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.

Monday, August 19, 2019

The 9 Best National Monuments to Visit in Utah

The 9 Best National Monuments to Visit in Utah blog cover image

If you’re hoping to take a vacation this year that is both entertaining and relaxing, Utah is the ideal destination for you. Not only will you explore new scenery and beautiful sites, but you can also learn about Utah’s various National Monuments and what makes them so unique.

Check out the 9 best monuments you have to stop and see the next time you’re visiting Utah:

visitors overlooking the red rock from a vista point

1. Cedar Breaks National Monument

This monument isn’t as popular as most, so it’s often overlooked. Many people will speed right on by to Las Vegas without giving it a second glance but this is a very beautiful destination.

The rocks at this monument are known to be more colorful than most. This is because many of the other parks and monuments in this state contain more of a desert look and feel.

You’ll notice several bright and vivacious colors reflecting off the limestone rock formations. A unique fact about the colors is that they can change depending on the season, so it’ll feel like you’re seeing a whole new monument every time you come back. The sunset is also known to be an incredibly gorgeous mixture of colors.

crumbling brick structures in the sunset

2. Hovenweep National Monument

Since this monument is located farther away than most, you may have a secluded feeling when you step foot here. This monument is over 10,000 years old and is known to be a fairly underrated tourist destination spot. You’ll feel the history throughout this area. It used to be the home of over 2,000 different residents at one point in time.

You’ll find different structures formed as far back as 1200 AD that overlook several majestic canyons. Gaze down at the wondrous canyons beneath you as you venture through the various older structures. If you’re searching for a place to hike and explore, this is the location to do it. There are several hiking trails available to you for exploring.

As you journey down the hiking paths, you’ll find many popular or rare birds sitting along the tree branches ready to tweet a friendly “hello”. If you’re enjoying your time there and would like to stay a little longer, you can pay $15 a night to camp on the grounds. If you’d just like daily access to the park, it is free for everyone.

white formations hanging from the cave ceiling

3. Timpanogos Cave National Monument

Are you a brave and adventurous mountain climber? Then this is the monument made for you. This park features Mount Timpanogos. It’s a mountain you can climb that isn’t too extremely challenging, so even beginner climbers can make the journey up.

This is when you can start to explore the insides of the mountain you just climbed as you enter the Timpanogos Cave. This cave also provides a guided tour for only $8.

black and red steam engine with brass acents

4. Golden Spike National Historic Site

This site has some major history behind it. In 1869, the Transcontinental Railroad had finished its construction. This brought together the East and West areas located at Promontory Summit. To learn more about this site, you can head over to the headquarters to see different replica steam trains and different exhibits explaining the history here.

5. Dinosaur National Monument

This monument combines the best of both worlds that you and your kids are searching for: fun and learning. Unleash the dinosaur-lover inside you by visiting this monument with over 1,500 unique Jurassic fossils. You’ll also uncover all kinds of skeletons that are still preserved and available for viewing.

After you’ve learned all there is to know about dinosaurs, hop on over to the trampoline section of the monument. You and your family can jump on the different trampolines they have available in the park.

red natural arch glowing in the daylight

6. Rainbow Bridge National Monument

The adventure immediately begins as soon as you arrive at this park. When you first show up, you’ll notice a giant arch that stretches over a large majority of the land. Once you get to the park, you’ll need to park your car immediately. Then you’ll hop on a boat or begin your hike up to the arch to get the full view and experience.

Boating or hiking are both acceptable options to pursue. The hike is a little under two miles to reach the top, but others would still prefer to take the boat. This is because the view on your way to the bridge is breathtaking.

7. Natural Bridges National Monument

This park is known to be a special one. It was proclaimed Utah’s very first national monument in the year of 1908. This area was once inhabited by Native Americans. The current bridges found at this monument now are named Owachomo, Kachina, and Sipapu. Whichever bridge you choose to explore and stand on will give you a pretty view as you look out at the various canyons and deserts.

This is the ideal place to get active and experience beautiful sites along the way. There are approximately seven trails available for hiking in the park. You’ll find several hiking trails and bird species sitting along the trail as you stroll.

8. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

This area consists of a fairly small town. The surrounding land is fairly more rugged than the others. It’s one of the latest monuments in Utah to be discovered. Once you explore more of what this area has to offer, you’ll see different thin canyons along the way and two rivers. Though it isn’t super populated, you’ll see this area is still beautiful and contains a lot of heart.

