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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Defying Death in Utah Arches: A Thrill Too Far?

Corona Arch - photo by Dave Webb
The title for this post comes from this New York Times article, reporting the controversy surrounding dangerous stunts by thrill seekers on public land in Utah. In particular, it focuses on Corona Arch, near Moab, and the recent craze of people turning it into a giant rope swing. But the article does a good job providing background and explaining the bigger debate over control of public land in the West.

We reported on the Corona Arch swing a few weeks ago, mentioning that BLM is considering placing new restrictions on recreation in the area. BLM will hold public hearing before deciding on management and we encourage you to submit your opinion.

The Times article is noteworthy because it shines a strong national spotlight on the controversy. But there is even debate on whether national exposure is good or bad. Some Utah residents say, in effect, this is our state, our issue, we alone should make these decisions. We don't need New York people weighing in on Utah land management.

I disagree. Southern Utah is my backyard, but it is a national treasure and important playground for people from all over the world. It is a bigger issue than where Utah sheep should be allowed to graze or where we should dig new mines.

Today has this new report on a related issue:

“Fourteen senators... sent a letter to the president saying Utah should have a Greater Canyonlands National Monument.

“They say the 1.8 million acres around Canyonlands National Park are some of the nation’s most stunning, wild and unique landscapes and should 'be permanently protected.'”

Some Utahns are noting that most of the 14 Senators have never set foot in the area, yet they are pushing for federal control of the land.

Utah Representative Jim Matheson, a Democrat, made this interesting assessment of the proposal:

"I'm never big on national monuments being created by a president," said Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah. "I think it ought to go through the legislative process where we can have witnesses and input from all the stakeholders. That's the way you make public lands decisions."

Public input is important, from Utahns, from interested people in New York, and from others around the national. Here's hoping you will pay attention and make your voice heard.

– Dave Webb

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Top US Ski Areas For 2014

Bella Travel Network has researched ski areas to gauge demand for the 2014-15 season, and named the top US resorts:

1. Snowbird, Utah
2. Vail, Colorado
3. Mammoth Mountain, California

(The videos at right are not related to the Bella Travel study, we just think they are nice.)

Here's the Bella Travel news release:

Bella Travel Network Researches In-Demand Skiing Areas for 2014

Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) July 30, 2014

Bella Travel Network, a leading provider of luxury vacations, knows that as winter is rapidly approaching, many travelers are wondering what some of the best places to spend time soaring through the snow are during the upcoming ski season. Although going abroad to places think the Swiss Alps is a dream for many out there, the truth is that there are many amazing destinations right in the United States that offer the perfect places to ski. Here are some of the best places to hit the slopes this season.

1. Snowbird, Utah: Snowbird is one resort where access, snow, and terrain create a beautiful combination, and most travelers can easily travel there. Travelers can board a plane early in the morning, land just a few short hours later and immediately be on the slopes. It is every skier’s fantasy, and Snowbird is just the place to find it. Visit the Little Cottonwood Canyons for some of the best snowfall that is perfect in quality, quantity and consistency, especially for travelers who only have a few days for their ski trip.

2. Vail, Colorado: Perhaps the most famous destination on the list, there might not be a better marketed resort out there. For anyone who knows anything about Colorado, the most popular ski resort that came to mind in the past was always Aspen. That’s not the case anymore since Vail has been steadily growing in popularity every year. With over 350 feet of average snowfall to zoom around in, it could be considered a skier’s paradise.

3. Mammoth Mountain, California: Although the first image many have of California is sunshine and beaches, this area is also home to some of the best skiing around. Skiers who are looking for a challenging course that can take years to master are in for a treat, since there’s good terrain all around this area. Also, Mammoth is part of the “Mountain Collective” group, and anyone interested in the whole experience can purchase a pass that gets two days for free and additional days for 50% off.

Bella Travel Network knows for all those who love to ski, spending time at any of these resorts will be a great way to kick off the winter vacation season. For more information about how to plan a luxury vacation, please visit or call (512) 342-2740 today.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More Temporary Road Closures From Flooding

Many areas in Utah were hit by heavy rain today, which in turn caused flooding that brought water and mud over some roads. I know because my daughter got stuck in mud in Santaquin Canyon, in southern Utah County. Fortunately, nothing too serious. -- Dave Webb has this weather report on the storm. Here's a summary:

What a storm! Heavy rain caused flooding and debris flows statewide with several spots receiving over one inch of rain. Look for scattered showers this evening with lows in the 60s. Skies will be partly cloudy on Wednesday with a few lingering showers, especially in the mountains or northeastern Utah. High temperatures will top out in the 80s, but 90s return on Thursday and stick around into the weekend. Look for another round of rain on Friday afternoon and more storms early next week. provided this report summarizing highway closures:

LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON — Little Cottonwood Canyon closed for several hours due to flooding Tuesday afternoon and officials also reported flooding in an Eagle Mountain neighborhood and SR-28 in Sanpete County.

