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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New Dinosaur Species With Huge Nose Discovered In Utah

Add one more species of dinosaur to the growing list of ancient beasts that inhabited Utah. Paleontologists from Brigham Young University and North Carolina State University recently identified fossils from a strange creature that has been named Rhinorex condrupus, which directly translates to “King Nose.”

Many news outlets around the country are reporting on the find. This report from has good detail. Below are excerpts.

“This dinosaur has huge nostrils,” said Rodney Scheetz, curator of BYU’s Museum of Paleontology, according to the news release. “The skull has huge narial openings, but we can only guess what the soft tissue looked like.

The Rhinorex condrupus was estimated to be 30 feet long and 8,500 pounds. It dwelled in swampy areas and was a herbivore, according to the BYU news release.

BYU paleontologists unearthed the dinosaur at Neslen Formation above the slopes of the Book Cliffs in eastern Utah.

Learn about Utah dinosaur sites.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Kodachrome Basin State Park Reopens After Bridge Washout Strands Campers

Update 9-30-14, the park provided this update: The bridge is now back open to Kodachrome Basin State Park.

Cottonwood road to Grosvenor's Arch and Hwy remains closed.

Kodachrome Basin State Park is a popular spring and fall camping area off All American Hwy 12 in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument area. But it was closed yesterday after heavy rain caused the Paria River to flood, taking out the access bridge. Campers were stranded for a time but no injuries were reported at the state park.

A car on the access was swept into the flood and the couple inside had to be rescued by a swift water team. They apparently suffered hypothermia but should recover.

The video at right was provided by KSLNews.

Elsewhere, a man died in the Narrows in Zion Park after becoming separated from his group by high water. The entire park was closed Zion Park was closed for a time because of flooding and potential rock and mudslides.

This has been an incredible year for flooding. On a normal year we get a flood here and there during out “monsoon season” in August, but September is usually dry and mild. This year we've had flood after flood. The latest weather forecast says this storm is winding down and we should get back to warm weather and sunny skies later this week.

Oh, the first significant snow of the season fell yesterday in the Snowbird area. The season is definitely changing.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Get Out and Enjoy National Public Lands Day

Tomorrow is National Public Lands Day and also National Hunting and Fishing Day. Entrance fees will be waived at U.S. national parks and recreational areas, including Utah's Mighty Five Parks. Special activities will be held in many areas. Many work projects will be held so volunteers can give back and help improve our natural environment.

See this list of activities in Utah.

We encourage all to participate. This is a wonderful time to get outdoors, with fall foliage now putting on its brightest raiment. (However, it could be a wet Saturday around the Intermountain West, with rain expected from Arizona to Montana. The first snow of the season will fall at higher elevations. Be prepared as you get outdoors.

Escalante Canyons Art Festival
This weekend is also the Escalante Canyons Art Festival and Everett Ruess Days. This is the 11th year for the festival, which is held in Escalante. You are invited to participate, to view and possible purchase works of art, participate in workshops, enjoy food, music and cultural activities, and learn about young Ruess, the legendary vagabond for beauty whose life and death inspired the festival.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Visit Utah's Best Museums Free On Saturday (Sept 27)

Saturday is Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day Live!, when admission is free at hundreds of properties across the U.S., including some of the best museum's in Utah.

Smithsonian Magazine gives this overview:
In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket… for free.

The Museum Day Live! Ticket provides free admission for two people.

See the event website for detains, including how to obtain tickets.

See an interactive map showing participating Utah museums. From north to south, these Utah properties are participating:
  • Nora Eccles Harrison Museum at Utah State University in Logan
  • Eccles Community Art Museum in Ogden
  • Kimball Art Center in Park City
  • Tooele Pioneer Museum
  • The Leonardo in Salt Lake City
  • Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City
  • Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk
  • Taylorsville Bennion Heritage Museum
  • Kearns Museum
  • Woodbury Art Museum in Orem
  • Museum of Peoples and Cultures at BYU in Provo
  • Peteetneet Museum and Cultural Arts in Payson
  • The Prehistoric Museum in Price
  • Utah Territorial Statehouse State Park in Fillmore
The Leonardo is right now launching its amazing new exhibit, Body Worlds and the Cycle of Life. That exhibit opens to the public on Saturday and is well worth making a visit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Zion Canyon Music Festival & Other Fun Events

The sixth annual Zion Canyon Music Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26-27, in Springdale, just outside Zion Park. It offers great music plus original art, fabulous food, vendors, craft items, plus 'handcrafted beer.'

