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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, October 31, 2014

Utah's Best Ghost Towns and Haunted Places

Bullion City- not on the ghost town list

Happy Halloween!

Utah media have caught the spirit of the holiday and are publishing some interesting items. Here's a fun one from the Deseret News:

The photo essay shows multiple shots of many, but not all, of Utah's ghost towns, plus a few from neighboring states. Here's a list of the places featured:
  • Eagle City in the Henry Mountains
  • Frisco, in Beaver County
  • Giles, along the Fremont River in Wayne County
  • Gold Hill, in Tooele County near the Utah/Nevada border
  • Grafton, just outside Zion Park, appeared in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • Hiawatha, in Carbon County
  • Kelton, just north of the Great Salt Lake
  • La Plata, near Paradise in northern Utah
  • Latuda, in Carbon County
  • Old Irontown, west of Cedar City
  • Ophir, west of Lehi
  • Osiris, near Antimony, north of Bryce Canyon
  • Paria, along the Paria River in south central Utah
  • Richville, south of Morgan
  • Sego, east of Green River
  • Silver Reef, north of Leeds (east of St. George)
  • Thistle, flooded by the Spanish Fork River
  • West Dip, in remote Tooele County
  • Widtsoe, just north of Bryce Canyon
  • Woodside, along Hwy 6 between Price and Green River
Many of these are fun spots to visit. We could write pages...

Salt Lake Tribune has this article:

  • Rio Grande Depot in Salt Lake City, haunted by “The Purple Lady”
  • Ben Lomond Hotel, Ogden, haunted by “a woman who drowned in the tub of room 1102” on her honeymoon
  • Southern Utah University, Cedar City, old buildings were constructed from rocks where a woman's brutally murdered body was found
  • Moon Lake, Uinta Mountains, haunted by a “dripping wet girl,” plus a giant serpent lives in the lake
  • Mercur Cemetery, west of Lehi, a phantom horseman gallops across the graveyard

Thursday, October 30, 2014

'Find Your Greatest' – View Utah's New Ski Ads

Utah is now kicking off its winter ad campaign, using stunning new videos to lure potential tourists to our renowned ski resorts. Six “Utah ambassadors” are featured in the ads and the videos tell interesting stories. You can see the videos here.

Here are tidbits about the campaign:

Beginning Nov. 1, digital billboards and digital ads will be released nationwide to skiers and snowboarders, said Vicki Varela, director of the Utah Office of Tourism. Beginning on December 22, the ads will be shown on television in Boston, Los Angeles, New York City and San Diego.

"This is a new way to tell the ski story that personalizes your particular interest whether you're a snowboarder or a skier," she said. "This shows the authentic Utah story."

Besides (Olympic hopeful Brolin)Mawejje, the campaign also features Paralympian champion Chris Waddell, gold medal winning U.S. snowboarder Sage Kostenburg, pro skier Sierra Quitiquit, CEO Jill Layfield and her ridiculously cute 7-year old daughter Madeleine, as well as a certain Hall of Fame basketball player (Karl Malone) receiving a special delivery while enjoying some luxury time on the patio at Deer Valley.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

'Rig To Flip' – Great New Video On Yampa's Warms Springs Rapid

Below we've embedded a wonderful video that captures the fun and adventure of river running. It was made by “Friends of the Yampa” and focuses on a particular rapid on the Yampa River in the heart of Dinosaur National Monument, on the Utah/Colorado border. (This is the “trailer” version. The full video can be seen here. Learn more about the project.)

The Yampa is a tributary to the Green River and it is an excellent choice for whitewater adventure. If you are interested in river trips, now's the time to make reservations to get prime dates next spring and summer.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Canyonlands Turns 50, Offers 'Walks With Thoreau'

Canyonlands Island in the Sky - by Dave Webb
Canyonlands National Park is turning 50, and offering special hikes and activities to celebrate.

The park provided the overview below. See the park website for more details.
This is a special year at Canyonlands.

In 1964, Congress set aside a hardscrabble piece of desert in southeast Utah "in order to preserve an area...possessing superlative scenic, scientific, and archaeological features for the inspiration, benefit, and use of the public."