Unified Police Department put lane restrictions in place around 5:15 p.m. due to a landslide near Lisa Falls. Earlier in the day, Little Cottonwood Canyon closed due to flooding and debris on the roadway, according to Utah Department of Transportation officials. The highway was reopened around 3:15 p.m., but officials said commuters should expect intermittent closures during the cleanup.

Highway 28 south of Levan was closed around 6:32 p.m. due to heavy rainfall causing flash flooding.

Officials in Eagle Mountain City also reported flooding along Wride Highway near the area of Canyon Wash Drive around 2 p.m. The highway was not closed, but officials urged commuters to use caution while driving through standing water on the road.

Cedar Pass Ranch retained a lot of standing water in the community and officials asked for volunteers to help place sandbags to divert the water. Volunteers were asked to gather at the public works building in Eagle Mountain.

In Sanpete County, flooding and debris blocked the roadway on SR-28 between Levan and Gunnison, UDOT said late Tuesday afternoon. Crews were working to clear debris and a flash flood warning was issued through 6:15 p.m. for Levan by the National Weather Service. NWS expected the debris flow to impact Levan. Additionally, portions SR-132 were covered in debris and water.

UDOT said SR-117 may also close due to weather.

Officials made flood advisories lasting until 7:15 p.m. in northeast Davis County, southeast Weber County and west Morgan County due to about 2 inches of rain in those areas.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Flash Flood In Buckskin Gulch Plus Other News

Rain fell over much of Utah today and caused flooding in some areas. State Route 132 east of Nephi (Central Utah) was closed for a few hours after rain brought a mudslide over the road. The route has now reopened.

The video at right, shot today, shows a flash flood coming down Buckskin Gulch, in the Grand Staircase-Escalante area in southern Utah. Down canyon, Buckskin becomes very narrow, with sheer walls. It is often described as the longest slot canyon in the world. The Buckskin "slot" runs for some 13 miles. In that distance there is only one "escape spot" where normal humans can climb up the canyon wall. Anyone in the slot this afternoon would be in trouble.

So far, we haven't heard any reports of deaths or injuries. Travelers, hikers and canyoneers need to be especially carefully when there is a significant chance of thunderstorms.

The latest forecast says there may be more storms tomorrow and Wednesday, then again later in the week.

Nine Mile Canyon Rock Art Vandals Caught
In other news, BLM reports it has identified the two individuals who damaged ancient Native American rock art in Nine Mile Canyon. See this news release for full details. Below are excerpts.

After careful examination and analysis, the BLM assessed the damage and identified specific mitigation measures. BLM archaeologists estimated that restoration and repair efforts would cost approximately $1,500. A BLM law enforcement officer met with the youths and their family to discuss the seriousness of the incident. The family agreed to pay $1,500, which will be used to mitigate the damage caused by the juveniles' thoughtless vandalism.
One of the youths stated that he was sorry for his thoughtless actions and hoped that others would learn from his mistake. "I hope people try to think about the consequences and the effect their actions have on history," he said.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wildfires Affect Travel But Not Near Utah National Parks

Several wildfires are burning in Utah and some are affecting travel and recreation. Major fires are listed below. At this writing, the blazes do not affect Utah's major highways, national parks or our most popular recreation areas.

Some regionally popular recreation spots and secondary roads have been closed because of the blazes. Take care if you plan to travel near any active fire. And be aware that new fires can erupt at any time. This website has current information.

Most Utah wildfires are ignited by lightning but some are human-caused. Conditions are dry and people always need to obey safety rules when camping and traveling in the backcountry.

Active Fires:

Plateau Fire, 5 miles east of Salina. Area roads are closed.

Levan Fire, south of the town of Levan in Central Utah. The fire is burning east of Hwy 28. Home from the Chicken Creek to Water Hollow areas were evacuated but residents have been allowed to return. However, more evacuations are possible.

