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Friday, August 29, 2014

Permits Now Required For Group Rim-To-Rim Hikes At Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon view - photo by Dave Webb
Going from one rim to the other at Great Canyon in one long day hike is an amazing adventure - 21 miles, up and down over steep and rugged trails.

In the past, hikers and runners have been allowed to make this trek with no permit required. Now, with more people on trails and more impact on resources, organized groups are being required to obtain a permit.

The park service provided this news release:

Grand Canyon Announces Interim Permits for Organized Groups Conducting Rim-to-Rim and Extended Day Hiking and Running

Grand Canyon, Ariz. - The National Park Service (NPS) will begin issuing Special Use Permits on an interim basis for organized, non-commercial rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running in the inner canyon of Grand Canyon National Park. The inner canyon is defined as the area below Tonto Platform (Tipoff and Indian Garden) from the South Rim and below Manzanita Resthouse (Pumphouse Residence) from the North Rim. Permits will be issued to groups with activities planned for after September 15, 2014.

Rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running, which also includes rim-to-river-to-rim and rim-to-rim-to-rim, is not new in Grand Canyon National Park but has been increasing in popularity over the last several years. The NPS estimates that up to 800 people are traveling in the inner canyon during peak weekend days in spring and fall. Of that, 400 to 600 people are hiking or running rim-to-rim in a single day. The activities take place on the Bright Angel, South and North Kaibab Trails (known as the corridor trails). These trails provide diverse recreation opportunities for hikers, backpackers, mule riders, and runners.

Increased day use on these inner canyon trails has resulted in increased user conflicts. Other issues related to inner-canyon use include abandoning or caching gear on the trails;increased litter, including human waste;crowding at restrooms and attraction sites;an overburdened waste water treatment plant;vehicle congestion and crowding at trailheads;and general concerns over trail courtesy with other visitors. Park rangers are also seeing an increase in un-prepared and injured rim-to-rim participants resulting in additional search and rescue responses, which then results in an overall delay of all search and rescue operations.

The NPS is currently revising its 1988 Backcountry Management Plan through the preparation of an environmental impact statement. Organized, non-commercial, rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running, are among the uses that will be addressed in the plan. The park expects to release a draft plan this fall for public review and comment. Special Use Permits will be issued for rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running to protect park resources and the public interest until the plan is completed. Park staff will continue to monitor this activity and any associated impacts and may implement changes through the interim permit process if necessary.

Organized groups, including non-profits, conducting rim-to-rim and extended hiking and running will be required to obtain a Special Use Permit. Information about Special Use Permits for these activities, including permit applications and fees can be found on Grand Canyon National Park's website at

Generally, any group, regardless of size, which has advertised to the general public, required individuals to sign up prior to participation, or that has an organizer who has been compensated for their services, including subsidized participation, will be required to obtain a Special Use Permit. Commercial rim-to-rim day use will not be authorized. The NPS will not limit the number of permits issued;however, group size, under a permit will be limited to 30 individuals, including organizers. A permittee or their organization (club, non-profit, group, etc.) will be allowed to obtain one permit per day. Permits will include guidelines built on the Leave No Trace principles to help protect park resources and enhance the experience and safety of all trail users.

"With rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running increasing in popularity, we needed to find an interim solution that would give us the tool to educate hikers and runners on best practices until we have a longer-term solution in place," stated Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga.

Park rangers encourage all visitors who are planning a hike in Grand Canyon National Park to learn more about Trail Courtesy Practices That Leave No Trace and How to Hike Smart. Information about these practices can help save park resources and lives, and can be found at and

All inner canyon users are encouraged to participate in the planning process for Grand Canyon's Backcountry Management Plan. To follow the process click on the National Park Service's Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website at

For questions about Special Use Permits, please call 928-638-7707.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Adventure Dreams: 10 Classic Adventures

Hamburger Rock In The Indian Creek Area
The title for this post comes from this National Geographic Adventure article describing what the author calls "great American classics." He continues: "Our top ten cover life-list terrain in the mountains, ocean, and the desert and include the expert advice, gear tips, and training ideas you'll need to go from dream to reality."

Two of the 10 are in Utah (White Rim and Indian Creek, both in the Canyonlands area). Another is nearby (Grand Canyon). Not bad.

I keep reporting on top adventure lists published by respected media because these national writers give Utah destinations glowing recommendations. It's one thing for Dave Webb to say Utah has world-class adventure. It's quite another when National Geographic says these Utah adventures are bucket list quality...

These destinations make the list. The article gives extensive detail about each.
  • Mountain Bike the White Rim Trail, Utah
  • Surf Waikiki, Hawaii
  • Raft the Grand Canyon, Arizona
  • Climb Mount Rainier, Washington
  • Bicycle Across America
  • Ski Tuckerman Ravine, New Hampshire
  • Hike the Presidential Traverse, New Hampshire
  • Climb Desert Cracks at Indian Creek, Utah
  • Hike the John Muir Trail, California
  • Climb a Colorado 14er
– Dave Webb

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

10 Best Utah Labor Day Destinations

Flaming Gorge Reservoir - photo by Dave Webb
Labor Day Weekend is fast approaching and it will bring wonderful opportunities to get out and enjoy Utah destinations.

