utah pic
Credit: Myriah Saulnier

Sales mission showcases state’s ‘Mighty Five’

By Myriah Saulnier

Vancouver’s travel agents were wooed with tales of breathtaking desert panoramas and unsurpassed outdoor adventures this week, as the Utah Office of Tourism kicked off its western Canada sales mission at the city’s Steamworks Brew Pub.

Tourism representatives from Bryce Canyon, Southern Utah/Kane County, Cache Valley and Cedar City/Brian Head extolled the virtues of the adventure-rich region, which has become synonymous with its ‘Mighty Five’ National Parks: Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon and Zion.

With adventure travel at the very top of many Canadian traveller’s bucket lists, Utah is a destination that can certainly whet a client’s appetite, while also transforming into a profitable niche for an agent. Here are the highlights that you should be talking to your adventurous clients about…

1. Arches National Park

archescreativecommons.org/daveynin

Hiking, camping and cycling can fills an adventurous client’s itinerary at the Arches, along with plenty of quiet moments to gaze at balanced formations that seem to defy the laws of physics. Their itinerary should definitely include the La Sal Mountains Viewpoint, Park Avenue, Balanced Rock, the Fiery Furnace Tour and Delicate Arch.

2. Canyonlands National Park

canyonlandscreativecommons.org/Paxson Woelber

Utah’s largest national park has some of the most-photographed icons in the west. Your clients should definitely experience Island in the Sky, which offers views of the Colorado River to the east and the Green River to the west. Strenuous hikes like those at Gooseberry Canyon and Murphy Loop descend into the canyon, while the White Rim Off-Road Trail is a must for mountain bikes and Jeeps.

3. Capitol Reef National Park

capital reefcreativecommons.org/Bruce Tuten

This park’s fascinating geology is the backdrop to its western pioneer heritage, which can be found along Scenic Byway 24. Clients can examine the petroglyph panels left by the Fremont culture or check out the numerous rock-climbing opportunities. Vehicles can access deep into the Waterpocket Fold to witness the bulging uplift of rainbow-hued sandstone “reefs” or Cathedral Valley’s iconic monoliths.

4. Bryce Canyon National Park

bryce canyoncreativecommons.org/David Wilson

Bryce Canyon’s endless fields of distinctive red rock pillars are perfect for road-trippers who are looking for short walks to viewpoints, as well as for backcountry hikers who are seeking solitude. The Rim Trail offers beautiful views into the main amphitheatre (best seen at sunset or sunrise), while Rainbow, Yovimpa and Inspiration Points provide wildly different perspectives on this magnificent park.

5. Zion National Park

zioncreativecommons.org/John Fowler

The park’s multi-passenger shuttle system—the only motorized transportation allowed in the main canyon—allows clients to see the lofty formations such as the Great White Throne, Angels Landing and Weeping Rock, while also keeping the road free from congestion. Sheer sandstone walls are coloured with gradients of white, cream, coral and orange rock, which is dotted with trees growing from sharp divots and narrow shelves.

FIVE UTAH MUST-DOS FOR ADVENTURE CLIENTS

1. Biking White Rim Trail, Canyonlands.

2. Mountain biking next to Slickrock and Porcupine Rim, Arches.

3. Rafting Cataract Canyon, Canyonlands.

4. Hiking and experiencing Angels Landing, Zion.

5. Canyoneering the Grand Staircase-Escalante NTL Monument.

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