Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Visiting the Young Living Lavender Farm

Visiting the young living lavender farm

As more and more people become aware of possible health implications of the products they use every day, essential oils are having a moment in the spotlight. Many people use dozens of hair, makeup, skin, and bath products every day containing chemicals that are absorbed through the skin, the long-term effects of which have not been thoroughly studied. Essential oils can often be used as an alternative natural remedy, cleaning product, skincare, nutritional supplement, or fragrance substitute.

Essential oils are the concentrated extracts of plants, and many natural or alternative health practitioners use them in aromatherapy and naturopathy. Many plants contain compounds that may be beneficial to overall human health and although there is not always the evidence to support these claims, many people feel more confident using concentrated natural products as opposed to something more heavily processed and store-bought.

Young Living is a multi-level marketing company based out of Lehi, Utah selling genuine essential oils and related products. They are the largest essential oils company in the world clearing over $1 billion in revenue every year. Although their line has expanded over the years to include diffusers, substitutions for processed products, nutritional supplements, and healthcare solutions, their essential oils remain their most popular product. They are perhaps best known for their multi-level marketing sales model, relying on distributors and direct-to-consumer whole selling.

Young Living Lavender Farm

Distributors of Young Living products can get invited to the annual convention and retreat. One of the biggest attractions of the convention is a trip to the Young Living lavender farm, called Whispering Springs Farm. It is also a popular tourist destination and road trip stop in the area. The farm is located in Mona, Utah, about an hour outside of Salt Lake City in a valley of the Rocky Mountains.

The highlight of the farm is allowing visitors the opportunity to see exactly how the products are produced and what work goes into growing the plants. The farm is open to the public all year in addition to being the highlight of the Young Living retreat and convention. The company is founded on a “seed to seal” promise – the understanding that Young Living takes all of its products from the first step to the last directly without outsourcing. This is very different from mass-produced products from similar companies that you may find in stores. Even if you are not interested in Young Living as a company, you can learn something new about essential oils, natural products, and the farming process. If you have young children, it can be an educational experience for them as well.

The farm contains 1,400 acres of lavender fields and oil distilleries, plus a natural reservoir, perfectly landscaped gardens, a herd of over 100 horses, and gorgeous views of the mountains. Visitors can take self-guided tours of the distilleries and see what is being produced on that particular day. They also have the opportunity to learn first-hand what goes into farming the products by talking to the highly knowledgeable farmers and staff, wandering the fields, and taking a stab at repotting the plants themselves.

Rows of lavender bushes

The farm facilities are available to rent for family reunions, company parties, and weddings. They also have various events throughout the year, including a 5k run, hay wagon rides, small animal farm visits, paddleboat cruises on the reservoir, essential oils classes, free distillery tours, horse shows, rodeos, and the annual Lavender Day Festival in June.

For users and distributors of Young Living products, one of the strongest selling points is that the plants are grown all-naturally without the use of pesticides. Since the inception of the company, they have made it a point to never use chemicals on their plants in order to keep the resulting essential oils as pure as possible. Visitors can pick leaves off the plants directly from the ground and eat them without worrying about ingesting pesticides. The farmland is also weeded by hand.

Also growing on the farm are some non-native plants that company founders Gary and Mary Young are attempting to grow locally in order to shorten the supply chain. For example, they are currently experimenting with growing wolfberry trees in the Utah climate to see if they can produce the resulting essential oils without importing an additional product.

lavender soft-serve icecream

Lunch is available to farm visitors, and items are available for purchase that are made from the plants grown on the farm. For example, visitors can enjoy lavender ice cream or lavender lemonade and know that it was locally sourced and as close to nature as possible.

Young Living products, apparel, and other merchandise are available for sale right on the farm. This is probably the most efficient way to purchase the freshest-possible essential oil products. However, if you are only interested in the product and not the parent company, you can also hand-pick and take home your own lavender for a small fee. The best time of year to do this is in June or July when the lavender is in full bloom.

As part of its business model, Young Living partners with other farms and helps them produce essential oils from its products. One such product is sandalwood; grown in Hawaii, the product is then sent to the Young Living facilities that produce and sell the essential oils. These partner companies sometimes also sell the hydrosols – the water that is left over after distilling the water – and markets it as floral water with varied uses. Although Young Living prides itself on “seed to seal,” it tries to be a good business partner with other farms by working together in this way.

small house among rows of lavender

Whether you are a distributor or user of Young Living products, or if you just have an interest in a healthier, more natural lifestyle, a trip to the lavender farm can be a very educational experience. Bring the family and make it an educational trip for all ages, and leave with a stronger understanding of the farm experience.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Exploring the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

Exploring the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest (UWCNF) encompasses over 2 million acres of diverse landscapes, including Northern Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, parts of southeastern Idaho, parts of southwestern Wyoming, and seven protected Designated Wilderness Areas. It is one of the most-visited forest areas in the nation.