In 2014, we are celebrating 50 years of welcoming visitors from all over the world. Special events will take place throughout the year. Come celebrate with us!

"Walking with Thoreau"
Over the next few weeks, a National Park Service volunteer and philosopher will be leading a series of special hikes at the Island in the Sky. In commemoration of the 50th anniversaries of the Wilderness Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the establishment of Canyonlands National Park, we will reflect on these acts through the writings of one of America's greatest nature writers, Henry David Thoreau, and discuss their relevance today, 50 years after they were written.

If you choose to participate in one of these hikes, we will record your reactions to your time in Canyonlands in an ebook that will be archived as part of the history of this anniversary. Participating in this project as citizen historians is one way to pay tribute to these landmark legislations, so that they might continue to thrive and flourish for the benefit of future generations.

Since our discussion will be centered around the writings of Henry David Thoreau and the Wilderness and Civil Rights Acts, we ask that you take a moment to read the texts before joining us on one of these hikes. After you register, we will send you an electronic pamphlet containing the readings we will be discussing along with additional information.

These hikes will take place every Saturday morning through November 15 and last approximately half the day. Please email or call us for more information or to reserve your spot. We hope you'll join us!

Phone: 435-259-4712 extension 16

Monday, October 27, 2014

Heber Valley Western Music and Cowboy Poetry Gathering Oct 29-Nov 2

What started as a little cowboy poetry show in the Heber Valley keeps getting bigger and better. This is its 20th year and it's official name is now:

This year's event runs from Oct 29 through Nov 2 and, true to its roots, it is one of the biggest showcases for cowboy poetry in the U.S. It has also become a prime Western Music event featuring stars including:
  • The Bar J Wranglers,
  • Michael Martin Murphey
  • Dave Stamey
Country music and bluegrass sounds have more recently been included, with performances this year from Suzy Bogguss and Billy Dean. New to the Gathering is the winner of the NBC hit TV show, The Sing-Off, vocal band Home Free.

This is a celebration of all things cowboy offering, and offers a sample of cowboy poetry.
  • Grub from local restaurants
  • Cowboy mounted shooters competition
  • Mountain Man Traders Camp
  • Wasatch Cattle Dog Trails
  • Vendors and artists
  • Workshops, demonstrations and other events
The video above gives a good overview of the event.

Friday, October 24, 2014

10 Life-Changing Utah Hiking Trails

The Subway - By Dave Webb
The title above comes from this article, and it is a pretty bold way to begin a narrative. I felt compelled to click and I show author Chad Buleen's list below. It's interesting that most, but not all, are found in our Mighty 5 National Parks.

All hikes mentioned are great – every one is excellent. Some are long and difficult and some are easy, family friendly. Chad gives only one-sentence descriptions, but his words are chosen well. He offers beautiful photos of each area. (The photo at right is one of mine – I don't pull photos from articles without permission.)

The comments below the article are also worth reading.

Here's his list:

Five must-see attractions for families in Utah:

The title above comes from this article, and the resulting list is also pretty good. These places are mentioned:

  • Natural History Museum of Utah
  • The Treehouse Children's museum in Ogden
  • Temple Square Christmas Lights
  • Goblin Valley State Park
  • Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Thursday, October 23, 2014

'creepytings' Vandalizes National Parks Across the Western US

A graffiti artist calling herself “creepytings” has defaced rocks in national parks across the Western U.S., including Zion and Canyonlands in Utah. She may also have painted on rocks at Bryce Canyon and Grand Staircase-Escalante.

The graffiti is being considered a federal offense and officials are investigating. If anyone notices any suspicious behavior in any of the parks, they are encouraged to contact authorities. Apparently she has painted scenes on rocks at recognizable spots in prominent national parks. She signs all of the work with the tag, creepytings. She then photographed some of the graffiti and posted the images online.

The Deseret News has this report about the investigation. Below are excerpts.