As the official last holiday of summer, I always think of outdoor recreation when I plan Labor Day activities. But that doesn't have to be the case. There are plenty of theatrical productions, concerts, movies, shopping malls, restaurants and pubs available for those so inclined. For this blog I'll focus on outdoor recreation, thank you.

National parks, most state parks and other popular recreation areas will be crowded, but will still offer plenty of opportunity to have fun. Crowds can actually be part of the attraction. I enjoy interacting with international tourists in Zion Park and other area. But, even more, I enjoy escaping congestion and finding solitude. That is a prime factor as I zeroed in on recommended destinations.

The weather should be nice. Warm but not scorching hot. The weatherman has added a few clouds to the prognosis for Saturday and Sunday, so watch as we get closer, but at this writing it looks like conditions will be wonderful.

Here are some extra helps:
Ok, here are my top 10 choices:
  • Lake Powell - Arrive early and boat away from the marinas to avoid the crush.
  • High Uintas - Highway 150 and road-accessible lakes will be crowded. Backpack to find solitude.
  • Flaming Gorge - Excellent fishing, perfect conditions and not as many people as Powell.
  • Skyline Drive - This is a high-elevation area, not as well know, protected by rough roads. It offer great camping and fun fishing in small lakes.
  • San Rafael Swell - Temple Mountain and Little Wildhorse will be crowded. Get into the backcountry.
  • Grand Staircase Escalante - Hole In the Rock slot canyons will have quite a few people but you can drive jeep roads or hike to get away from it all.
  • Canyonlands National Park - This place is huge and backcountry roads are rough, but it is a great place to escape on busy holiday weekends.
  • Capitol Reef National Park - There is scenery here the rivals Zion, but far fewer people.
  • Monument Valley - I never get tired of this scenic treasure.
  • Great Salt Lake - Often overlooked, this is a wonderful water for sailing, kayaking and just relaxing on the beach.

– Dave Webb

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Crowdsourced Art Features Landscapes In Utah And Around The US

Zion National Park posted this to Twitter today: Need inspiration to go out and “See America”? Maybe the art campaign will help!

The See America Art Project has motivated many people to create art depicting our national parks and other scenic areas, and - hopefully - it will spur more people to visit these places. See the images here. You can buy the images on poster, greeting cards, mugs, t-shirts and other items.

Here is background info:

In the 1930's, as part of the New Deal efforts to put artists to work, our government commissioned posters to showcase the country's most stunning natural features under the banner: "See America." These iconic images put thousands of artists to work, helped link our natural landscape with our American identity, and live on nearly 100 years later as celebrated works of art.

...But there are hundreds more parks deserving of beautiful artwork to bring the great outdoors and our country's history to a new generation. That’s why we're launching a crowdsourced campaign seeking new "See America" posters highlighting the beauty of our natural landscape and historic sites in all 50 states.

Many Utah parks and landscapes are depicted - you can see them here. In any crowdsourcing effort, there are bound to be miss-identifications. Two such images quickly caught my eye. They are mistakenly featured in the Utah section:

Horseshoe Bend, on the Colorado River just below Lake Powell, in actually in Arizona.

Vermillion Cliffs National Monument is also in Arizona. The cliffs extend into Utah, into Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Some landscapes extend into two states and naturally appear on both state pages. These include Monument Valley, Hovenweep, Glen Canyon and Dinosaur National Monument.

The images are impressive.

Moab, Utah, A Bikers' Playground

Matador Network just posted the video below to its youtube channel. It's fun and worth watching.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Soldier Hollow Classic Sheep Dog Championship Runs Aug 21 – Sept 1

This video is a few years old, but provides a great
overview of the festival.
Have you ever seen well-trained sheep dogs in action? It is amazing to watch them take control of a flock of sheep, rounding them up and herding them into a corral.

Sheep dogs, other dogs and critters will be celebrated over Labor Day Weekend when Soldier Hollow hosts its annual Classic Sheep Dog Championship & Festival. Some of the best dogs from around the world are brought to Heber Valley to compete in the events.

Spectators enjoy watching the dogs work, watching other impressive animals, and participating in events.