Springville Fire, in the Spring Canyon area east of Springville. The blaze is located just north of Hobble Creek Canyon. Some homes were evacuated but residents have been allowed to return. This is still a very active fire.

Y Fire, in Rock Canyon east of Provo. This small fire is located in an inaccessible area and is being attached by helicopter. At last report there were only a few smoldering trees.

Black Fire, on Black Crook Peak in southern Tooele County. This is a very active fire but is not located near towns or recreation areas.

Simpson Complex Fires, actually two fires, the Lion Peak and the Sheep fires are being managed jointly. These are large, active fires located south of the small community of Terra, in Tooele County. The Pony Express Road over Lookout Pass is closed. The fire has crossed the Little Valley Road to the east. At this time no homes or structures are threatened.

Rockport Fire, burning near Rockport Reservoir NE of Park City. Crews appear to have the upper hand and continue mop up activities. If the fire flares again, travel and recreation in the Rockport area will be affected.

Tunnel Hollow Fire, 5 miles east of Morgan, now looks like it is being controlled. However, public access to the Weber River is closed from Croyden to Morgan.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Utah's 5 Best Canyoneering Destinations

This new video shows some of the fun to be had canyoneering in the Moab area. Here's the title:

DISCOVER Canyoning in Moab, Utah | STA Travel Uncover/Discover USA video

Moab offers some great canyoneering options, as do many areas in southern Utah. Below I give my 5-best canyoneering destinations. The sport is growing in popularity and so more and more people are discovering Utah's canyons. If you are new to canyoneering, engage a guide service for an adventure or two. The professionals will help you "learn the ropes" and develop the confidence to do it yourself. and other websites offer good descriptions of routes. Conditions change frequently so always get current info from rangers or local shops before plunging into a canyon. And be alert as you hike. Here are headlines I noticed today:
  • Ranger Hike Fiery Furnace. Last week 4 evacuations for heat. Our trip did fine. CARRY WATER!
  • The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Zion until 7:00 pm. All slot canyons, including The Narrows, are closed.
Here are my top five destinations for canyoneering. (Note, a destination is a large area, not a specific route. All of these destinations offer multiple routes.)
– Dave Webb

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Garden City Raspberry Days July 31 - August 2

In the Bear Lake area, in extreme northern Utah, farmers grow amazingly good raspberries. And, in turn, those raspberries are used in mighty fine milk sakes. The harvest is usually prolific and has come to be an icon for the region. You can buy the raspberries in local markets or at roadside stands.

The communities there even stage an annual "Raspberry Days Festival."

This year the Raspberry Days Festival will be held July 31 - August 2. This website has details. Here are highlights:

The Raspberry Days Festival is an incredible event held to celebrate the harvest of the world famous Bear Lake Raspberries. The Raspberry harvest usually starts around the 3rd week of July and lasts 3-4 weeks. The Raspberry Days Festival is an annual event, which begins two days prior to the first Saturday in August. The festival is a fun filled 3 days with the Little Miss Berry Pageant, the craft fair with continuous entertainment, the Parade on the Boulevard, the Rodeo and 5K run in Laketown, the Pancake Breakfast at the Garden City Park, dances, and ending with the fireworks on the Beach.

Boat Light Parade - With The Raspberry Days Festival

(Bear Lake State Park provided this information:)

Come and watch "decorated and lit up" boats leave the marina on the water to go to the location of the Raspberry Days Festival fireworks display. After the fireworks, they will return to the marina. The best time to watch them will be after the fireworks display as they return to the marina.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Camp Along Parade Route In Downtown Salt Lake City

Tomorrow evening people will roll out sleeping bags and set up camp along streets in downtown Salt Lake City, claiming their spot for the big Days of ’47 Parade that will be held Thursday morning.

The parade is just on of many activities that will be held in Salt Lake City and around the state on Thursday. This website has complete information. Here are a couple highlights:

The Days of ’47 Parade will be held on Thursday, July 24, 2014, in downtown Salt Lake City beginning at 9:00 am. For a new adventure, bring the kids, the sleeping bags and the hot dogs downtown on the evening of the 23rd. You can camp out on Salt Lake City streets along the route that evening. This is the biggest sleepover your family and friends will ever experience! Remember to bring enough water to keep everyone hydrated.