Several Instagram and Tumblr posts made by artist Casey Nocket appear to indicate that she has painted on rocks in national parks and national monuments — including Bryce Canyon, Zion, Canyonlands national parks and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument — across the West, according to the Modern Hiker article. The Instagram account Creepytings has since been set to private, and officials did not immediately confirm that the artist was connected.

The National Park Service says this is now a federal investigation, and although it appears rangers know who the woman is, there's no word whether she has been caught yet, or even whether rangers know where she is.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

We Need Your Vote For Salt Lake As Best NBA Destination City has a fun feature where its readers vote to determine the 10 Best in various categories. The latest will name the best NBA destination city. You can see the write-up here.

Salt Lake City, home to the Utah Jazz, is in the running. Actually, we think it has a great chance of winning. And it will win, if we motivate the vote. So, what are you waiting for? Go vote!

Here's the summary: “Basketball fans have until MONDAY, NOV 17 at NOON to vote for their favorite NBA destination. Our expert, USA TODAY sports writer Sam Amick, used the following criteria to make the nominations: fun things to do in city, quality and location of venue, level of fandom, iconic status of city and/or team, special events or games which are played there, likelihood of seeing a great game, star players and ease of getting to and around the city, You can vote once a day until the contest ends. Good luck to all the nominees!“

Utah fans are loud and proud - EnergySolutions Arena is one of the loudest in the NBA.

The Jazz have been “rebuilding” the past few years, but have tremendous young talent going into this season. They have played strong during the preseason, earning a 5-2 record. Final preseason action will be against Phoenix on Friday, Oct. 24, at EnergySolutions Arena. The regular season begins Wednesday, Oct. 29, as the Jazz host the Houston Rockets.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Latest And Luxest At Utah's Top Ski Resorts has this interesting article listing the best and most luxurious at the best resorts in the U.S. It's comments about Utah ski resorts are interesting. Here are a few tidbits. It is worth reading the entire article.

Utah’s 14 ski resorts beckon with 500 annual inches of the lightest and driest powder to be found on the planet—hey, it isn’t billed as the “greatest snow on Earth” for nothing. From the Alps-like setting of Alta Ski Area and Snowbird to the luxurious vibe of Deer Valley Resort and the rusticly chic Sundance Mountain Resort, world-class skiing is all within reach.

...thanks to the new relationship between The St. Regis Deer Valley and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, guests of the hotel can arrange for exclusive training with an Olympian at the USSA Center of Excellence—a national training and education center.

Once the lifts close, head over to the Umbrella Bar to share a pitcher of beer and enjoy a free concert at Canyons’ main stage across from the bar!

RUN OF YOUR LIFE At Canyons, take Lookout Ridge to the base of the Orange Bubble Express. This run offers perfectly groomed pitches ideal for carving S-turns at a comfortable speed, plus incredible views of the resort and the Uinta Mountains in the distance.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall Colors In Utah National Parks

Fall colors are fading in the Utah high country, but are moving toward perfection in lower elevations including spots in our national parks.

I drove the Nebo Loop today and enjoyed seeing colors in various stages. Down near the mouth of the canyon the foliage was vivid. Up on top, most aspen were naked. The two photos that illustrate this blog post were shot on today's trip.

Right now is one of the most spectacular times to visit our national parks, particularly Zion and Capitol Reef. Here's a rundown of current conditions.

In Zion National Park high country areas, colors have peaked. Mid elevations are ablaze right now and colors are just starting to turn at lower elevations, including Zion Canyon. The park provided this info:

“We've been getting quite a few questions about fall colors! ...Zion Canyon... leaves are starting to turn. Typically, fall colors peak in Zion Canyon around the first week of November.”

In the Capitol Reef area, lower slopes on Boulder Mountain are on fire with color. (Higher elevations have peaked.) The scenic drive, near the visitor center is beautiful right now. The park provided this info:

“Fall is here and we are winding down for the season. The visitor center hours are now 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. There are still many opportunities to enjoy your national park and now is a great time to visit as the Fremont cottonwoods and box elders approach peak fall color.”

Bryce Canyon is at a high elevation where colors have already peaked.

Arches has a fair number trees, mostly junipers and some pinesthat stay green year-round. Cottonwoods and brush along streams are coloring up nicely now.

