Snow Canyon Lava Tubes!

Most everyone comes to St. George for its beautiful natural landscapes and its proximity to popular Zion National Park as well as how close it is to Vegas and Bryce Canyon and many more fun and exciting places! But what about what is going on underground? That’s right, under the earth. If you are looking for a fun day hike to take in St. George, check out Snow Canyon State Parks Lava Tubes!

There are so many hidden caves all around St. George’s desert terrain. More popular would be the Snow Canyon lava caves, located in Snow Canyon State Park. The hike to get to them is marked and easy with a stunning scenic backdrop of the red and white sandstone hills and contrasting black lava rock. Once you reach the gaping hole in the ground, you can climb in and explore the world below. Be sure to take flashlights and extra batteries.

The hike into the cave starts with a fairly large opening, that you will need to climb in carefully using stealth and good balance. Once you get into the cave, there will be a small opening where the hike downward begins. You will hike through a confining space with some low duck areas, until finally you will reach a large room which is the ending of the cave.

This hike can be very fun and enjoyable for all ages, and at most takes about two hours.

Please be courteous of the land around you and below you. Take everything out that you took with you, no littering please. You will want to wear closed toe shoes. Graffiti and litter are illegal and are the biggest threats against getting the caves closed.

For more information on hiking, wild life, Snow Canyon Lava Tubes and much more check out the link to Snow Canyon State Parks brochure:

Five Great Places to go Stargazing in Utah

The National Geographic Traveler magazine contained a short article about a travel topic that is gaining many readers’ interest. One full page featured a photo of Utah’s Delicate Arch against a night sky filled with stars. It looks so awesome that it catches the eyes. The article reported that some cities are growing ever bigger and brighter and in many parts of the world, the night sky has become dimmed by light pollution. Light pollution will prevent you from enjoying a starry night.

Milky Way by Amit Saha on


Did you know that stargazing is now considered a tourist attraction and remote places that are appreciated for their earthly beauty by day are now considered the best places to view the heavens by night?

Internationally recognized as one of the best places for stargazing, Utah teems with remote but accessible parks, with just the right altitude and clear skies. Families can bond while learning and taking a closer look at the stars through powerful telescopes that are set up for the event. These are among the benefits of star parties and nighttime ranger chats.

Here are five of the best stargazing sites in Utah:

1. Natural Bridges National Monument

Natural Bridges National Monument in southeast Utah in 2006 became the first International Dark Sky Park certified by the International Dark Sky Association, whose mission is to reduce light pollution. No star parties are held at the Natural Bridges for it is too far from hotels, restaurants or gas stations. But if you really make the effort, you will be rewarded seeing the brightest stars painted on the darkest skies.

2. Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon’s website boasts that its night sky is so dark that Venus will cause you to cast a shadow. Bryce Canyon is remote, but there are hotels and services near the park gates. Hence, there is active promotion for night sky visitors and an annual astronomy festival. Also, there are over 100 night-sky programs being held year-round.

3. Cedar Breaks National Monument

Cedar Breaks differs from the other sites as it is more elevated and closer to the stars. There are fewer visitors so you will have more chances to take turns looking at the telescope. This is one of the rare places where you can still see the Milky Way. Cedar Breaks’ star parties are only held during the summer months.

4. Arches National Park

Visitors of Utah’s popular Arches National Park enjoy excellent stargazing opportunities. Arches does not have a regular stargazing program or star parties, but these are held on special occasions. You can contact the park about its calendar in advance if you’d like to plan your trip when a special stargazing event is scheduled.

5. State Park Antelope Island

This is the best place to get away from light pollution and clearly see a starry night. Although Antelope Island is located in the middle of the Great Salt Lake, it is easily accessible by car. The Island’s Ogden Astronomical Society hosts star parties every month during the summer.

Reduction of light pollution is the result of efforts by astronomers, the National Park Service, environmentalists and many others. If light pollution is not controlled, the world will have dark night skies in the future. People can no longer enjoy the beauty of star-filled skies.





