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Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Friday, December 29, 2006

Resolved: More Adventure In 2007

For me, 2006 was a good year. Looking back, some of my most memorable experiences came while engaging in recreational activities with family and friends.

For 2007, I resolve to slow my pace a little and enjoy more and better recreational activities. Here are some of goals on my list:

Explore the San Juan arm of Lake Powell. I’ve poked into virtually every canyon on the lake, except those on the remote San Juan arm. I want to fish up there, hike up to the Navajo rock art gallery in Cha Canyon, slide down the waterfall in Wilson Creek Canyon, and generally explore the area.

Backpack Grand Gulch. This rugged canyon shelters amazing ancient Anasazi ruins and artifacts. I’ve explored some of it and I’m hungry to see more. In particular, I want to visit Perfect Kiva Ruin.

Horse pack into the Red Castle Lakes in the High Uintas. Photos suggest this is one of the most scenic alpine lake areas in America. There is also great trout fishing.

Speaking of fishing, I plan to go after the trophy lake trout in Flaming Gorge.

I’ll also hike a few slot canyons and maybe conquer a mountain peak.

Some may think my goals/resolutions are selfish, me-centered and frivolous. I disagree. I always take people with me on my adventures - my kids, friends and neighbors. Such outings provide a great opportunity to get to know people - to communicate and bond.

I dare say this world would be a better place if more fathers took kids fishing. There would be less gang violence and drug abuse if more kids spent more time hiking Zion’s slot canyons. There would be more peace in this world if more people felt the serenity that comes from connecting with nature.

So, I resolve to recreate...

- Dave Webb

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ring in the New at First Night in Salt Lake City

First Night is Salt Lake City City's New Years Eve community celebration. 2007 marks the 14th anniversary of this extravaganza of the arts, music, dance, and ritual in the heart of the Salt Lake City. It will be held at the Gallivan Plaza (200 South and Main Street).

This year's First Night features Asbury Park, New Jersey headliner deSol, a brotherhood of seven musicians creating "Rock & Roll with a Latin soul;" alt_rockers Elbo Finn from Portland, Oregon; the Sarakasi Acrobats - "The first truly authentic African circus," fire freaks Incendiary Circus, the Sustainability Salon's resolution ritual, the gypsy sounds of Bien Flamenco, and the red hot rhythms of Reggaeton, as well as many other art and music surprises.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Get Your 2007 Utah Calendar

Utah has a new official scenic calendar, showcasing 77 stunning photos – from national parks to mountain streams.

What’s new this year? "We've added people in the images this year to show visitors what activities are available in Utah," said Leigh von der Esch, the Utah Office of Tourism's managing director.

The calendar has traditionally shown Utah’s majestic landscapes. This year it shows people involved in adventure activities in those scenic landscapes.

This newspaper article provides more detail.
You can order the calendar from our bookstore.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas From Utah.com

We extend to you our warmest Christmas greetings and hope you find peace, joy and love during this special time of year.

Here are ideas about ways to spend the Christmas season in Utah.

Ski the powder. A storm is expected to drop snow tonight, and another may bring fresh powder Christmas Eve. The next few weeks will bring the best ski conditions of the year.

Golf in St George. There is no snow down in Utah’s Dixie. The greens are, well, green, and the sun shines most days. You’ll want to wear a jacket, but you may take it off during the afternoon.

See the lights at Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City. You won’t find a more impressive Christmas light display anywhere. There is also a nativity scene and other displays telling about the birth and life of Jesus Christ.

The Cathedral of the Madeleine Carol Service, Christmas Eve, features chants, motets and carols of the holiday season.

Hike in the desert. Daytime temperatures often climb into the mid 40s, or even into the 50s, in southern Utah at this time of year, making it enjoyable to hike in the sunshine. In the desert the nights are silent, starry and bright.

Merry Christmas.

- Dave Webb

Thursday, December 21, 2006

You Can Help Set Rules for OHV Use in Dixie National Forest

A series of public meetings has been scheduled to allow public participation as Dixie National Forest adopts a new Motorized Travel Plan.

The Forest Service announcement says: “The proposed action shows a system of routes that will be designated open to motorized use. With designation of a motorized travel system, cross-country travel (that is, travel off designated roads and trails) will generally be prohibited. The Forest will remain open to other forms of cross-country travel such as hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiles.”

Meetings will be held in January in St George, at various locations in southern Utah, and in Salt Lake City.