9. Bears Ears National Monument

If you’re searching for a monument destination that will include different artifacts and gorgeous canyons, check out Bears Ears National Monument. You’ll get the chance to discover various canyons made of sandstone. You can also explore and view the different forests in the park.
Discover art made from rocks, ancient images and other wondrous souvenirs and artifacts from the monument.

While Utah contains several different types of National Parks and places to explore, the National Monuments may be the most wondrous. If gorgeous views and adventures are what you’re looking for, pack your family and friends up in your car and head on out for a road trip to the majestic state of Utah. Engage in a tour of these National Monuments to learn, see and do a lot of incredible things throughout this adventure.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

6 Best Places to Stand Up Paddleboard in Northern Utah

two women paddleboarding on the lake

The beautiful National Parks of northern Utah have become a popular tourist site over the past few years for those who enjoy stand up paddleboarding. Stand up paddleboarding, sometimes shortened to SUP, is derived from surfing. However, unlike surfing, the paddleboarder does not need to wait for a wave. Instead, they use a paddle to move. This makes paddleboarding perfect for places that do not naturally have large waves, and for people who want a more relaxed experience.

cars parked behind the beach and dock

Tibble Fork Reservoir

For those interested in a relaxing and affordable experience, Tibble Fork Reservoir is a great option. At only $6 for a day pass, the price is quite affordable. The reservoir is known for its scenic views and calm waters and winds. This is a great option for those who are just starting out or simply want to take in a view without stressing about rough waves. For those who are camping, the Granite Flat Campground is nearby.

Tibble Fork recently got a few upgrades to make it even nicer for standup paddleboarders. In 2016 the park added a dock to make it easier to access and created a beach. The only downside is that Tibble Fork is no secret - it might be worth it to get there early or late in the day to avoid crowds. Still, for those looking to get started paddleboarding, Tibble Fork is a great option.

looking out over the water and rolling hills

Jordanelle Reservoir

Jordanelle Reservoir is one of the most famous and popular in Utah. It is not only popular with paddleboarders, but also kayakers, swimmers, and others. Located only around 40 minutes from Salt Lake City, it also makes for a convenient getaway for those visiting the city. However, this also means that it is more crowded than some of the other options on this list.

There are several different areas that paddleboarders can enter the reservoir. One option is the Hailstone day-use area, which costs $10 on weekdays and $15 on weekends. Once in the reservoir, there are a few different places to go, including a no-wake zone for beginners. Jordanelle is a great option for those who are looking to get a little more experience and then venture out of the no-wake zone for more of a challenge.

paddleboarders and boaters on the blue water

Pineview Reservoir

Pineview is a great option for those who want to both paddleboard and fish (even at the same time!). The beaches also make for a great option if there are family members or friends who are not interested in paddleboarding. There are also areas reserved for swimming.

The scenery at Pineview is absolutely lovely, and since it boasts the warmest waters in Northern Utah it is easy to take some time to relax while paddleboarding or swimming to enjoy the view. There are also places where paddleboarders can get in for free.

Around an hour's drive from Salt Lake City, Pineview can get pretty crowded, so it is wise to get there early.

gray mountains standing above the water on an overcast day

Willard Bay State Park

Another warm water option is the Willard Bay State Park, located about 90 minutes from Salt Lake City off I-15. Willard Bay boasts some of the most extensive amenities of any park on this list, with dry storage, concessions, fish cleaning stations, restrooms with showers, and covered pavilions. The area is popular with birdwatchers as well as paddleboarders and fishers. The historic city of Ogden is also only about 12 miles away.

The mountains that surround Willard Bay make the location a uniquely enjoyable one to simply look at while paddleboarding. For those interested in fishing, the park is home to catfish, crappies, and smallmouth bass. However, before allowing a boat to be launched the park requires certification that it is free from any mussels.

Highland Glen Park

Highland Glen Park's Highland Pond is an ideal spot for beginning paddleboarders to get their feet wet. There is nowhere in the pond that is too far to swim to shore from (although there are no lifeguards). Inexperienced paddleboarders who go to Highland Glen will not be alone, as it is one of the most popular options for those new to the hobby.