The festival provided these tidbits:
Be sure to attend both days, which will be full of music, food, arts and crafts and of course the great weather of fall in Zion!

Admission is $5 per adult (21+) per day. A great price for over 12 hours of incredible music!

Bring a blanket or lawn chairs for your comfort during the performances. Plan to enjoy the entire day. No coolers, outside food or outside alcohol may be brought into the Festival. Backpacks will be inspected at the information tent. Please bring a reusable water bottle. Water stations will be available throughout the day. Check out the vendor page to see what else will be on site.

The Festival includes a silent auction of items donated by our vendors and by several local businesses are artisans. The silent auction will run both days and end before the final act on Saturday night (about 8:30). All proceeds from the auction benefit the Festival and keep the music going in Springdale.
Gates open at 3 pm both days. Live music begins at 4 pm. A drum circle led by Andy Jones begins at 3:00 pm on Saturday.

Here's the musical lineup.

Sunday, September 26th
  • 4:00 Jason Tyler Burton and Friends
  • 5:00 Many Miles
  • 6:30 The Record Company
  • 8:00 Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash
Saturday, September 27th
  • 4:00 Lyonhead
  • 5:00 Juniper City
  • 6:30 Coral Thief
  • 8:00 Coco Montoya
Other Area Events
  1. Santa Clara Swiss Days will be Sept. 25-27
  2. The St. George Marathon will be held Oct 4th.
  3. Huntsman World Senior Games will be Oct 6-18

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Register Now If You Want To Ride In The Antelope Island Bison Roundup

The annual Antelope Island Bison Roundup will take place October 24-25, at Antelope Island, in the Great Salt Lake just north of Salt Lake City.

A large herd of bison roam the island. Every fall, they are herded into corrals where they are given health checks and immunizations. People from around the region ride horseback and help round up the huge critters. Other folks observe from a safe distance. Either way, the roundup is one of the great true Western experiences available today.

People wanting to ride with the cowboys and cowgirls need to register in advance. See the official website for details. (This link is also good for general info about the roundup.)

Camping is available at the state park on the island.

A chili dinner will be provided by Friends of Antelope Island.

Fall is also a great time to observe the many other species on the island and to take in the scenery. There are great hiking, biking and horseback trails. The island is surprisingly scenic – seemingly another world, just minutes from downtown Salt Lake City.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Free Entrance To National Parks This Saturday

Make plans to visit a Utah national park this weekend - you can get in for free on Saturday, Sept 27.

Properties managed by the US National Park Service will waive entrance fees Saturday in honor of National Public Lands Day. There will be normal charges for camping and engaging in special activities, as determined by the individual parks.

Entrance fees will also be waived on Nov 11, which is Veterans Day.

Annually, the park service waives fees during these times:
  • Mid January - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Mid February - Presidents Day Weekend
  • Mid April - Opening weekend of National Parks Week
  • August 25 - National Park Service Birthday
  • Late September - National Public Lands Day
  • November 11 - Veterans Day
The park service provided this information:

Only 133 of our country's 401 national parks usually charge an entrance fee. So start Planning Your Visit!

If you're planning a trip that includes multiple national parks, you might consider the $80 annual pass that provides entrance to all national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and many other Federal lands-more than 2,000 in all. The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is offered free to all active duty military members and their dependents. Information on these and other pass options is available online.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Utah's 5 Best Fall Camping Areas

Navajo Lake last week - photo by Dave Webb
I did a lot of camping during the summer, in many fun spots around Utah, and I'm looking forward to to several great trips during the next several weeks.

In my opinion, fall is the best time to camp because temperatures are just right - not too hot and not too cold. Conditions are also wonderful for hiking, biking and exploring.

Sometimes I camp just for the sake of camping, but more often I pitch my tent because I want to be close to some destination, or engage in some activity. I want to explore a remote area or fish a particular lake or stream. By camping, I can usually stay right where the action is. That's particularly true when fishing or doing serious photography, when it is important to be at a specific spot during the first and last hours of daylight.

So, where are the best spots for fall camping? Well, that depends on what kind of experience you want to have. During fall, many people like to hunt big game and so they camp in the mountains. I love the mountains but I'm a desert rat at heart. When nights start to get chilly in the mountains, I prefer the red rock country where warm temperatures linger.