We have exciting things planned for the 2014 version of The Days of ’47 celebration, from the Royalty Pageant and Parade, to the Rodeo and all the other colorful events. Our 2014 celebration will be full of thrills and spills. Schedule your summer plans to take advantage of our many activities — most of which are free to the public. Grab your hat, pull on those boots and c’mon down!

Geology Festival This Weekend At Bryce Canyon

July 24th is a major holiday in Utah and celebrations will be held all around the state. But other activities will also draw attention, including the annual Geology Festival at Bryce Canyon National Park. Here are details:

On July 27‐28, 2012, Bryce Canyon National Park will be celebrating its most stunning resource, the geology. Known for its colorful and oddly shaped rock spires called "hoodoos," the area was established as a national park in 1928. Each year over a million visitors from all over the world come to the park to marvel at its beautiful scenery and delicate formations, unique on planet earth. (Hoodoo is pronounced with a "haunting" tone and the "h" is silent - ooooo-dewww)

The Geology Festival will offer daily ranger‐guided walks and talks in the canyon and on the rim, children's activities on geology, guided bus tours through the park, illustrated programs, geology and fossil tables and an exhibit of "Hoodoos Around the World."

Featured speakers include:
  • Dr. Robert Eves presents "Water, Rock, & Time - The Geologic Story of Zion National Park" (Friday)
  • Dr. Larry Davis presents "Mary Anning: Palaeontological Pioneer" (Saturday)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Utah's '13 National Parks' Are Big Draws Worldwide

The National Park Service released a report Friday describing some of the economic benefits that come from having popular national parks. The report has generated interesting press coverage. Everyone seems to agree that Utah's parks are awesome and provide a tremendous boost for the state, but some of the details are a bit misleading.

As far as I can see, three Utah news outlets have published items about the report:

The report includes data on all properties managed by the National Park Service. In Utah that includes National Parks, National Monuments, National Recreation Areas and National Historic Sites. Some news outlets are lumping them together and using using the phrase: "Utah's 13 National Parks." That is misleading. I have no idea where they get the number 13.

Here's how Utah properties break down

5 National Parks
2 National Recreation Areas
6 National Monuments/Historic Sites

Friday, July 18, 2014

Welcome to Kanab, Utah - 7 Minutes of Some of the Greatest Scenery on Earth

The Kane County Office of Tourism has released a new video with stunning scenery, shot in areas around Kanab, Utah. You can see the video below.

Many of the scenic spots shown in the video are familiar - some have been shown in countless Western movies and TV shows. (So many Westerns were shot here, Kanab came to be know as "Little Hollywood." Photos of other spots have graced the pages of many calendars and photo books.

The video features:

Welcome to Kanab Utah from Override Films on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Neil Simon Festival Runs Through Aug 9 In Cedar City

Cedar City is home to the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival, which has been staging outstanding productions since 1962. But there is another, lesser-know theatrical group in town, this one honoring playwright Neil Simon. Below we provide information about the Neil Simon Festival, which just kicked off its 2014 season.

Festival Mission
We work to preserve and honor the works of playwright Neil Simon and his contemporaries as well as foster the development of new American plays that follow the Simon tradition of character-driven plots and comic introspection into the American experience.

2014 Season
  • Laughter on the 23rd Floor
  • The Star-Spangled Girl
  • You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
  • Nunsense
  • Greater Tuna
  • Driving Miss Daisy
Plus these events:
  • Off the Cuff Comedy Improv Troupe
  • New Play Contest - Staged Reading
  • Apprentice Intensive Show
  • Preview Night Benefit
In 1997, Founder Richard Bugg was reading one of Neil Simon's plays, when he glanced at the dust cover of the book and saw a list of all of Neil Simon's plays to date. The list was impressive. Richard realized that Neil Simon was one of the great playwrights of the 20th Century.

Believing that Mr. Simon's plays are universal in nature, and worthy of preservation, Richard wondered why a festival honoring Neil Simon, such as those that honor the Bard, George Bernard Shaw, and others, was not already in existence.

After a few years of planning, Richard was ready to start such a festival. In 2002, Cedar City, Utah (the city where Richard serves as a Professor of Theatre) built the beautiful Heritage Center Theater. With a venue now available, he knew it was time to pursue his dream. Richard created a non-profit corporation and reached out to friends and colleagues to serve on the organization's Board of Directors. He approached a local businessman and asked him to serve. The man felt he was to busy to serve on the board, but, wishing to help, donated $500 toward the effort.