The sandy beaches are great to take a break on or to just take in the view. The beaches also feature lots of options aside from paddleboarding, including a beach volleyball court, pavilions, and a playground for the kids. There are plenty of bike paths near the pond for those who want to branch out and enjoy multiple activities in the same area. The pond is populated with rainbow trout and channel catfish.

Highland Glen is also closer to Salt Lake City than many options on this list - it will only take a little over half an hour to get there from downtown.

Lower Provo River

This option stands out a bit from the others. Paddleboarding down a river is a different experience from a lake or pond. It is recommended to bring an inflatable paddleboard for this trip, since fiberglass boards may be damaged. This trip is recommended only for more experienced paddleboarders, and even then it is important to use a life-vest and paddleboarding leash.

The river sports small rapids, and at one point there is a bridge that some paddleboarders choose to portage around. For paddleboarders who are less experienced or just a bit nervous, there are guided tours available through local agencies. However, for more experienced paddleboarders, the river sports great scenery and an interesting challenge. When the river is calm, it can be a breathtaking and relaxing time to just float down the river and appreciate the scenery. Be aware that insuring paddleboards may not be possible for those who want to go out on the river.

Paddleboarding is a growing hobby that nobody should be afraid to give a try! For those who are considering getting started, the above options are a great place to start. Anyone who lives in Utah or is planning to take a vacation there should take a day to take advantage of all of the fun that can be had with standup paddleboarding.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Strawberry Reservoir: The Best Stillwater Fishing in Utah

Strawberry Reservoir: The Best Stillwater Fishing in Utah blog cover image

Ready to escape the hectic city life and enjoy a weekend away that’s filled with relaxation, family time and catching all sorts of unique fish? Then Strawberry Reservoir could be the perfect spot for you and your family to take a trip to this summer. Every year, tons of families and fishermen pack up and head out to “The Berry” to explore everything the best Stillwater fishing in Utah has to offer.

a small fishing boat moving slowly through the calm water

Where It’s Located

About an hour and a half outside of Salt Lake City, you’ll find Strawberry Reservoir waiting for you. As you drive, there are gorgeous views along the way. Take in wonderful sights like Heber Valley and Mount Timpanogos as you head to Strawberry Reservoir ready to start your exciting weekend.

You can even stop and fish along the way as Jordanelle Reservoir and Middle Provo River are both on the way to Strawberry. These are some great spots for mini fishing breaks before you make it to your final stop at Strawberry Reservoir.

a fishing net and a trout being held

What Kinds of Fish You’ll Find

Many streams located in the Uinta Basin will run into Strawberry. The spots at Strawberry Reservoir and even some of the stops along the way are very low-traffic but contain plenty of varieties of fish. You can find all different kinds of fish and insects such as damselflies, rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, crawfish, Stillwater mayflies, cutthroat trout, and large scuds.

a fishing canoe on the water at sunset

Getting Accustomed to the Strawberry Reservoir Lingo

While walking around the reservoir or if you’re purchasing different fishing supplies or bait in the shops, don’t be afraid to mingle with the local fishermen. You can learn about some pretty fascinating phrases they say that can be helpful to you on your trip. This is why it’s best for you to understand their turn of phrases. It can help increase your chances of catching more fish.

One phrase you're sure to hear are the words, “ice off.” This means that the ice sheet located on the Reservoir is melting away. This results in the fish going on a search to find a good meal and water that is a lot warmer. You’ll soon see very large portions of rainbow and cutthroat trout headed your way along the banks of the Reservoir. Get ready to catch as many of these fish as possible.

looking at the shoreline from the water

How to Fish For Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout

Since they’re desperately searching for warmth and a meal, these fish are ready to eat almost anything that comes their way. You’ll see as you engage in the first couple weeks of the “ice off” that these fish will eat almost anything thrown at them.

If you decide to come out to The Berry at this time of year, this is when you’ll have the best opportunity to catch some of the largest fish available to you. You can also use this time to experiment with all sorts of different flies and streamers since these fish aren’t too picky with what they eat this time of year.

There are a few flies that some fishermen have found the best success in when catching these fish such as streamers and wooly buggers that are found in different colors like white, olive, and black. Normally when these flies are used while fishing, they’re placed on a sinking line.

