Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Friday, May 26, 2006

Panguitch Lake Reopens to Fishing

This is a news release from Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources:

One of Utah’s Best Trout Fisheries Opens Just in Time for Memorial Day

Panguitch -- A total of 20,000 trout were stocked into Panguitch Lake this
morning, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

Located southwest of Panguitch in the Dixie National Forest, Panguitch Lake
was treated with rotenone on May 2 to eradicate Utah chubs from its waters.

Rotenone is a natural fish toxin that is produced in South America. Chubs
made up more than 95 percent of the total fish in the lake and are
considered a nuisance fish, as they out compete trout for food and space and
are not utilized as a sport fish.

“Our aquatic biologists have been monitoring the toxicity of Panguitch Lake
since the rotenone was applied earlier this month,” says Doug Messerly,
regional supervisor for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. “We are
very pleased that the lake is now suitable for fish to be returned and that
we can reopen it to fishing for the Memorial Day weekend.”

On the morning of May 25, 20,000 catchable trout (8 to 10 inches in size)
were released into the lake. The 20,000 trout should provide enough fish to
keep fishing good for some time.

The lake is scheduled to receive more trout as the summer progresses, and
fishing at the lake should be great well into the future.

“Panguitch Lake has always been one of Utah’s best producing fisheries,”
says Mike Ottenbacher, regional aquatics manager for the DWR. “These fish
that we are planting now will grow rapidly this summer and will weigh in
excess of 1 pound to 1½ pounds by fall.

“Meanwhile, people can enjoy catching them now and take a few home to eat,”
he said. “It will be good to see Panguitch Lake producing some good fishing
again.”

Every year thousands of anglers visit Panguitch Lake to take in the natural
beauty of the mountain and sample some of the trout that thrive in the lake
and the streams that flow into it. The project at Panguitch Lake will
ensure that this experience can continue for many years to come.

The lake is open to fishing now, and anglers who have a valid Utah fishing
license can catch and keep four trout of any size. Licenses are available
online at wildlife.utah.gov and from license agents and DWR offices.

Anglers under the age of 14 can fish without a license.

For more information, contact the DWR’s Southern Region office at (435)
865-6100.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Watch Bull Riding Saturday In Kanab

Here’s a news release from Cowboy Ted, Kane County Office of Tourism:

The Professional Bull Riding Association will host a bull riding event on Saturday, May 27, at 7:30 pm at the Kaneplex Arena in Kanab, Utah. This event will also be telecast to a national audience with the coordination of Steve Lemon of Hurricane, Utah.

Come out and watch 30 of the best bull riders in the Intermountain West take on some of the toughest bulls from the Fast Cash Rodeo string out of Delta, Utah. Tickets are available online at www.pcbrabulls.com and a host of Kanab businesses, including the Kane County Office of Tourism.

Join us for bull riding at the Kaneplex in Kanab, Utah, on Saturday, May 27. Gates open at 6:30 pm.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Fly to Moab, Cedar City, Vernal

Some of Utah’s more popular recreational areas will soon be more accessible, when Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group begins scheduled flights to Salt Lake City, Moab, Cedar City and Vernal.

Flights will be operated by American West Express, under Mesa’s wholly-owned subsidiary Air Midwest, beginning July 2.

See the company’s website for more info.

Several commercial options are already available for flights to St George.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Temple Square is Utah’s Top Tourist Draw

Mormon Temple SquareUtah’s national parks draw millions of tourists, but Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City draws more, according to this AP article carried by the Daily Herald newspaper.

“Travel brochures can boast about breathtaking Zion, Bryce and Arches national parks. Tourism promoters can roar about Dinosaur National Monument and hawk the state's high peaks.
“But Utah's hottest tourism destination is Temple Square and the campus around it, headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Covering three city blocks, the church's grounds in downtown Salt Lake City draw 3 million to 5 million visitors a year, the church and the state Office of Tourism said.

“By comparison, Utah's five national parks drew 5.3 million visitors in 2005, the tourism office said.