A week ago I camped at Navajo Lake, at a high elevation on top of Cedar Mountain, east of Cedar City. On Sunday morning there was frost of my windshield. Later that day I drove to St. George, where the temperature was in the high 90s. Quite a temperature spread.

You can have the frost, I'm heading to the desert. Your "best of" list may be different from mine, but this is my blog post and so I'll give my favorites. These are spots where I actually intent to camp this fall.

1. Lake Powell! I'll launch from Bullfrog and boat away to a secluded cove, camp on the beach and enjoy the excellent fall fishing. On a moonless light, you'll never see brighter stars.

2. Devils Garden Campground in Arches National Park. This place books up fast and the busy season expends through October, but it is worth the effort to secure a site. The scenery is beautiful and it makes a wonderful base from which to explore the park and surrounding area. If I can't get a reservation I'll go for one of the BLM sites along the Colorado River, or down to Moonflower Canyon.

3. Capitol Reef's campground. This is a very nice campground in a very beautiful setting. October/November and March/April are perfect months to hike the dry canyons in this almost forgotten (by many) park.

4. Monument Valley. I understand the Navajo National built a campground at Monument Valley Tribal Park and I'd very much like to camp there, but their website says it is closed. However, the date stamp shows the last update was a couple years ago, so who knows if it is open. I'll camp nearby at Gouldings and explore the sacred valley, and see for myself if the campground is open.

5. Zion Park. As fall progresses and temperatures start to grow chilly in other areas, I'll retreat to Zion for late fall camping. Conditions there are usually very nice for camping through November, and I particularly enjoy the area after most tourists have gone home.

– Dave Webb

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Changes At Dinosaur National Monument Plus Dead Horse Point Yurts

Leg fossil at Dinosaur National Monument - Dave Webb
Dinosaur National Monument is one of the great places in the world to see and learn about dinosaur fossils. The monument also offers incredible scenery, great adventure and fascinating ancient Native American rock art.

The Monument has announced changes in its open hours and services. The Deseret News has this report. Below are excerpts.

Through September, the Quarry Visitor Center will be open daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the Quarry Exhibit Hall will be open daily, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Beginning Oct. 1, the Quarry Visitor Center and Exhibit Hall will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Also, staff will continue to offer daily ranger-guided hikes on the Fossil Discovery Trail at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. through Sunday.

On the Colorado side of the monument, the Canyon Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct. 18, when it will close for the season.

Campgrounds will also begin closing for the season or going into winter operations. Water service at the Echo Park Campground will be turned off Sept. 23. Campers may still use the campground but must bring their own water. When water is not available, camping fees will not be charged.

Read the article for details.

Yurts Now Offered At Dead Horse Point State Park

Camping has long been popular at scenic Dead Horse Point State Park. Now, beginning Oct. 1, visitors will have the option or staying in a yurt. Brett Prettyman describes them in this article from the Salt Lake Tribune. Here are excerpts.

Three of the large, round structures will open for rental at the park Oct. 1. Each can sleep up to six people with a queen-size bunk bed and a full-size futon. Air conditioners and a furnace mean the yurts will be open throughout the year.

"Two of the yurts look into across the La Sal Mountains and into the Colorado River canyon," said Dead Horse Point State Park manager Megan Blackwelder. "An hour before sunset you can see the canyon turn bright orange. It will be particularly beautiful every day at sunrise and sunset. Ninety percent of our visitors come from out of state and a lot of them are not campers. We wanted to offer a different experience and give people another way to spend the night in the park."

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Come Participate In Huntsman World Senior Games, Oct 6-18

The Huntsman World Senior Games is the largest annual multi-sport event in the world for athletes age 50 and over. The Games take place every October in St. George, Utah, and offer 28 different sports for athletes of all skill levels.

Older athletes from around the world will be in town next month for intense but friendly competitions. Registration is now closed for athletes for this year's games but there are many other ways to participate. Plan to be there and join the fun.

See the official website for details. The Games provided the tidbits below.

The HUNTSMAN WORLD SENIOR GAMES, as it is known today, began in 1987 as the World Senior Games, an international senior sports competition. Founded by Daisy and John H. Morgan, Jr., the Games began with their vision of an international sports event for men and women ages 55 and better. Both agreed that the golden years were better when good health and physical fitness became a way of life, not an occasional hobby.

