Official State Park Map & Guide
Guide F VOLCANOES! A Visit Snow Canyon Park and walk C State along an ancient T lava flow.
SNOW CANYON STATE PARK
MUST DO IN THE PARK: cAN’T MiSS idEAS FOR yOUR VISIT
5 Fun Things to do Today in Your Park Chat it up
Park rangers are the park experts. Take the time to talk with one to get the inside scoop. Before you start your adventure, ask a ranger where their favorite spot is, how long it takes to get there, and why it’s special to them. Their favorite part of the park may become yours too. For more ideas see the Ranger Recommendations article.
Hunt for treasure
do your kids love to hunt for treasure, how about planning a scavenger hunt? While hiking they can learn to identify different plants and trees. Put natural items like acorns and pinecones on your list of things to find. The first one to correctly identify a species checks it off their list. Use this time to talk about keeping the park clean and healthy for the next visitors. For other ideas go to www.parkvisitor.com/treasure.
Learn more about your park by stopping by the visitor or nature center, checking to see if tours are offered, or taking the time to read the placards, signs, and displays located throughout the park. What new fact will you take home with you?
Let technology meet nature
Use your GPS-enabled cell phone or wrist top computer to trace your steps while hiking or exploring your state park. Take pictures at landmarks, during your road trip, or at interesting areas and then mark the waypoint on your device. When you get home, add the GPS tag to your photos when you post them to Flickr.com, Google maps or other websites to show your photos tagged along the trail you walked or hiked. Now you have a trail map complete with photos for next time.
Go the distance
How far do you plan on walking, running or biking today? Why not consider doing this at home? You can save money by not using your car, get some healthy exercise and see your neighborhood in a new way. Will you change your habits? We hope so.
Meet the Locals Mammals
Utah has some of the most diverse animals around, from creatures in the southwestern desert to those in the Rocky Mountains. You never know what you will find.
The bison roundup, held the end of October, is one of the great fall spectacles. Bison are driven to the north end of Antelope Island State Park by men and women on horseback. The bison rest here for four days before being vaccinated and checked for general health the first week in November.
Throughout Utah’s state parks, anglers can find various types of trout, including rainbow, brook, brown, cutthroat and lake trout.
Watch for the endangered desert tortoise found at Snow Canyon State Park. This reptile makes its home in deserts, semi-arid grasslands, canyons and rocky hillsides.
Bass Both largemouth and smallmouth bass can be found in a variety of lakes in Utah parks, including Gunlock, Quail Creek, and Utah Lake state parks.
Mule Deer Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park and Palisade State Park in spring are good places to spot mule deer. Look for these animals with their large, cute ears as they bound from place to place.
Catfish For your best chance at reeling in a catfish, head to Utah Lake State Park, where a record catfish was once caught. catfish can also be found in a variety of rivers in the state.
Pronghorn Sometimes known as an antelope, pronghorn have a smell of musk— used when males mark territory—and have very large eyes, allowing them to have a wide field of vision, almost completely around their heads. They can be found throughout the state.
For More Wildlife Visit:
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Gila Monster A poisonous lizard, the Gila Monster can be spotted in southwestern Utah, but its numbers are dwindling due to habitat decline from urban sprawl. Gila monsters are very elusive.
Rattlesnake The most common of the seven venomous snakes in Utah is the Great Basin Rattlesnake which lives in a variety of habitats ranging from prairie and desert areas.
Hidden Treasure? Most utah state parks hide geocaches. Check out a GPs unit from the park and find your treasure.
YOUR BEST SHOT
Simple tips for Great Photos
Make your park memories last with strong outdoor photography. Follow these tips from the managing editor of National Geographic Traveler magazine. LESSON ONE
Get Up Early
Early morning and late afternoon offer “magic hour” light—rich in tone and low-angled, casting soft shadows that give definition and depth to your subjects. Midday light, on the other hand, casts harsh shadows, flattening your subjects. So get up early to catch the best light. LESSON TWO
Give it Scale
When shooting a mountain, meadow, body of water, snowscape, or other outdoor composition, add a sense of scale by including something of known size—whether a person, cabin, tree, or animal. This gives perspective, helping viewers understand what they’re looking at. LESSON THREE
Tell a Story
Shoot more than just scenery. Also get action shots of your loved ones enjoying the park: hiking, biking, setting up tents, preparing a meal, spreading out a trail map on a rock. Take a variety of wide shots, closeups, and portraits. Such pictures tell the story of your outing.
G E T I N VO L V E D
How You can Help Your Park
Leave your park better than you found it by following these few, simple tips. By helping your park today, you will save it for future generations.