“And it's not just Mormons who tour the square's 15 attractions on the church's pioneer history, art, faith and genealogy.

"We're curious about their religion and their history," said Darlene Davis of Walker, La., who was also here on business. "But it's just curiosity. We're not interested in being converted or anything."

Read the entire article.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Summer Travel Information

With the summer driving season approaching, the Utah Department of Transportation has developed this webpage with resources to help travelers.

Road condition information can be found at CommuterLink.utah.gov. That service provides timely info about traffic flow and problems throughout the state, with particular detail about the Salt Lake-Ogden-Provo areas (because that’s where most traffic problems occur).

A prominent link will pull up info on road closures and other problems statewide.

The State Road Construction Report can also be very helpful as you plan routes to avoid delays.

You can also download a pdf file containing a Utah road map.

People always wonder if seasonal roads at high elevations will be open by the big Memorial Day weekend. At this writing, Wolf Creek Pass is open but the Mirror Lake Highway (150) and Monte Cristo are not. Northern Utah’s high country received heavy late season snow and so the Mirror Lake Highway may not open before the holiday.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

America’s Top 10 Scenic Road Trips

Highway 12, Utah’s All-American Road, is included in this MSNBC article on America’s most scenic trips.

“Windswept red-rock canyons, towering sandstone formations, pristine lakes, and pine-studded mountain ranges combine for an altogether over-the-top sensory experience in Southern Utah,” the article says.

“Unique beauty and seemingly limitless recreational opportunities abound on the stretch of land between the two parks’ (Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef) boundaries.”

Read the entire article.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Chalk Up Another Record Ski Season

It is official, Utah is just completing another record ski season in terms of the number of skiers visiting slopes. This is the third straight record, ski industry officials said today.

KUTV reports: “In the 2005-2006 season, Utah’s 13 ski resorts had more than 4 million skier visits. That’s up more than 150,000 from the 2004-2005 season. And one resort – Snowbird – is still open this late in the season.

Nationwide, the ski industry has stagnated at about 57 million skier visits annually for the past three years. But Utah has seen its skier visits increase by about 29 percent in the same period, (Ski Utah President Nathan) Rafferty said. Some of that can be attributed to record snowfall. Snowbird Ski Resort was open in July last year. It will stay open at least through Memorial Day this year, (Snowbird General Manager Bob) Bonar said.”

Read the entire report.

Campground Re-Opens at Natural Bridges

The Natural Bridges campground has re-opened after park workers eliminated rodents that might have posed a danger because they carried bubonic plague.

Below is the original posting announcing the campground was closed:


The Campground at Natural Bridges National Monument has been closed because some rodents in the area carry bubonic plague.

This AP article carried by The Washington Post includes details. The article says:

National Park Service officials said there never has been a reported human case of bubonic plague originating from the parks or national monuments.

"We come down on the conservative side when it comes to closing campgrounds," said Joe Winkelmaier of the U.S. Public Health Service. "We just like to be sure when it comes to plague."

Friday, May 12, 2006

Great Salt Lake Bird Festival

The 8th annual Great Salt Lake Bird Festival will be held May 18-23. The keynote Speaker will be Arthur Morris, a noted nature photographer and writer.

The festival includes birding fieldtrips, workshops, vendors, art displays and a Dutch oven dinner.

Through many partnerships with private property owners and conservation groups, the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival has obtained “Behind-the-Gates” access to areas the general public cannot go. Participants are guaranteed an enjoyable and educational birding experience. The festival website has lots of information and registration forms.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Kiplinger’s Says St George Is Smart Place To Live

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine has published a list of 50 Smart Places to Live, ranking these Utah cities:

11 – St Geroge
15 – Logan
21 – Provo

See the complete list.

“To come up with this list of cities, we began by surveying you, our readers, to see what factors you consider most important when choosing a place to live. The top two were cost of living and cost of housing. Quality health care and a low crime rate were also among your top requirements.”

