Monday, September 9, 2019

The Top 5 Amazing Climbing Locations in Utah You Don’t Want to Miss!

The Top 5 Amazing Climbing Locations in Utah You Don’t Want to Miss! blog cover image

Mountain climbers, hikers, and travelers all have two specific things in common – the thrill of adventure in their hearts, and the desire to see amazing things. Well, the rock-climbing scene of Utah won’t disappoint.

Utah is home to a wide variety of climbing challenges and awe-inspiring vistas. Strange formations in arid lands, lush valley canyons of green where the wind carries cotton, watery canyons laying watch over rivers and more can be found in this amazing place. We could go on for days about the many locations and things to see when out for a climbing adventure in Utah, but we’ve decided to narrow down the list to only the best. Check out below for our top 5 climbing locations in Utah!

families below watching climbers on the rocks

1. Maple Canyon

Located just outside Fountain Green, in Central Utah, Maple Canyon is known by hikers and climbers for its cobblestone appearance and a multitude of possible paths up and around the location. As opposed to many hiking paths in the area, much of Maple Canyon is shaded and as such the perfect place for a relaxing day outdoors when the heat is too much to bear in other locations.

This Canyon is what is known as a conglomerate rock, with embedded clasts (cobbles), and is very accessible by road and public transportation. The difficulty of the climb itself varies, but it’s recommended that intermediate to experienced climbers take on this challenge as the cobblestone landscape of the canyon makes for an interesting and unique experience.

a top rope climber on a nearly flat rock face

2. Rock Canyon

Rock Canyon is known to have hikers across its vista’s day and night. It can be found on the east end of Provo and drops off into the Virgin River. The make of the canyon varies, and climbers can expect to see reddish quartzite and limestone, among other rock and color combinations.

It can be difficult to access the canyon, and prospective climbers should plan ahead. Roads in the area are mostly unpaved, dirt only, and can be sandy and unsecured. Offroad vehicles may be required to make the trip, and while on foot travelers should watch for poison ivy near the exit of the canyon.

clouds looming behind the Desert Towers

3. Desert Towers

In the famed Moab Desert, the Desert Towers are known around the world for their stark beauty and fascinating architecture. It is no exaggeration that climbers and travelers flock to the area from all around and that this location is one not to be missed.

Experienced climbers will find a thrilling challenge and an engaging time with the Desert Towers. The climb itself is sheer and high, allowing for an amazing view of a truly incredible place. What really enthralls climbers in this area, besides the view, is how each tower poses its own difficulties and challenges. Some of the top towers to challenge are Owl Rock, Ancient Art, the Castleton Tower, and The Priest.

climbers preparing themselves underneath a red rock arch

4. Little Cottonwood Canyon

Little Cottonwood Canyon is as picturesque as it is extreme. Climbers have been enjoying the serene views of this location since the 1930s, and the canyon offers easy access and peaceful adventure outdoors. The canyon is located within Wasatch-Cache National Forest, a place worth visiting all on its own, and is a short 15-minute drive from Salt Lake City. The area is also known for the number of rare plants found to grown within the canyon, and mountain goats can often be spotted in the surrounding mountains. Lovers of geology and history may also want to know that the canyon is estimated to have been formed 15 to 25 thousand years ago by an alpine glacier, and the official term for this kind of canyon is a Glacial Trough.

chalked holds under the feet of a climber bouldering

5. American Fork Canyon

This is probably one of the most difficult canyons to traverse on this list, but it is no less an incredible place to be. The landscape is made up of dark caves, steep and sheer walls, and pocket-filled limestone caches. Adding to the canyon’s appeal is that due to the narrowness of the canyon’s walls, and abundant tree coverage, the canyon stays reasonable cool even during warm seasons in Utah.

Some climbing places of note in the area are Hell Cave, known by climbers to be one of the most difficult climbs in all of Utah, and The Membrane, popular among climbers of intermediate experience. Due to the popularity of the canyon, and the subsequent use and damage to the region by visitors, a small fee per-visitor is required to enjoy the canyon. Climbers can expect to have to pay $6 for a 3-day visit, $12 for 7 days, and $45 for an annual pass. In addition, there are a plethora of camping sights in the area, and any fees or costs associated with each will have to be paid.

Our list here has touched on only the top of what can be found for climbers and travelers in the Utah wilderness. From the easier routes of Maple Canyon to the sweat and grit laden paths of the American Fork Canyon, climbers of all kind will definitely find a place to be amongst the places described above.

And, the climb aside, the view alone would be well worth time spent in the area. The haunting view of Desert Towers is most recommended, but the rest all too have their charms and quirks for adventures to explore.

One way or another, the mountain climbing in Utah promises one hell of a good time. Adventures assemble! There are climbs to conquer and places to see, now send it!

