Tips on Exploring the Wild West
Yup, my husband is a Park Ranger for the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and I am a Travel Writer. A Guest just suggested that I let upcoming visitors know that we do a little more then just provide a sweet room with a great breakfast (& attention from our Canine Co-Hostess, don't miss Snuffles Dog Blog here as well). We actually provide a good bit of expert, insider assistance planning your hikes, your many adventures, even your daily opportunities for enjoying this neat little Western community ~~ speaking of which, I need to let our new guests know about the great Pioneer Day Parade in town tomorrow....Later! Laurel
You can live the real, real wild west from the saddle. We rode down Paria River, surrounded by walls of rock with wind and water eroded recesses...much beauty, and exceptionally enjoyed from saddle with good horses. Good friends too, old and new.
This type of adventure is available to guests, we can set you up with Mike Henrie of Kanab Western Adventures. Mike also teaches horse clinics in "briderless (not bride-less, don't get confused) riding. How astounding Southern Utah is...for more info., email & we will gladly share.
#trailrides #cowboytrails #pariariver
Hurrah! The North Rim of the Grand Canyon opens May 15th. Visit astounding viewpoints, enjoy this exceptional landscape. The N Rim receives only 10% of the overall traffic to the Grand Canyon so provides beauty and ... the amazing solitude of Grand Canyon nature.
Quiet viewpoints offering a respite from the overwhelming traffic of visitors at the South Rim are simply refreshing. Hike, picnic, enjoy views where the music of the Grand Canyon ~~ wind, Canyon Wrens, is easy to enjoy.
Prepare to be awed. Back-country dirt roads just beyond the impressive, and classic old National Parks Lodge will lead you to amazing places with views that will remain with you forever.
Kane County, Southern Utah, has been named to National Geographic's BEST SPRING TRIPS 2014 list. Of course, we know that Southern Utah is in every way one of the world's greatest natural treasure chests but now the rest of the world will know as well. Two of their recommendations here were; visiting the Rockin'V Restaurant for a Kanab-a-Dabba-Doo burger (good idea), going to Willow Canyon Outdoor for gear and attending the (upcoming - 3rd week of May) Amazing Earthfest. I could add many, many other recommendations ...
Here is how they described us:
" Kane County sits in the middle of southwestern Utah's staggering smorgasbord: narrow slot canyons, polychrome cliffs, wavelike buttes, and world-class paleontological sites. From Kanab, the county seat, its 90 minutes or less to three national parks - Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion; Glen Canyon National Recreational Area, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, and the rugged and remote, 1.9-million acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the last area in the continental United States to be mapped."
All very exciting, and very true. The beauty here is mesmerizing.
January 25th, 2014
Southern Utah’s Kane County is home to the world’s most amazing assortment of National Parks and equally breath-taking state and public lands on the western edge of the rugged Colorado Plateau. Eight of America’s Most Scenic Wonders are within minutes of its central hub in Kanab. This spectacular region boasts the natural beauties of the Grand Canyon (North Rim), Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Glen Canyon/ Lake Powell and numerous other equally remarkable locations. Bizarre hoodoo rock formations, outlandish vistas, colorful red rock cliffs, soaring arches, tall pinnacles of ancient rock, sinewy slot canyons and expansive canyons mark Southern Utah as one of the most unique, and visually stunning, places on earth.
Visitors from around the world are invited to come explore the many treasures here. Whatever your choice of adventures, Kane County has it to offer. Stand awe-struck looking across the vast territory of the Grand Canyon, hike diverse trails within the solemn grandeur of Zion National Park, enjoy a fascinating boat trip across Lake Powell to Rainbow Bridge or take a guided photography tour within the colorful, twisting walls of Antelope Slot Canyon. Take a day to marvel at the incomparable and world famous “Wave”, wonder at the bold beauty of Bryce Canyon. The year round possibilities are endless, and most visitors leave feeling they needed much more time. From relaxing to adventure hiking, mule & horse treks, bicycling, backpacking & rock climbing, ATV expeditions, boating down the Colorado River, discovering ancestral puebloan ruins or dinosaur tracks, exceptional star gazing, watching a local rodeo and sight-seeing along the All American Scenic Highway 12, visitors can pick the pleasures that make for an unforgettable experience.