In Canyonlands, riparian areas have brightly colored trees and brush. Many areas in Canyonlands look much the same regardless of the season.

-- Dave Webb

Friday, October 17, 2014

Utah's Best Halloween Destinations and Activities

Plan now to spend Halloween at Goblin Valley. It's a natural. Where else would you want to be?

Well, it turns out there are other great spots in Utah to catch the spirit of the upcoming holiday. Here's a list of some of our favorites. We'd love to hear about yours.

1. Places like Devils Garden, Dead Horse Point, Death Hallow and Hells Backbone are wonderful spots any time of the year, and are delightful during the fall.

2. The Haunted Village at This is the Place Heritage Park: “There are a few haunted houses around, but only one Haunted Village! The most anticipated haunting of the season is at This Is The Place Heritage Park...where you can experience an entire village of hair raising haunts! Ghost hunters say the place really is haunted, but why take their word for it? All the itchy fingers are waiting for the dark of the park.”

3. Haunted Hollow at America West Heritage Center: “Take a walk on the dark side of history through the scariest river hollow in Cache Valley. Keep a weather eye on the trees, where you may run into the likes of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, mummies, and the Hound of Baskerville. There have been bumps in the night that have kept people awake for generations… and you’ll find them here. Recommended for visitors ages 8 and older.” The Center also has a great Corn Maze.

4. Frightmares at Lagoon: Haunted rides, shows and activities at a favorite amusement park.

5. Hunt Mysteries Mystery Dinner Theater: Our professional actors will mingle with your guests from beginning to end making them a part of the experience. Your guests become the detectives, working together to solve a hilarious, light-hearted mystery.

6. Haunted Half Marathon in Provo, Oct 25: “The 2014 Haunted Half Marathon is a unique party run that brings together runners and volunteers for 13.1 miles full of candy, fun, and entertainment! Grab your friends and your Halloween costumes and get ready for the run of your lives!”

There are corn mazes, haunted houses and other activities in many communities around the state. Check locally for activities where you will be traveling.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Utah Wins Big With 'Mighty 5' Tourism Campaign

Utah has been running an innovative tourism campaign touting our “Mighty 5” national parks. The campaign has been popular and effective, and has now been given top honors at the National Council of State Tourism Directors’ Mercury Awards. has this article on the award. The video below is a key part of the campaign. Below the video we give excerpts from the article.

The state won two awards: best overall branding and integrated marketing campaign, and best television broadcast advertising.

“The Mercury Awards are the Academy Awards of our business, and the category we won is like getting best picture,” said Vicki Varela, Managing Director, Utah Office of Tourism, Film and Global Branding. “We are deeply honored to be recognized for our breakthrough Mighty 5 campaign.”

In a research report conducted by Strategic Marketing & Research, Inc. (SMARI), the following results are directly attributable to The Mighty 5 campaign launch:
  • The campaign reached nearly half of the target audience, or about 5.75 million households.
  • It returned $126 in visitor spending for each advertising dollar invested. The 2011 and 2012 non-winter campaigns returned $55 and $68.
  • Nearly 375,000 Utah trips between March and December 2013 are attributable to The Mighty 5 campaign.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Top 20 US Cities for 20-Somethings? Salt Lake Is Number 2 has this interesting article naming the 20 best US cities for people in the 20-Something range, and Salt Lake City is number 2 on this list.

Strange? Well, we don't think so. Here's the articles lead, which explains some of the things they looked for:

The verdict is in: 20-somethings want to live in cities. The question then becomes: Which urban centers offer the best situation for those in their 20s? Some things at the top of young adults’ wish lists are universally agreeable (cheap rent, a good job market, and great public transportation). Others are up for debate—do 20-somethings care about fitness, finding love, or the local startup scene?

We do undoubtedly have many good things going for us:
  • Relatively cheap rent
  • Low unemployment and strong job market
  • Excellent universities with low tuition
  • Abundant recreational opportunities
  • Oh, yeah, great skiing
  • Extensive public transportation
Here are tidbits from the article's comments on Salt Lake City:
SLC earned the honor of least-stressed city because of its minimal cost of living and low unemployment rate.

