Posts Tagged ‘Utah’

New Dinosaur Park opening near Moab, Utah

The pre-opening is planned for 1st of September 2015 and GRAND OPENING is scheduled for 1st of MARCH 2016.

From the website:

“About Paleosafari Moab Giants

Moab is located at the southern corner of “Dinosaur Diamond”. The Dinosaur Diamond is an area on the border of Utah and Colorado, where some of the first dinosaurs were discovered during the times of the conquest of the Wild West. It is still the region where the greatest number of dinosaur species have been found.

Our project is to create an outdoor dinosaur tracks museum, where the local discoveries will be easy available to the public. This project is going to protect and exhibit our Jurassic track site, as well as to show the ancient world of Utah dinosaurs according to several other finds from surrounding lands..”

More Guides to the Southwest

A few more recommendations if you are headed to the southwest this summer – or winter (which in my opinion is even better – no snakes and cooler weather).

Ancient Ruins of the Southwest by David Grant Noble

Canyon Country Arches and Bridges by F.A. Barnes

The Utah Guide by Allan Kent Powell  – I love this guide for the “on the road” portion of the adventure. It gives you great information about the areas you are driving through from history, to where to stay, good places to eat, landmarks, museums etc. If you have a co-pilot, it’s great to have them read about the areas you are driving through. It makes the adventure even better.

Day Trips with a Splash: Swimming Holes of the Southwest by Doll and Freely

Southwest Utah Guidebook ~ Hiking the Southwest’s Canyon Country

Are you headed out to explore Southwest Utah and Northern Arizona? It can be difficult to find a good guidebook as there are many mediocre ones flooding the market. The first book we stumbled across that had a lot of substance is Sandra Hinchman’s ~ Hiking the Southwest’s Canyon Country. We own an older version that is now tattered and marked up. To me, that is the sign of a good guidebook. The author uses a great format that leads you on an adventure throughout the canyon country of the southwest. We didn’t follow her journey, but gleaned tons of information and hikes from it. One of our favorite adventures was in Mule Canyon – but that is for another post.

@ Amazon

Kiva Koffeehouse

If you are trekking through southwest Utah on highway 12, plan to make a pit-stop at the Kiva Koffeehouse. With amazing canyon views, there is no coffee shop on earth quite like it. With a great selection of food and drinks, it’s the perfect place to take in the greatness of the Escalante Grand Staircase. They have a great selection of local info and hiking guides. Additionally, they have a few rooms to rent. Unfortunately, they do not take pets, so we have never stayed – though would have loved to. Check out their sight – it’s a stop not to be passed by!

Calf Creek Falls Escalante

This is an amazing waterfall hike between Boulder and Escalante Utah. The hike begins at the Calf Creek Campground. If you are there just for a day-hike, park in the main lot. If you are wanting to camp, get there early. This is a really popular location and the sites fill up. Try to get one of the sites on the creek, as it gets really hot during the summer months and a dip in the cool waters is a perfect treat after the hike back. The sites as you enter the campground against the red sandstone cliffs are pretty nice too, though your water access is limited. My favorite site is right after you drive through the water to get to the other side. There is a nice campsite with ample grass right along the creek. It’s fairly close to the trail as well. The sites on the far end of the campground seem to get more afternoon sun- which is not a plus in this country.

On this hike, make sure to bring plenty of water. The hike isn’t that long, but it’s hot and sandy – especially near the falls. We made the mistake of not bringing extra shoes and hiking in wet sneakers is not fun. The falls themselves are amazing. On a hot afternoon, they are a perfect place to take a dip. I would recommend doing this hike early in the morning and coming back before the hot sun of the afternoon sets in. We took our dog and the sand was too hot for her paws on the way out. Believe it or not, we, or I should I say my husband, carried her out over his shoulders. It was quite a sight! Watch for the petroglyphs along the way.



Road Trips Out West

Are you planning or thinking about taking a road trip out west? Here are some places I can help you with-

Oregon – All over – from the Willamette Valley, Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon, and the Oregon Coast. I have backpacked the Wallowas, the Cascades, Coastal Mountains and more. I can help you out with areas around Fort Rock, Christmas Valley, the Strawberries, Elkhorns, etc.

California – All over the northern region and the Yosemite and Sequoia area. I have also driven most of I5. Redwoods, Elk preserves, Shelter Cove…

Washington – most of the coastal areas, and some of the eastern/central areas.

Montana – I have been all over this state from Missoula, Glacier, Western Region, southern region, from Butte to Billings etc.

Idaho – almost most of this state now from the northern tip to the southern region and all over in-between. Idaho is amazing and has a lot to offer.

Utah – I have backpacked the Wasatch range, traveled Escalante, Bryce, Capital Reef, Moab, Black Canyon, Calf Creek and more.

Colorado – I have driven most of this state from the wildlife preserve at the uppermost western tip to Durango and beyond. I have been to Mesa Verde, Hovenweep, Leadville, Estes Park…

Campgrounds – Escalante, Torrey, Boulder Utah

  • 5 Stars – Calf Creek Falls – Amazing!
  • Boulder Mountain (on Hwy 12 between Torrey and Boulder Utah)-                      5 Stars – Oak Creek (We stayed here and recommend it over the other nearby campgrounds), Single Tree, Pleasant Creek. There are may primitive spots available, so you might opt to find one along the highway, though it may get pretty windy. There are beautiful aspens groves all over. It’s amazing! There is another campground off of the highway that is down at Boulder Reservoir. We found it to be really sandy and hot down there. The reservoir is pretty, but the campsites are not located directly on the water. The plus are the campsites with new concrete slabs, but we much preferred Oak Creek.
  • Capital Reef – Fruita Campground – nice campground, but pretty big. Great trees and grassy areas.
  • Deer Creek Campground off of the Burr Trail outside of Boulder. Nice creek and nice spots. We have not stayed there, but would recommend it. We will probably stay there next time we go through.

Side Note – There are some nice looking cabins in both Torrey and Escalante. We haven’t stayed at either yet, but probably will one of these days. The Kiva Koffeehouse also has very limited rooms, but they look amazing. We have not stayed there yet because they do not accept pets. The cabins were at the time under $50 a night.

Boulder and Escalante Utah

We recently traveled through one of our favorite areas to visit – Boulder Utah/Escalante. There is so much to do there and we try to get down there as much as possible. I’ll post a few pictures to get you started.

Places to visit –

  • Boulder – great little store on the south end of town. Food and Supplies, books, showers, great people.
  • Anasazi State Park- well worth the stop.
  • Calf Creek Falls (if you can get a spot, one of the best campgrounds in the area-get a spot on the creek- the trail to lower calf creek falls leaves right out of the campground). There are pictographs and ruins on the lower Calf Creek Falls trail. Bring something to swim in and plenty of water to drink. Bring water shoes if you have them. When it get’s really hot, it is good to get in the river along the hike, but it will ruin your tennis shoes. The trail gets very sandy and soft in areas and heats up during the day making it tough on dogs feet. We actually bought dog hiking boots based off of this experience (and we are not the type to overly spoil our dog lol!).
  • Kiva Koffeehouse – half way up the canyon right along the road. By far the best coffeehouse I have ever been to – you can’t beat the location! They also serve some wheat-free items! Not open during the winter.
  • Hogsback – a part of the highway – have your cameras ready- Amazing!


Sandstone, Hogsback, Calf Creek Falls AreaSandstone, Hogsback, Calf Creek Falls Area