Thursday, October 25, 2018

7 Amazing Golf Courses in Utah Valley

As the leaves on the trees start changing color, the last remnants of summer fully begin to fade and start giving way to fall. When the temperature drops, many begin to pack their clubs away and trade a seat in a golf cart for a seat in front of the football game. And who can blame them? Still, if you’re one of those people who constantly have the itch to swing a club in rolling green hills, then make sure to take advantage of this time to knock some strokes off your game. Golf courses are less crowded this time of year and the temperature is perfect for a full, satisfying afternoon on the green. Plus, it’s the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of work and family life. Maybe you don’t need convincing. Maybe you’re ready to golf every single day, but just don’t know which course to choose! Either way, if you’re around Utah Valley, make sure to check out these seven amazing golf courses:

Cedar Hills Golf Club: Par 72   6,604 Yards   136 Slope (Black) 

Just north of Cedar Hills, at the mouth of American Fork Canyon, you’ll find Cedar Hills Golf Club, a private golf course. Having been designed by world-renowned golf course architects Graves & Pascuzzo, Cedar Hills boasts a unique look that blends the course with the natural landscape. With its lowest point at 750 feet below sea level, and its highest point at 5,253 feet above, the varied terrain of the course makes playing it not only challenging but breathtakingly beautiful as well. Also, the Club’s Vista Room is open for hosting everything from weddings to corporate events.

East Bay Golf Course: Par 72   7010 Yards   130 Slope (Black)

Located in south Provo, East Bay moves through the many acres of beautiful wetlands close to Utah Lake, all while having a marvelous view of the Wasatch Mountains. Known for having student deals, East Bay features a championship course, a par three, seven-hole executive course, a premier driving range, and an exclusive nine-hole Footgolf course, so players of any level or occasion can enjoy themselves here. Plus, Golf Digest recently featured this course as one of the “Top 100 Public Golf Courses.”

Fox Hollow Golf Club: Par 72   7,189 Yards   126 Slope (Black)

Just north of American Fork, you’ll find a course that boasts a spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains, even as it shows off its own stunning scenery. Fox Hollow features a championship course and a massive driving range that’s equipped with stadium lighting, so you can practice even after the sun goes down. In fact, Fox Hollow was voted as having the “#1 Driving Range in Utah Valley” back in 2014. Also, due to its beautiful backdrop, it comes as no surprise that Fox Hollow Golf Club has become renowned as a popular wedding and event venue in Utah County over the years.

Gladstan Golf Course: Par 72   6,981 Yards   131 Slope (Black)

If you’re looking for a golf course that’s more off the beaten path, make sure to visit Payson, where you’ll find the Gladstan Golf Course, built right into the Wasatch Mountain foothills. This Utah mountain championship golf course is truly one-of-a-kind, offering both stunning scenery and unique challenges at each of its eighteen holes. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, Gladstan is sure to offer a golfing experience you won’t soon forget.

Hobble Creek Golf Club: Par 71   6,406 Yards   123 Slope (Black)

Near Springville, huddled within Hobble Creek Canyon, is a magnificent golf course heavily favored by both locals and newcomers alike. With its incredibly maintained courses, affordable rates, and professional staff, it’s no surprise why Hobble Creek has consecutively won the “Best of Utah Valley” award for the past seven years. After spending time on the course, make sure to take advantage of the scenery, relax, and grab a bite at the newly remodeled Terrace Grill, located right at Hobble Creek.

Sleepy Ridge Golf Club: Par 72   6,969 Yards   123 Slope (Black)

If you’re near Orem, make sure to visit this classic links style golf course that sits beside the eastern shores of Utah Lake. Sleepy Ridge fashions itself as a course that helps the competitive golfer escape the hustle and bustle of crowds and city life. This premier eighteen-hole course is dotted with beautiful ponds and rolling greens. Along with its signature three-story clubhouse, Sleepy Ridge truly does feel like a getaway course that’s been designed to help you focus on stepping up your game.