Salt Lake was just named one of America’s five new foodie cities.

Plus, what other major city allows you to hit the slopes right after work at one of the four major ski resorts just minutes from city limits?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Gorgeous Road Trips For Fall

Thistles along the road between Pinto and Newcastle. has an interesting article describing “5 gorgeous road trips for fall.” Utah's Hwy 12, our All American Road, is on the list. Here's their recommendations:
  • Pacific Coast Highway
  • Utah's red-rock country
  • Maine's craggy coast
  • Texas Hill Country
  • Lake Superior Loop also has an interesting post: “Most Mind-Blowing Fall Foliage Train Tours. Utah's Heber Valley Railroad makes that list. The article notes that fall colors will now fade fast in northern Utah. If you want to see these colors, do it now.

Fall Backcountry Drives
Caught up in the spirit, here's my list of the best Utah fall backcountry drives. (Backcountry means away form civilization; beyond the normal routes most tourists take.)
  • La Sal Mountain Loop Road, out from Moab - When we talk Moab, we mostly focus on red rock, But in you may notice the towering La Sal Mountain dominate the horizon to the east. The loop road cuts across the mountains at about mid-elevation, in the forest, where you will find trees and small lakes and non-desert-like scenery. It's an amazing drive, very scenic.

    The Las Sal loop road is paved. All the others listed here are dirt/gravel suitable for high clearance vehicles.
  • Kolob Terrace Road, from Virgin near the south entrance of Zion Park, through the Kolob Terrace section of the park, past Kolob Reservoir and then over Kolob Mountain to Hwy 14 on Cedar Mountain. That's one of my personal favorites.
  • My honorable mention award goes to the route from Pine Valley to Pinto and then Newcastle, north of St. George. I did that drive yesterday and really enjoyed it. Colors are coming on strong in southern Utah. 
-- Dave Webb

Monday, October 13, 2014

Bryce Canyon Wants Your Opinion On Bike Trail Inside Park

The Park Service has proposed building a “multi-use visitor path” connecting Bryce Canyon City, Dixie National Forest, and popular overlooks and trailheads in Bryce Canyon National Park. The path would be used by pedestrian and bikers.

An open house to discuss the plan will be held tomorrow (Oct 14, 2014), 5 to 7 p.m. at the Bryce Canyon City Public Safety Building, 70 W. 100 North, in Bryce Canyon City. People not able to attend the open house can make comments via the comment link in the left column on this page.

The initial portion of the trail would run some 7 miles, from Bryce Canyon City to Inspiration Point. It would probably be extended another mile to Bryce Point. In the future, the trail could connect with the route down Red Canyon, providing some 21 miles (one way) of interconnected trail.

Officials hope the trail will reduce traffic congestion within the park, while also providing an enjoyable, healthy travel alternative.

Below is a summary of the proposal provided by Bryce Canyon.

Bryce Canyon National Park Multi-Use Path

The National Park Service (NPS), in cooperation with the United States Forest Service (USFS), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Utah Department of Transportation, Garfield County, and Bryce Canyon City, is proposing to design and construct a multi-use visitor path connecting Bryce Canyon City, Dixie National Forest, and popular viewpoints and trailheads in Bryce Canyon National Park. The proposed project would begin at the shuttle bus staging area in Bryce Canyon City and continue through Dixie National Forest to key developed visitor use areas in the park.