Monday, September 2, 2019

The 8 Best Amusement Parks in Utah

The 8 Best Amusement Parks in Utah blog cover image

Are you the ultimate thrill-seeker and adrenaline junkie searching for the ultimate fun vacation? If so, Utah is the perfect place for you to explore. Choose from amusement parks with options such as rollercoasters, haunted houses, and water parks. This area has everything you’re looking for in order to spend a wild and fun time with friends.

Check out the 8 best amusement parks in Utah proven to provide you with the ultimate adventure of a lifetime:

looking down on Lagoon's various roller coaster rides

1. Lagoon

Get ready for a day filled with rides. You’ll find different attractions like rollercoasters and water rides to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in a coaster with speed or a lot of looping, this amusement park will have what you’re searching for. If you’re feeling hot that day and want to cool off, head over to the water rides.

Their main water ride, called Rattlesnake Rapids is an attraction filled with rapids ready to splash and soak you. Not into the thrilling rides? They also have some calm rides available for you to enjoy as well like a teacups ride or a merry-go-round. This park is fun for all ages and thrill-seeking levels.

2. Zootah at Willow Park

Exploring and learning about new animals and their species can be an exciting adventure. You’ll see that when you visit the Willow Park Zoo. You’ll get to view and learn more about a variety of different animals big and small.

There will be several birds flying around both in and outside of the different animal cages and habitats. You can also head over and check out all types of mammals and fluffy animals as well as the slippery reptiles inside of their respective habitats. You’re in for a wild time at this zoo.

lifeguards in the water ready for swimmers

3. Cherry Hill Water Park

Water parks are filled with tons of fun and thrills. Plus, you’ll get to swim in the cool water on hot, summer days. This waterpark is perfect for all of that. You'll find many water attractions available to you such as a giant 40 ft wide pirate ship. As you hop on the ship to explore, you’ll get to shoot different virtual cannons all around the ship.

There are several other entertaining activities like rides with tons of curves and drops. Some of the rides are made for you to enjoy to the fullest with unique lighting and fog effects. To take a break from some of the thrilling attractions, you can relax as you float along the lazy river.

4. George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park

Do you hold a passion for paleontology? Then this destination should be at the top of your list. Explore this dinosaur park to learn more about dinosaurs and their fossils. As you walk through the park you’ll see several different lifelike sculptures portraying all the various prehistoric dinosaurs you’ve learned about.

You may even get to witness some dinosaurs you’ve never even heard of. As an added bonus, some of the dinosaur sculptures even move around and make different noises to be even more realistic.

5. High Jump

If you’re looking for a spot for your kids to enjoy themselves and release some energy, this will be great for them. There are a ton of different sections inside this area for your kids to jump around and have an entertaining time.

You’ll also find different inflatables for the kids to jump on and interact with. There are numerous obstacle courses and other activities to engage in and increase the fun you and your kids are having.

visitors playing arcade games and air hockey

6. Cache Valley Fun Park

It’s right there in the name. This park is known for one main element: fun. This will be proven to you the minute you set foot in this park. You’ll have the chance to explore an outdoor laser tag area that is approximately five acres long. To make the experience even more exciting, the laser tag guns are equipped with realistic sound effects. You’ll hear them every time you hit your target.

Once you’ve maxed out on your laser tag playing and are ready for a break, you can head to the bowling alley. Pop in for a few rounds of bowling for a friendly competition with friends and family. If bowling isn’t quite your sport, you can also rollerskate through the jungle-themed roller rink. Finish the day off with a round of billiards on the many pool tables. Boredom is nonexistent here.

7. Nightmare on 13th

If you love the feeling of being scared, you’ll certainly get that at this haunted attraction. This is known to be one of the oldest haunted houses in the country. It has also gone down in history as one of the scariest haunted parks in the United States.

You’ll walk into several different dark rooms inside of a warehouse. There will be a lot of things, and people, popping out to spook you throughout the attraction. In other words, be prepared to get scared.

a family of four walking toward the front entrance of an amusement park

8. Cowabunga Bay Water Park

What’s your favorite activity at the waterpark? Is it the slides? If so, this is the ideal park for you. This park has 11 different slides for you to experience and have a blast while riding. Some of the slides include intriguing and thrilling tunnels. One of the tunnels is around 1,000 ft long and completely shut for the whole ride as you experience complete darkness the entire journey down.

Not only are the slides exciting for older kids and adults, but the little ones will have tons of fun on the playground. This water park is known to have one of the largest playgrounds with more than 12 different levels for them to explore.

crowds moving beneath a lit ferris wheel at night

Vacations are extremely fun to enjoy with the family. They're even more fun when you spend them going on different adventures by trying out all sorts of unique attractions. By choosing to spend your next vacation in Utah, you’re bound to have an action-packed vacation with non-stop fun.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Horseback Riding in Utah: 8 Incredible Trails to Get You Started!