In addition to athletic events, the Games promote health by providing life saving health screenings for cancer-breast and prostate. Screenings also detect other serious health threats--glaucoma, diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and decreased bone density. Volunteer medical and nursing students assist with the screenings and generous sponsors provide diagnostic equipment and services.

Band concerts, dances, and awards socials for each sport are also part of the package, bringing athletes and guests together in a social atmosphere where they share in, and congratulate each other for, their achievements. This important aspect of the Games emphasizes the celebration of success for all participants, whether or not they win a medal.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Salt Lake Brands Itself As 'Ski City USA'

Salt Lake City and its adjacent skiresorts have launched a new marketing campaign aimed at branding the area "Ski City USA."

One key tagline: "Once you've stayed in Ski City, you'll never stay in a ski town." has this news report about the promotion. Below is video from that report, and below that is a new video spot released for the Ski City USA campaign.

Here are a few excerpts from the KSL article:

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, speaking at an event to launch the campaign, said the Ski City USA not only focuses on the canyons' profound beauty and recreational opportunities, it highlights the dining, accommodations, nightlife and other activities available in the county and just minutes away from the ski slopes.

"Ski City USA is a fantastic alternative to the traditional ski or snowboard experience where visitors are restricted by the limited offerings of a small resort town," said McAdams.

"Whether you live in Salt Lake or you live thousands of miles away, you can become a virtual resident of Ski City USA through social portals — joining a community united in being 'locals' of Ski City USA."

Monday, September 15, 2014

Salt Lake City International Peace Garden Festival

Salt Lake's International Peace Gardens
The 67th annual Peace Garden Festival will be held Saturday, Sept 20, from 12 Noon - 5 pm at the Peace Gardens in Jordan Park, 1060 South 900 West, Salt Lake City.

The park, and the festival, are little-known treasures in Salt Lake City. Located along the banks of the Jordan River, the park provides a beautiful place for a family picnic or romp with the kids. The Peace Gardens offer paved walkways between colorful gardens representing countries from around the world.

The festival will include multicultural music and dancing, international food and boutique items.

Admission is free.

The Deseret News has this article and beautiful photo tour featuring the gardens and festival Below are excerpts.

The idea for the International Peace Gardens came about in 1939 just as Europe was going to war. Utah’s centennial was coming up in 1947 and someone suggested that the various countries represented in the state should each plant a garden to reflect their different cultures. All those gardens standing side-by-side would promote peace by celebrating both our diversity and our togetherness.

In 1947 the first garden was finished, the American garden, just in time for the Utah centennial, and the first peace festival was held. America’s two opponents in World War II finished their gardens next. Japan’s was dedicated in 1950 and Germany’s in 1951. A host of other countries followed — 27 in all — until all available land was claimed by 1999. Tonga, Scotland and France got the last three plots.

There are 57 flowerbeds placed among the 27 country gardens, and many change in shape and variety every year. Last year everyone entering the festival was treated to flowers arranged into the shape of huge peace sign — a tribute to tranquility and the flower children. This year it’s a huge butterfly.

Friday, September 12, 2014

See Wild Hawks, Eagles In Utah On Sept. 27

A red-tailed hawk soars past the Orem overlook.
Photo by Scott Root
Utah offers excellent opportunities to observe and photograph animals and birds in natural settings, and several special viewing events are sponsored by Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources every year.

A couple will take place during the next few weeks. DWR provided the news releases below.