Many have found impressive results with the types of fish they catch and will see fish at around two to five pounds. This isn’t the only way you can successfully catch these fish. Some fishermen have found great success in using different types of topwater flies like poppers or mouse patterns and saw more fish that way as well.

a fisherman wading in the water, casting his line

Other Seasons to Fish

Once winter and spring start to fade, summer and fall will come along with other new ways to fish Strawberry. This is when you’ll find mayflies buzzing around and even better - fish ready to gulp those flies down. They like to do this early in the morning when the sun has first started to rise.

You can find them on the surface of the lake that is a little calmer in the morning before it starts to get hit by windy weather. This is where they will be feasting on mayflies and other insects, so this is a great spot to begin your day of fishing.

As the weather starts to heat up, the fish will want to cool down. This is when they will try to find water that’s colder so they move down into the deeper depths of the water. This is why your best fish-catching tool for this season will be a sinking line. The following are the best types of flies or streamers that will best be used with this line:

  • Damselfly
  • Scud Patterns
  • Wooly Bugger

Another pro fisherman tip would be to take the damselfly and scud pattern flies with you to the weed beds as you fish along their edges and try your best to catch whatever bites over there.

When fall hits, the fish are preparing for the cold to strike again. They will swim back over to water that is located a little more in the shallows to stay there for a few months, waiting for winter to arrive.

Other Things to Do At Strawberry Reservoir

Although Strawberry Reservoir is known as one of the best fishing spots in Utah, there’s much more that you can do there to truly make it a fun spot for the whole family. Bring your powerboat or pontoon along with you and have an exciting ride on the gorgeous water. Or grab some tubes and float along the Reservoir as well. Once you’ve finished your day fishing, boating, or tubing, grab your tent and pitch it with the family for a fun night of camping out and stargazing.

As you explore your campsite, you’ll see numerous crawfish crawling around on the ground or hiding on rocks in the water. Grab the kids and teach them how to hunt crawfish. It’s a fun adventure for everyone in the family to experience. As a bonus, crayfish are also delicious when boiled.

Whether you’re fishing in the spring, summer, or fall, Strawberry Reservoir is the place to visit. Enjoy your getaway by packing up and going on vacation with your family to boat or camp. Or use it as a relaxing vacation away from everyone else as you spend your days quietly fishing on the water. No matter what, you’re guaranteed to find enjoyment and relaxation at this Stillwater lake.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

9 Best Restaurants in Provo, Utah

9 Best Restaurants in Provo, Utah blog cover image

Picture the scene: you’re on a road trip through the deserts of Western America. You’re driving along and suddenly; you feel a pang of hunger. But you don’t want to eat just fast food. You want something local, fresh, and unique. If you happen to be anywhere near Provo, Utah, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to finding amazing food.

Provo is located right on the shores of Utah Lake. Not only is it home to some of the most beautiful sights in the United States, but it also boasts a multitude of diverse restaurants. The diversity of restaurants is due to Utah’s close proximity to Native American reservations, Mexican settlements, and even some influences from India.

red curry and naan bread

1. Black Sheep Cafe

Black Sheep Cafe features a mix of Native American-derived food. The family who runs the restaurant does an excellent job of blending local Utah food products like honey and blue cornmeal with Native American staples. A good example of the foods that the Black Sheep Cafe makes is their Navajo tacos. They take common food and add their local goodness and the beautiful food culture of the Navajo, Pueblo, and Hopi tribes.

2. Bombay House

Another restaurant that is ushering diversity into Provo is Bombay House, an authentic Indian cuisine house. Not only is their d├ęcor spicy with an Indian flair, but so are their menu options. Bombay House offers its guests fresh meat like chicken and lamb with vegetables and irresistible Indian curry sauces. There are also several vegetarian options.

Although you may be in Utah, Bombay House uses the sights and smells of India to transport you to across the world.

3. Communal

If you’re looking for a more traditional vibe, or you’re just not feeling as adventurous, Provo still offers classic American cuisine. Communal features foods you already love with a unique spin on the traditional restaurant layout. The heart of Communal is in its name: community. The seating in this restaurant, long wooden tables meant to be gathered around, perfectly exhibits the kind of community Communal wants citizens of Provo to revert back to. Rather than sitting alone or in a corner, sitting at a long table facing your group of friends encourages people to enjoy food and company and not just technology.