Some other activities at the festival include:
  • Splash dogs – Where pets compete for distance, diving from a dock into a 40 foot pool. This is open to all dogs, from great danes to toy poodles.
  • Police K-9 dogs and their handlers.
  • Raptors - Earthwings brings exciting birds of prey: hawks, owls and falcons to the soldier hollow classic for both daily shows and 1-on-1 opportunities between their shows.
  • Native American rug show - for four days Linda Meyers and the good people from adopt a native elder, will bring you beautiful tapestries and the Navajo weavers who produce them.
  • Kid and family activities.
  • International food.
IFA Country Festival

The IFA Country Festival is held in conjunction with the Soldier Hollow Classic. It celebrates the products, activities and traditions of rural America. The festival provided this information:

This year the Soldier Hollow Classic's I.F.A. Country Festival will offer an even wider assortment of crafts, activities and demonstrations. Dozens of top artisans from throughout the west will offer a wide array of handmade products. Demonstrations will include weaving, spinning, sheepdog training and police K9 demonstrations. Our Navajo Rug Show, sponsored by Adopt-a-Native Elder, features finely woven traditional Navajo textiles and demonstrations by Navajo artisans. Families will also enjoy a wide array of animal demonstrations and activities including an the Earthwings Raptor Show, Wild Wonders Animal Show, and daily bagpipe performances by the Salt Lake Scots! See the daily schedules for days and times of individual performances.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The World's 25 Best Ski Towns has another best in the world article, this time listing the 25 best ski towns. As expected, Park City is included.

With summer winding down, leaves will soon be turning and ski enthusiasts will be pining for snow. It won't be long before the first flakes fall in the high country. Now's the time to plan ski trips and to make lodging reservations.

The ski magazines will soon be out with the best of lists and Utah annually places very well. We usually dominate for best snow and best accessibility. Deer Valley often tops lists for best overall resort, with Snowbird and other Utah resorts close behind.

Here's the ski towns list. See the article for details about each location.
  • Girdwood, Alaska
  • Fernie, British Columbia, Canada
  • Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Bozeman, Montana
  • Chamonix, France
  • Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
  • Whitefish, Montana
  • Crested Butte, Colorado
  • Aspen, Colorado
  • Niseko, Japan
  • Kitzbühel, Austria
  • Bend, Oregon
  • Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
  • Taos, New Mexico
  • Park City, Utah
  • Truckee, California
  • Whistler, British Columbia
  • North Conway, New Hampshire
  • Banff, Canada
  • Steamboat Springs, Colorado
  • Telluride, Colorado
  • Jackson, Wyoming
  • Wanaka, New Zealand
  • Stowe, Vermont
  • Ketchum, Idaho

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Visit Salt Lake City, Where You Are Free To Leave At Any Time

Salt Lake City is the "Crossroads of the West," the gateway to attractions in every direction. It is about halfway between Yellowstone and Grand Teton to the north and Utah's Mighty 5 national parks to the south.

The city stars in a new tourism video which reminds views they are free to leave at any time, but if the choose to stay there is plenty to see and do.

The unique campaign is attracting media attention and news reports, which undoubtedly will boost its success.

We pulled the video at right from, which also ran this article about the campaign

It will be interesting to see the numbers.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Big, New Dinosaur Trackway To Be Made Public Near Moab

"New" is kind of a misnomer for a bunch of rocks holding fossilized dinosaur footprints. But this one is newly discovered, and will be new to the public when it opens, probably in October.

KSL TV has this report about the discovery, and about the work to prepare the walkway for its public debut. The video at right is from KSL, and we offer excerpts below.

Moab area dinosaur tracks were in the news earlier this year when someone stole a footprint from a well-known trackway. That person has since been arrested but the track was never recovered (because it was dumped into the Colorado River and divers couldn't find it). It will be interesting to see how this new site is presented and protected.

Here are the excerpts:

The tracks were first discovered by a Moab resident in 2009 but the location of the discovery-site has been kept secret. Scientists from the University of Colorado and the Bureau of Land Management studied the site north of Moab and excavations began last year.

"Over 200 tracks that we're aware of so far that we've uncovered,” volunteer Lee Shenton said. “And at least one case where there's 17 consecutive prints from the same animal.

“I think it's going to be something really important. It has at least a dozen different animals."

What Mathis finds fascinating about track sites is they “record behavior of dinosaurs in ways that the bones or body fossils cannot."

The BLM is raising funds to build a trail to the dinosaur tracks. The agency hopes to have the site open to the public by October.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

14 Family Friendly Spots In Salt Lake City has this interesting article recommending places and activities that appeal to families in the greater Salt Lake City area. Here are the spots they mention. Read the article for details about each one.
  • Wheeler Historic Farm
  • Tracy Aviary
  • Clark Planetarium
  • Big Cottonwood Canyon (scenic drive, picnic areas, hikes)
  • Rio Tinto Stadium (sporting events)
  • Smith's Ballpark (sporting events)
  • Nearby Mountains (biking trails)
  • Brigham Young Park Concert Series
  • Hale Center Theater
  • Off Broadway Theater
  • Red Butte Gardens
  • Bonneville Municipal Golf Course
These are all fine spots that are highly recommended, but the list is certainly not comprehensive. The list could easily have included these nearby places:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Drones Banned in Arches, Canyonlands And Other Parks

Drones were officially banned today from Arches and Canyonlands national parks and from Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments. The park service has been working to ban them from all of its properties after incidents where the unmanned aerial devices have caused problems including:
  • Endangering people visiting Mt Rushmore by flying close over them
  • Harassing climbers in Yosemite
  • Crashing into the Grand Canyon
  • Harassing big horn sheep in Zion
  • Crashing into Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone
National Park Service properties were given until Aug 20 to come up with plans to prohibit the use of drones in their areas. As of now, private drones are totally banned from parks in Utah. These rules are provisional rules and could be modified over time.

