Archive for the ‘ Utah ’ Category


More than ‘Canyons’ at Canyonlands

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

The Moab, Utah area is simply spectacular, with so many recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.  I only spent a few days in the area, but that’s all it took for me to get hooked.  Most of my time was spent at  Canyonlands National Park, which  consists of spires, plateaus and canyons carved out by the Colorado and Green Rivers.  The park offers some extremely challenging four-wheel drive roads as well as great opportunities for hiking, biking, whitewater rafting and many other recreational activities.

My only complaint with the Canyonlands National Park is the ridiculously limited quantity of camp spots…I think there are only 14 sites at the “Island in the Sky” campground, which is the main location.  There is a second campground, but it’s on the other end of the park and not accessible from the main entrance.  There is a state run campground outside of the park, but it too has limited sites and is a ways from the Canyonlands park entrance.  BLM land surrounds the park, but there are “no camping” signs everywhere.  I said, “screw that!” I’m a very responsible camper and found an outstanding place to camp with breathtaking views. Click “Camping at Canyonlands National Park” to see my video.

Some could argue that Canyonlands is more beautiful and awe-inspiring than the more popular, Grand Canyon.   For one, there are a lot fewer people visiting Canyonlands than the Grand Canyon.  Two, there are more trails and accessible places to explore.  The Grand Canyon is very segmented and structured.  Canyonlands is also not nearly as congested as nearby Arches National Park, both are worth a visit, and both are quite different.  A simple distinction between the two parks…Canyonlands is about plateaus, vistas and, well, canyons.  Arches is about beautifully nature-carved monuments.

Click the following link to see more of my pictures of Canyonlands.  If you’ve been to Canyonlands National Park, leave a comment below for my readers and me…tell us what you like best.  Below is some park info you might find helpful.  If you enjoyed this post and video, please “Like” it.

Canyonlands Park Info:

Island In the Sky Visitor Center
Located just inside the park, this visitor center is open 9am to 4:30 pm, with extended hours spring through fall. Exhibits, publications and information are available, and a park orientation video may be viewed.  (435) 259-4712 Ext. 0.

Needles Visitor Center
Located on Route 211 just inside the park, this visitor center is open year-round from 9 am to 4:30 pm. Exhibits, information and publications are available.  (435) 259-4711 Ext. 0.

Individual Entrance to Canyonlands: $5 (Good for 7 Days) This fee applies to motorcycles, bicycles and walk-ins (per person).

Vehicle Entrance to Park: $10 (Good for 7 days)
This fee includes all occupants of a vehicle.

Canyonlands National Park Map

Zion National Park…an Overview

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Click this image to be taken to the Zion Photo Gallery

This was my first trip to Zion National Park in more than twenty years, and at that time I was only passing through the park—this time I would get to experience it in all its glory.  If you have the time, I would recommend trying to do both Zion and Bryce Canyon as their proximity to one another is relatively close, however they are distinctively different.  If you have to choose one over the other, I would probably lean toward Zion.

Zion National Park is located in Southern, Utah and was designated a National Park in 1919.  Zion is Utah’s oldest National Park, and with nearly three million visitors, also its most popular.  Zion offers incredible canyons, including The Narrows, which attract canyoneers from around the world.

The Virgin River has carved through the native sandstone to create incredible scenery found throughout Zion Canyon. The river itself serves as a natural corridor for exploring the park. There are several easy, self-guiding trails along the river, along with more challenging hikes where the river and its tributaries cut through narrow canyons.  There are walks/hikes suitable for all ages.  More adventurous or strenuous hikes include Angels Landing and The Narrows. No matter what type of hike you are looking for, Zion will accommodate. Zion is also a great place for biking, fishing horseback riding, camping and more.  Click here for more info.

While I was in Zion I stayed at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast called, “The Desert Thistle.” You can read/see my review by clicking here. There are several nice restaurants to choose from as well, while I was there I had a good meal at Oscar’s Cafe (Had the Mahi Tacos), the service however was just so-so.

The Utah Department of Tourism has a wonderful website, I highly recommend checking it out for all of your Utah Travel needs.

Scenic Lake Powell is a must for any water-loving enthusiast

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Lake Powell is one of my favorite recreational lakes!  It has more coastline than the entire west coast with finger inlets stretching for miles.

Lake Powell is located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and is at the mouth of the Grand Canyon.  The lake is extremely scenic with tall canyons, red rock formations and sand dunes—it’s a wonderful place for recreation such as houseboating, water skiing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, camping, exploration and much more.

Here are my top-10 things to do at Lake Powell:

  1. Rainbow Bridge – Access is by boat only…if you don’t have your own, I believe some tour companies go there.
  2. Tour the lake – Again, if you don’t have your own boat, do yourself a favor and hop on a tour boat.
  3. Take a Damn tour – You can visit the Glenn Canyon Damn both atop and below…both are very interesting.
  4. Lone Rock – Located at the north-end of the lake with great access for boats with sand dunes and cliff-jumping.
  5. Hiking - You can chose from difficult routes like West Canyon or the White Canyon hikes, or enjoy a more leisurely stroll along the beaches and into side canyons.
  6. Fishing - Catch small-mouth bass, striped bass, walleye, catfish and bluegill in the lake’s various canyons and bays.
  7. Kayaking – Renting a kayak and exploring some of the remote canyons is a great solace experience.
  8. Camping - There are tons of remote and not so remote places to camp with amazing views and moderate nighttime temperatures in the summer.
  9. Wesley Powell Museum – Learn about the canyon before and after the damn was built.  Powell was the first person to traverse down the mighty Colorado River.
  10. Relax - Don’t forget to just relax and take in all of the scenery.  Take lots of pictures and video…the sky is always changing, so no two pics are ever the same.

View my video montage of Lake Powell, which includes a very interesting,  almost terrestrial landscape.

Blowout in Provo turns into good fortune…

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Had a bit of a problem today…blowout on the freeway. Fortunately I was close to a town and able to exit safely onto a side road in order to change the tire. I later discovered that the tire could not be repaired (tread separation).

With the spare on, I worked my way up to Provo, UT where I would need to wait until morning for Discount Tire to open…I’m hoping the tire will be warranty replaced.  I ended up finding a wonderful old mansion turned into a B&B called: Hines Mansion Bed & Breakfast.   This B&B is 115 years old, each of its 10 rooms are uniquely themed.  I’m staying in “The Lodge…” legend has it that Butch Cassidy stayed in this very suite.

The evening caretakers, a young college couple going to BYU, were extremely gracious and invited me for dinner. Stay tuned for my full review…