The menu is prominently farm-to-table, supporting local farms and grocers while producing delicious and wholesome foods. You can order anything from healthier options like grilled salmon to more decadent dishes like buttermilk fried chicken.

beef gyro with lettuce and tomato

4. Cubby’s

If you thought you’d never see a Chicago-style restaurant in Utah, think again! Cubby’s Chicago Beef features unique sandwiches packed full of complementing ingredients. You can’t help but feel right at home when you walk into its cozy atmosphere.

One of its most famous sandwiches is called the Dragonslayer, a stacked-tall sandwich complete with a beef patty, spring mix lettuce, pickles, smoked bacon, and buffalo sauce. This is just a small example of the amazing sandwiches Cubby’s has on their menu.

5. Nicolitalia

No town is truly complete without “the best pizza in town” restaurant. Nicolitalia is known by locals as the pizza favorite in Provo. While pizza is the cornerstone of their menu options, they also offer stellar breadsticks, calzones, and sandwiches. Oh, and authentic Italian cannoli’s.

6. Kneaders

What’s a town without its local breakfast hot spot? That’s exactly what Kneaders is for Provo. Breakfast at Kneaders isn’t just your plain jane breakfast, either. Every morning, Kneaders offers unlimited French toast and pancakes. What it’s famous for though is its perfectly baked bread, made fresh every single day.

Pretty much any meal that had to do with bread, you can probably find it at Kneaders.

pizza baking in front of flames with meat and peppers

7. Molly’s

Nothing is better than a home-cooked meal, and that’s exactly what’s being served up at Molly’s in Provo. Classic comfort foods like brisket, mashed potatoes, and pulled pork are scattered throughout the extensive menu. You can’t go to Molly’s without getting the hot cheddar biscuits, a famous dish among the Provo locals.

8. Spicy Thai

If you love Thai food, Spicy Thai is a must-see while you’re in Provo. This restaurant offers ten different variations of curry, many different stir-fry and noodle dishes, and rice dishes. If you come for lunch, you'll find a different Lunch Special Tuesday through Saturday. Main dishes are offered with your choice of chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, or tofu.

Don't miss the Som Tum (papaya salad), the Thai Pho noodle soup, or the Mango Sticky Rice.

9. Waffle Love

Finally, you can’t complete a compilation of restaurants and leave out waffles! The Waffle Love food truck serves up the best waffles in Provo. Whether you’re grabbing a waffle for breakfast or dessert, you won’t be disappointed in the menu.

Some of their sweeter options include ingredients like cookie batter, cinnamon butter and cream cheese, and Nutella. If you have more of a savory craving, Waffle Love’s got you covered. Enjoy a classic chicken and waffles dish, grilled cheese, or chicken and avocado. All on a delicious waffle.

To see all of their menu options or to see where the food truck will be headed next, visit the Waffle Love website.

In Provo, you can find virtually every food preference under the sun. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or you love all foods and are super adventurous, you’re bound to find something to enjoy in Provo.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

9 Amazing Dinosaur Destinations in Utah

9 Amazing Dinosaur Destinations in Utah blog cover image

Did you grow up loving dinosaurs and wanting to learn more about them? Or maybe you have kids at home hoping to discover and explore prehistoric adventures as they learn more about dinosaurs. If so, a road trip to Utah may be the next vacation for you and your family to take.

Utah is filled with several different dinosaur parks to help your family discover more about our prehistoric friends. We’ve narrowed down the numerous dino parks in Utah to show you our favorites. Here are 9 amazing dinosaur destinations in Utah:

fossils of two dinosaurs standing next to each other

1. Natural History Museum of Utah - Salt Lake City

Want to be one of the first people in Utah to discover a new dinosaur fossil? If you take a trip to visit the Natural History Museum of Utah, you just might be. When a new species of dinosaur has been discovered in Utah, this is sometimes one of the first places it ends up.

You’ll find all different kinds of fossils found from newly discovered species inside of a beautiful building. It’s filled with lots of educational activities and games for your children - and maybe you’ll learn a new thing or two about dinosaurs and their fossils as well.

fossils of an armadillo-like dinosaur

2. Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point - Lehi

Looking at different dinosaur bones is of course incredibly fun, but getting hands-on experience is also a unique adventure as well. You can get that at the Museum of Ancient Life. This is one of the largest dinosaur museums in the world that includes over 60 complete skeletons and lots of hands-on exhibits.