Drones have become a popular way to take photos and videos, and can provide interesting images that are difficult or impossible to obtain in other ways.

Arches Climbing and Canyoneering Permits Now Available Online

Arches provided this news release:

Free day use permits for canyoneering and rock climbing in Arches National Park are now available online.

Canyoneers are required to self-register for all routes except for those in the Fiery Furnace. Permits for the Fiery Furnace still need to be obtained at the park's visitor center. Canyoneering groups on the Fiery Furnace and Lost Spring Canyon routes will be limited to six persons, while group size elsewhere will be limited to ten persons.

Rock climbers are encouraged to self-register, and groups will be limited to five persons. Day-use data will be used to assist the National Park Service in actively managing and monitoring desired resource and visitor experience conditions.

Online permits and more information are available on the park's Canyoneering and Rock Climbing web pages. Self-registration permits for routes other than the Fiery Furnace are also available outside Arches Visitor Center at the Climbing and Canyoneering panel.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Proposed Gondola, Other Development Threatens Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon - photo by Dave Webb
Two planned developments on the edge of the Grand Canyon are prompting outcries from people who want to preserve the wildness of the wildness of the area. One would bring major luxury resort development just outside the main park entrance. The other would create a resort on the eastern rim, on Navajo Land, complete with a gondola that could take 4,000 people a day to the bottom of the canyon.

Proponents say the development will allow more people to enjoy the areas natural wonders and bring needed employment to areas where poverty is a major problem. Opponents say the moves would forever alter the nature of the canyon, ruining some of the wilderness experience.

Like them or not, the projects will probably move forward, unless there is outcry from people who love the canyon. has this detailed article about the proposals. Here are excerpts:

Tourists who may not otherwise be able to visit the floor of the canyon could ride a gondola to the confluence (of the Colorado and Little Colorado) a mile below. There they would stroll on an elevated walkway and take in the stunning view from stadium-style seating.

"In a world hungry for harmony and beauty, can you think of a better place than the Grand Canyon?" Whitmer asks.

The plan, now pending before the Navajo Nation Council, has caused division on the reservation and with other tribes, including the Hopi, who say the canyon, and the confluence in particular, are sacred and should not be disturbed.

"The Grand Canyon is a place that people come to be awed by Mother Nature's work over millions of years," said Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent David Uberuaga, who calls the threats facing the park the gravest in its 95-year history.

The tribe and the park service disagree over who controls the land by the river where the lower part of the project is planned. The Navajo say their reservation starts at the river, while the park service claims its boundary goes a quarter mile up. Uberuaga says the park service would use its jurisdiction to stop development there. The Navajo Nation will exert its sovereignty, Tome says. "We're not going to acquiesce to the National Park Service whatsoever."

The project is also likely to be challenged by the Hopi, Kuwanwisiwma says. The Hopi Salt Trail runs along the Little Colorado River by the confluence and onto the sipapuni, or place of emergence, upstream.

Writing in the New York Times, Kevin Fedarko offers this take on the proposed developments. Here is his headline and a couple excerpts:

A Cathedral Under Siege

Among its many demands, the development requires water, and tapping new wells would deplete the aquifer that drives many of the springs deep inside the canyon — delicate oases with names like Elves Chasm and Mystic Spring. These pockets of life, tucked amid a searing expanse of bare rock, are among the park’s most exquisite gems.

The cable system would take more than 4,000 visitors a day in eight-person gondolas to a spot on the floor of the canyon known as the Confluence, where the turquoise waters of the Little Colorado River merge with the emerald green current of the Colorado. The area, which is sacred to many in the Hopi and Zuni tribes, as well as Navajo people, would feature an elevated walkway, a restaurant and an amphitheater.

“We have multiple ways for people of all ability levels to experience the canyon, whether it’s taking a slow trip on the river, riding one of the burros, hiking the trails, or even flights or helicopters,” said Bob Irvin, president of the conservation group American Rivers. “But if we start building gondolas and other forms of development, we lose much of what makes the Grand Canyon so special. It would be a devastation, a sacrilege, to build that structure there.”