The primary purpose of the proposed project is to relieve safety issues for all visitors who choose to use nonmotorized transportation-such as walking, jogging, cycling, and cross-country skiing-to experience the park and adjacent United States Forest Service areas near Bryce Canyon City. Increases in visitation at the park (30% increase between 2008 and 2012) are leading to transportation system capacity issues and traffic congestion. Cyclists and pedestrians need a way to travel to and within the park that is more safe, provides a better visitor experience, promotes nonmotorized travel between nearby communities and the park as well as between key destinations in the park. The proposed path project would also connect to the existing transportation system, including visitor shuttle buses, hiking trails and walking paths, parking lots, and roads linking major visitor attractions and facilities with both nonmotorized and motorized transportation modes. Visitor safety would be improved by separating motor vehicles from bicyclists, pedestrians, and other nonmotorized user groups where possible. The path is also intended to help manage congestion, improve visitor experience, and provide alternative means of accessing United States Forest Service and National Park Service lands. Doing so would enhance the parks transportation system by connecting the parks gateway communities with high visitor use areas along the canyon rim in the Bryce Amphitheater and other key features of the park. To facilitate easy transition between transportation modes, the proposed project would connect Bryce Canyon City to current and future multimodal transportation hubs in the park as identified in the Bryce Canyon National Park Multimodal Transportation Plan.

Contact Information
Dan Cloud, Bryce Canyon National Park, at or (435) 834-4720
Nick Glidden, Dixie National Forest, at or (435) 865-3747

Friday, October 10, 2014

Lake Powell Is Paradise In October

Lone Rock at Lake Powell - by Dave Webb
Last week I enjoyed a few days boating at Lake Powell, camping on the beach and doing a little fishing. It was wonderful – this is my favorite time of year to be at the big lake.

Why? Here are the reasons I like this season:

1. Water is still warm
2. Air is warm but not hot
3. Not as many people
4. Fishing is very good

I launched at Wahweap and camped on Lone Rock Beach. There were plenty of other people camped there but it wasn't crowded. There was little boat traffic regardless of the direction we traveled.

I normally prefer to boat away from the marina and camp in some secluded canyon, but we had too many people in our party this time. Camping in a remote cove is my idea of paradise. As the sun goes down, all boat traffic stops. In many coves you can't see or hear anyone else on the lake. I think it is wonderful.

Striped bass surface fishing as slowed down but the big predator fish can still be caught working lures under the surface. Smallmouth and largemouth fishing can be very good at this time of year. The fish seem to understand lean winter days are ahead and so they eat voraciously.

The lake's water is cooling and seasonally changes will soon take their toll on recreation at the lake. But late October must people choose to stop skiing and swimming, although a quick dip can still be refreshing.

If you stay dry, boating, camping and hiking can be very enjoyable through November. Fishing success usually begins to fade in November and by the end of the month it becomes much more difficult to catch most species in the lake.

During winter, the lake is incredibly peaceful, with few humans to be seen. People boat on the lake during every week of the year, but you need to use caution during the cold months. Since there are fewer people out, there may not be any help nearby if you get in trouble.

The lake never freezes. Some years a skim of ice ice may form in the very back of some canyons, but it usually doesn't extend far or last long.

The major marinas are open year-round.

Come on down and enjoy paradise.

– Dave Webb

Thursday, October 09, 2014

National Parks May Raise Entrance And Camping Fees, Public Input Will Be Sought

Fees may increase at Lake Powell (Photo © Dave Webb)
A National Park Service memo says fees may be increased at 131 properties across the nation, including Utah's five national parks and several of our national monuments. Lake Powell/Glen Canyon National Recreation Area may also raise rates.

The Deseret News has this article about the memo, which suggests public comments will be considered before any decisions are made. Below are excerpts from the article.

A late summer memo by the agency's director Jon Jarvis instructed his regional managers to begin readying for public outreach with congressional delegations, gateway community leaders and park service visitors to determine, what — if any increase in fees — may be palatable.
"Parks must thoroughly engage their stakeholders and document the support and concerns expressed by the public," the memo states.
The proposed fee increases — which could bump from $15 to $25 per carload and jump to $20 for overnight camping — would be the first since the rate schedule was updated in 2006 and became effective two years later.

Park superintendents at Zion, Arches, Bryce, Capitol Reef and Canyonlands national parks, impacted national monuments, and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area will begin soliciting input in the coming months in advance of a March 2 deadline to determine what rates may go up. In Utah, beyond the national parks that could be impacted, fees could jump at Cedar Breaks, Dinosaur, Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments, the Golden Spike National Historic Site and Glen Canyon.