You’ll find a lot of opportunities to “dig” in and learn more about prehistoric times. Kids can play in and explore the paleontology lab as well as see different shark and dino skeletons around the exhibits. There is also a sand and water table for the kids to enjoy.

colorful statues depicting small dinosaurs attacking in a pack

3. Eccles Dinosaur Park - Ogden

You’ll find tons of interactive touch screens and educational opportunities at this park. Something that sets this museum apart from the others is the different dinosaur statues located all around the venue.

These statues look very life-like and majestic when they’re standing in their natural visually-appealing setting. This park includes real-life fossils, dinosaur footprints, and a dino-themed playground for the little ones.

4. Dinosaur National Monument - Jensen

This exhibit gives off a brand new vibe as it has recently been renovated to showcase more than 1,500 dinosaur bones located on its famous “Wall of Bones”. Some of these bones even allow interaction and the ability to touch them as you learn more about these ancient fossils.

The site contains more exploring and adventure than most as you and your family will have the opportunity to whitewater raft, drive down the different exploration routes offered, go camping, take hikes and more.

blackened dinosaur bones among gray rock

5. Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry at Jurassic National Monument - Emery County

Many Utah dinosaur bones and fossils have been found in this specific site, so this could be one of your favorite destinations to visit. Upon arrival at the museum, you and your family get the chance to enter a building holding several bones buried there as you walk around and admire each fossil.

Not only will you get to look at all of these bones yourself, but you’re also able to watch paleontologists work and dig as they conduct research to study the different dinosaur bones and fossils. You’ll also get a chance to head outside and walk down three different hiking trails.

6. BYU Museum of Paleontology - Provo

If you’re looking for a museum filled with giant and valuable artifacts, this is a great site to visit. Located close to the football stadium at Brigham Young University is an abundance of prehistoric collections. This free and compact museum is a quick and exciting stop on the rest of your dino Utah tour.

7. Utah Field House of Natural History - Vernal

This dinosaur attraction contains a dinosaur garden that can be found outside. In this garden, you’ll see several full-sized replicas of all different kinds of dinosaur species like the famous Triceratops, T-Rex, and many more.

Once you head inside, you’ll see a giant skeleton of a Diplodocus as well as opportunities to learn about dinosaurs with the different activities offered in the interactive building.

8. St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm - St. George

This museum was created in 2000, so it’s still newer than the others on this list. A slab of rock was found by Dr. Sheldon Johnson that contained preserved dinosaur footprints. He decided to go forward with this discovery by turning the rest of his land into a dinosaur museum. 

Though it may be little and smaller than most, it is fierce. This museum is known to be one of the most essential museums in the world for anyone who is currently researching or studying work centered around early Jurassic footprints. This museum helps people learn more about how different behavior patterns of dinosaurs including how they traveled and survived in the prehistoric era.

9. Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail - Moab

If you’re looking to explore for a little bit one day, this brief trail is a great adventure for you and the family. You’ll see several dinosaur bones and fossils found on the different rocks along the trail you’re venturing down.

Not sure what different dinosaur fossils look like? There are several signs along the trail to inform people of what kind of bones are located where and lets you know what kind of prehistoric creature they came from.

Whether you’re looking for a day of dinosaur digging or want to pack a whole week’s worth of dino exploring, these destinations could be perfect for you. They’re filled with different interactive adventures to help you and your family learn more about prehistoric times and engage in fun, family-bonding activities together.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The 13 Best Water Parks in Utah

The 13 Best Water Parks in Utah blog cover image

Utah is well-known for its abundant outdoor activities, as well as its majestic scenery and National Parks and Monuments. Hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and of course skiing bring thousands of tourists to Utah every year.  Families should add visits to some of the great water parks while in Utah during the warm weather. Here is an assortment of the best:

colorful inflated toys out on the water

AQUA x ZONE in Heber City is located inside Jordanelle State Park, about 35 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. Children love this park because visitors have to swim out to the inflatable activities that float on the water of the reservoir. The floating park accommodates up to 75 people at a time, and all can jump, swing, run, slide, and swim as they enjoy this unique water park.  Group discounts and season passes are available.