The forest is divided into eight districts, each with its own supervisor’s office, attractions, recreation options, and unique geology/ecology. Many of the recreation options are maintained by volunteers. Although some areas may be closed to pedestrian and automobile traffic during the winter for safety reasons, the UWCNF is full of winter sport options and recreation opportunities during the summer months too, so no matter your interests, you'll be able to find something you love.



mountainside with pinetrees

Spending Time in Nature

There are hundreds of hiking trails throughout the eight districts of the forest of varying length, difficulty, and solitude. Some of the top trails are Mid-Mountain and Wasatch Crest, while Eagle Rise is recommended for families or beginning hikers. With a little bit of research and navigation skills, you can create a hike perfect for your skill level and desired length.

There are over 450 miles of road and mountain biking trails for all skill levels, and guided biking tours are available for visitors. This is a great way to see the scenery of the area. You can rent a bike and helmet and receive a two-hour personalized tour based on your skill level. Experienced bikers visiting in the winter can also explore fat biking–recommended for those with some prior conditioning.

Horseback riding trails are abundant in the UWCNF, and professionally guided tours are available for all experience levels. This is a great way to try something new and take in the stunning scenery.

Although much of the UWCNF is dark and secluded enough to enjoy starry nights, a county park just outside of the Ogden Valley is a certified International Dark Sky Park if you are interested in stargazing.

The UWCNF contains 69 caves, many of which are open to the public for exploring and guided tours. The main highlight is the Timpanogos Cave National Monument, which contains 250 acres of land including three limestone caves and is located in American Fork Canyon. There is a 1.5 mile hiking trail available to access the caves, and ranger-led tours are provided throughout the summer for those interested in learning more.

If you prefer to explore the UWCNF at a more leisurely pace, there are dozens of parks and wildlife areas that are open to the public, allowing you to spend time in nature and possibly observe some wildlife. One of the highest-rated parks is Spanish Fork River Park.



mountains overlooking placid lake

Scenic Byways

The UWCNF is home to two National Scenic Byways—Logan Canyon and Nebo Loop. There are also four State Scenic Byways within the forest—Big Cottonwood Canyon, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Mirror Lake Highway, and Ogden River. Each varies in distance, length, and recreation opportunities available, and the National Scenic Byway website maintains that information in addition to the highway numbers and maps of the areas.

Scenic byways are a great way to explore larger stretches of the forest without exerting yourself like hiking or biking would require. They are perfect for colder months or questionable weather, though some of the byways may closed for snow.



man and boy sitting and fishing

Fishing

If you have a Utah state fishing license, you can enjoy both harvest and catch-and-release opportunities throughout the forest. The lakes of the High Uintas and the Logan, Weber, Ogden, and Provo Rivers are some of the top spots to go fishing in Utah, and all are located within the UWCNF. Each contains diverse species of fish, so be sure to do some research before picking a destination. If you are traveling with children and are interested in introducing them to fishing, Strawberry Reservoir is a family-friendly option.

For the more experienced anglers, ice fishing is offered at many of the lakes and reservoirs across the forest. If you have the cold-weather gear and the know-how, winter fly fishing is another popular activity.

In addition, many of these bodies of water have designated areas for swimming, boating, canoeing, and kayaking in the summer months.


snowy mountains overlooking forest

Winter Sports

Utah is famous worldwide for its skiing, and the UWCNF is no exception. Four of Utah’s top ski resorts—Brighton, Alta, Solitude, and Snowbird—are all hosted within the forest. If you are interested in snowshoeing, there are five trails available for public use of varying difficulty. This is a great way to get some exercise and take in the scenery.

The UWCNF is also popular among cross-country and backcountry skiers with some navigation skills. There are many trails available as well as guided tours. For those looking to explore the forest in a more recreational setting, private dog sledding expeditions led by teams of rescue dogs are available for reservation.


Hunting and Shooting

Hunting is a traditional pastime in this region and is also a way to help the Forest Service manage wildlife populations in the area. Pay attention to seasons and licensing regulations before visiting, and always practice hunting safety guidelines. For your awareness, there are permitted sheep and cattle grazing in the National Forest to maintain watershed lands.

You can also practice target shooting at many different areas within the forest or receive small group instruction to shoot clay pigeons at Park City Trap Shooting, a private range located just outside of Park City.


Over one million people live in close proximity to the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest (UWCNF), and it is incredibly popular with visitors all year round. The varied recreation options throughout the forest provide plenty of options, no matter what you are looking for. The UWCNF is not just winter sports haven; any nature buff, outdoor enthusiast, or vacationing family will be able to find something to do. A trip to the UWCNF is an excellent opportunity to learn something new—like shooting, biking, horseback riding, or hiking—and a refuge in the beauty of nature. No matter when you choose to visit, plan ahead to spend lots of time outdoors safely.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Plan Your Perfect Long Weekend In Provo, Utah

Plan Your Perfect Long Weekend in Provo, Utah

If you have a long weekend coming up and are searching for a new destination to visit, Provo, Utah promises to have what you are looking for. Provo has something to offer every tourist whether it is an outdoor adventure, a new nightlife scene, or fun family activities. It is the third-largest city in the state of Utah, located just 43 miles south of capital city Salt Lake City, and is a college town, home to Brigham Young University.