Watch migrating birds of prey

Raptor Watch Day is Sept. 27
OREM — Thousands of hawks, eagles and other birds of prey fly through Utah's crisp, clear skies every fall.
You can see the birds, and learn more about them, by attending Utah's annual Raptor Watch Day.
The event will happen at the Orem overlook on Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The overlook is along Squaw Peak Trail Road, just east of Orem.
In addition to watching birds soaring in the skies above you, you can also get close to live birds of prey in the parking lot at the overlook. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a Swainson's hawk and an American kestrel will be available to view.
Raptor Watch Day is free.
Kick back, and relax
Bob Walters, Watchable Wildlife coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says by Sept. 27, the trees near the Orem overlook will be in their fall colors. And the air at the watch site should be crisp.
"If the skies are clear," Walters says, "you'll get an up-close look at harriers, vultures, eagles, hawks and falcons as they sail overhead."
Walters says bird identification experts from the DWR, HawkWatch International and Great Salt Lake Audubon will be on hand to help you identify birds and to answer your questions about the migration raptors make each fall.
One of the experts is Jerry Liguori. "Jerry is HawkWatch's raptor identification expert," Walters says. "He's written three books on raptor identification and blogs regularly on the organization's website. We're excited to have Jerry at the event."
Walters says Raptor Watch Day is a great opportunity to kick back, relax and watch raptors. For more information, call him at 801-209-5326.
Getting to the site
You can reach Squaw Peak Trail Road from Provo Canyon.
To reach the canyon from Interstate 15, exit I-15 at the 800 North exit in Orem (Exit 272) and travel east on 800 North. This road will take you into Provo Canyon.
Once you reach the mouth of the canyon, travel for about two miles, and look for Raptor Watch Day event signs on the south side of the road. Once you see the signs, turn onto Squaw Peak Trail Road, and travel to the overlook.

See kokanee salmon at Strawberry

Sept. 20, 2014 is Kokanee Salmon Viewing Day
Heber City–You can see hundreds of bright red salmon — and possibly other wildlife, too — at the annual Kokanee Salmon Viewing Day.
The event will be held Sept. 20 at the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) visitor center at Strawberry Reservoir. The visitor center is along U.S. Highway 40, about 20 miles southeast of Heber City.
The event is free. It runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Division of Wildlife Resources, the USFS and Friends of Strawberry Valley host the viewing event every September amid the changing fall colors and beauty of the valley.
Seeing the salmon
When you attend the event on Sept. 20, you'll see some salmon in the Strawberry River next to the visitor center. But if you walk to the fish trap and egg-taking facility behind the visitor center, you'll see hundreds of the bright red fish.
DWR biologists will be available at the facility to show you the salmon and talk with you about the peculiar life cycle of the fish.
Scott Root, regional conservation outreach manager for the DWR, says biologists are hoping to collect more than 2 million kokanee eggs this year. "The eggs will come from kokanee handled at the egg-taking facility at Strawberry and from kokanee at Sheep Creek, a tributary to Flaming Gorge," he says.
After collecting the eggs, biologists will take them to DWR hatcheries. There, the eggs will be hatched, and the fry that hatch from the eggs raised. "Survival success is much better in the hatcheries than it is in the wild," Root says. "Next spring, the fish will be about three inches long. We'll stock them into kokanee salmon waters across Utah."
If you can't attend the Sept. 20 event, Root says salmon should be visible in the Strawberry River, and other tributaries to Strawberry, from now until the first part of October.
For more information about the event, call the Uinta National Forest at 435-654-0470 or Root at 801-491-5656.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Vail Buys Park City Mountain Resort - Hopes To Create Largest Ski Resort In US

Surprise, Park City Mountain Resort has been sold to Vail Resorts Inc, which also operates Utah's Canyons Resort. Park City and Canyons are adjacent and this marriage could result in a mega-result that might be the largest in the United States.

Media are all over this store. I recommend these reports:

Our video clip is from Below are excerpts from the reports.

In a surprise announcement, Vail Resorts Inc. of Colorado reported it has purchased Park City Mountain Resort, which was previously owned by Powdr Corp., for $182.5 million in cash.

The new owners said they eventually hope to combine Park City Mountain Resort with the adjacent Canyons Resort to create the largest ski resort in the country, creating a worldwide draw to skiing meccas in both Utah and Colorado.

The upcoming ski season will go forward as planned, and the agreement stipulates that Vail must retain all Park City Mountain Resort employees in their current roles.

Last year, Vail signed a 350-year lease with Talisker to operate Canyons Resort adjacent to Park City Mountain Resort. Katz said Vail hopes to combine the two resorts and operate them as a single unit.

"If we did that, we would actually create a ski resort with 7,000 skiable acres, making it the largest ski resort in the United States," Katz said.

For the 2014-15 season, Park City Mountain Resort will operate independently from Canyons Resort. However, both resorts will be covered under Vail's Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass, which gives skiers access to multiple resorts throughout Utah and Colorado.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Ski Resort Set To Open In Utah

Utah has had a wet summer and we are hoping above average precipitation continues into fall and early winter, allowing our ski resorts to open early.

Now's the time to book ski trips. Act soon to find great early season deals.

Park City Mountain Resort announced today it has agreed to terms to allow it to open and operate normally this year. (It has been in a court battle over property leases.)