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Stunning Photos of the World's Most Epic Adventures

Mooney Falls on Havasu Creek - photo by Dave Webb has an interesting feature they call the "Extreme Photo of the Week." They showcase amazing photos of people involved in incredible adventures in photogenic spots. Many of them are mind-boggling. Many of them are from Utah, or spots just across the border.

This week's photo shows a stand-up paddleboarder on lower Havasu Creek (a tributary to the Grand Canyon). The water is turquoise, the canyon is very narrow, and paddleboarding looks like so much fun... (The photo at right is mine, showing Havasu Creek. I was tempted to poach one of the NG photos, but I respect their copyright.)

It's interesting that their Utah photos don't come from our famous parks and resorts. These are lesser-known locations that offer wonderful adventure and great scenery.

Here's a list of recent epic photos from our region:
  • Skiing the Grand, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
  • Backcountry Skiing Mount Superior, Wasatch, Utah
  • Climbing the Priest, Castle Valley, Utah
  • Skiing Jackson Hole's Sidecountry, Wyoming
  • Skiing Mount Superior, Utah
  • Mountain Biking Book Cliffs Near Green River, Utah
  • Mountain Biking in Virgin, Utah
  • Skiing at Dusk at Brighton, Utah
  • Climbing the San Rafael Swell, Utah
  • Climbing New Routes Along the Green River, Utah
  • Rock and Ice Climbing in Santaquin Canyon, Utah
  • Backcountry Skiing Prospectors Peak, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Here are some of the other photos from the NG list:
  • Stand-Up Paddleboarding Havasu Creek, Grand Canyon, Arizona
  • Climbing Biographie, Céüse, France
  • Skiing Under the Aurora, Tombstone Range, Yukon, Canada
  • Summer Skiing on Mount Hood, Oregon
  • Climbing the Great Arch, China
  • Surfing the Wedge, California
  • Climbing the Wendenstock, Interlaken, Switzerland
  • Kayaking the Dudh Koshi, Nepal
  • Big-Wave Surfing at Teahupoo, French Polynesia
  • Climbing in Yosemite, California
  • Snowboarding the West Fjords, Iceland
  • Climbing Monserrat, Catalonia, Spain
  • Surfing the Margaret River, Australia
  • Night Ice Climbing in the Cogne Valley, Western Alps, Italy
  • Surfing Peahi, North Shore, Maui, Hawaii
  • Kayaking Spirit Falls, Little White Salmon River, Washington
  • Bouldering on Oahu, Hawaii
  • Kayaking the Mekong River, Laos
  • Mixed Climbing a New Route in Helmcken Falls, British Columbia, Canada
  • Snowboarding in the Himalaya, Nepal
  • Kayaking Waterfalls in Chiapas, Mexico
  • Climbing Cliffbase, Hvar, Croatia
  • Snowboarding Near Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Ice Climbing Fearful Symmetry, Canadian Rockies, Alberta
  • Free Climbing the Totem Pole, Tasmania, Australia
  • Deepwater Soloing the Musandam Peninsula, Oman
  • Stand-up Paddleboarding Jaws, Hawaii
  • Climbing Superfortress, Near Vail, Colorado
  • Snowboarding the Pemberton Ice Cap, British Columbia
  • Climbing Hallucinogen Wall, Black Canyon, Colorado
  • Ice Climbing in Hyalite Canyon, Montana
  • Winter Surfing in Cook Inlet, Alaska
  • Ice Climbing in Zirknitzgrotte, Austria
  • Kayaking the Rio Santo Domingo, Chiapas, Mexico
  • Climbing in Kootenay National Park, Canada
  • Climbing in the Verdon Gorge, France

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Western Legends Roundup Runs Aug 18-24 in Kanab

Kanab, Utah, is known as "Little Hollywood" because of the great number of movies and TV shows that have been filmed in the area. Many classic Westerns were shot in the scenic canyons around town.

Kanab celebrates its Western heritage in an annual extravaganza held in mid-August. Some of the stars who appeared in the films attend the Roundup and provide an opportunity for photos and autographs.

See the Western Legends Roundup website for complete details. Below are highlights:

Join us in 2014 and visit with our movie stars! There are autograph sessions on Friday and Saturday, and breakfast with the stars on Saturday morning.

Listen to live cowboy poetry, country, and folk music from headliner artists such as Lynn Anderson, Sons of the Pioneers, Paul Ferron Bliss, and more!

Join our all inclusive, 4 day / 3 night covered wagon train in 2014. Includes a seat on a wagon, meals, campfire fun, and all gear & supplies!

