at 7:30 p.m. with the BLM presentation, followed by solar engineer Nal Morris discussing how the Zipper Glyph and other petroglyphs can be used as a calendar system.

At 8:30 p.m., the group will walk about one mile to the back summer solstice cairn to watch the sun set down the middle of the Gap onto the mountain horizon as depicted on the Zipper Glyph.

The sun tunnels are a modern art creation in the middle of nowhere, in the Great Salt Lake Desert west of Salt Lake City and northeast of Wendover. They were created by Nancy Holt, a famous sculpture and land artist.

He tunnels are large concrete tubes that are aligned with the summer and winter solstice events, and with the equinox events.

The are accessible via good gravel roads. Since they are in the middle of nowhere, study the map so you know where you are going and take provisions plus emergency gear.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Parks Update: New GSL Visitor Center, Red Fleet Paddle Festival, White Rim Closed

Great Salt Lake State Park has a new visitor center, gift shop and campground. The Deseret News has a good article on the addition. Below are excerpts.

The parks division celebrated the grand opening Friday of a new visitors center at the Great Salt Lake State Park, a building that boasts a scenic deck with tables for viewing the ebbing waves and interpretive displays detailing the history of the Great Salt Lake.

In addition to the gift shop that offers eclectic but appropriate souvenirs such as Utah Dead Sea Salts and snowflake ornaments crafted out of Great Salt Lake salt, the state park also added multiple overnight camping spots with full hook-ups available for $20 a night. There are kayak tours available, and a private concessionaire has plans to start a catered sunset cruise.

Read the full article.

Red Fleet State Park is sponsoring a “paddle festival:” Friday, June 20, 2014 – 12:00 pm to Saturday, June 21, 2014 – 6:00 pm. The park provided this overview:

2nd Annual Red Fleet Paddle Festival starting June 20th and ending on the evening of June 21, 2014 Bring your own paddle craft or try one of the many different types provided by vendors. MOTOR BOATS ARE PROHIBITED ON THE THE RESERVOIR DURING THIS EVENT. Camping will be allowed but is walk in only. NO CAMPING RESERVATIONS. Please contact the park for additional information.

A section of the famous White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park, Island In The Sky District, will be closed closed July 7-11 to allow replacement of a large culvert under the road. The trail is a popular jeep and mountain bike route. The Deseret News has an article on the closure. Below is an excerpt.

The closure area is from the junction of the Shafer Trail Road and the Potash Road to Musselman Arch along the White Rim Road. The section of road will be closed to all vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians during the construction period.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Public Input Sought On Management Of Corona Arch

What should the BLM do with Corona Arch? That question is up for debate and the federal agency is interested in your view.

Corona is a very scenic natural arch located west of Moab. It is accessible via a short hike and is a popular destination for families and others looking for a mild outing. But it has also attracted its share of extreme adventurers.

Corona was recently acquired by BLM in a land swap with the State of Utah. While under state control there were few restrictions on activities. If you visit you will often see people hiking on top of and rappelling off of the arch. During the past couple years the arch has been the subject of popular videos glorifying risky adventures. The video below seemed to kick off the trend. It's amazing to watch. Sadly, a young man lost his life trying to duplicate the stunt.

Should such activities be allowed at the arch? Read this Deseret News article for more background and give BLM your feedback.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Snowbird Brewfest & Summer Activities At The Ski Resorts

Summer activities are now getting underway in earnest at Utah's mountain resorts. The air is cool, the scenery is spectacular and there's plenty of fun, with options that appeal to all ages and temperaments. As a bonus, lodging rates are lower during summer at many resorts.

Sixth Annual Brewfest
At Snowbird Brewfest, 16 breweries will share their best throughout the weekend. Three-ounce samples will be available for $1 each. The event runs June 14 - June 15, 11 am - 7 pm. Full details.

Other Activities
Our resorts offer a wide diversity of summer activities. Below we list some of the more popular.
  • Lift-served mountain biking
  • Lift-served hiking
  • Mountain strolls and drives
  • Alpine slides
  • Zip lines and coasters
  • Climbing walls
  • Golf - miniature and otherwise
  • Horseback rides
  • ATV adventures
  • Fishing excursions
  • Chuckwagon dinners
  • Shopping
  • Dinning
  • Nightlife
  • Spas
There is something for everyone.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Adventures In Southern Utah To Beat The Crowds has this interesting article on southern Utah adventures that allow you to get away from the crowds. Well, that's the claim anyway. Below I give their list, with a few comments of my own. (The video here has been pulled from the article.)