This Forest Service webpage has details about the proposal, meeting dates and locations.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

St George Attracts Rave Reviews

Safest Place
The St George area is ranked one of the safest city in America in the third annual "Most Secure U.S. Places to Live" rankings from Farmers Insurance Group. The southwest Utah community took the top spot for towns with fewer than 150,000 residents.

Insurance Journal reports: “Top-ranked St. George, whose population of 110,515 places it among the small towns, offers a climate that features mild winters, low annual precipitation and clean air. St. George had the lowest crime rate of all 379 communities in the Farmers study and the lowest unemployment rate among the 138 small towns.”

Read the entire article.

Economic Winner
St George is called one of the new economic winners in an interesting article on www.american.com. Consider these excerpts:

“The geography of the U.S. economy is constantly shifting. Now, writes JOEL KOTKIN, the hinterlands are getting their revenge on the big cities of the East and West Coasts. Towns like Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and St. George, Utah, are the winners. The losers are ‘hip’ cities like Boston and San Francisco, which don’t seem to know it yet.”

“In this decade, for example, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Boston have suffered declines in population. The emigrants head either to the exurbs or to places in the Southwest or Florida, where they can live well for less money and find better jobs—including high-end business-service jobs (like consulting, accounting, and financial advising) that can locate anywhere and now tend to cluster in beautiful places to live like Fort Myers, Florida, and St. George, Utah.”

Read the entire article.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Snowstorm Dumps on Utah Resorts

A weekend storm dumped big snow over much of Utah, with the upper reaches of some ski resorts picking up more than two feet of new powder. Central Utah mountains and the Uintas received 12-15 inches.

Brighton now leads the snow derby, reporting a whopping 61-inchs at mid-mountain. Snowbird is close behind with 55 inches. See our snow report for more numbers.

This newspaper article gives details about the storm.

Ski conditions will be excellent this week and forecasters say we may get another storm over Christmas weekend.

We don’t have to dream about a white Christmas – we got it!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Snowbird Opens First North American Ski Tunnel

Snowbird Ski TunnelThe new Peruvian Tunnel at Snowbird is open and running, carrying skiers and borders through a mountain to provide improved access to the intermediate runs in Mineral Basin.

It is the first ski tunnel in North America, and it is causing quite a stir. A conveyor in the tunnel carries skiers and boarders 600 feet, from Peruvian Gulch in Little Cottonwood Canyon to the Mineral Basin side, on a four-minute, one-way ride.

WMC-TV Memphis carried the story, and has a video clip on its website.

So did WBIR-TV in Knoxville, and a host of other news outlets.

Snowbird said this about the grand opening: "A new era in Little Cottonwood Canyon began today when Snowbird Chairman Dick Bass and President Bob Bonar shattered a bottle of champagne on the new Peruvian Express high-speed quad chairlift." (See their entire Peruvian Tunnel report.)
Snowbird’s website also has an extended video clip.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ice Fishing Season Begins In Utah

Scofield Reservoir is frozen and offers good ice fishing for trout (rainbows, cutthroat and tiger trout). It is usually the first major water in Utah to freeze and thus ushers in the beginning of the ice fishing season.

A few small waters freeze earlier and they have been offering good fishing. Huntington Reservoir, in particular, has very good action for nice tiger trout.

Strawberry Reservoir is Utah's most popular fishery and it has ice on some bays and a cap down near the dam, but open water over most of the reservoir. A few brave (foolish) anglers have been fishing that new ice and they report fair to good success.

Jordanelle has ice around the Provo River inlet and some early birds are fishing there. The rest of the reservoir has open water. It will provide good action for trout and perch as the ice firms up.

Pelican Lake is completely frozen and offers fair but spotty ice fishing for bluegill.

The next good cold snap should firm up the ice on Strawberry, Jordanelle, Otter Creek and most other popular Utah trout waters. Fish Lake usually does not freeze until around Christmas. Bear Lake and the upper end of Flaming Gorge sometimes freeze during January, but sometimes stay open. Lake Powell and the waters around St George do not freeze.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources provided the following news release about fishing Scofield:

Ice is on at Scofield Reservoir

The long-awaited ice-over has finally occurred at Scofield Reservoir, signaling some of the best fishing of the year! Last week, the thermometer plunged to record lows, transforming a skiff of shoreline ice into a rock-solid frozen mass.

Early season ice fishing is traditionally some of the best of the year. Last weekend, anglers yanked out a number of 14- to16-inch rainbows, mixed with some six- to eight-inch planters, as well as cutthroats and a few pan-sized tiger trout.