Cedar City Aquatic Center is located about 250 miles south of Salt Lake City. The center offers an Olympic size pool and a small outdoor pool, as well as a water playground, lap pool, slide, lazy river, and hot tub. Cedar City is known as the "Gateway to the National Parks" because of its proximity to a number of parks, specifically Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef or the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is also known for hosting a large variety of festivals, from Shakespeare to classic cars. Take in a few of these after a day of swimming at the aquatic center!

a red pirate ship surrounded by children playing in the water

Cherry Hill Water Park in Kaysville is small but offers everything from camping to restaurants to miniature golf and basketball with trampolines. And, of course, the water park with a four-lane racing slide, bumper boats, an interactive water play area, and two pools. The Great Salt Lake is just west of this area so a side trip to see this great body of water would be worth the time.

Classic Fun Center in Sandy is another all-purpose family entertainment center that includes a small outdoor water park. There are four water slides and a zero-entry pool. The entertainment center includes laser tag, roller skating, a bounce house, a climbing house in a “jungle” setting, and a foam ball blast area.

Cowabunga Bay is 10 minutes south of Salt Lake City in Draper, Utah along I-15. Cowabunga Bay is the home of the largest indoor interactive play area, so your children will love this park. It has 12 levels and 300 play features, complete with a huge tipping bucket. There are a number of slides and a lazy river and Kid’s Cove, a play area for younger children. The park also offers Tiki Cabanas and Lounges for rent.

Lighthouse Point Splash Zone in Salt Lake City is unique because it is located inside a zoo. Hogle Zoo is a 42-acre property dating back from 1931. It is home to over 800 animals, complete with a Conservation Carousel made up of models of endangered species. The Splash Zone includes a blowhole and tidal pools, as well as the Lighthouse Slide and a shipwreck for the kids to explore.

visitors climbing stairs to the tops of various water slides

Lagoon A Beach Water Park is 17 miles south of Salt Lake City in Farmington. Calling themselves the Ultimate Aquatic Playground, Lagoon A Beach is a surf and slide water park, complete with rapids and a lazy river which includes waterfalls, tunnels, lagoons, and a castaway island for kids. There is also an R.V. Park and campground with access (and discounts) to the water park.

visitors relaxing in inner tubes in the pool

Layton Surf 'n Swim is another inexpensive municipal facility that turns its pool into a wave pool for specified hours each day, allowing visitors to experience waves typical of different parts of the world. There is also a lap pool that includes a small pool with a diving well and a play area for younger kids. Check the website for restrictions and rates to rent the wave pool.

Logan Aquatic Center is located in north central Utah near the 10,000-foot high Bear River Range. Logan is just east of I-15, the major north-south interstate traveling through Utah. The Aquatic Center has an outdoor Olympic-sized pool, an adaptive aquatics program, fitness and swimming classes, water aerobics, and water safety classes. There is also a kiddy pool and a lap pool, as well as an array of slides, a lazy river, and a fun zone for smaller children. Plan your trip so you’ll arrive in Logan on Monday; it’s family discount night with $15 passes for the entire family.

Provo Beach bills itself as “50,000 square feet of indoor fun” complete with its signature Flow Rider. The Rider pumps 30,000 gallons of water into a true ocean experience, suitable for both expert surfers and novice boogie boarders.  Located about 50 miles south of Salt Lake City along I-15, Provo is the third largest city in Utah and is adjacent to the Wasatch Front mountain peaks and the Utah Lake recreation area. Provo Beach provides something for everyone in the family, with not only the Water Park but also laser tag, a family ropes course, arcade, miniature croquet, and bowling.

The SCERA Park Pool in Orem offers a family-friend area for play and relaxation, with plenty of lounge chairs, tables, and shade. The water park provides a lap pool, diving board, a heated splash pad, a current channel, slides, zero-depth beach entry, and a sand play area for the kids.  Family night is Monday when the whole clan can enjoy the park for $25.

7 Peaks Water Park is in Provo and covers a 26-acre area with slides, a wave pool, bumper boats, and a lazy river. There are also 4 attractions for smaller children, including a play park. Indoor activities include a variety of rides, laser tag, rock climbing, mini golf, and an arcade.

Wayne Bartholomew Family Park in Springville is an outdoor family park with a sandy beach for water fun plus many other activities like volleyball, ring toss, and horseshoes. Equipment for the games is free on a first come, first served basis. Bring a picnic lunch and eat under one of the pavilions or purchase food from the concession stand.