Locals call it “getting the red rock dirt in your shoes”, and everyone who has passed through agrees that red rock is an experience worth repeating. Come, visit, and let the persuasive beauty of this remarkable region stun you as well. You belong in Southern Utah’s Kane County.
THE AMAZING EARTHFEST!
The Amazing Earthfest is the only Amazing one of Earthfests across the country.
Kanab hosts a number of pretty amazing events and, frankly, Amazing Earthfest (well, then followed by Western Legends) are the very best. Imagine a Festival that sports over 50 free events in guided hiking by experts, lectures, biycling and horse riding events, cultural performances and even a mini-Doc-Film Fest...it's a one of a kind incredible opp to experience this unique corner of the SW in the hands of the best experts. I call it dinosaurs to stars (since both are represented)
Guests Host The Best Curry Contest
OK; The Great Curry Recipe Contest is On...!!
I understand that there is soooo much going on here in this corner of the SW to share now, Re; immediate events in Zion thru the Zion Natural History Assocation (wildflower hikes, identify Native Plants etc.) but , for this moment, we are zero'ing in on a certain matter of special interest here.
CURRY, and then the other global recipes that take best advantage of gardens such as ours.
Occasionally we share dinner with guests, especially after the garden is in and ingredients are fresh. An increasing, important, recipe challenge seems to be rising -- who, across the many different cultures here now, has THE BEST CURRY RECIPE! Dare ya', we have guests arriving soon from The Netherlands and they definitely claim Best of Recipe in Advance?!
Like it Hot, Like it simply savory...send us what you think. I'm going to add the hot chili sauce that came out of these garden hotties & herbs from our garden! May video our dish against theirs so stay put and SEND ME ADVICE!!
Everyone wants to visit one of the best known features here in S'Utah - The Wave. Lottery applications are submitted online months in advance and people still come to Kanab in hopes of being one of the few selected in the daily lottery here in Kanab. For those lucky ones who get a coveted permit, The Wave is astounding - BUT, there are some equally remarkable and lesser known alternatives. If you can't see The Wave, find The White Pockets. I'm almost reluctant to advertise it since the scarcity of visitors is part of what makes it so uncanny. The White Pockets are a geological formation that astounds at every curve - in ancient history wind and water shaped an unusual arena of white,red and orange rock that twists and turns . It is ultra-real and tremendous. The name originally came from the stony "pockets" that dot the area, I was told that hiking The White Pockets is best after a rain because the small pools reflect the vivid colors of surrounding rock. Hard to imagine the place being any more spectacular but I intend on finding out. The last time I was there we all wore our camera chips and "wow's" out. This is so much a part of the lesser known but equally great part of S'Utah. We specialize in rock that is incomparable, matchless.
I went there with an exceptional expedition company located here in Kanab; Dreamland Safari Tours and really thank Will for a great experience. The road out to the White Pockets can only be accomplished by a serious 4x4 and driver accustomed to the challenges of back-country driving so I do encourage visitors to enlist with Dreamland Safari Tours. Will loves this country with a passion and will take great care of you - nice lunch, good photo tips. On the drive back we also hiked The Wire Pass - an impressive, narrow Slot Canyon that easily takes your breath away as you pass through wave-y walls of rock, slipping into a crack of earth with shafts of sun cracking through from above to illuminate the sinuous, multi-colored rock walls. Another big Wow here. The famous Antelope Canyon really is just one of many other and beautiful Slot Canyons in this region.
Today may be the last day wood gets tossed into the woodstove. The fruit trees here at Savage Point are fully dressed in a palette of delicate white to pink then raging red buds. Savage Point itself, the big butte looming high above the garden, is no longer dressed in a lace of snow. Me & little dog Snuffles may hike the high Squaw Trail early tomorrow morning and no longer need to do a glissade across slippery cold rock.
All this is good news for visitors. Like our garden, so much is erupting into action here the calendar is bulging. Of course there are the obvious adventures into the numerous National and State Parks, Public Lands and highly under-estimated Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. What people don’t necessarily realize is how much happens outside of their obvious path of homage to the geologic “Rock Stars”, so let’s take a second look at how to plan a more fulfilling adventure in this remarkable wedge of the world.
