‘This is the place’ … for State Parks Road Trip

Several months ago I reported that “6 People, 43 Parks, 3 Days, 1 RV” were planning a Utah State Park Road Trip.

Quail Gate State Park is located near Hurricane and St. George. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

“With about a month since our historic 43 state park road trip in 72 hours and enough time to rest our bodies, and now with clear minds reflect, we, the undersigned, whole-heartedly endorse the state parks of Utah,” the undersigned being Vaughn Jacobsen, Chris Dallin, Barbara Riddle, Tim Hughes, Bill Francis, and Russ Smith.

The 43 park adventure started out as a weekend adventure between two friends and soon evolved into a quest for the unknown and a challenge to all. The quest was for the unknown beauty and depth of our state parks system, and it resulted in a challenge for all to visit and explore, Deseret News recently reported.

“Visiting all 43 state parks in such a short period of time enables us to speak, better than most, about the beauty, intrigue, and value of the parks system. Having done so also allows us to speak to the quality of employees the state parks system has; everyone we met was an outstanding representative of the system. One look at the parks tells you the quality and care of the facilities showed a level of care that has been long-term and continuous, not just a show for some one-day visitors.

“The diversity of the parks is dramatic. Whether you see mountain men camps and American Indian performers at Fremont State Park, see pet scorpions at Huntington, stay in a yurt at East Canyon, swim in the inland sea surrounding Antelope Island, follow dinosaur tracks at Red Fleet, or drive the Moki dugway to Goosenecks, there is something for everyone and every age—truly, an adventure around every corner.”

Sand Hollow State Park is located near Hurricane and St. George. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The governor has challenged everyone to explore Utah State Parks as never before. The governor has designated the week of August 1-7, 2011, as Utah state parks road trip week and encourages everyone to experience a road trip to one or more of the state parks.

Utah State Parks at a Glance

Oldest: Territorial Statehouse State Park Museum and This Is the Place Heritage Park (1957)

Newest: Sand Hollow State Park (2003) is the newest full park; Flight Park State Recreation Area (2006) is the newest addition

Largest: Antelope Island State Park (28,571 acres)

Smallest: Territorial Statehouse State Park Museum

Most visited: Wasatch Mountain State Park in Midway (341,881 visitors in 2009)

Least visited: Edge of the Cedars State Park in Blanding (11,981 visitors in 2009)

Highest elevation: Scofield State Park (7,600 feet)

Lowest elevation: Quail Creek State Park (3,000 feet)

Dead Horse Point State Park is located near Moab and Canyonlands National Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Range: Northernmost is Bear Lake State Park in Garden City; southernmost is Coral Pink Sand Dunes near Kanab

Water-logged: Twenty-six of the 43 state parks are situated on lakes or reservoirs, including Great Salt Lake State Marina, Palisade, Utah Lake, Piute, Yuba, and Starvation

Historical: Seven state parks are museums—Edge of the Cedars, Fremont Indian, Anasazi, Camp Floyd/Stagecoach Inn, Frontier Homestead, Territorial Statehouse, and Utah Field House of Natural History

Where Can You Find…

  1. Ponderosa pine that started growing in 1562?
  2. A trail used by the Donner-Reed party on its infamous trip to California?
  3. A steep lake drop-off good for scuba diving?
  4. An entrenched meander, or body of land cut by a river?
  5. An ancient Pueblo Indian village?
  6. Starting point for a 186-mile river float?
  7. Reservoir that covered up three small towns?
  8. Tracks for riding ATVs or off-road motorcycles?
  9. 200 million years old dinosaur tracks?


  1. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
  2. East Canyon State Park
  3. Bear Lake State Park
  4. Goosenecks State Park
  5. Anasazi State Park
  6. Green River State Park
  7. Jordanelle State Park
  8. Jordan River OHV State Recreation Area
  9. Red Fleet State Park

Worth Pondering…
Not to have known…either the mountain or the desert is not to have known one’s self.

—Joseph Wood Krutch

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