The magazine also factored in things like weather, education (primary, secondary and higher), cultural amenities, transportation, well-diversified economies and quality of life, which was defined as a variety of cultural and recreational activities available.

Not bad, 3 out of 50 across the entire US. Our office happens to be in Provo. Coincidence? No. We know we have it good here.

- Dave Webb

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Fishing Strawberry at Ice-Off

Golden Webb sent this update (5-10): "Went up right after I read your email, and got there about 45 minutes before sunset. All the ice is gone. Fished from the bank near Mud Creek. Caught two big beauties right before dark, but only landed one of them -- the other, which felt as heavy as a bowling ball, snapped my line a few feet from shore."

See our new fishing report

Original post:

The ice is coming off Strawberry Reservoir right now and that creates an opportunity for great trout fishing.

Some anglers think the best fishing of the year occurs as the ice comes off. If you want to get in on that action then get up there fast – the ice may be completely gone by weekend.

Strawberry offers good numbers of large rainbow and cutthroat trout, according to the Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources, and fishing should be good this spring from both boat and shore. DWR has this new article on fishing the reservoir.

Early reports indicate many fish are concentrated along the shorelines. If you get out in a boat and troll you may not get in close enough to them. Shore anglers sometimes cast right over the fish as they try to get out into deep water.

The best approach is to work the shorelines until you determine where fish are holding. Start right against shore and work deeper until you find them.

The reservoir is located at a high elevation; air and water temperatures are still cold. If you get wet you will be miserable and may put yourself in danger.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Squeezing Through Spooky Gulch

Spooky GulchLast weekend Utah.com send an expedition canyoneering the slots off Hole-In-The-Rock Road, in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, to introduce friends to that area.

We trekked through Peek-a-boo, Spooky and Brimstone gulches, working up a good sweat, and then cooled off by playing in the chilly water at Upper Calf Creek Falls

This is the perfect time of year for such adventures because most canyons are dry and air temperatures are not yet hot. As summer sets in the temps in southern Utah will go up and we'll turn our attention to hiking/wading the water-filled canyons such as the famous Narrows in Zion National Park

Brian Topham, one of our group, gave this account:

"Peek-a-boo, I see you; or maybe it's now I see you now I don't. Such was the case as we hiked through the slot canyons in the Grand Staircase National Monument. I would be right behind someone one moment, a quick turn or obstacle later I couldn't see them-it was as if they had disappeared. Peek-a-boo and Spooky canyons were literally breath taking; some places were so tight I had to exhale to squeeze through them.

Upper Calf Creek Falls"Brimstone is about a mile (one way) down canyon from the mouth of Spooky. If you come merely for the slot canyons you may not find Brimstone worth the two-mile (round trip) hike. However, if you want a chance to climb around a slot canyon, soak up the Grand Staircase terrain, or try running down a sand dune without falling and getting sand in your hair and face, you should make time to stroll over and check it out."

This video clip from an earlier trip shows the fun. (Flash video, 4.2M)

We camped at Escalante State Park, a very nice place with heated restrooms and showers. Not a bad way to "rough it."

Friday, May 05, 2006

Save Mo’s Valley and The Zen Climbing Wall

Jamie Carpenter of St George submitted this article, seeking public support for an initiative to limit development in this popular recreation area. We encourage members of the public and governmental agencies to study of this issue, and to give high priority to preserving open spaces and unique areas.

On May 3rd 2006 the Southern Utah Climbers Coalition organized the first of many meetings to bring attention to the planning and development of land located west of St. George known to many of the climbing community as “Mo’s Valley” and “The Zen Wall.” Over 45 sport and trad routes have been developed along the Zen Wall, with over 100 feet of vertical exposure overlooking the West Desert. Mo’s Valley is covered with unique sandstone boulders where many climbers have spent months tackling the multiple routes.