Facts & Fiction about Renting an RV for Your Family Vacation

What makes an ultimate family vacation? For many, it is hitting down the road with the family on an RV. Is this statement fact or fiction? To settle the issue, here are details about renting an RV for a family vacation.

Fiction: Renting an RV may be a vacation cost-saver. A plane ticket is more expensive but even an RV does not come out cheaper since you have to pay daily rental costs, mileage, gas (a lot) and, of course, the insurance.


Fact: RV rental costs vary. Research the nationwide rental companies like CruiseAmerica to motorhome private rental listings. There are plenty of choices. Then compare the service and the cost.

Fiction: RVs are like buses, even resembling elaborate tour buses. These are clunky and hard to drive.

Fact: RV sizes differ but it is not as big as a full size van. Visit for it has a tool to compare sizes of RVs. You may be frightened driving an RV at the start, but after getting the feel of the drive, you will realize it is like driving a bigger version of your own car.

Fiction: Taking an RV trip is as simple as putting your stuff from home in and going away. No worries about how to plan your trip, because it feels just like home!

Fact: RVs are supposed to be home on wheels in a smaller perspective. There are still comforts from home but you have lots of organizing and planning to do. Plan a healthy menu to avoid fast food stops along your route. Also plan a schedule for the family to use the restroom to avoid unnecessary stops. Consider the safety of everyone on board. Make sure all couches and bench seats are equipped with seat belts. Instruct kids not to run around while the RV is in motion.

Fiction: All campgrounds can support RVs the same way, so trust that all your needs are met when parking there.

Fact: Campgrounds differ in services and amenities. Yes, resort campgrounds like KOA and Camp Jellystone provide amenities like pools, playgrounds, and several daily activities, but the ordinary ones offer only flushing toilets and hiking trails. Inquire also about types of hook ups and the availability of electricity, water and dump facilities. These are important for a fun-filled vacation.

Fiction: Chances are, most of the time, RVs will offer comfortable beds. After all, your provider would want you to have a good sleep, right?

Fact: RV beds are not quite comfortable so check the sleeping arrangements of an RV before you rent it. Be sure that everyone will be comfortably rested for the night. It is good if the RV has a bunk bed. In fact, there are RVs that offer an over the cab bunk, or even a bunkhouse. Also check who will provide the beddings. You can even let the kids sleep in their sleeping bags.

Fiction: You can drive anywhere with an RV.

Fact: Yes, you can drive anywhere, but not easily as roads are difficult. For instance, the roads in National Parks (like the Black Hills) are too narrow and there are tunnels that are too low for an RV to pass through. Another concern is that once you hook the RV to campsite utilities, it is difficult to use it for exploring. Ask your rental company if they have a towing vehicle or if you can rent one at your destination.

Fiction: RV vacations are a stressful time that you will soon forget.

Fact: The right RV rental choice will make your road trip memorable. You will be the pilot leading the journey and create the adventure you want. You will be relaxed all the way as you know where to stop for lunch, where the restroom is located or a place to take a short rest.

Nothing can match an RV for a family vacation; enjoy the unlimited freedom of going your way to explore anywhere you wish.  Just follow where the ultimate family road trip will lead you!

Photo Credit: Virginia State Parks on flickr

5 Ways to Prepare For An Epic Outdoor Adventure

Your five-day epic outdoor adventure traversing 60 miles of scree-filled Sierra mountain country is about to start with Thomas Coyne, a wilderness survival expert. It was a bad idea of you to use worn-out Coleman boots that have lasted 13 years of hiking, proper gear is important in any kind of adventure. Destination: Death Valley edge.

Devil Dog gym begins new year with new gear

What lies ahead is uncertain. Were you in your right mind accepting the challenge? Was it lack of sleep or exhaustion that led you to say yes? You have no more chance to back out, so get on with it!

However, you have had enough workouts that give you a good start and a promising ending. Let’s review your past training:

  • Regular strength training;
  • Cardio workouts;
  • A three-week kayaking/backpacking trip in Scotland accompanied by an ultramarathoner; and
  • Rock scrambling on weekends.

