What’s New in Utah: “Dream now, travel later”
Upgrade your Dining Dome
Aussies and Kiwis dreaming of future international travel and dining can likely all agree it’s time to bust out of our dining domes for something new. Utah’s Waldorf Astoria Park City was an early adopter of the novelty in 2019, long before COVID-19 spread the trend across North America seemingly faster than the pandemic itself. Now Utah is championing change with some alternatives. Although not exclusive to the Beehive state, what could be more fitting for spring than dining in SLC Eatery’s greenhouses. Picnic under the Stars creates pop-up tents for special occasions both outdoors and in. And, Compass Rose Lodge offers permanent tipis for small dinners or romantic date nights around a fire (Tip: Don’t miss the on-site observatory – Utah has the most internationally accredited dark sky parks in the world, after all).
All Aboard! Rail Tour On Track to Exceed Expectations
Rocky Mountaineer’s brand new “Rockies to the Red Rocks” rail tour between Utah and Colorado hasn’t even left the station and the Canadian company has already expanded the season to accommodate passenger demand. The inaugural season of the new U.S. route is scheduled to begin August 15, 2021 and will be extended by four weeks to November 19, 2021. Sixteen more departure dates, plus additional rail cars, have been added for the two-day train journey between Moab and Denver. Available in Rocky Mountaineer’s SilverLeaf Service, this tour showcases scenic highlights best seen by train, including crossing the Continental Divide. Watch the video here.
Utah’s New National Scenic Byway
The road to Utah’s famed Zion National Park has been designated the state’s newest National Scenic Byway. Officially named the Zion Scenic Byway, State Route 9 between La Verkin and Zion’s east entrance is Utah’s sixth National Scenic Byway; one of 184 in the U.S. National Scenic Byways, or All-American Roads, recognize U.S. roads or routes based on their archaeological, cultural, historical, natural, recreational and scenic qualities. To be designated as a National Scenic Byway, a road must possess at least one of the six intrinsic qualities and be regionally significant. It’s safe to say the Zion Scenic Byway checks all of these boxes and is another must-visit for Aussies and Kiwis planning a future “Road to Mighty” road trip through Utah.
New State Park to Protect Dinosaur Bones
Utah is renowned for its Mighty 5® national parks, but also boasts 44 state parks soon to be 45. Utahraptor State Park will be created in eastern Utah, north of Moab and adjacent to Arches National Park, to protect prehistoric fossils in the region.Named for the Utahraptor dinosaur predominately found in the area, evidence of an additional 10 new dinosaur species have also been discovered in recent decades. Utahraptor State Park will be located along the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway, a National Scenic Byway that connects dinosaur-related tourist sites, including a national monument, museums and quarries. The future park will cover 6,500 acres of land and also include over 240 km of existing mountain biking, hiking and ATV trails.