Thinking the Mr. Simon should be aware of the honor about to be bestowed on him, Richard sought for a way to contact the playwright. Richard called a celebrity friend and asked him if he had any way of contacting Mr. Simon. Richard's friend replied that he had just worked with Mr. Simon on a tour of one of his plays and offered Richard a phone number. With trepidation, Richard called the number, expecting to contact a secretary or an agent. The voice at the other end said, "Hello?"

"Mr. Simon?" Richard replied.

"Yes," the voice answered.

A little flabbergasted, Richard explained his plans to Mr. Simon. Mr. Simon said that he was honored, but wanted to know, "Why Utah?"

Richard doesn't recall his on-the-spot answer, but says:

Given some time to contemplate, my answer has become: Because your humorous analysis of the American Culture, while grounded in your own experience and sub-culture, is universal. Even rural westerners understand the human struggles that your plays evaluate. We are moved as well as entertained by your muses. We honor your work and we wish to share it and preserve it.

Mr. Simon, I have dedicated a large part of my existence to this project. I am not excessive in my admiration (there are other things more important in my life), but I strongly believe that you are one of the most important writers of the last century and that your plays need to be produced and conserved for generations to come.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Snowbird Opens Awesome New Mountain Bike Trail

Utah's mountain resorts are famous for their ski runs, and they also provide exceptional mountain bike trails. Ride a lift to the top of the mountain and it is all downhill. But hang on because the ride can be fast and furious.

The diversity of our trails continues to grow. Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort has just opened a new one that is getting rave reviews. Snowbird provided the video below and the short description.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Enjoy Utah's July 24th Holiday

Pioneer Day is a long-standing celebration in Utah. This video
shows the parade in 1949
July 24th is Pioneer Day, a major holiday in Utah. Many communities will host parades, programs and fireworks displays. Travelers are always welcome to join the festivities.

Many businesses will close for the holiday but businesses related to travel and hospitality will be open, along with most stores. Many businesses that are open will have special sells. Campgrounds and recreation areas will be busy.

Salt Lake City hosts the huge Days of 47 Celebration that offers many activities culminating on the 24th. Below is a list of some of the more popular events.

July 18-19: PIONEER DAY CONCERT. Come listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra showcase soaring music from its vast repetoire.

July 19: YOUTH PARADE, downtown Salt Lake City.

July 19: FIRST ENCAMPMENT HIKE, Donner to First Encampment Park.

July 19: FAMILY FESTIVAL, City County Building.

July 21: DAYS OF '47 RODEO PBR EVENT, EnergySolutions Arena.

July 22-26: DAYS OF '47 RODEO, EnergySolutions Arena.


July 24: SUNRISE SERVICE,Tabernacle on Temple Square, 7:00 am. The Pioneer Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers will present a Sunrise Service honoring Utah’s pioneers.

July 24: DAYS OF '47 PARADE, Downtown Salt Lake City, 9:00 am.

July 24: DAYS OF '47 DIXIE CELEBRATION, held in the town Washington, adjacent to St George. Colorful floats, bands, horses, clowns and other entries thrill thousands of spectators each year.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dinosaur National Monument Offers New Programs

Dinosaur National Monument offers plenty to see and do year-round, but this summer it has launched several new programs to help people young and old learn about and enjoy the park's fantastic resources. The news letter below was provided by the National Monument.

Dinosaur National Monument Adds New Programs to 2014 Summer Schedule

Colorado/Utah – Park Rangers at Dinosaur National Monument offer a variety of public programs from guided hikes and campground evening programs to the very popular Junior Ranger Program. This summer, several popular activities from last year have returned and several new ranger-led programs have been added to the schedule, including programs that highlight the diversity of things to do and see beyond the fossil bones.

New for this summer are two hikes, a photo workshop, and a collection of evening programs on the Colorado side of the monument, accessed 3 miles east of Dinosaur, CO. Starting July 6, meet a ranger at the Canyon Visitor Center at 2:00 pm each Sunday afternoon for a short introduction and then drive 5 miles to Plug Hat Butte for an easy 1-mile guided hike. Topics alternate each week between gaining photography tips that will make your visit more memorable and exploring cultural connections between people and the land. Plug Hat Hike programs will last 1.5 to 2 hours.  