ZION CANYON FIELD INSTITUTE offers a truly amazing schedule of events (www.zionpark.org). Just 40 minutes from our cozy place, Zion offers non-stop events and April to June are prime months. Events range from Poetry in the Park, Zion Through the Lens, Plein Air Painting,Bat Study (one of my favorite events), and The Hanging Gardens, countless hikes etc.. Many writers and painters have tried but it truly is impossible to express the extreme beauty of Zion, especially in the spring and fall. These events give you an extra boost when it comes to discovering and remembering Zion.
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon re-opens May 15th. For those interested in Rock Art Panels as well as the mind-breaking view of the Grand there is a spectacular hike down thru a 2,000 year history of sand storms, volcanoes, oceans and – art possibly depicting a world view of peoples we can’t possibly understand from years very long ago (North Rim Hike to Rock Art Panel - your hosts can provide details).
THE AMAZING EARTHFEST begins here in Kanabs May 13th and ends with spectacular views of the solar eclipse on May 20th. This highly under-estimated week-long festival “follows the tracks of dinosaurs, tours galleries of pre-historic art, features night skies with the guidance of expert astronomers” and on the list of over 50 events goes – including guided back country hikes and a documentary film festival and so much more (www.amazingearthfest.com / (435)733-5263). Considering that the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument surrounds this region, there is no small number of regional scientific experts available to speak on fascinating topics around geology, paleontology, botany – name your interest here and even bring your kids to a paleo-lab to clean dino bones! A really unusual and special Festival in the heart of the Great National Parks.
There is a saying around here that always comes to my mind because it is so true, “Once you get this red dirt in your shoes, you’ll never get it out.” It’s true. Come visit and some grit will always stay in your memory of the place. Back to you soon, and we’ll remind you of what our guests keep saying… “we needed more time, there is so much here to explore.” Haven’t told you yet about Western Legends, The Maynard Dixon Gallery of Western Art, and so many other great things that will be happening.
Spring (& Desert Wildflowers) In Southern Utah
While the sharp sting of winter is still on your mind, start planning a spring get-away to the blue skies, kind temperatures and blooming beauty of Utah. With desert temperatures reaching mid 50’s to 70’s during the day and 30-45 at night (depending on elevation) spring is an excellent time to explore before the rush of summertime tourists.
The NORTH RIM OF THE GRAND CANYON re-opens Mid-May and once again offers visitors a grand beauty that nearly overwhelms the senses. The classic old National Parks Lodge will again be serving meals in its dining room with an unforgettable view, while it is still wise to make dinner reservations in advance your chances of getting in last minute are greatly improved. The North Rim, in my mind, is more impressive then the South Rim, more serene and definitely less developed. Those early weeks in spring are a tremendous time to be there and feel the splendor of the place in greater privacy.
There is no doubt that the best time to explore ZION NATIONAL PARK is spring and autumn. Zion is Utah’s 1st National Park and encompasses 229 square miles of deep canyons, steep walls and rocky plateaus that look like colorful sandcastles crowning desert canyons. Due to its location at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin and Mojave Desert, Zion possesses a variety of life zones resulting in unusual plant and animal diversity – there are over 900 different plant species.
By April, many of the cactus and other wildflowers will erupt into their short-lived dramatic beauty – desert marigold, the eye-catching slickrock paintbrush. The Zion Field Institute conducts several field trips to the lower canyon in April to view wildflowers, and a trip to Kolob Canyon mid-May.
Other great sites for viewing spring wildflowers are the Lake Powell/Glen Canyon region and in the Grand Staircase- Escalante
National Monument. Cedar Breaks and Bryce Canyon are at higher elevations so begin their bloom later in June. Spring storms at Bryce, with an elevation up to 9,115’ above sea level, brings the opportunity to rent cross-country skiis or snow shoes at Ruby’s Lodge and glide along the Fairyland Rim Loop viewing the fantastic red-orange spires of the canyon laced in white.
For the adventurous visitors who wish to seriously explore slot canyons like Peek-A-Boo, Round Valley Draw and others spring is also considered the optimal time. Our next blog will be on Slot Canyons large and small.
With over five National Parks, 7 National Monuments and over 22 million acres of BLM land there is a desert vacation in Southern Utah to suit everyone – casual hikes to serious wilderness exploration. We look forward to helping you discover this amazing region in all its diversity and plan your adventure.
Laurel is an avid writer/artist, loves history and cultural exploration - and sharing the high desert of the SW with guests visiting Savage Point B&B.