UTAH DESTINATIONS

UTAH DESTINATIONS

Utah doesn’t have something for everyone. That would be impossible. But almost.

You know that kid in class who was good at everything? Smart, beautiful, athletic and shredded the piccolo? So annoying. Well, Utah’s sorry, but it’s not gonna downplay its talents just so Nevada doesn’t feel bad about itself.
Alpine lakes with trophy-sized rainbows. Great big little cities with world-class ballet and plenty of parking. Red-rock slot canyons and other geologic oddities. Performance-enhancing powder at bucket-list ski resorts, 45 minutes from the airport. Plus we brag about it. Ugh. We’re the worst. Read more…

100 THINGS TO DO AT BRYCE CANYON

100 THINGS TO DO AT BRYCE CANYON

Like a fine wine or Ziggy Stardust, Bryce Canyon only gets better with age. Bryce’s unlikely amphitheatres took 60 million years to make but us measly humans only just stumbled upon them. Reuben “Ruby” Syrett thought that a terrific waste, so he built a lodge and some cabins… Read Full Story Here

Arches National Park in Utah

By Kathy Manney
A few years ago Cosmopolitan Magazine, selected Utah’s beautiful Arches National Park was as one of the sexiest places to visit in the United States. As for the park’s sex appeal you’ll have to be the judge, I can tell you the park, five miles north of Moab, is an exquisite place filled with striking rock formations and hiking trails.
Spectacular scenery encircles visitors in all directions, as far as the eye can see, nature has been a sculptor. With more than 2,000 natural arches, the park holds the world’s largest variety of sandstone spans.
The remarkable landscape is part of what is better known as the Colorado Plateau. The Colorado Plateau began rising more than 15 million years ago and includes much of Utah, parts of Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. Pink, purple and brilliant red rock forms that have eroded into spires, balanced formations and arches punctuate the area.
The formations seem to change color, even shape, depending on the position of the sun and the movement of the clouds. With more than 10 maintained trails for all levels of walkers and hikers, you might even trek along stone-walled trails that follow in the footsteps of the Anasazi and other American Indians who, centuries ago, freely roamed what is now southern Utah. Exploring the park, visitors may encounter petroglyphs scratched into the walls by early tribes.
Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.” He may well have been describing Utah’s Arches National Park.
Grains of sand cemented together form the landscape of the park. Boulder formations millions of years old have been redesigned by wind and water erosion throughout the ages. Much of the park is made up of what is known as Navajo sandstone. Some geologists think that rocks in the area are from the upper Jurassic period, which began 205 million years ago.
Early autumn is a good time to visit any of America’s 390 parks, monuments, battlefields, recreation areas, historic sites and other areas, the weather is generally good and the crowds have slackened off. Another great recreational area to visit while in southeastern Utah is nearby Canyonlands National Park, which is less crowded than Arches.
If You Visit
If you are visiting Las Vegas, Nevada consider Arches as a side trip. The park is about 450-miles from Las Vegas to Moab. You can get there by taking highway I-15 north like you were going to Salt Lake City. Approximately 250 miles from Las Vegas exit onto I-70 going toward Denver, travel about 180 miles eastward to US-191 which takes you into Moab. There will be countless directional signs for the Arches National Park and other tourist information available throughout the area.
It is best to take along layered clothing and your own snacks and drinking water to consume while in this or any national park.
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Kathy Manney is the nationally recognized author of autobiographical, lifestyle and travel articles and the travel columnist for “The Vegas Voice,” a monthly regional senior lifestyle newspaper. Ms Manney enjoys traveling to new and interesting places and in the process of becoming an adventure Diva, finds some of her articles, Kathy’s most interesting pursuit, a self-defining adventure trip to Antarctica. Kathy had significant life experience living abroad: study tours, culture classes and participating in Department of Defense volunteer subculture work in Taiwan and the Philippines.
Kathy is open to freelance work in the fields of non-fiction writing and editing.

Want an Exciting Family Vacation? Visit a Dinosaur!

By Diane McCalley
Okay, so last year’s vacation was to Disney World. The year before that it was Disneyland. And the year before that it was … Disney World. Ready for a change? How about visiting a dinosaur this time?
The state of Utah is home to the biggest concentration of dinosaur exhibits in the United States, so no matter where in Utah you visit, you’re probably a day trip away from walking in the path of a prehistoric dinosaur.
Vernal, in northeastern Utah, is known as “Dinosaurland,” and is home to the largest quarry of prehistoric Jurassic dinosaur bones. Although currently closed for repairs, the Quarry at Dinosaur National Monument has on display over 2,000 dinosaur fossils embedded and exposed in sandstone. The Quarry boasts that they provide more complete skeletons, skulls, and bones of dinosaurs than any other quarry in the world. Visitors to The Dinosaur National Monument have over 200,000 acres of land on which to hike, fish, camp and river raft.
If you want to see life-size replicas of dinosaurs, the Utah Field House of Natural History Museum near Vernal has a dinosaur garden with 17 life-size replicas of dinosaurs, including a 20-foot tall Tyrannosaurus. You can also view displays of ancient fossil skeletal reproductions, archaeological and geological exhibits, fluorescent minerals and other aspects of the nearby Uinta Mountains and Uinta Basin.
While Dinosaurland near Vernal is thought of as ‘the” dinosaur vacation spot, there are other areas in Utah where you can view dinosaur fossils. Also located in Northeastern Utah is the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, one of the world’s best fossil sites. Formed about 147 million years ago, the quarry is open daily during the summer and on a shorter schedule during the spring and fall.
Some of the other more noteworthy dinosaur spots around Utah are:
Ogden, Utah
Ogden is located thirty-five miles north of Salt Lake City on the banks of the Weber River, and is home to a many dinosaur exhibits, including Ogden’s Historic Union Station’s Gem and Mineral Museum at 2501 Wall Ave. Here you’ll find one of the world’s oldest dinosaur eggs, estimated to be around 120 million years old. That’s right, this egg’s not for scrambling. The egg, however, was not discovered in the Utah area, but, rather, in China and later donated to the museum. There are several dinosaur bones, eggs and tracks from North America on display.
Another good dinosaur exhibit near Ogden is the North American Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point. Here you’ll find more than near Ogden is home to the world’s largest dinosaur museum, the North American Museum of Ancient Life. With more than 60 mounted dinosaur skeletons and thousands of ancient fossils. You’ll also find a six-story movie screen and theater, which features 3-D movies and specialty films.
Moab, Utah
If your travels take you to Moab, you have a few wonderful opportunities to view dinosaur fossils up close. Just 13 miles north of Moab you can walk The Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail, a self-guided trail where you can walk among dinosaur fossils and actual dinosaur tracks left in the sedimentary rocks.
Moab has two exhibits with displays on archaeology, paleontology and dinosaur bones. These are the visitor center at Dead Horse Point State Park north of Moab on SR 313, and the Dan O’Laurie Museum, 118 East Center Street.
For a truly unforgettable family vacation, dinosaur trekking through Utah is a must-do. Remember, however, that fossils are protected, which means you cannot remove them from the environment. The only thing you should be removing from your hikes through Utah is your own trash. Be sure to leave all fossils ad plant life undisturbed.
*** Diane McCalley is an accountant and avid traveler. Visit her family travel [http://www.familytravelto.com] website, where you can learn about such things as Costa Rica family vacation [http://www.familytravelto.com/Costa_Rica_Family_Vacation.html] destinations.