Brand New Ski Resort
Utah gets a new ski resort this year, called Cherry Peak, located near Logan. That gives us 15 operating ski resorts - and some of the most diversified terrain in the world.

The new resort provided these details:
+ Snow making system
+ 3 triple chair lifts
+ 500 Foot magic carpet for learning
+ 3 lane tubing hill
+ Ice skating
+ Large night skiing area
+ Mountain biking
+ 3.7 miles from downtown richmond
+ 15 miles from Logan
+ Group discounts available
+ Open Mon - Sat: 9 am - 9 pm

It looks like it will have 20 runs with 30% beginner terrain, 45% intermediate and 25% advanced, totaling 200+ skiable acres.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

I-15 Reopens Near Utah/Arizona/Nevada Border

As of Friday, 9-12-14, traffic is being allowed north and south on I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge and also between Mesquite and Las Vegas. Here's the latest we've heard:

According to UDOT one lane is open in each direction south of Mesquite, Nevada.

Southbound traffic is open to all traffic except oversize loads.

Northbound traffic is open but commercial vehicles are restricted from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. No oversize loads.

UDOT warns drivers to prepare for major delays.

The material below gives details about the flooding that closed the freeway.
Udate from UDOT - 9-9-14 - We've got some good news for residents who need to head to the Las Vegas area! Per Nevada Highway Patrol, drivers can take I-15 SB to ext 93, where they will be directed onto SR 169 through the Valley Of Fire, and then brought back around to I-15 SB. Also, this road will be kept open 24 hours a day for the next week and will not be closing at night as it normally does. To further clarify, this route is open for both Northbound and Southbound traffic. Please take your time and be safe!

Our summer of flash floods continues, with a big flood yesterday shutting down miles of I-15 near the Utah/Arizona/Nevada border.

Traffic was closed in both directions yesterday. At this writing I'm hearing that some northbound traffic is being allowed but that southbound lanes are closed and will probably remain closed for 2-3 days.
People traveling northeast from Las Vegas are being advised to take US 93 in Nevada north and then Hwys 319 and 59 east to rejoin I-15 at Cedar City, Utah.
That is a major detour adding many miles to trips. Study maps and watch for updates on road conditions.
We hear that there has been much damage to I-15 in the Virgin River gorge, but the major damage is farther south near Mesquite.

Heavy rain is expected to continue to day, with more flooding likely. Stay out of slot canyons for the next couple days.

The weather is then expected to improve and the weekend should be nice - at least that is the current report.

- Dave Webb

Monday, September 08, 2014

Utah's 10 Best Fall Colors Drives

Aspens in Fairview Canyon - by Dave Webb
Fall colors are now starting in Utah's high country. Aspen trees will soon be taking on rich yellow and orange hues. River birch will soon be turning red. Now's the time to make plans for fall drives.

Colors will build during the next weeks and will probably peak in northern Utah in late September or early October. In southern Utah's canyon country, colors will be spectacular through much of October. In the Zion Park/St. George area, colors will continue into November.

Utah has some wonderful scenic drives that show off our autumn foliage. This page gives many ideas. Here are my favorites:
  1. Logan Canyon in extreme northern Utah
  2. Alpine Loop, in the Provo area, past Sundance Resort and the east side of Mt Timpanogos
  3. Mirror Lake Byway (Hwy 150)
  4. Energy Loop, Huntington Canyon and Eccles Canyon, in Central Utah
  5. Highway 12, Utah's All American Road, over Boulder Mt and around the town of Boulder, and down into the Escalante Canyons
  6. Cedar Breaks area, east of Cedar City in southwestern Utah
  7. Fish Lake backway, in Central Utah
  8. Flaming Gorge-Uintas Scenic Byway (US-191) in northeastern Utah
  9. La Sal Mountain Loop Road near Moab
  10. Smithsonian Butte backway near Zion Park

Friday, September 05, 2014

Dinosaur Fossil Stolen From Dinosaur National Monument

This National Park Service photo shows the damage
The theft of a fossilized dinosaur footprint from a trackway near Moab made worldwide news a few weeks ago. Now, someone has apparently stolen part of a bone fossil from Dinosaur National Monument. The National Park Service provided the news release below.

Utah's dinosaur sites draw visitors from around the globe. Vandalism and acts of theft have been rare in the past. Hopefully, this doesn't foreshadow a trend.