Down lower I link to another article that describes a place where you can really get away from the crowds.

1. Mountain biking Moab’s lesser-known trails

Dave W: Moab's lesser known trails still get considerable use - you'll see plenty of other people on any decent trail in the Moab area. Still, they are fun and worth riding.

2. Canyoneering outside Zion

Dave W: This one is true. The popular trails and routes inside Zion Park are busy but there are many quality routes just outside the park that see little use.

3. Rock climbing near Moab

Dave W: I guess "crowd" is a relative term. Moab has become very popular and there are people almost everywhere. You can find good spots with fewer people, if you search a bit.

4. Rafting the Colorado

You need a permit to raft in most places on the Colorado. Only a limited number of permits are issued, in an effort to ensure a quality experience. This one is a good option.

5. Hiking in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Grand Staircase is huge and it offers many areas where you can find solitude. However, the photo illustrating the article shows Lower Calf Creek Falls, which is a very popular spot where there will always be people.

The Mineral Mountains are located west of Beaver in south-central Utah. They offer true wilderness visited by few people. Below are excerpts from the article linked with the title of this section.

A surprising variety of precious stones can be found on this range including smoky quartz, pyrite, gold, silver, feldspar, obsidian, and one of the most prized gems in the world – blue beryl.

For a visiting climber, the never-ending tall faces of the Milford Domes are overwhelming. There are more routes in the Minerals than are published...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Old West Rodeo And ATV Festival

The Days of the Old West Rodeo - June 12-14
Rodeo fans can enjoy a colorful PRCA event and cheer their favorite cowboys at the Days of the Old West Rodeo, held in Delta, in Central Utah. Top contestants compete in steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, WPRA Barrel Racing, tie-down roping, and everyone's favorite – bull riding.

Associated events include the horse parade on Thursday at 6:30, the Annual Poker Ride on Friday, Tough Enough to Wear Pink night on Saturday, the specialty act will be Gizmo McCracke.

Rodeo performances take place at 8 p.m. each evening at the Millard County Fairgrounds, 187 South Manzanita Ave., Delta.

National ATV Jamboree - June 24-28.
The National ATV Jamboree located in Fillmore, in Central Utah is a major event among ATV/UTV enthusiast and also one of the major trail heads to access the famous Paiute ATV Trail. The Jamboree is a fice day event held the last week of June. The Jamboree offers a number of rides ranging from beginner trails on Forest Service and BLM roads to advanced trails specifically designed with for the rider who wants to challenge his or her riding skills.

The video below shows some of the action from last year's jamboree.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Panguitch Offers Historic Quilt Walk Festival, Balloon Festival

The community of Panguitch, located in southern Utah near Bryce Canyon, will host some fun events during the next few weeks. Visitors are always invited to join the activities, which are outlined below.

Facing starvation, early settlers in the Panguitch area sent men over the mountain to Parowan to obtain flour. Deep snow made the trek all but impossible. They were about to give up when they discovered blankets spread over the snow helped support their weight and made progress possible. Spreading quilts before them, the men completed the journey and saved their families. See the video below.

Day rides to Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Grand Canyon National Parks, plus Grand Staircase-Escalante and Cedar Breaks National Monuments... Activities include guided GS ride (all abilities), poker run, bike-n-hike, tech sessions and door prizes. Registration includes 3 nights camping, dinner on Saturday night, coffee each morning, plus the activities listed above.

What do bikes and balloons have in common? Both represent freedom; freedom of the road and freedom of the air. Every June, Panguitch, Utah, has a double event, the Panguitch Valley Balloon Rally and The Sky’s the Limit Rally for bikes and cars

"Have you ever wanted to fly in a hot air balloon? Come out to the launch field every morning at 6:30 a.m. and help pilots launch their hot air balloons and you just might be asked to go or a ride! Visit Panguitch’s Historic Downtown on Saturday evening at dusk and witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of balloons glowing up and down Main and Center Streets. Get there early and help pilots inflate their balloons!" See the video below.