TalonsCove Golf Course: Par 72   7,096 Yards   127 Slope (Black)

Just west of Utah Lake, in Saratoga Springs, sits TalonsCove Golf Club, a links-style championship golf course with a majestic view of Timpanogos Mountain. Besides stunning scenery, TalonsCove offers a challenging course to even the most experienced players, with intimidating bunkers in the back nine, and tricky fairways in the front. This golf course feels truly versatile. Whether it’s providing wedding venue services at its ballroom, or daily golf lessons at its practice facilities, TalonsCove offers professional service in a beautiful, rustic landscape.

With all these options available, you might have a hard time choosing the right one. Well, the best part is that a majority of these golf courses are only ten to fifteen miles apart from each other, so you don’t have to! No matter what kind of golf you’re in the mood for, make sure to take advantage of everything these courses have to offer. Practice at Fox Hollow’s driving range after work hours or escape to a more rugged golfing experience at Gladstan. Bring some friends to a game of Footgolf at East Bay or organize a company event at Cedar Hills. Even bring your family to enjoy the beautiful views that only Utah Valley can provide. Whether it’s for a daily golf outing or a special wedding, be sure to visit any one of these championship golf courses. Take advantage of the season and book a tee time today!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Story of The Provo City Center Temple

As you walk through the doors of the Provo City Center Temple, time seems to ripple in on itself, moving you to a well-loved past even as it turns hearts to the future. Today, the smell of rich mahogany and walnut envelopes you immediately after opening the doors, as remnants of the temple’s history glimmer from unexpected corners. Many can remember a fire tragically gutted the iconic Provo Tabernacle to the ground on 17 December 2010. The Provo City Center Temple is a lot different from the Provo of 1883, but in some ways, they are much the same.

Provo City Center Temple Design Inspiration

The Provo City Center Temple is the 16th in Utah, the 4th in Utah County, and the 2nd in Provo City after the Provo Temple of 1972. The Temple offers an extraordinary sense of connection to generations that passed through Provo since its first settlers from the British Isles and Western Europe. The Presbyterian Church and the Church of England had a significant influence on the Temple construction - mostly architectural designs of church buildings and meetinghouses. Latter-Day Saints have been gathering on these grounds to worship since the 1850s in the Meeting House, the Provo Tabernacle, and now the Provo City Center Temple. Since the tragic fire in 2010, the new fascinating Provo City Center Temple has risen from the ashes of the 1867 Provo Tabernacle. The new building construction and design themes pay homage to the Tabernacle’s legacy; the Temple offers visitors a glimpse of a time long passed.

Tabernacle to Temple: Provo City Center Temple History

Provo in 1883, like today, was a hotbed of religious activities and recognized across the world as one of the best places to visit or live. The Provo City Center Temple is a historical icon of Provo, hosting many religious and cultural events. Predating the current Temple was a small tabernacle, the “Old Provo Tabernacle” from 1861 and 1919. The plan for the Tabernacle dates back as early as 1852, although its construction started in 1856 and was situated north of the current Tabernacle structure facing Center Street. The old tabernacle construction was affected by the Walker War. At its completion, the original Tabernacle seated 1100 people, had a single tower located on the North end above the foyer that was 800 feet tall, housing the 500-pound bell. It was dedicated in 1867 by Brigham Young and served as the tabernacle of the LDS Church from 1898 to 2010. The outer walls were destroyed by fire, and the LDS Church well-preserved the remaining exterior and built a new groundwork and interior into the Provo City Center Temple, completed in 2016.


After the tragic fire of December 2010, the LDS Church announced that the Provo Tabernacle would be rebuilt as the second temple in Provo City. The fast-track project included a complete restoration of the original exterior. The outer wall was placed on scaffolding for the excavation of the two basement levels beneath. The original brick for the 1880s building was salvaged, and custom oak and walnut millwork was done while pillars and walls were painted. The gothic-style archways and windows perfectly align with exterior windows and are a tribute to the original Tabernacle. Following a 5-year restoration, the more than a century-old icon served as a House of the Lord and was dedicated on 20 March 2016.