Photography workshops, led by a ranger who is also a professional photographer, will investigate photo tips in greater depth, using views along the Harpers Corner Trail to practice techniques that can turn plain old snapshots into visual poetry. These free, 5-6 hour photography workshops begin at 3:00 pm at the Canyon Visitor Center on Saturday July 19 and August 16, and 2:00 pm on September 20. Follow the ranger in your own car along the 32-mile scenic Harpers Corner Road, hike with your own personal ranger and photo coach along the 2-mile round trip Harpers Corner Trail, and then conclude with an optional picnic dinner and sunset photos at the Plug Hat Picnic Area. Contact the Canyon Visitor Center for reservations and more details. Bring your own camera.  

Campers who find themselves at the Echo Park Campground on Friday Jul 11, August 8 and September 5, can meet a ranger at the program benches for an evening of exploring. Echo Park evening programs begin at 8:00 pm with Junior Night Explorer activities, followed by a ranger talk at 8:30 pm. For the adventurous, a ranger-led night hike will depart the campground benches at 9:00 pm for an approximately 1-mile, 1.5 hour stroll along the river to experience the canyon by moonlight. Because of unpaved roads, this program is weather dependent. Please note it is a 1.5 hour drive from the Canyon Visitor Center to Echo Park. Campground information can be found at  

On the Utah Side of the monument, rangers continue to offer Fossil Discovery Trail hikes at 10:00 am daily and Junior Ranger Programs in the Quarry at 2:30 pm daily, plus 10:30 am on Saturdays and Sundays. Campground evening programs are offered at 7:30 pm each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the Green River Campground. Dinosaur's night sky program with stargazing and telescopes called Stories Behind the Stars will begin on July 16 and take place every Wednesday and Saturday evening through September 6 at the south end of Split Mountain Campground. Start times vary with the sunset.  

Near the end of summer, two special events will celebrate Dinosaur's dark and wild side. The second annual Skies Over Dinosaur weekend, August 22-24, will offer views of nearby planets and far away galaxies through telescopes and other activities. The 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act will be celebrated over Labor Day Weekend and through the actual anniversary date of September 3, 2014.

The entrance fee to the monument is $10 per vehicle or $20 for a Dinosaur Annual Pass. There is no additional charge for ranger programs. Ranger programs may be added, altered or cancelled due to staffing or weather conditions. Check for updates in person at our visitor centers, call (435) 781-7700, or follow DinosaurNPS on facebook or twitter.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Beat the Heat, Hike and Fish Utah's High Mountains

Whiskey Island Lake in the Uintas, by Dave Webb
We are now moving into the hottest part of summer but you don't have to simply endure the heat. Temperatures are much cooler in Utah's high mountains. Even in southern Utah, where red rock desert is the norm, there are cool mountains where you will find spectacular timber, alpine meadows, cascading streams and picture-perfect lakes.

The High Uintas and Boulder Mountain are famous destinations for hiking/backpacking and horsepacking in wilderness settings. But there are plenty of other high mountain areas that provide great summer escapes. Some of my favorites that are not as well know include:
Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources has this great information about fishing the High Uintas and Boulder Mountain. Below are excerpts.

(DWR's Paul) Birdsey says trout feed actively when the water temperature is between 55 and 65 degrees. "Fifty five to 65 degrees is the ideal water temperature for trout," he says. "And, fortunately, that's the temperature high-elevation lakes in Utah stay at throughout the summer. That's the main reason they're such great places to fish."

While high-elevation waters throughout Utah provide quality fishing in the summer, the Uinta Mountains and the Boulder Mountains should top your list of places to visit.

If you're willing to "travel off the beaten path," a unique experience is waiting for you. In 2012, the DWR started stocking golden trout in the Uintas.

"These fish, native to California, are some of the most colorful of all trout," Birdsey says. "Starting in 2012, they were reintroduced to several lakes in the Uintas."

While you won't catch a fish that's trophy-sized, you will have a chance to catch one of the most unique fish in the state. You can see where golden trout have been stocked by visiting the DWR's online stocking report.

Birdsey says brook, cutthroat and tiger trout are the trout you'll usually find on the Uintas and the Boulders. "All of these species are more aggressive than the rainbow trout most anglers are used to catching," he says. "A lure that flashes quickly through the water — like a spinner — is something brooks, cutthroats and tigers will go after."

In the High Uintas it often rains for brief periods every days, and it can snow any day of the year. When you go, go prepared.