Stars who will be attending this year include:
  • Alex Cord - Gunsmoke
  • Roberta Shore - The Virginian
  • Robert Fuller - Wagon Train and Emergency
  • James Drury - The Virginian
  • Ed Faulkner - Have Gun, Will Travel
  • Don Collier - The High Chaparral
  • Darby Hinton - Daniel Boone
  • Dan Haggerty - Grizzly Adams
  • Clint Walker - Cheyenne
  • Cheryl Rogers-Barnett - Daughter of Roy Rogers & Dale Evans
Entertainers include:
  • Waddie Mitchell
  • Stan Corliss
  • Sons Of The Pioneers
  • Rollie Stevens
  • Paul Ferron Bliss
  • Lynn Anderson
  • Hired Guns – In Cahoots
  • Brian Arnold
  • Andy Nelson
  • Trinity Seely

Kanab is located in the middle of everywhere, just minutes from Zion Park, Lake Powell, Grand Canyon and Grand Staircase-Escalante, plus numerous state parks and other attractions.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hunting Seasons About To Begin In Utah

Utah's archery deer and elk hunts begin this Saturday and other hunts will take place during the coming weeks. Whether you love or hate hunting, you need to be aware of the hunts because they impact outdoor recreation in the state.

Hunting is not allowed in our national parks. The red rock desert country in southern Utah attracts few hunters so the upcoming seasons make little difference there. But the impact is great in our national forests and other areas where there are good populations of deer, elk, grouse, chuckers, ducks, geese,m even mountain lions, bears and other animals.

See the hunting section on the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website for details. Dates of some of the most popular hunts are listed below:

  • General archery deer season begins Aug. 16, 2014 and ends Sept. 12, 2014
  • General archery any bulk elk season begins Aug. 16, 2014 and ends Sept. 12, 2014
  • Cottontail rabbit season begins, statewide, Sept. 1, 2014 and ends Feb. 28, 2015
  • The youth general any bull elk season begins Sept. 13, 2014 and ends Sept. 21, 2014
  • Chukar partridge season begins, statewide, Sept. 27, 2014 and ends Feb. 15, 2015
  • General-season spike and any bull elk hunts begin Oct. 4, 2014 and end Oct. 16, 2014
  • General-season any legal weapon (rifle) deer hunts begin Oct. 18, 2014 and end Oct. 26, 2014
  • Ring-necked pheasant hunts began Nov. 1, 2014 and end Nov. 16, 2014 (general season) or Dec. 7, 2014 (extended season)
  • Waterfowl hunt (ducks, geese...) will also take place in the fall and early winter

Youth Waterfowl and Outdoor Festival

If you're new to waterfowl hunting, you might want to attend the annual Youth Fair hosted by the Utah Waterfowl Association.

At the fair, youth and adults can learn more about waterfowl hunting, including how to place decoys, identify birds and call ducks.

It's a lot of fun and a great event! Many thanks to the Utah Waterfowl Association.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Oktoberfest runs Aug 16 – Oct 12 at Snowbird

The annual Oktoberfest celebration is set to begin at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, and this year it will be bigger and better than ever. Oktoberfest offers something for everyone, with music, dancing, cultural activities and plenty of liquid refreshment.

This article names Oktoberfest as one of the reasons to escape into Utah's mountains. Head up in August to been the summer heat, or go in September as leaves begin to turn.

Snowbird provided the information below.

Oktoberfest at Snowbird - PROST!

Attracting over 60,000 visitors, Snowbird's Oktoberfest has grown to become one of the largest festivals in Utah! Admission to the Oktoberfest festival is always FREE.

Oktoberfest began in Bavaria with the Royal Bavarian Wedding of 1810. To celebrate his autumn marriage, King Ludwig called for a state fair in Munich. The festival was dedicated to the fall harvest and, of course, beer - the region’s most famous product.  The celebration was such a success that Ludwig issued a royal decree making every October in Munich a festival time. Oktoberfest has been held annually ever since and has grown into the largest of all German beer festivals.

Snowbird's Oktoberfest began in 1973 when two men costumed in leather lederhosen, inspired by the towering mountains that reminded them of their homeland, came to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort to play their accordions and sing in their native German tongue.

Friday, August 08, 2014

20 Most Surreal Places in America

The Wave, by Dave Webb has this interesting photo essay featuring what it calls the "20 Most Surreal Places in America."

The essay begins by saying that not every beautiful place qualifies as "surreal."

Some places, in the United States, though, really would qualify as surreal, according to the traditional definition: "marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream."

These spots on the list are located in our neighborhood:

8. Horseshoe Bend: Arizona
9. Bryce Canyon: Utah
14. Lower Antelope Canyon: Arizona
18. The Wave: Arizona
17. Fly Geyser: Nevada
19. Grand Prismatic Spring: (Yellowstone) Wyoming

Here's the rest of their list

1. Dry Tortugas National Park: Florida
2. Haiku Stairs of Oahu: Hawaii
3. Watkins Glen State Park: New York
4. Mendenhall Glacier Caves: Alaska
5. Oneonta Gorge: Oregon
6. Whitaker Point: Arkansas
7. Hamilton Pool: Texas
10. The City of Savannah: Georgia
11. Sequoia National Park: California
12. Thor’s Well: Oregon
13. Devils Tower: Wyoming
15. Bonsai Rock, Lake Tahoe: California
16. Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness: Colorado
20. Pebble Shore Lake, Glacier National Park: Montana

Irrational reality is an interesting concept, subjective and difficult to pin down. All of the spots on the list are fascinating, in my opinion, but some don't hit me as surreal. Granted, I haven't been to all of them in person, but I've been to many. Below I list a few several spots I'd rank with the best of this list:

Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde

I could go on...