June 28 – Panguitch Valley Balloon Rally 5K Race

Friday, June 06, 2014

Lake Powell Level Rising A Foot A Day Plus Amazing Photos

Fishing at Lake Powell - © Dave Webb
The water level in Lake Powell is now rising about 1 foot every day, and that will continue into late June. The result will be a larger playground with very good boating conditions this season.

Powell has been relatively low for the past few years, but the reservoir is huge and there is still plenty of opportunity to boat away from the marinas and find your own private cove or remote canyon. The Deseret News has this article about the deluge. Below are excerpts.

The latest numbers by the Natural Resources Conservation Service put the Upper Basin Colorado River snowpack at a whopping 208 percent of normal — twice what is typically measured for early June.

Runoff into Lake Powell that began in mid-May reached 60,000 cubic feet per second. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reports that lake levels will continue to climb a foot a day into late June, hitting a peak elevation of 3,616 feet.

The rising water opened the Castle Rock Cut near Wahweap Marina and three concrete launch ramps — Wahweap, State Line and Antelope Point — are now open.

Hite Marina continues to be closed indefinitely but all other marinas and launch ramps are open and in good condition. The lake changes on a daily basis, so boaters always need to use caution.

Amazing Photos

Today we stumbled on two publications showing amazing photos of southern Utah. Wish we could show some of the images here but we respect copyright. Both of these links are worth a click.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

What You Can And Can't Do In Utah National Parks Plus Destination Spas

Our title above comes from this KSL report. It lists each Utah national park and talks about what is off limits, plus recommended things that can be done in the parks. It is worth reading. The comments submitted by readers are also interesting - there is a fierce debate about why mountain bikes are restricted to roads/jeep trails in Canyonlands.

Below are a few excerpts.

While there are some rules that are standard for all national parks across the U.S., there are also some individual regulations. Here are the do's and don'ts for the five national parks in Utah.

Bryce Canyon: Don't climb on hoodoos or pull them over — you could damage them.

Capitol Reef National Park: Don't break the speed limit on Scenic Drive. The speed limit on Highway 24 through the park is 45 mph, but Scenic Drive is only 15 to 25 mph.

Zion National Park: Don't use remote-controlled equipment, including but not limited to: helicopters, drones, and other aircraft-based equipment.

Arches National Park: Arches are off limits — don't climb on them, canyoneer or rappel off of them.

Canyonlands National Park: Don't mountain bike except on designated roads — treat it like a vehicle and don't ride on trails.

Read about the things you can do in our parks.

Top Destination Spas

This article on caught my eye. It features top regional spas, including 2 in Utah (Aman Spa at Amangiri and Sagestone Spa & Salon at Red Mountain Resort). Both are excellent - top notch facilities, superb service and incredible scenery.

But the magazine made a huge factual error in the description of Aman Spa. Here's a direct quote:

Located at the Four Corners—where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona all meet—there is a 600-acre desert escape: Amangiri. Not only is Amangiri home to deluxe accommodations and a plush pavilion complete with a gallery and library, but within the resort resides Aman Spa.

Amangiri is actually located on the Utah/Arizona border between Kanab and Page - far from the Four Corners.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Utah Lake Festival Plus Savoring Salt Lake

Utah State Parks are hosting many events during the coming weeks, now that the weather has warmed up and people are traveling. See the State Parks Facebook page for ideas about places and activities.

Utah Lake Festival
The 10th annual Utah Lake Festival will be held Saturday, June 7, at Utah Lake State Park from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. The address for the park is 4400 West Center Street Provo, Utah, 84601. See the festival website for details. Here are highlights:

The Utah Lake Festival is free to the public, and will offer a variety of activities for everyone. Some of these include a boat show featuring some fun and unique boats, a sail boat regatta, games and activities for kids, boat making demonstrations, and boat tours.

The main goals of the Utah Lake Festival are to educate the public about what is being done to improve the lake, promote recreational activities, and allow the attendees to enjoy a beautiful Saturday at one of Utah’s greatest natural resources.

Savoring Salt Lake
The heading above comes from this article, which says Salt Lake City has plenty to offer. Below are excerpts.

