Utah

Utah is our destination this week. Before we start planning, I strongly recommend the Utah Travel Guide. Each page has a breath-taking picture of Utah scenery. At the end of almost every paragraph is a computer link to help you get more information. I was going to put each of those links at the end of this post but there are too many. You will just have to send for the travel guide to get them. The bonus is that you can see those pictures I was talking about.


Now I have my travel guide with all those links and I have other links all ready to help me decide where I want to go. Your log is still here beside me so grab some hot chocolate or whatever to drink and let's get to it.

Utah is nicknamed the Beehive State. It is state number 45 in the United States. The state flower is the Sego lily. The state historic vegetable is the sugar beet.

Utah is one of the states that is well-known for having great winter sports. Utah Olympic Park is an official United States Olympic Committee training site. There are four Nordic ski jumps, freestyle aerial jumps (both summer and winter), and a bobsled/luge/skeleton track. You can either watch Olympic hopefuls train or you can ride a bobsled at 70 mph. They also have an introductory Olympic sports camp. In the summer, they have the Quicksilver alpine slide and the world's steepest zipline.

We usually think of Utah as being a desert state, and rightfully so, but there are also a lot of places to enjoy water sports. The Green and Colorado Rivers were where the first major whitewater rafting was done during exploration of the area in the mid 1800's. Bonneville Sea Base has naturally heated ponds ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. There are tropical fish for your viewing pleasure.

If you decide to go boating on the Great Salt Lake, be sure to rinse off your boat, motor, trailer, and anything else that was in the water. The Great Salt Lake is 4 to 8 times saltier than the ocean. The concentration of salt makes it really easy to swim too.

Hikers will love Utah. More than 1600 miles of the Great Western Trail ramble through mountains, ranches, and parks. Red Butte Garden and Arboretum is more than botanical gardens. There are miles of both developed and primitive trails. The Navajo Loop takes you down into Bryce Canyon and then you turn around to go back. It is a 1 1/2 mile round trip hike but it drops 520 feet to the point where you turn around. That means it's 520 feet back up.

Opportunities for climbing and bouldering are plentiful. Joe's Valley was one of the first bouldering areas in Utah. New Joe's, Left Fork, and Right Fork are the three climbing clusters. The are hundreds of bouldering sites in them. Big Rocks is sometimes called the flesh pit. It is one of the state's few year-round bouldering sites. It has six climbing clusters.

Biking trails are in every area of the state. Wheeler Creek Trail is 11 miles long. You'll see limestone formations and forested slopes as you travel between Ogden Canyon and Snowbasin ski resort. One of the bike trails follows the historic Pony Express Trail across the Great Salt Lake Desert. It is a 50 mile loop that also includes a portion of the Mormon Trail.

Utah has a varied wildlife population. More than 430 species of birds have been identified. Farmington Bay has fresh water ponds, marshes, flats, and salt waters. This allows habitat for all sorts of wildlife and plants. And if you like insects, the variety is huge.

Like I told you before, the Travel Guide is a gold mine of things to do. There is a list of tour guides to take you on whatever adventure you decide to take. So use the tour guide and the other links below to plan a whopper of an adventure. When you get home, let me know what you did. I'm going to try to see the grave of Ephraim, the last grizzly bear in Utah. It's a treacherous journey so I'm not sure I'll make it, but it will be an adventure to try. I also want to see where the final spike (which was not gold) was driven to complete the transcontinental railroad. Then there is the biggest pit in the world...

Copas

Utah Official State Site
Travel Guide
State Parks
National Parks
Scenic Byways
Offbeat Tourist Attractions

Comments

  1. I have always been there in cold months so never got to try swimming in the great lake.

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