Fishing success is an elusive combination of where you fish, depth, technique and tackle. It changes from day to day and hour to hour. Skill and experience are as important here as in any other sport.

Scofield Success Secrets

Conservation officer and veteran angler Mike Milburn fishes in 10 to 20 feet of water at this time of year. He tends his ice rod faithfully, jigging it periodically. Mike uses a small silver attractor like a Kastmaster or Stinger from which he removes the hook. In its place, Mike ties on 10 to 12 inches of leader, and finishes the rig with a 1/32- or 1/16-ounce chartreuse jig head. The jig head is tipped with a piece of night crawler, mealworm, wax worm or small minnow. This set-up rarely fails Mike, who always has stories to share from his last angling adventure.

Aquatics Biologist Justin Hart volunteered to share some of his secrets as well. Justin likes to fish in 12 to 15 feet of water early in the season. When his tackle hits the bottom, Justin reels in a crank or two. He jigs the bait awhile and then raises it a foot or more at intervals, methodically sampling the entire water column. In terms of end tackle, Justin uses a 1/16-ounce spoon or Swedish Pimple tipped with a chunk of minnow about the size of a dime. He has also had good luck with a curly-tail grub or ice fly and a piece of night crawler or chunk of minnow meat.

Where To Go

For locating fish, Justin offers a few recommendations. The west side just out from Madsen Bay boat launch offers good fishing. Fishing around the island is another good bet year-round. The southeast side of the reservoir is ever-popular for good reason. Time of day is important too. If you can stand frigid temperatures, early morning is a good time to dip a line.

Come January 1, a new regulation change takes effect at Scofield. The trout limit jumps from four to eight fish, doubling angler opportunity. If you haven't ice fished Scofield, this is a great time to give it a try!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Miller Motorsports Park Named Motorsport Facility of the Year

Utah has long been associated with speed records, with the Bonneville Salt Flats hosting speedsters from around the world.

But professional auto racing didn't begin here in earnest until last spring, when the Miller Motorsport Park open near Tooele, west of Salt Lake City.

Now that facility has won the prestigious Motorsport Facility of the Year award from the Professional Motorsport World Expo at a gala event held in Cologne, Germany.

whowon.com ran this article about the award.

The park's 2007 schedule is described on motorsport.com:

"Miller Motorsports Park (MMP) today announced a 2007 schedule that is among the best in the United States and will include the return of popular racing series like the American LeMans, AMA Superbikes and Supermoto, and Grand Am, plus the addition of a NASCAR Grand National West Series and more."

Read the entire article.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Utah Ski Resorts to Use Helicopter-Based Avalanche Rescue System

New technology that will allow searchers to find and rescue avalanche victims more quickly will be tested at Utah's Snowbird Ski Resort Thursday.

firsttracksonline.com provides an interesting overview:

"A new helicopter-mounted avalanche transceiver technology will be unveiled for the first time in the United States Thursday in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon. Members of Wasatch Backcountry Rescue, Air Med, Life Flight and the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office will perform a helicopter transceiver search using long-range receivers near Snowbird."

Read the entire article.

Monday, December 04, 2006

"Learn To" Clinics Offered By Utah Winter Games

An extensive series of "learn to" clinics are being offered as a part of the Utah Winter Games. Some are set to begin during the next several days, and registration is still possible for many of the events.

The clinics are offered at low or no cost and are lead by top local athletes. There are clinics designed to appeal to all ages and experience levels, from youngsters to teens to adults, beginners to experienced enthusiasts. A sampling is shown below. See the complete clinic schedule.

12/09, White Pine Nordic Center Learn to Snowshoe
12/09, Park City Mountain Resort, Learn to Ride - Grommets, ages 7-10
12/09, Solitude Mountain Resort, Learn to Cross-Country Ski: Classical and Skate
12/09, Soldier Hollow, Learn to Cross-Country Ski: Classical and Skate
12/09, Soldier Hollow, Learn to Biathlon, Archery
12/09, Soldier Hollow, Learn to Archery Biathlon
12/09, Park City Mountain Resort, Learn to Telemark
12/10, Deer Valley Resort, Learn to Ski - First Timers
12/10, Park City Mountain Resort, Learn to Ride - Grommets - ages 7-10
12/10, White Pine Nordic Center, Learn to Cross-Country Ski
12/13,White Pine Touring Center, Backcountry Skills: Seminar

The Utah Winter Games also hosts competitions, with events suitable for all ages and skill levels. Competitions get underway in mid-December. See the competition schedule.

This news article gives an overview and history of the games.
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