Here are five ways to prepare for the big adventure:

  1. Getting yourself conditioned

Gym sessions with cardio by stationary bike and treadmill sprints, followed by a day’s rest, and two nonconsecutive days of lower-body and core strength training.

  1. Refueling on food

Coyne must have laughed when you told him that your friend suggested to limit your appetite before the trip. He said that in the wilderness you have all the time to starve. You then decided to fuel your stomach confident that this will see you through these coming days.

  1. Mental preparation

Focusing your mind is the best way to face an adventure. You have to separate the risks that might happen from the present moment by taking things one day at a time. Hike your way out while convincing yourself that you will eventually get to the other side of Inyo National Forest, in the southern Sierra Mountains, and go home riding a dusty van waiting on the other side.

  1. Finding the strength for a Warrior Dash

Before starting your adventure, it was your destiny with few MF staffers to join a Warrior Dash. This is a 5K obstacle/running course with seven of you running, climbing, skimming, swarming and trudging until you were done and rewarded yourselves with a cold beer after. It was fate giving you another chance to prepare for this hike of a lifetime. You are convinced that you can handle the situation not even knowing what is around the corner. You believe that you can manage muscle confusion and mud pits, aside from enduring the fatigue of blazing heat on your way to the finish line—wherever it is.

  1. Collecting your gear

Coyne wanted a barebones gear selection as he takes just a knife, a personal locator beacon, and the knowledge between his ears to get out alive. It was disturbingly simple. Your list for this trip is all lightweight: your high-tech know-how, a 2-lb Mountain Hardwear sleeping bag, one sleeping pad with sweat-wick base layers and almost 50 bucks worth of freeze-dried food. You decided to leave 40% of your food behind to lighten your pack load.

You still believe you are getting into an epic adventure partially blind. But knowing your limits is power, not a weakness. Whatever you experience along the way can be applied to any new challenge in the future. All new adventures are worth undertaking even if it presses you to the limit, but it is your choice.  Your freedom to choose is the beginning of the process of living.

Photo Credit: CherryPoint on flickr

Outdoor Activity At Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

All of us undoubtedly need to take time off from the humdrum of daily life. Our body, our mind and our spirit need a breather. Nature has put a cap, a limit on everything we indulge in. Ignoring the call of the body and soul to take time to rest can burn us out. Illness and burnout are worse consequences if we fail to rest.

Taking ample time to rest makes one happy, healthy and more fulfilled. But rest comes in many ways. There are those who prefer to rest at home as a break from work. Others choose to stay outdoors to experience something new, savor fresh air and delight in nature. Between these two options, of course, more people choose the latter. Most people have observed that spending time outdoors is great fun, enlightening, and provides a sense of peace and reflection.

Petrified Forest Trail.  Escalante Petrified Forest State Park.  Utah

Photo Credit: Roig61

One of the places that people love to go for an outdoor vacation is Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. This place, which is located in the southern part of Utah has a myriad of things to offer its many visitors. It has a Wide Hollow Reservoir where boating, canoeing and fishing are popular. Your eyes would be awed with wonder seeing trees that have been petrified into hard wood with kaleidoscopic color and that give you a clue that they have existed for such a long time. You can also find a number of campsites, recreation and vacation parks and scenic group sites which offer people the chance to pass the time.

But before you begin with your tour, get to the on-site visitor centers which offer educational opportunities and displays of petrified wood and dinosaur bones, ammonite, and shell fossils. It is here where you can learn a lot of things about the area before going on the several trails or to enjoy boating, canoeing and fishing in the reservoir. The Escalante Petrified Forest State Park is quite accessible and its proximity to the highway makes it ideal for a day’s stay or more.

The Petrified Forest Trail is one of the most-hiked trails in the park. This is a one-mile loop winding through lava flows and juniper forest, whose berries are used to flavor gin. At the trailhead, pick up the hiking guide containing information on the interesting points along the trail and the spots with petrified wood. It is here where thousands of colorful logs can be found. You can check out these colorful specimens and observe at what time these trees fossilized which perhaps would be over a million years ago.