With its seemingly endless, undeniably picturesque mountain terrain, Utah is a much-loved playground for outdoor enthusiasts. And, though the ratio of hiking boots to heels changes in Salt Lake City, the state capital nonetheless offers small-town charm amid plenty of big-city comforts.

The Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City, housed in a historic downtown building, boasts amenities galore (bikes—and even a pet goldfish!—to borrow)...

Tour the Natural History Museum of Utah to see why the state is known for its fossils...
Salt Lake City’s best indie retailers can be found in the 9th and 9th neighbourhood...

Tucked into a non-descript house, chef Bowman Brown’s kitchen and teeny-tiny dining room, collectively called Forage, make for one impressive dining experience...

One of Salt Lake’s most famous part-time residents is Modern Family’s Ty Burrell. Your best chance at a Phil Dunphy sighting? Visit one of the two side-by-side bars Burrell co-owns...

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Museum of Natural Curiosity Plus Living Planet Aquarium

The Salt Lake/Provo area has a new museum attraction - the Museum of Natural Curiosity recently opened at Thanksgiving Point. It will provide hands-on learning opportunities for people of all ages. KSL has this article about the museum. Below are excerpts and a video clip.

"(There are) five main exhibition galleries all about science and engineering and art and creativity, really creating that curiosity in all of us,” Thanksgiving Point CEO Mike Washburn said.

The five galleries are Water Works, Rainforest, Kidopolis, the Discovery Garden and Innovation Gallery.

“This Museum of Natural Curiosity is going to spawn new entrepreneurship, people that will become the new business people, the new Steve Jobs, the new Bill Gates,” Gov. Gary Herbert said. “People will use this kind of curiosity to invent new things, make our lives better.”

Living Planet Aquarium
Not far away, in Draper, the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium also offers a fun learning environment. The Deseret News has this great feature about the aquarium and its offerings. Below are excerpts.

(Brent) Andersen walked away from a secure job on the California coast to return to Utah to build a world-class aquarium in his home state. His vision was finally realized 17 years later with the opening in Draper on March 25.

The aquarium reached 200,000 visitors on Day 36 and is on pace to reach the million mark within a year. According to Andersen, it ranks fourth among the nation’s aquariums in attendance. Part of this is probably attributable to the newness of the aquarium, but the aquarium also had long lines and sustained attendance when it was temporarily housed in smaller facilities in downtown Salt Lake City and in Sandy.

One of the aquarium’s sea turtles came from a hospital in Florida, where it recovered after being struck by a boat and then attacked by a shark. Such injuries leave air trapped in the turtle’s shell, which means it’s too buoyant to dive underwater and therefore can’t be returned to the wild.

The penguins were flown from Galveston to Utah on Continental Airlines because the airline offers a temperature-controlled environment. The otter came from Long Island in dog crates. The toucans were placed on seats in the two rows of a Southwest Airlines jet. The sharks were trucked from Albuquerque, California and Las Vegas.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Free Outdoor Adventure Days Plus Delicate Arch Featured On A US Coin

Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch, in Arches National Park, is one of Utah's most recognizable landmarks. Now it is being featured on a coin as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. The Deseret News has this article about the selection. Below is an excerpt.

Officials from the United States Mint and the National Park Service will gather Friday for the official launch. Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox and Moab Mayor Dave Sakrison are expected to attend, as well as members of the public. Those in attendance can trade their cash for $10 rolls of the new quarter.

White said those who want Arches National Park quarters can find them in circulation or buy them from the Mint website in bags, rolls or in the annual uncirculated proof sets.

Free Admission! • Salt Lake City • June 13–14, 2014

This year's Outdoor Adventure Days is located at the Lee Kay Center at 6000 West, 2100 South in Salt Lake City. The turnoff to the Lee Kay Center is just north of the interchange on 5600 West.

Hours will be from noon until 7 p.m. on Friday, June 13. Hours on Saturday, June 14 will run from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

What gets your adrenaline pumping? Maybe it’s the speed of a brisk ATV ride, or shooting a target with perfect precision. Perhaps the familiar tug of a hooked fish, or coming face to face with live birds of prey. The first annual Outdoor Adventure Days is totally free, so bring the whole family!

Sponsors include:
  • Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
  • The Mule Deer Foundation
  • Safari Club International
  • Hoyt Archery
  • Utah Chukar and Wildlife Foundation
See this website for details.
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