-- Dave Webb

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Butch Cassidy Festival This Weekend In Beaver

Robert Leroy Parker, better known as Butch Cassidy, born in Beaver, in southern Utah, on April 13, 1866. He was the first of 13 children born to Maximillian and Ann Parker. During his youth he lived and worked at various locations in southern Utah including the family ranch near Circleville.

The 14th annual Butch Cassidy Festival will be held July 11 and 12 in Beaver. It will feature historic information and folklore concerning the infamous outlay, as well as Old West entertainment. Events include:
  • Rib eating contest
  • Crafts
  • Mountain man camp
  • Hypnotist show
  • ATV excursions
  • Pie eating contest
  • Concessions
Butch traveled extensively and many spots throughout the West claim connection to the outlay. After many robberies he would return to Robbers Roost, an extremely remote and difficult canyon complex in southern Utah, where he and his gang would hide out from the law.

Robbers Roost was never successfully breached by law enforcement. Today the area attracts canyoneers who enjoy several difficult slot canyon routes.

See our Butch Cassidy pages for details about Butch's life and exploits.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Vote For America's 10 Best National Parks

USA Today has a website composed of 10 best lists, based on voting by readers. Right now they have a campaign going to identify America's 10 best national parks. Their "experts" have nominated 20 parks and readers are voting to narrow the list. From our area, the parks listed below are in the running:
Go here to read details and to vote. Here's their introduction:

Many consider America's national parks to be her greatest treasures. You have until MONDAY JULY 14 at NOON to vote for your favorite, as we pit mountains against canyons, lakes against rivers and coasts against prairie.

Capitol Reef Fruit Harvest

Capitol Reef National Park includes heritage fruit orchards that are one attraction in an area overflowing with scenic landscapes. Most visitors come to drive backcountry routes and hike adventure trails, and they are pleasantly surprised when they find they can pick and eat fresh fruit right in the heart of the park.

You can actually pick fruit to take home, if you want to pay a modest fee. Here are details posted today on the park's Facebook page.

Fruit Update: On Tuesday, July 15, the Krueger Orchard will open for harvesting peaches. Cost is $1.25 per lb and the orchard will be open 9 am to 5 pm. Limited supply.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Park City Food and Wine Classic Plus Deer Valley Music Festival

The 10th annual Park City Food & Wine Classic will run July 9 – 13, 2014. Tickets for the 2014 Classic are now on sale. The festival offers a variety of experiences on the mountain, in restaurants, classrooms and around town, which can increase your knowledge and enjoyment of food and wine as well as all the experiences Park City has to offer.

The video at right shows highlights. See this website for complete details.

The annual Deer Valley Music Festival is underway in Park City and Deer Valley. Enjoy the world-class talent from our own Utah Symphony, paired with the best in classic rock, country, show tunes, pop, jazz, and of course, chamber and classical music. Upcoming events are listed below.

Fri, July 11, 7:30 PM - The Music Of John Williams
Sat, July 12, 7:30 PM - The Music Of U2 With The Utah Symphony
Wed, July 16, 8:00 PM - Beethoven's Egmont Overture
Fri, July 18, 7:30 PM - 1812 Overture
Sat, July 19, 7:30 PM - Mary Chapin Carpenter With The Utah Symphony
Wed, July 23, 8:00 PM - Muir String Quartet
Fri, July 25, 7:30 PM - The Orchestra
Sat, July 26, 7:30 PM - Just Imagine: The John Lennon Experience Starring Tim Piper
Wed, July 30, 8:00 PM - Tchaikovsky's Serenade For Strings
Thu, July 31, 8:00 PM - Rosco And Friction Quartets
Fri, August 1, 7:30 PM - Disney In Concert: Tale As Old As Time
Sat, August 2, 7:30 PM - Super Diamond: The Neil Diamond Tribute With The Utah Symphony
Wed, August 6. 8:00 PM - Mozart's Symphony No. 36
Fri, August 8, 7:30 PM - Music From Stage And Screen With The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Sat, August 9, 7:30 PM - The Ben Folds Orchestra Experience With The Utah Symphony

Monday, July 07, 2014

Early Flash Food Warnings For Utah's Slot Canyons

Southern Utah's “monsoon season” is early this year. It is usually August when scattered afternoon thundershowers become frequent over our desert canyon country. This year we have already seen warnings and flood events in the Zion Park area and other spots in SE Utah.

Watch weather reports and talk to rangers in the parks before heading into the backcountry. Pay attention if you are driving or hiking in or across washes. Washes that are normally dry can become raging torrents very quickly if there is rainfall anywhere in the drainage.