The article has one sentence that confuses me:

The state's five national parks, a handful of its national monuments and its lone national recreation area could see fee increases by next spring under a proposal by the National Park Service.

It appears the writer is not including Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. I don't know if that means “The Gorge” is safe from any rate increase, or if it was simply overlooked in the news article.

-- Dave Webb

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

View and Photograph Wildlife During National Wildlife Refuge Week

National Wildlife Refuge Week runs October 12-18 this year and offers interesting activities at wildlife refuges around the country, including here in Utah.

This link gives general information about the week, along with info about key events. Wildlife enthusiasts have been encouraged to take a share photographs and many will be shown at various locations during the week. This page provides more information.

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is a large and impressive wildlife sanctuary in Utah. It offers wonderful opportunity to view ducks, geese, other birds plus scores of animals. It has sponsored a photo contest and the awards ceremony will be held on October 18. Details about that and other events are given on this flier, and basic info is given below.

Saturday, October 18, 2014
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Open House Activities to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week
  • Drive the Wildlife Tour Route
  • View nature films
  • Enjoy family-friendly activities
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Photo Award Ceremony
National Wildlife Refuge Week & the 2014 Photo Contest Award Ceremony are sponsored by Friends of Bear River Refuge

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge office is located at 2155 West Forest Street, Brigham City
UT – Call 435-734-6422 for more info.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Fall Colors Perfect Right Now On Utah's Patchwork Parkway

Fall colors are now peaking in the high country in southern Utah. Dixie National Forest, in particular, reports brilliant yellow aspen trees. Colors this season are perhaps the best autumn foliage we've seen in years.

Utah's Patchwork Parkway winds through the high country east of Cedar City, through one of the best areas in the state to see the annual extravaganza.

What, you've never heard of the Patchwork Parkway? We'll, here's the official intro:

Utah's Scenic Byway 143 is also known as the Patchwork Parkway and follows a course through the cities of Brian Head, Panguitch and Parowan and passes Cedar Breaks National Monument. This National Scenic Byway is close to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park in southwestern Utah.

Our video shows scenes from along the parkway. See this page for more detail.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Ski Magazine Readers Rank North America's Best Resorts

Ski Magazine is out with its annual Reader Resort Survey, where skiers rank the resorts based on a number of criteria. As usual, Utah resorts placed very well.

This Deseret News article breaks down the results. Below are excerpts.

Top Utah honors, again, go to Deer Valley. For the third year in a row, the Utah resort is No. 2 in overall voting. Over the past 10 years, Deer Valley has been voted No. 1 six times and No. 2 four times.

Among voters, Park City Mountain Resort placed No. 7, Canyons Resort No. 14, Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort No. 21, Alta Ski Resort No. 28, Solitude Resort No. 29 and Snowbasin No. 30.

This past summer, SKI Magazine sent out 215,000 digital voting ballots. The 12,000 who voted submitted 41,000 resort reviews in 18 categories.
Deer Valley, for example, received the most votes in seven of the 18 categories, which included grooming, service, access, on-mountain food, lodging, dining and family programs.
Utah resorts, in fact, completely dominated the two categories skiers value most — access and snow conditions.
Of the top 10 listed for best access, Utah resorts placed seven — Deer Valley (No. 1), Park City Mountain Resort (No. 2), Canyons (No. 3), Snowbird (No. 5), Alta (No. 6), Solitude (No. 7) and Brighton (No. 8).
In the area of best snow, Utah resorts took five of the 10 spots — Alta (No. 2), Powder Mountain (No. 3), Snowbird (No. 5), Brighton (No. 6) and Solitude (No. 7). No. 1 was Wolf Creek, Colorado.
In overall satisfaction, Alta was No. 2, Snowbird No. 4, Deer Valley No. 7 and Powder Mountain No. 9.
For overall best value, Powder Mountain rated No. 3, Snowbird was No. 4 in variety and in the area of lifts, Deer Valley was No. 3.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Fishermen In Utah Asked To Harvest, Eat More Fish

Trout fishing at Scofield Reservoir © Dave Webb
Utah offers some mighty good fishing, from trout in our mountain lakes and streams to walleye, bass and catfish in our reservoirs. And, Utah anglers are good sports; most of us gamely release virtually all of the fish we catch.