Horseback Riding in Utah: 8 Incredible Trails to Get You Started!

Horseback riding and travel are inevitably linked. Once upon a time, they were one and the same, in the old wild times of the West. Now, we travel through other methods, but that doesn’t mean we’ve lost the desire and the will to get back to nature and go for a good ride. That being said, some of the best places to ride require a bit a of travel to get out to, unless you’re lucky enough for them to be close to home that is, and it’s important to plan ahead when looking for vacation or riding destinations. And, no rider or western loving cowboy at heart can do better than the rustic trails of Utah. Utah is the kind of place where one can see canyons, rivers, mountains, prairies, and more, and all on the same trail. It’s a true dream for lovers of travel and adventure.

When in need of a good ride, and maybe hankering for a setting reflective of the good old days of horseback travel in the Wild West, look no further than these eight amazing trails in Utah.

a horse and rider in the sunset

1. Old West Outfitters offers a wide variety of horse-riding fun, including cattle drives and gorgeous views of Southern Utah to explore. Go on your own, or with groups of up to 12 to experience six different trails of local National Parks and locales across Navajoland. Some locations of note are the Navajoland ride that tours the remnants of the ancient Anasazi peoples of the area, and the Canyon de Chelly. This service comes with meals, lodging, and transport to and from the location for about $1500 - $2900 per head.

man helping a young girl learn to ride horses

2. Zion National Park is a wonder to behold all on its own. But, with the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, and on horseback, the experience is far more than just one to remember. The area that is now Zion National Park was first discovered by Native Americans and later explored by Mormon pioneers. It’s a place right out of history. Today, the park finds itself as one of the top horseback riding trails in the nation.

Young children under eight years old are not allowed on the regular horse rides, but resort wranglers offer special guided tours for young riders as well – promising a safe and fun ride for kids with a bit of the west in their hearts.

a dog alongside horseback riders

3. Paria River Ranch brings the added benefit of being allowed to bring a horse of your own, if you are so inclined, or choosing to take part in a guided adventure of the local area.

The ranch is located right near the Paria River, and the bottom of the Grand Staircase Escalante Nation Monument in Utah. They’re within 50 miles of Kanab, Utah, and a wide variety of rustic western trails and sights are on display for riders to remember. Don’t forget to bring a camera, because these are some sights you won’t want to soon forget!

a single-file group of horseback riders

4. Jacob Lake Trail Rides shows off the surrounding Kaibab Plateau, a short distance from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon itself and offers an enthralling experience for riders new and experienced alike.

Again, riders under the age of eight are not allowed on horseback, but Jacob Lake Trail Rides offer old fashioned wagon rides as well, promising something for the entire family. Prices range from $30 for a half-hour ride, per person, up to two hours for $60 per head.

5. Allen’s Trail Rides bring riders storied western locations such as Peekaboo, a thrilling slot-canyon trail great for a bit of a spookier and more enclosed atmosphere, the Kanab Movie Fort, Diana’s Throne, and Pughe’s Canyon. Riders can book trips out for as short as an hour, or as long as several days ride out into the rugged west.

horseback riders navigating switchbacks

6. Red Rock Ride brings travelers the unique experience of a long-haul ride, offering seven-day guided rides for vacationers to enjoy. The tour will bring riders through locations such as Zion, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and the Paria and Red Canyons of Utah. Reserve now if interested, because reservations take place in the Spring and the Fall, and typical book a full year or more in advance. It’ll cost you approximately $2295 per person, and include a variety of niceties and accommodations, such as shuttle services to and from Las Vegas, and meals for the whole duration.

7. Duck Creek Horse Rides takes travelers through the peaceful Dixie Nation Forest out near Duck Creek Village on Cedar Mountain. Dixie National Forest stretches for a whopping 170 acres across southern Utah, taking up an area of nearly two million acres in all, and is the largest National Forest in the state. The location promises canyons, forests, rivers, and plains. All the best of Utah can be found here.

guides leading horses with new riders

8. Mystic River Outdoor Adventures can be found north of Glendale on Hwy 89. Besides being a prime place for horseback riding, the crew at Outdoor Adventures offer eight-person carriage rides alongside the river, and more, such as zip-lining over a 1600-foot drop, and shaved ice to cool down from that Utah heat!

three generations of women on horseback

One thing is clear, wherever riders choose to travel, Utah is the place to be. All eight of these travel locations offer scenic views, many with lodging and resort-like stays present, and promise a grand time for the individual and family.

Nowhere else in the world brings such rustic and storied location to life quite like the horse riding trails of Utah. It’s a place no rider should miss in their lives, and the people are ready and welcoming of visitors to their great state. Lovers of travel, horse riding, and the rugged west will find a place to remember upon the riding trails of Utah, that’s for sure.