More Than Half the Temple Is Underground

Entering the Temple, itself, is a unique experience. The intention of the Temple’s design is to preserve the historical integrity of the original Tabernacle as much as possible. The new construction expanded the Temple below the ground, consisting of 4 levels: two underground and two above. The levels broadened to about 12,00 square feet, but the upper underground level was expanded to 53,00 square feet, creating enough space for all of the essential Ordinance Rooms in the Temple.

An “Unprecedented” Preservation of Historical Detail

The restoration designers were tasked to capture what the Temple might have looked like in the 19th century if built at that time. Certain historical details were preserved to reflect the spirit and heritage of the Provo pioneers. The original African mahogany and walnut wood feature an extensive display including the wood floors, door frames, arches, molding, railings, and banisters. Utah sandstone matching the original pieces and rose granite from India were used to complete the baptistry. Large decorative hinge, door handle, and door plate designs date back to the 1800’s. All four of the Provo Tabernacle’s spiral staircases in the turrets were retained and restored to their original design. More fascinating features of the old Tabernacle restored include the floral ribbon design in the Bride's Room, the bench-style seating in the Instruction Room, the pulpit in the Chapel, and the oxen holding the Baptismal Font. Nineteen unique pieces of art decorate the temple; Elspeth Young's "Mary Wanless", Robert Marshall's Instruction Room mural, Michael Albrechtsen's "First Vision from Afar", the stained glass depiction of Christ, and the temple is filled with Columbines. The main job of the contractor was to make sure the new Temple is as consistent with the 1890’s as possible.

The new Temple features the “Holiness to the Lord, the House of the Lord,” a phrase that is prominently visible on most LDS Temples.

Cultural Impact

The Tabernacle was the center for many Provo functions, concerts, LDS stake conferences, and other community events. Madame Abbie Carrington performed in the Tabernacle in 1891 and on September 1st, 1909, U.S. president William H. Taft visited Provo and spoke in the Tabernacle. In the 1930’s, it was used for the first university lyceum programs. In 1938, the most famous lyceum occurred, and composer Sergei Rachmaninoff performed at the concerts. The temple has been used for prominent people’s life celebrations, hosting many funerals such as Hugh Nibley, Abraham O. Smoot, and Truman Madsen. In 1975, the building was marked in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Sculpture at The Provo City Center, Temple

Almost all pictures of the new Provo City Center Temple feature a sculpture in the north of the Temple grounds. The beautiful statue of a child walking with her mother to her father represents and embodies what Temples stand for, the Plan of Salvation, and why people are here on earth. This is why Jesus Christ came to Earth. It is a story of hope, love, and how families can be together for eternity.

The Provo City Center Temple is 150th Dedicated Temple

The Provo City Center Temple opened its doors to the public in 2016 and you can make a reservation to tour the Temple. The Provo City Center Temple was dedicated on March 20, 2016, and became the 150th operating Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During its dedication, Bishop Causee noted how people rejoiced as they needed their Temple back. Located in the heart of Provo City at the intersection of University Avenue and Center Street, it’s a place to go with the desire for peace and reflection.

Friday, October 12, 2018

10 Gorgeous Utah Valley Hikes To Take In The Fall

It’s fall again, and we all know that fall is the favorite season of Utah. The dark orange leaves, the yellow horizon, the whole atmosphere full of warmth and color. One cannot but bask in this seasonal splendor, especially when you take a look at the mountainside. This builds a desire for more, and there is nothing more enjoyable than going for a hike along the trails of Utah.

Hiking helps you appreciate nature as you hit the trail. You get to see the leaves fall slowly to the ground, the wind rustling through the fallen leaves, the beautiful picture nature paints each passing day; nothing beats it.

Since you are searching for the best place to hike this fall, Utah has some that might become your favorite trails. Let us start with 10 of the best fall hikes you can find in Utah this fall.