Over 1000 acres of pristine hiking, biking and climbing areas have been used by numerous organizations in St. George including the Dixie Desert Racers, the Hiking Club, and the Southern Utah Climbers Coalition. The Green Valley Spa, Red Mountain Spa, and the Body Shop Spa bring hundreds of clients to this area each year making money doing guided hikes and climbs. Local residents enjoy the numerous bike trails along with the photogenic and beautiful natural environment the area provides. The area is located with in the St. George City limits making it a short distance from many residents’ homes. It is truly a unique open space recreational gem that should be preserved.

The meeting on May 3rd 2006 involved representatives from the BLM, St. George City Recreation planning department, Southern Utah Climbers Coalition, local businesses and resorts, and two members from the State Institutional Trust Lands Administration (S.I.T.L.A.).

The City and BLM representatives expressed a common desire to include the area in an overall open space land management plan. S.I.T.L.A. expressed the same interest, making it clear however, the primary purpose of S.I.T.L.A. is to raise funds for the various State Organizations by auctioning off land to the highest bidder. St. George City is currently the 5th fasted growing City in the Nation creating a jackpot for State Land Sales over the last couple of years. S.I.T.L.A. has already made tentative plans to develop parts of this area into one-acre parcels for multi-million dollar houses with auctions as close as a year away.

This is the beginning of many discussions that will take place over the next year involving the planning of this area. For all those who have an interest in the area, now is the time to get involved. Senator Bennett for the State of Utah has proposed a master land use plan for the Washington County Area. The Southern Utah Climbers Coalition plans on working hand in hand with Bennett’s planning process.

For more information about future meetings and plans, or to get your email on the mailing list, please email Jamie Carpenter at carpenter@infowest.com

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Lake Powell Offers Great Fishing

lake powell striped bassLake Powell may well be the No. 1 fishing spot in the country this summer ... The fishing is expected to be that good.”

That quote is from a Deseret Morning News article by Ray Grass.

“Reports of a dozen or more striped bass, all over 5 pounds, and a bunch of smallmouth, all caught in a morning or afternoon, are common.

“And, said Wayne Gustaveson, lake biologist for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, "I'm hearing stories of high catch rates like that all the time."

"What you're seeing," explained Gustaveson, "are the results of three years of high threadfin shad production and rising lake levels. (Shad are the main forage fish for most of the fish in Lake Powell.)

Fishing is great now and expected to get better through the summer.

Read the entire article.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

‘Adventure’ Touts Moab Arts Festival

National Geographic Adventure includes the Moab Arts Festival on its list of festivals for an adventurous summer. The festival runs over Memorial Day weekend, May 27-28.

“What's Going On: Moab's annual gathering of red rock-inspired artists show off their Southwestern jewelry and pottery.”

While you are in the area, the magazine suggests mountain biking the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park.

Read the entire article.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Monument Valley: Endless Earth, Infinite Sky

Monument ValleyNew York Times writer TIMOTHY EGAN captured some of the allure of Monument Valley in this article, which has been syndicated and is now showing up in papers around the country.
He noted that Europeans love this stark landscape and wondered why more Americans don’t visit:

“Monument Valley is full of Europeans, busloads from Italy and Germany and France, trying to experience our Eiffel Tower, our Colosseum. They take pictures of themselves on horseback, posed in front of a mesa that looks to be half the size of St. Peter's Basilica...

“The rare sight was another American. So perhaps Monument Valley, the stranger in our backyard, deserves a second look — or a first...

“Yes, John Wayne slept there. And shot other men on film there. And fell in love there. See: "Stagecoach," the first John Ford western shot in Monument Valley, circa 1939. Or "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," from 1949. Or better yet, "The Searchers," from 1956...

“There were a couple of photo-op bottlenecks on the valley floor, where people clustered at scenic backdrops, or posed on horses. At one point, touring vans pulled into a scenic stop that I had to myself for the last hour or so, John Ford Point. A couple dozen German tourists emerged from the vans, sizing up the landscape, cameras whirring. They seemed to know every scene from Ford's filmography. As the lone Yank at that perch in Monument Valley, I never felt more American.”

Read the entire article.
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