– Dave Webb

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Bonneville Speed Week Races Will Begin Sunday After 1 Day Rain Delay

Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats Speedway will begin on Sunday, one day later than scheduled, to allow the salt to dry out after heavy rain.

Speed Week is held by the Southern California Timing Association and includes the world's fastest speed trails. The association provided this information yesterday:

The Bonneville Salt Flats has experienced a flash cell that came over within the last hour. The storm left additional water on the salt that had been drying out nicely. Therefore the SCTA has decided to delay all activities one full day. Inspection will be held Friday, with the first racing day now scheduled for Sun Aug 10. Please do not use the access road as you will be turned around.

Watch the SCTA website and Facebook page for updates and information.

The Salt Flats are managed by the Federal Bureau of Land Management. BLM offered these details:

A flash thunderstorm cell over the Bonneville Salt Flats (BSF) in the last few hours left additional water on the flats, which had been drying out nicely after rains earlier in the week. The Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) decided to delay all Speed Week activities for one full day. Inspection will be held Friday, with the first racing day now scheduled for Sunday, Aug 10, 2014.

The BLM and SCTA asking that all spectators avoid camping on the mud or driving on the salt flats until both the flats and mud have dried out. The area is currently patrolled by law enforcement officers and all vehicles will be turned around until further notice.

Spectators are allowed to watch races. SCTA provided this information:

Entrants come from all over the world to participate in the week long event. Spectators are allowed to walk through the pits, view the vehicles, and talk to the drivers and crew members. Public parking is south of the pit area, on the west side of the race track, outside the cones. Be sure to bring a hat, dark glasses, sunscreen and shade from the sun. Don't forget a camera with lots of film/memory/tapes, because you will want to remember everything you see and hear. Binoculars are also a great idea since the race vehicles are at least 1/4 mile away as they travel down the course.

The Salt Flats are located in a remote area between Salt Lake City and Wendover, NV. There are few resources nearby. People who visit the area need to be sure they have adequate fuel, food, water.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Free S'Mores At Utah Lake Saturday

"In celebration of National S’mores Day, Utah Department of Natural Resources is hosting a party at the lake on Saturday, August 9, 2014 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm at Utah Lake State Park (4400 West Center St, Provo). Bring your family and friends to this free event for fun and delicious s’mores by campfire."

The invitation above comes from Provo Mayor John Curtis.

Utah Lake State Park offers these details:

"Join park staff and Macey's Grocery Store for an evening of fun and s'mores! Chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers provided by Macey's. Bring your favorite s'more recipe to share!

"Other activities include a paddle board competition, Utah Lake Commission sponsored photo scavenger hunt and Provo City EMS on hand with fire trucks. Food trucks will have food available for purchase. Event admission is free. 801-375-0731"

The state park at Utah Lake is very nice, and the lake itself is great for boating and fishing. It is close to town but a great spot to get away from it all.

Maybe I'll stop by...

– Dave Webb

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Flash Flood Watch, Flooding, Mudslides; Storms Decapitate Moab's Cobra Rock Tower

Cobra Rock (Lisa Hathaway & KSL)
Heavy rainfall in some areas today caused flooding and mudslides that affect travel and recreation.

A flash flood watch is in effect right now for north and central Utah, lasting until midnight. It affects the Salt Lake, Provo, Ogden areas plus the adjacent Wasatch Mountains and the Price area.

Here's a quick rundown of reports we've heard:

Heavy flooding in the Helper, Spring Glen and Carbonville areas near Price. Many people have been displaced from homes. Details.

SR 31 through Huntington Canyon was closed by flooding but has since reopened. Details.

North Salt Lake mudslide has destroyed one home and threatens 4 more. Details.

Arches National Park tweeted that the Delicate Arch trail is opened but the park's website says the Delicate Arch Viewpoint is closed. Here's their alert statement:

Flood waters and mud have blocked the road to Delicate Arch Viewpoint, though Wolfe Ranch and the hiking trail to Delicate Arch remain open.

In the Fisher Towers Area east of Moab, the prominent "Cobra Rock" tower's head has fallen off, apparently after being weakened by recent storms. Ironically, it was 6 years ago today that Wall Arch collapsed in Arches National Park. has this report on Cobra Rock. Here are excerpts:

"Alas, it was no prank. The Cobra was beheaded," said Lisa Hathaway, who has been living and climbing in Moab for more than 20 years.