Judging by the experiences of those that hike frequently, the Grotto Falls is the best trail to hike in Utah with either friends or family. It is a beautiful environment with a simple and fun trail. In case you have a hard time finding the Grotto Falls, it is located on the Nebo Loop. The scenic Nebo Loop is also a local’s favorite for fall drives.


The Ghost Falls was given its name due to Halloween. Even if there’s no water running at the time, it is still a gorgeous trail. As you walk, you’ll notice the brightly-colored leaves popping their colors. What better way to show their beauty and keep you in awe than to show off their colors in the setting sun? The Ghost Fall is a cool place to hike. You should check it out!


If you are scared of heights, then it’s time to get your freak on. Willow Heights has quite a steep climb to the top of the Willow Heights Lake but the trail is full of other distractions that you won’t even realize that you’ve gotten to the top. The trails are filled with aspens which turn golden yellow in fall. The small lake surrounded by aspens is truly a sight to behold.


There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that Cascade Springs is situated on the Alpine Loop, which requires a fee to gain entry. The good news is that the drive to the Springs is very beautiful. Getting to the waterfall is quite easy since the way is paved, or a boardwalk in some places. There are steep ups and down, making it an adventure you should look forward to; while considering the price.


Get ready for an urban hike, as they call it. You still see the stoplights and the streets for the first 15 minutes into the hike. You can only find this uniqueness at the Bell Canyon Reservoir located in Sandy. You will love the colors and the beauty of the lake.


A lot of hikers love this trail because it is not frequently traveled. For safety reasons, you are advised to travel this path as a group. However, the colors and beauty of this trail line its path as you proceed up the Gulch stairs. There are a lot of things to explore; you can either go down to the water or stay on the main trail.


The Temple Quarry trail is very short and ideal for family trips. It is suitable for little kids and is stroller-friendly too. It is located at the mouth of the Little Cottonwood Canyon. Bring a camera with you because there are a lot of beautiful things to capture.


This is one of the coolest hikes you can embark on this fall. The sweet part about this Fall is that the waterfall makes a delightful splash during the summer. During the fall, the leaves leave a beautiful trail as you drive by the path.


If you are looking for a place to enjoy the fall colors, then this is it. You get to see nature in its simplicity and splendor. There is a small waterfall filled with moss and covered on the surface with fallen leaves. The leaves begin to change color early in September, buying you enough time to see the beauty of the Falls in the fall.


Driving along the Nebo Loop, you will see the Payson Lakes. It is fun and easy to walk around. There are paved paths that simplify the walks, and it is a stroller-friendly environment making it ideal for a family trip. Set up a picnic around the lake and enjoy the beautiful view!

There are lots of trails to hike in Utah during the fall, these are just a few of our favorites. Many of them are stroller-friendly so you can bring the whole family.

Always remember to bring plenty of water and snacks as well as a first aid kit. Not all of these hikes are very strenuous but they are sometimes in fairly remote locations.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Interesting Historical Facts About Provo, Utah

Utah County has several cities and towns dotting its terrain on the valley adjacent to Utah Lake. From the early Native American settlements to Mormon pioneer homesteads and even the current establishment, this area is rich in history.  Provo is located east of Utah Lake, 40 miles south of Salt Lake City and sits at the base of the majestic Wasatch Mountains (mountain land region). The city possibly boasts the most dramatic backdrop in the Wasatch Front.

A Brief History of Provo, Utah

The area was home to the Native American tribes of Paiutes, Shoshones, and the Utes. The Utes were the first to settle in the valley, in villages close to Utah Lake. The language of the Utes is Shoshonean, a dialect of the Uto-Aztecan language. Like most Native American tribes, the Utes were hunter-gatherers and moved across the valley hunting and gathering food. Their villages were adjacent to the lake for protection from northeastern tribes as well as easy access fish, their primary source of food. The first “white” foreign visitors arrived in the valley around 1776 from Spain; Fathers Escalante and Dominguez, but they never settled. By then, Spanish focus on colorization efforts was elsewhere and never established a permanent settlement in the valley.