Perhaps we release too many fish...

The Utah Wildlife Board has voted to relax some fishing regulations to encourage anglers to keep more fish from specific waters. This article has details. Below are excerpts.

"A chance to catch a larger fish is the number one thing active Utah anglers have told us they want," says Drew Cushing, warm water sport fisheries coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "Unfortunately, at many of the state's waters, anglers are releasing too many fish. If they'll start keeping fish, up to their legal limit, the growth rate of the remaining fish should improve."

To encourage anglers to keep more fish, the Wildlife Board recently approved several rule changes for the 2015 season. The changes take effect Jan. 1, 2015.

You can see all of the changes the board approved in the 2015 Utah Fishing Guidebook. The free guidebook should be available online by early November.

Members of the board hope eliminating the 'home' possession limit—the number of fish an angler can have in his or her freezer at home—will help anglers develop a new 'mindset' that encourages them to keep more fish.

DWR biologists originally recommended that the possession limit be eliminated for every fish in Utah except salmonoids—trout, kokanee salmon, whitefish and grayling. The board, however, eliminated the home possession limit for every fish species in the state.

The new rules totally remove the limit on yellow perch at Fish Lake, and increase the brook trout limit on some lakes on Boulder Mountain.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

First Snow, First Ski Turns, New Ski Utah Magazine

New snow at Snowbird - photo courtesy of Visit Salt Lake.
Snow in Utah's high country has skiers excited. The storm that left Utah yesterday dropped a fair amount in some spots, including Alta and Snowbird. Early bird ski enthusiasts were seen hiking up the hill and skiing down.

This snow will probably all melt, as temperatures recover this weekend. But more will soon come.

It's starting... is out with its new Ski Utah magazine, which is a comprehensive guild to all things skiing in Utah. It gives details about each of our 15 resorts, plus great information about other winter activities and lodging options.

Another New Utah Ski Hill?
A Daggett County group hopes to build a new resort on the shores of Flaming Gorge Reservoir, complete with a ski hill. To make that happen they hope for a federal land swap, adding wilderness area in the High Uintas in exchange for development on what is now Forest Service land around the reservoir.

It is far from a done deal, and there will be great debate about the merits of the plan. This article has details.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Ogden's 25th Street Named One Of The Great Streets In America

Historic 25th Street in downtown Ogden has been selected as one of the Great Streets in America by the American Planning Association. The history of the street reflects the interesting rise and fall and revitalization of Ogden itself.

According to this article in Ogden's Standard Examiner, the street was “referred to as the most dangerous street in America, too tough for the likes of Al Capone, with secret tunnels connecting one speakeasy to another.”

Ogden was a railroad town, the junction city of the great Union Pacific and Central Pacific lines, and that brought prosperity during the rail's golden age, but decline in modern times.

City officials have worked hard to revitalize the town and have attracted many businesses that make gear for outdoor recreation, particular winter sports. Every year Ogden earns honors as a great place to live and work if you are recreation-minded.

From the Examiner article: “Now all the beer is brewed legally, while the opium dens gave way to restaurants, the brothels gave way to boutiques and the gambling parlors gave way to art galleries.”

The American Planning Association lists these factors and others that influenced its decision to honor the street:

25th Street's development got under way after the construction of the original Union Station on the west end of the street in 1889. Wooden buildings were torn down to make way for brick structures that reflected the Neoclassical architecture of the time. Businesses along 25th Street catered to travelers with hotels, lodging houses, saloons, restaurants, cigar shops, and clothing stores. Because of the constant activity, particularly gambling, opium dens, bootlegging, and brothels, the street became known as "Notorious 25th Street." This created the mystique of the street that lives on today.

...Popular annual and weekly events include Xterra USA Championship, USA Cycling Masters Road Championships, Tour of Utah, Ogden Arts Festival, Farmers Market, 1st Friday Arts Stroll, Ogden Horse Parade, Car Show, Harvestmoon Festival, Witchstock, Christmas Village
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