Leave No Trace
We encourage you to practice Leave No Trace when visiting your park or any outdoor trail or area. it is easy to do and allows others to enjoy the park, including animals that call here home. The Leave No Trace Seven Principles are: Plan Ahead and Prepare; Travel and camp on durable Surfaces; dispose of Waste Properly; Leave What You Find; Minimize campfire impacts; Respect Wildlife; Be considerate of Other Visitors. To learn more, visit: www.LNT.org.
Help prevent the spread of the invasive species, Quagga and Zebra mussels. These small, clam-like marine creatures are a major threat to Utah’s quality of life. Reproducing rapidly, they deplete nutrients in the water and threaten infrastructures, ecosystems and recreation. it’s illegal to transport mussels, so if you have been in infested water, you must now decontaminate your boat before entering or traveling in Utah.
Paintings look better when framed, and photo compositions often do, too. Use an element in the foreground—a rock outcrop, doorway, window, person, trees, or branches—to lend depth to your picture. The frame can go along one, two, three, or all four sides of a picture.
More to Explore: • The Ultimate Field Guide to Travel Photography by Scott S. Stuckey (National Geographic Books, 2010) offers many additional photo tips from 15 professional photographers. $21.95; http://shop.nationalgeographic.com. • For more great images of Utah State Parks go to www.stateparks.utah.gov.
Lend a Helping Hand
Each year millions of people benefit from a state park experience like yours. Are you interested in helping your parks? did you know that businesses, schools, churches, and other groups can adopt and help protect a park? Or consider becoming a member of a park’s Friends Group, where you can help raise support and funds for particular park needs. No matter how you decide to help, your time, effort and contributions go right back into the resource you love and enjoy. Learn more at www.stateparks.utah.gov/volunteer.
Petiquette in the Park We want our dogs to enjoy the park as much as we do, while still preserving others’ experiences: • Keep your dog on a 6’ leash or shorter • Always clean up after your dog • Call ahead to confirm pets are allowed and if there are any restrictions • Keep your dog quiet and calm • All vaccinations must be current
I D E A S FO R P L A N N I N G YO U R F U T U R E V I S I T
Dead Horse Point State Park K10 This desert mesa—named for cowboys who left their horses without water—overlooks buttes carved by the Colorado River 2,000 feet below. Walk the rim trail and enjoy the spectacular views from every angle.
OHV RIDE AND CAMP DEAD HORSE POINT STATE PARK
Ranger Recommendations HIKING Fremont Indian State Park and Museum D10 Hike the Centennial Loop, Five Finger Ridge, Canyon Overlook and Hidden Secrets, which are just a few of many family-friendly hikes throughout the park. Petroglyphs, pictographs, and scenic views reward hikers along their journey.
Escalante Petrified Forest State Park F12 Hike the Petrified Forest Trail and discover the beautiful and varied colors of petrified wood. Legend has it that the petrified wood itself is haunted and therefore removing a piece brings the taker nothing but bad luck. Best to merely take some pictures and stand in awe of what nature has left behind.
Dutch Hollow Trail Complex at Wasatch Mountain State Park F4 Explore any or all of the 14 interconnecting trails ranging from easy to most difficult with names such as Enchanted Forest, The Boneyard and 1000 Turns. Hikers enjoy broad views of beautiful Heber Valley, and sightings of wild turkey, elk and mule deer.
Antelope Island State Park E3 Sweeping views of Great Salt Lake and sightings of bison, antelope and coyotes lure hikers to the island trails. Try the Lakeside, White Rock Bay or Elephant Head Spur trails. For a real challenge, hike the highelevation and steep Frary Peak Trail.
Kodachrome Basin State Park E13 Spectacular colors and natural formations in this park led members of a National Geographic expedition to name the park after the famous film. Find all of the 67 spires within the park and then hike to nearby Grosvenor Arch.
Snow Canyon State Park B14 Explore the trails and massive sandstone outcroppings of beautiful Snow Canyon. The desert landscape includes ancient lava flows, petrified sand dunes, slot canyons and sheer cliff walls of red Navajo sandstone. Discover the secrets of the desert landscape through seasonal nature programs.
Utah’s Jurrasic Park
Don’t miss the dinosaur garden at Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum. Here you can meet 17 life-sized dinosaurs who guard the museum throughout the year. Goblin Valley State Park H10 These red, gnome-shaped sandstone formations fill the landscape, which looks more like Mars than Earth. Wander through the Valley of the Goblins and join the naturalist for an evening program to learn about the strange and wonderful geology.