First Settlers: 1700 to the Present Day

The valley was peaceful and interaction took place for half a century before hostile outsiders settled in. In the mid-18th century, the valley was occupied by mountain men, traders, and fur trappers. It was during this period when the first “white” settled in the valley of Utah, shaping for centuries ahead. A mountain man and Etienne Provost were among the early settlers in the valley and the city of Provo, Provo River, and Provo Canyon are named after him. In 1849, Mormon explorers entered the valley, settling along the rich soil plateau between the mountains and Utah Lake. In that same year, the settlers established a colony and constructed a fort along the lake.

In the years following, there was a lot of conflict between the Native Americans and the white settlers. Troubles with Indians gave rise to the popular saying in early Utah, “Provo or hell!” The conflict in the valley continued for 9 years, and only after President James Buchanan sent troops to calm the situation was peace achieved.  In 1858, shortly after Brigham Young - the leader of the Mormon settlers - moved to the city of Provo and Alfred Cummings - a new governor - made peace with the Saints.

Early Government & Development

Provo became a second largest city in Utah territory, until Ogden, Utah, became a major railroad hub in 1869. In 1873, a railway line was built off of the transcontinental railroad in Provo. Over the years, the city was thriving from farming fruits and sugar beets. It was the famous “Garden City” due to its rich fruit orchards, surrounded by evergreen forest and lush gardens. The city offered farmers markets for their fruits, while the community joined forces to create a thriving social environment later becoming considered the happiest city to many.

In 1875, an academy named after Brigham Young was established, marking the beginning of the current Brigham Young University. Being the largest church-affiliated University, it has grown to become a prominent and influential center for education, research, and innovation in the nation. It attracts both academic and athletic programs with many honors and national recognition. Provo and the University have partnered over the years to promote education, a closely related community commonly known as the “Happy Place.”

Provo’s commercial staples (started in the late 1860’s) and the Mormon movement served as the foundation of Utah Valley’s industrial, commercial, and government growth. An example is the Provo wool mills, specialized in heavy woolens such as blanket, shawls, yarns, and flannels. It was funded by community and government partnerships employing over 150 skilled immigrants from Britain. More government and city projects took place, and Provo City was the center of enhancing the resources of Utah County while promoting vitality and growth. The mining industry was led by Jesse Knight, mining precious metals and further contributing to the booming financial industrial of Provo. Being a significant water source, a good road connection, and the intersection of two railroad lines, Provo extensively added to the completion of the Ironton steel mill and the Geneva steel plant. Today, business in Provo makes up for a large portion of the whole state of Utah businesses. Over the years, Provo has been known for its innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.

Demographic & Economic Profiles

It’s home to county offices and courts serving an approximate 108,177 (2002) citizens. The city has over 24,578 families settling in a land area of 100.019 sq. Km. Provo enjoys 5.538 sq. Km. of surface water. You will see in the city of Provo nothing but friendly, proud families, business owners, and workers alike. The city enjoys a fairly moderate climate with 10 to 20 inches of snowfall every year and an average annual rainfall is 16 inches per year.

Its proximity to the mountains makes Provo a destination for superior recreational opportunities all year round. During winter, the locals and visitors enjoy cross-country skiing and ice skating among other seasonal community activities. Summer hikers are frequent during the dry season when the temperatures are favorable. People travel from far and wide to enjoy the land; campers set up their tents, fishers drop their lines, and boaters float along the lakes.

Being the Seat of Utah County, Provo City hosts several social amenities. It’s the home of a Utah State Hospital, Brigham Young University, Provo City Library, and more.

Looking to the future, Provo is expected to grow significantly in population, output, and overall wealth. It remains proud of its highly cultured University, mountains, land, freshwater lake, rivers, political life, and modern metropolitan look. The city is always a busy and robust attraction to tourists with its rich history. The area holds a wealth of history dating back centuries with American Indians, early explorers, trappers, mountain men, and pioneers, which will only be added to with the progress and events of ensuing years. Provo is indeed a city that offers many playful days and nights with a heart-beat and soul that continues to thrive today.