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Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Friday, July 29, 2005

Festival of the American West Begins Aug 3

Aug. 3-6, Logan
Festival of the American West. This award-winning festival is held annually the 1st weekend in August at the AWHC’s Wellsville grounds. The event features the music and theater of the Old West, along with parades, re-enactments, dancing, storytelling and Western history presentations.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Interstate Exit Number Changes Almost Completed

Mileage markers have now been updated along Utah freeways and highways and some Interstate exit numbers are being changed to make them consistent with the new numbering system. This website has specific information.

Utah’s highways were built over many decades. In a few places inaccuracies and inconsistencies were introduced, which are now being corrected. Most changes are on I-15 from Nephi north. Initial plans called for the freeway to be routed through town, and numbers were calculated accordingly, but the interstate was actually routed around the community.

The entire project will be completed during the next couple months.

Travelers need to be aware that maps and guidebooks keying on mile markers and/or exit numbers may no longer be accurate. Check with local businesses for accurate information about their areas.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Mountain Resorts Offer Great Biking, Wildflowers

Now that the snow is gone and the trails have dried out at Utah’s ski resorts, lift-served mountain biking has taken center stage. You ride the lift to the top of the mountain – none of that heavy uphill peddling – then enjoy the downhill run on a trail chosen to match your experience and desire for adventure (options range from mild to extreme). When you reach the bottom you jump on the lift and do it all again.

It’s all downhill!

When you want a break from riding you can enjoy the rest of the amenities offered by fine resorts: a hot tub, massage, restaurants, nightlife and posh accommodations.

Seven of Utah’s 13 resorts are open to mountain bikers. This article has details.

Here are some facts and figures.

Our mountain resorts and other similar areas offer profuse wildflower blossoms during the summer months. This season should be one of the best in years and the next couple weeks will bring the peak of the bloom. This article provides details.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Pioneer Day Celebrations

July 24 is Pioneer Day in Utah. It is a state holiday and so many businesses and government offices will be closed.

Communities throughout the state will host parades, rodeos, firework displays, pancake breakfasts and other events. Visitors are always welcome to join the festivities.

A major celebration, called Days of ’47, is held in the greater Salt Lake City area. It honors the Mormon Pioneers and other early settlers. The festival’s horse parade, children’s parade and marathon are favorite activities.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Work Will Improve Services at Grand Canyon North Rim

Visitor facilities and services at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon will be improved under a new plan being developed by the National Park Service. The visitors center will be upgraded, a new kiosk would be placed near the park entrance to better direct traffic, parking areas would be expanded, and a new trail will be built between the North Kaibab trailhead and the lodge.

Public comment on the upgrades will be accepted through Aug. 16.

The North Rim is located in a remote area south of the Utah town of Kanab. It draws far less tourists than the South Rim, even though it offers more spectacular views of the canyon. The elevation is much higher than the South Rim and so the area receives heavy winter snowfall. Roads to the North Rim are usually open from May through October.

More information about the upgrades.

General info about the North Rim

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Zion Narrows Opens for Hiking

The famous Narrows in Zion National Park is open for hiking after being closed because of high water levels from lingering spring runoff. Conditions are good for hiking in all major canyons in Zion. Permits are required for technical canyon hikes and overnight trips into the backcountry. Permits can be obtained at the visitor center.

Shane Burrows reports there are major changes in some canyons since last year. “The old keeper pothole in Echo (Canyon) has now filled in with sand but a new one that was originally covered by a log is now open above. Same rules apply.... two people should have no problems (getting through).

”Mystery (Canyon) is filled with debris and the old swims are now filled with sand. Lots of fallen trees to climb over.

“The hard winter has really changed some of the canyons; go prepared - stay safe. You can visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/canyoneer to stay up-to-date on new conditions and post trip reports to alert others to the revised conditions as they are discovered.”

Shane has a great website offering comprehensive info about hiking in Utah: www.Climb-Utah.com

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Little-Known Waterfall

I hiked into a little-know waterfall yesterday. It’s gorgeous, as you can see from the photo. The hike is only about a mile along a moderately strenuous trail, after a 5-mile drive up a 4X4 road.

My question: Why isn’t this waterfall touted as an attraction? Its beauty compares with the famous Calf Creek waterfalls. Access isn’t that difficult.

Since it’s been overlooked, maybe I won’t tell where it is. It will be my own little paradise. Too bad it doesn’t have a plunge pool like the swimming holes found under the Calf Creek falls. If this baby had a plunge pool it would be one of my favorite places on earth.

It’s found on Sand Creek, north of Torrey. Follow the Great Western Trail north from the east edge of town and take the spur that follows Sand Creek. Follow that rough road until you are about 5 miles from town, until it veers west, away from the creek. At about that point you’ll see a trail that has been closed to motorized travel. Hike up that trail, which stays on the bench east of the creek, until you approach the top of the canyon. The waterfall comes off the high red cliffs. If you pay attention you’ll see a faint trail that descends a steep slope to the base of the waterfall.

- Dave Webb

Friday, July 01, 2005

Misery Canyon Adventure Hike

I hiked Misery Canyon with a group of hard-core canyoneers recently. It was a great adventure hike through a technical slot canyon on the east edge of Zion National Park. “Technical” means you need specialized skills and gear to get through. We had a great time rappelling into dark holes, scrambling over chockstones and sliding down ledges. It took about nine hours of hard hiking to get through.

The slot dumps hikers into the East Fork of the Virgin River, in Parunuweap Canyon. Parunuweap is much like the famous Virgin River Narrows, only it is more narrow, more rugged and more beautiful. The stream was running high and muddy and it was difficult to hike/wade through it.

In summer stream flows come down and conditions become optimum for adventure hikes through Zion’s water-filled canyons. This website has good info on such hikes.

I lugged a video camera through Misery. This link should pull up my Misery clip (Flash video, 2.9M).

We’re still playing with video clips, trying to determine the best way to include them on this website. Please let me know if you have comments or suggestions.
- Dave Webb (davewebb@utah.com)
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