Little Deer Creek at Wasatch Mountain State Park F4 Pack your ATV and ride into Little Deer Creek Campground. Secluded and primitive, this campground is tucked away, but near many miles of alpine ATV trails. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park D14 Venture onto a shifting sea of red sand. Changed by winds, these mountains and hills of sand can move as much as 50 feet per year. Camp overnight and ride throughout the day on an ATV or sand rail. Sand Hollow State Park B14 A long-time favorite destination for local OHV enthusiasts, Sand Mountain provides 15,000 acres of perfectly sculpted red sand dunes. Two campgrounds offer a variety of amenities and OHV access. Yuba State Park E8 ATV enthusiasts can ride from the park and enjoy miles of trails nearby. Camp in the quiet campground, and boat and fish on the blue waters of Yuba Reservoir.
FISHING Scofield State Park G7 Scofield Reservoir is popular for both winter and summer
fishing. Anglers enjoy ice fishing for rainbow and cutthroat trout. During summer months, the park’s higher elevations offer a cool escape from warm valley temperatures. Hyrum State Park E2 Tucked away at the south end of the Cache Valley, Hyrum Reservoir is a fishing destination for locals and visitors. Enjoy a leisurely day trolling for yellow perch, rainbow trout, bluegill, and largemouth bass. During winter months, jig for schools of perch through the ice. Rockport State Park F4 Rockport Reservoir is a consistent fishing hotspot. During warm summer months, enjoy trolling the reservoir for rainbow, bass, and perch. In winter, the ice-covered reservoir is a popular destination for ice anglers and has a reputation for producing large schools of perch. Anglers may also view bald eagles nesting nearby. Otter Creek State Park E11 Otter Creek is rated as one of Utah’s best fisheries for rainbow trout. Anglers may also vie for cutthroat, brown trout and smallmouth bass. The reservoir has a reputation of producing trout in the four to eight-pound range with the largest brown trout weighing in at 16 pounds, seven ounces. WASATCH MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
JUST FOR KIDS Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum K5 Discover the prehistoric world, dig for fossils, and explore the dinosaur garden, which features many lifesized dinosaur models including a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex. Science programs available for the kids. Frontier Homestead State Park Museum C13 Explore the blacksmith’s shop, and view an extensive horse-drawn wagon collection, historic building, Paiute native camp, sawmill and replica blast furnace. Children enjoy many hands-on activities and interpretive programs throughout the year including children’s history camps and Iron Mission Days. Camp Floyd State Park and Museum E6 Relive history at this nationally important historic site. The park was a stop on the Pony Express and overland stage routes. Witness a Pony Express exchange re-enactment outside Stagecoach Inn, or walk through a Civil War encampment. Become a Junior Pony Express Rider. OTTER CREEK STATE PARK
HIT THE ROAD
TERRITORIAL STATEHOUSE STATE PARK MUSEUM
Start your journey outside Fairfield, just 20 miles west of American Fork on Rt. 73. Here you’ll find Camp Floyd/Stagecoach Inn State Park and Museum, a former military site that once held the largest US troop concentration from 1858 to 1861—when they returned east for Civil War duty. After your history lesson, drive back east to I-15 and head south 15 miles to Provo. Here, Utah Lake State Park offers plenty of camping all year for the entire family.
100 miles south of Provo is the must-see Territorial Statehouse State Park Museum, where Brigham Young directed construction of the statehouse as the state’s first capitol. Designed by Truman O. Angell, the statehouse is the south wing of the proposed capitol building. The December 1855 meeting of the Territorial Legislature was the only full session held in the Statehouse. From here, continue south another 100 miles to Cedar City, where Frontier Homestead State Park Museum awaits. Formerly called Iron Mission State Park Museum, exhibits reveal the story of settlement in Iron County, when in the 1850s Utah Territorial leader Brigham Young sent Mormon missionaries here to build an iron foundry. Pioneer artifacts, horse-drawn vehicles, and living history programs bring the past to life. Children are invited to participate in summer History Day Camps. Participants pack their belongings, pull handcarts, and start a new home. Bonus day: Stay in nearby Cedar City for a night before heading back to home base. Be sure to take in a performance at the Utah Shakespearean Festival, held each year from late June through October on the campus of Southern Utah University.
Utah Lake State Park Telephone: (801) 375-0731 Website: www.stateparks.utah.gov 55 Campsites Travel Times: Salt Lake City — 1 Hour Ogden — 1.5 Hours Moab — 5 Hours St. George — 4 Hours Logan — 2.5 Hours
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ATTENTION FUTURE RANGERS! Most state parks have Junior Ranger programs. Ask for a guidebook when you arrive, then, earn your badge
Discover the long history of Utah without venturing too far off the main interstate. Visit four state parks and three historic sites in two full days of travel south from American Fork. You’ll be amazed at the rich history and culture that is just a short distance from the modern day world.
Take the I-15 Utah History Trail
Published on May 20, 2010