Canyoneers, in particular, need to take care before entering narrow canyons. Take a last look at the sky before dropping into the slot and then monitor as best you can as you descend the canyon. Start your trek early in the morning and try to be through the narrowest portions of the canyon by mid-afternoon, when the storms begin to kick up.

The video at right shows a flood that came down Pine Creek, in Zion, on July 6th, 2014.

Hidden Canyon and Portions of East Rim Trails To Close In Zion National Park

The Deseret News has this article about planned trail closures in Zion Park. Below is an excerpt.

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

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Have A Happy 4th - Be Safe With Fireworks

We wish you all a safe and enjoyable 4th of July. We hope you can savor time with those you love, enjoy the beauties of this wonderful land and remember the spirit of American independence.

See our events guide for activities near where you will be traveling.

Remember to observe the laws regarding use of fireworks. Fire danger is high in Utah but, so far, we have not had devastating wildfires this year. With your help we can avoid problems over the holiday.
Fireworks are always prohibited in National Parks, National Forests and other federally-controlled lands. They are also outlawed in Utah State Parks.

The Deseret News has this article highlighting laws and safety issues for fireworks. Below are excerpts.

Lighting fireworks in Utah is allowed between July 1 and July 7, and from July 21 to July 27 from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. and extended until midnight on the Fourth of July to accommodate the various shows. Municipalities also can impose restrictions on when and where fireworks are allowed.

In Salt Lake City, the area west of I-15, east of the Capitol, the University of Utah and city parks are all off-limits for lighting fireworks, said fire department spokesman Jasen Asay.

The video below shows highlights of the Stadium of Fire celebration last 4th of July in Provo.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Join The Debate Over ATV Use In Utah

The debate over ATV activities in Utah has never been hotter. In recent months enthusiasts have openly defied federal regulations and have challenged law enforcement by overtly riding in closed areas. Meanwhile, others are vocally calling for more restrictions and more enforcement.

Your voice is needed in this debate.

This news release was submitted by BLM. Below is the headline and then highlights.

BLM Seeks Public Comment on ATV Safari in Southeastern Utah

The cities of Monticello and Blanding have hosted an annual ATV safari for the last ten years. This EA analyzes proposed changes designed to improve the overall event and participant experience. This year’s proposed three-day event would take place in September on 15 designated routes in Grand and San Juan Counties. The event proposal also includes developing 14 trailheads in areas with existing surface disturbance.
The EA, which includes route maps, is available for public review and comment on the Environmental Notification Bulletin Board at: (search for project name “San Juan ATV Safari”).
Written comments will be accepted by letter or email until close of business Aug. 1, 2014. Please note that the most useful comments are those that contain new technical or scientific information relevant to the proposed action. Comments should be as specific as possible. Comments which contain only opinions or preferences will not receive a formal response but may be considered in the BLM decision-making process. Please reference “San Juan ATV Safari” when submitting comments.

This video from 2012 provides an overview of the ATV use in SE Utah.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Have A Safe, DUI-Free Holiday

Officials are encouraging people to follow common-sense safety rules during the upcoming holidays. That includes not drinking and driving. Unfortunately, alcohol-related accidents increase during holidays and so patrols will be stepped up in attempt to keep our roads safe.

Zion National Park has announced it's rangers will increase drunk driving enforcement over the holiday weekend. See their news release. Below is an excerpt.

Zion National Park will enhance the enforcement of impaired driving over the Fourth of July weekend through expanded DUI checkpoints and increased road patrols. Acting Superintendent Cindy Purcell stated, "Rangers in the National Parks have two essential missions. One is to preserve and protect natural and cultural resources in perpetuity. The other is to provide for the safe enjoyment of those resources by visitors."

Officials are also warning about boating while under the influence. The Deseret News has this ariticle about the push for safe boating. Here are excerpts.

Law enforcement across the state is teaming up to keep Utah's lakes and reservoirs safe and free from drunken driving. They are reminding boaters and recreation enthusiasts that no matter what vehicle they are operating, if they are drunk they will be arrested.

One of the rules is adults can drink alcohol on the boat, but the operator cannot and cannot have alcohol within reach.

"If we can detect the odor of alcohol or an open container, we will test the operator,” Brody said.

The 0.08 blood-alcohol content standard is the same as for people behind the wheel of a car.

Have a safe, DUI-free holiday.
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