Rangers Discover Damage and Theft of Fossil Fragments along Fossil Discovery Trail

Dinosaur, CO and Jensen, UT–Rangers are seeking information related to recent fossil damage and theft on the Fossil Discovery Trail. On Tuesday, September 2, 2014, a park ranger leading a guided walk discovered damage to a fossilized humerus bone from a sauropod dinosaur located along the trail. The damage was not evident the previous day.

Rangers are requesting that anyone with information on the fossil damage to contact the monument at (435) 781-7715. A $750 reward will be provided for information that leads to a conviction.

The Fossil Discovery Trail is a1.2 mile trail that runs between the Quarry Visitor Center and the Quarry Exhibit Hall where the famous wall of dinosaur bones is located. The trail is unique as it is one of the few places where visitors can hike to see and touch unexcavated dinosaur fossils and fragments in situ; or still in place. It allows visitors to experience what it may have been like for paleontologist Earl Douglass when he discovered the first fossils in what is now the monument. While the fossils have limited scientific value, they have a great value for the educational experience they provide to visitors and students who hike the trail.

Visitors are reminded that all fossils, rocks, plants, animals and cultural artifacts located within Dinosaur National Monument are protected and may not be collected.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Popularity of Horseshoe Bend Explodes, Creates Need For Improvements

Horeshoe Bend is a very scenic overlook on the Colorado River, just below Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam and just above the Grand Canyon. It is often seen in photo books and on calendars. Incidently, it is about 8 miles south of the Utah/Arizona border.

In year's past it has been a minor blip on the map, but suddenly it's popularity is booming and land managers are seeing the need for improved facilities.

This KSL video provides an excellent overview of the area and challenges faced by visitors and land managers.

See the report for a few more details.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Salt Lake Greek Festival Runs Sept 5-7

All things Greek will be celebrated this weekend at the Greek Orthodox Church in downtown Salt Lake City. This is a fun festival that attracts visitors from around the region. It offers plenty of food, music, dancing, crafts, 10K and 5K runs and other events.

The Festival provided the overview video at right. See the event website for complete information.

Father Matthew of the Salt Lake Greek Orthodox Church provided this welcome:
I am deeply honored to extend a warm and heartfelt welcome to all visitors attending the ANNUAL GREEK FESTIVAL hosted by the GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF GREATER SALT LAKE. For nearly four decades hosting the Greek Festival, our parish faithful have continued to preserve the cherished traditions of our magnificent Greek heritage so that the vibrant spirit of our culture could be shared with you—the wonderful people of Salt Lake City and beyond.

The Utah State Fair will also be underway nearby (Sept 4-14). It is fun to take in both events.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Beach Boys, Grand Funk Headline Utah State Fair

The Utah State Fair runs Sept 4-14 at the Fairpark in Salt Lake City. This is a traditional state fair with all kinds of exhibits, vendors, activities, amusements, concerts, food and fun. Everyone is invited to participate.

See the Fair website for complete details.

Grandstand entertainment includes:
  • Solution Action Sports Box Jump And Half Pipe Show
  • The Beach Boys
  • Caleb Chapman's Crescent Super Band
  • 33rd Annual Country Showdown
  • Grand Funk Railroad
  • Zendaya
  • Conjunto Primavera and Los Hermanos Vega Jr
The Fairpark is located just outside downtown Salt Lake City at 155 North 1000 West SLC 84116. The main driving entrance to the Fairpark is located at 200 North 1000 West.

The Fair provided these details:

What time is the Fair open?
  • Thursday, Sept 4 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
  • Friday, Sept 5 10:00 am to 11:00 pm
  • Saturday, Sept 6 10:00 am to 11:00 pm
  • Sunday, Sept 7 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
  • Monday, Sept 8 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
  • Tuesday, Sept 9 Noon to 10:00 pm
  • Wednesday, Sept 10 Noon to 10:00 pm
  • Thursday, Sept 11 Noon to 10:00 pm
  • Friday, Sept 12 10:00 am to 11:00 pm
  • Saturday, Sept 13 10:00 am to 11:00 pm
  • Sunday, Sept 14 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
What are the gate admission prices?
  • Gates accept cash & credit cards only
  • Adults $10.00
  • Seniors 62 & over $7.00
  • Youth 6 -12 $7.00
  • Children 5 & under FREE
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