bridal veil falls waterfall

Adventures in Nature

  • Y Trail on Y Mountain is an iconic hiking destination, culminating with BYU’s block Y logo featured on the mountainside wih stunning panoramic views of the Provo area and Utah Lake. The trail is steep, but not too difficult for families with children. The round-trip hike is 2.4 miles in length.
  • Bridal Veil Falls, located just a 15-minute drive away from the center of Provo, just up the canyon, and is famous for its 600-foot waterfall. There is a small park and a recreational trail for public access. Movie buffs will recognize this area from its feature in the 1982 film Savannah Smiles.
  • Utah Lake State Park features the largest freshwater lake in the state, and is a popular destination for power boating, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing. If you are interested in fishing, Utah Lake comes highly recommended by anglers. There is also a swimming beach with facilities available for picnicking and overnight camping.




hockey team in 7 peaks ice arena

Sports Fans Rejoice

  • Peaks Ice Arena is home to the Brigham Young University men’s ice hockey team, Peaks Youth Hockey Association, the Peaks Figure Skating Club, several local high school teams, and learn-to-skate programs. Most notably, it hosted parts of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. It is open to the public for ice skating and lessons and is sometimes converted into an indoor soccer arena.
  • Provo is also home to the Brigham Young University Cougars, which field 21 highly successful NCAA Division I sports teams including men’s and women’s basketball, gymnastics, and volleyball. In the fall, catch a football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Campus tours are also available if you are interested in learning more about the scenic grounds and history of BYU.




provo beach surfing simulator


Things To Do

  • Foodies with a hankering to try something out of the ordinary will enjoy checking out the diverse dining options in downtown Provo. This area is full of local restaurants and cuisine from all over the world. Reservations are usually recommended, so plan ahead for your night out.
  • Provo is not your typical college town due to a scarcity of bars, but if you are looking for a fun nightlife experience not geared towards the whole family, check out Heart and Seoul Karaoke, any of the local comedy shows, or an Escape Room experience.
  • Music and theater buffs will enjoy shows at Covey Center for the Arts or BYU Performing Arts. You can purchase tickets for local performers, musicals, ballets, symphonies, and more.
  • In the summertime, check out Seven Peaks Water Park. It has rides and attractions for the whole family and is a great way to beat the summer heat. You can also check out the Provo Rec Center, which has an indoor and outdoor pool.
  • Provo Beach is an indoor family fun center defined by its main attraction: a surfing simulator. Those wishing to stay dry can go bowling, play miniature croquet, try the ropes course, play arcade games, or ride the carousel. Multiple dining options are available as well.
  • This experience may not be for everyone, but if you are feeling bold, you can stop by FishKiss Fish Spa. This unique spa experience features tiny fish nibbling the dead skin off of your feet, leaving you relaxed and with soft and beautiful skin.





Shopping Havens

  • The Shops at Riverwoods is a popular outdoor shopping center, which seems to be busiest in the evening hours and is best recognized by its cobblestone streets and live water features. It features an eclectic mix of local boutiques and national chain stores, restaurants, and a movie theater complex.
  • Provo Town Centre is the main mall and shopping destination in the Provo area. It features over 100 stores, a movie theater, and plenty of family-friendly amenities such as family restrooms and a diverse food court.
  • If you prefer a more hands-on shopping experience that guarantees you will leave with a one-of-a-kind purchase, check out The Soap Factory. Visitors can make their own soaps by customizing colors, shapes, and essential oil scents–the possibilities are endless, making this a great souvenir or personalized gift option.




One-Stop Shop

Sundance Mountain Resort, on the north side of Provo, is home to year-round activities for the whole family. It is very popular with skiers and snowboarders in the winter, but also offers horseback riding, snowshoeing, hiking, ziplining, and more. It has an outdoor theater that is very popular for concerts in the summertime.



dinosaur skull backlit

Something for History Buffs

  • If you would like to learn something new while on vacation, you can visit the Museum of Paleontology on the BYU campus. Visitors of all ages will enjoy traveling through time and learning more about the dinosaurs that once roamed the area. The museum’s exhibits feature authentic dinosaur fossils that have been found throughout the western United States, and visitors can watch a real fossil laboratory at work through a window.
  • If people and civilizations past and present are your passion, visit the Museum of Peoples and Cultures. See the diversity of the human race on display in this architecturally beautiful building.
  • While visiting the BYU campus, you can also stop by the Bean Museum with its extensive collections of taxidermy animals and plants.They offer varied live programming for all ages, including summer camps, live animal shows, and the occasional murder mystery dinner.


Whether you are traveling with family, a significant other, or friends, Provo has something to offer you. It is more than just a winter destination; there is plenty to do all year-round no matter your interests, and it makes a great long weekend getaway. Book your trip today, discover something new, and create some new memories!