Another trail that is totally worth hiking on is the Sleeping Rainbow Trail. It is a 75-mile loop that is much steeper than the other trails. It traverses narrow deep gorges with steep sides and requires moderate scrambling and climbing over rocks. Here is where petrified wood is densely concentrated.

After your outdoor trip to Escalante Petrified Forest State Park you will go home with your heart content and your physical and mental well-being at high levels. So try taking time off to experience what the outdoors could do for your overall wellness.


Tuacahn Amphitheater is nestled picture-perfectly amongst a majestic red rock canyon in St. George, Utah. Every production is both captivating and enchanting, but there is more to the experience than just the show! We are giving you the inside scoop, with ten tips to make you enjoy your experience at Tuacahn even more.

1. Arrive in Style 

Caroline’s 7th birthday happened to be on the same night that “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” was showing at Tuacahn. What better way to make the birthday girl feel like a real life princess than to be picked up in our Limo?!


We stocked the Limo with her favorite sodas that she and her family could enjoy on the ride to Tuacahn.


Her mom also pre-purchased “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” original broadway CD at the Tuacahn Gift Shop so that songs from the show would be playing the entire ride! Our limos are luxurious and affordable.


2. Arrive Early

Arriving early ensures that you will have plenty of time to get the full experience. It also means shorter lines at the box office and less people at the photo ops! Here are a few places you don’t want to miss taking a picture by!


3. Enjoy the Preshow Dinner

You’re most likely going to be going to dinner before the play anyway, so why not have your feast at an all-you-can-eat THEMED buffet right at Tuacahn? Ariel’s Luau includes honey teriyaki chicken, kailua pork, and so much more! My personal favorite? GRILLED PINEAPPLE! There’s plenty of kid friendly bites including mini corn dogs, mac n cheese & french fries. The dinner displays everything Little Mermaid, including Dinglehoppers!


4. Book the Backstage Tour

The backstage tour is one of the greatest things Tuacahn offers. The best part? It’s only $4.00! ($2.00 for children) AND if you book the dinner and the tour, you get $2.00 off your Adult Tour Ticket! The tour allows you to see everything up close & personal. While every tour is different, you will most likely be taken through underground tunnels, peek inside the green room, and see the costume shop in action!


Caroline was lucky enough to take a picture on stage with some of the most well known props!


5. Buy the Best Concessions!

The concessions at Tuacahn are surprisingly affordable, and every bit as delicious. While they offer a wide variety of goodies, my personal favorites are the Frozen Lemonade and Roasted Almonds.

blog_concessioncollageIf you have your kiddos with you, purchase a Kids Pack! It comes with popcorn, ice cream and a souvenir cup they can keep!

blog_concessionsdrink6. Come Prepared

St. George can reach high temperatures, but Tuacahn tends to be a few degrees cooler. Your show will go well into the evening, so be prepared for both hot & cooler temperatures during the duration of the show. I always bring a light jacket just in case!

7. Comfort is Everything.

One of the most appealing things about Tuacahn is there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. You can enjoy the show from anywhere, but you will enjoy it even more if you are comfortable. Luckily, Tuacahn provides cushion rentals at a very low cost. I highly recommend renting one or bringing your own!

8. Go to the Gift Gallery

I personally can’t leave a concert without purchasing a t-shirt, and I am the same way at Tuacahn! The gift shop sells all kinds of Little Mermaid treasures! (including t-shirts!) And of course, Dinglehoppers!


9. Keep your Program & Ticket Stubs

While these make great souvenirs, they are also full of great deals and coupons to use at some of St. George’s most popular places!


10. Stay for the Meet and Greet!

After every show, various members of the cast go to the concourse for a FREE meet and greet. Traffic in the parking lot is inevitably congested after the show, so you might as well spend that time meeting your favorite characters! They are just as charming in real life as they are in the show.



There you have it! I hope you enjoy your next trip to Tuacahn. Services described in this post are also customized for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, as well as “The Wizard of Oz.”  No matter what you decide to do or see, be sure to expect the unforgettable!