The head fell off the tower base sometime between Tuesday and Friday, according to Lisa Bryant, assistant field manager for the Bureau of Land Management's Moab office.

Pictures of the decapitation indicate the top exploded off, Hathaway said. The tower was well-used because of its accessibility to a lot of climbers, unlike other tower climbs in the desert that are more difficult to reach.

"It will definitely be sorely missed. The Cobra was definitely an iconic little summit for people to climb," Hathaway said.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Tour of Utah Bike Race Winds Through Much of Utah

The Larry H. Miller Tour Of Utah is often called the toughest multi-stage bike race in the U.S. This year's course is tougher than ever, running through some of Utah's most scenic and rugged landscapes.

The race began today and will continue through Aug 10. Stages are listed below. If you will be traveling in these areas, be caution and and be prepared for delays.
  • Aug 4, Cedar City through Parowan Gap, Parowan, Brian Head, Cedar Breaks and back to Cedar City.
  • Aug 5, Panquitch to Torrey via Hwy 12
  • Aug 6, Lehi down the west side of Utah Lake, through Eureka and along the old Pony Express Route to finish at Miller Motorsports Park (near Tooele, west of Salt Lake City)
  • Aug 7, Ogden up Ogden Canyon, around Pineview Reservoir to Powder Mountain, then back to Ogden
  • Aug 8, Evanston to Kamas via Hwy 150
  • Aug 9, Salt Lake City up Emigration Canyon, into Weber Canyon, up to Park City, over Guardsman Pass, down Big Cottonwood Canyon and then up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Snowbird.
  • Aug 10, Park City through Heber and Midway then back to Park City
The race attracts top athletes and offers plenty of opportunity for spectators to see the action live. Much of the race will also be shown on TV. See the race website for viewing opportunities.

Here's more about the race:

Showcasing some of the world’s most prestigious teams and cyclists for seven days in August, this event now attracts worldwide attention as the top international cycling event that follows the Tour de France. Nearly a decade since its opening circuit, the Tour of Utah, today, stands shoulder to shoulder with the most prestigious professional bicycle stage race events as our answer to the greatest cycling challenges the world has to offer.

Bicycle racing offers its fans more opportunity to get
 close to the action than does any other professional sport. Accessibility to athletes, along with a “free admission” model, puts riders and spectators eyeball to eyeball before, during and after the event.

Broadcast partner FOX Sports Network (FSN) will provide a total of 21 hours of national programming this year for the Tour of Utah, including 14 hours of live coverage. FSN can be seen locally on ROOT Sports.

KJZZ 14 Television will broadcast a 30-minute pre-show of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, beginning August 3 at 9 PM.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Enjoy Classical Music In Utah's Mighty 5 National Parks

Music will soon be echoing from canyon walls as the Utah Symphony brings free, open-air concerts to Utah's national parks. The concerts will be offered from August 11 to 17. Visitors are encouraged to tour the parks during the day and enjoy free concerts during the evening (the events begin at 8 pm).

A 75-piece orchestra will perform pieces including movements from Dvorák’s New World Symphony and Gershwin’s An American in Paris, as well as vocal selections featuring Utah native and soprano soloist Celena Shafer, performing Gershwin’s “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess.

Here's the lineup for major performances:

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)

Other activities include:

Monday, August 11, 2014
7:30 pm – Music in the Parks: Chamber Ensemble Performance
Fruita Campground Amphitheater, Capitol Reef National Park

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
All day – Interactive Educational Activities
Ripple Rock Nature Center, Capitol Reef National Park

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
All day – Interactive Educational Activities
Visitors Center, Arches National Park

7:30 PM – Music in the Parks: Chamber Ensemble Performance
Visitors Center, Arches National Park - Kathryn Eberle Quartet, Dvorak’s American String Quartet

7:30 PM – Music in the Parks: Chamber Ensemble Performance
Dead Horse Point State Park

Thursday, August 14, 2014
All day – Interactive Educational Activities
Visitors Center, Canyonlands National Park

Friday, August 15, 2014
All day – Interactive Educational Activities
Visitors Center, Bryce Canyon National Park

Saturday, August 16, 2014
All day – Interactive Educational Activities
Location TBA

Sunday, August 17, 2014
8 AM – Outdoor excursion
Location TBA

Moab Music Festival

The annual Moab Music Festival will run August 28-September 8, 2014. The Musical Raft Trip will be September 8-11.

Here's an overview provided by the festival:

“With sandstone walls for acoustics, willows for privacy and river sand for a stage, this outdoor concert of the Moab Music Festival is the hottest ticket of the season” ~ Sunset Magazine

Every September, the award-winning Moab Music Festival brings world-class musicians to stunning red rock venues around Moab, Utah for a feast of chamber music, jazz, and traditional music concerts. We call it "music in concert with the landscape," celebrating old and new chamber music, jazz with a Latin flavor, and traditional music from around the globe.
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