Bryce Canyon, one of the great Utah destinations

5 Utah Destinations to Visit Before Summer Ends

In the 1966 cult classic surfing documentary Endless Summer, a couple of surfers travel both sides of the equator for one year searching for the perfect wave, enjoying an “endless summer”. Salt Lake Express does not have a travel route that expansive, so by necessity, summer must end for us. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t time to check out the many great Utah destinations at your fingertips.

The Beehive State is famous for its national parks, opportunities for hiking, and breathtaking scenery. From the majesty of the Wasatch Range to the red-hued geology of southern Utah, the landscape provides plenty of diversions. If this gorgeous part of the country doesn’t provide an endless summer, it certainly encourages endless summer fun. And now in the month of August, the pressure is on to take advantage of what remains of the season.

Here are a five Utah destinations you’ll want to make sure you visit this month.


Zion National Park

Zion, one of the great Utah destinations
Photo courtesy of Wolfgang Staudt, via Flickr

Zion National Park is not only one of the most beautiful Utah destinations, it is also extremely inviting. Scores of hiking trails weave through this national park, including the popular Narrows, a hike down and in the Virgin River through the narrowest gorges of Zion Canyon.

Fascinating wild and plant life also swarm the lovely sandstone cliffs and wilderness, adding to the camping and hiking allure. Learn more about park fees, permits, and other things to do at Zion’s by visiting their official website.

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City, one of the great Utah destinations
Photo courtesy of Garrett, via Flickr

Some of the best that Utah has to offer can be found in the sights, sounds, and culture of its capital. Salt Lake City keeps the summer party going even going into September. The ongoing Red Butte Garden Outdoor Concert Festival entertains with events through mid-September, the Real Madrid schedule begins this month, and City Creek is all the more enjoyable in warm weather.

From concerts to festivals to dining, Salt Lake attracts thousands upon thousands of visitors each year. And as our namesake, Salt Lake Express is proud to help sustain that exodus. Join us in Salt Lake City this summer before the cool weather moves in.

Bonneville Salt Flats

Bonneville Salt Flats, one of the great Utah destinations
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, via Wikimedia.

Home to the Bonneville Speedway and numerous land speed records, the Bonneville Salt Flats are a mere two hours west of Salt Lake City. The dense salt pan is a natural phenomenon and definitely worth checking out for its own sake. Not to mention there are several places to camp nearby — though not on the flats!

And when we say flats, we mean flat. You can practically see the curvature of the earth, and there is no vegetation to decorate the landscape. This truly otherworldy part of the state is one of the most impressive Utah destinations.

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon, one of the great Utah destinations
Photo courtesy of PiConsti, via Flickr

Just 72 miles from Zion is yet another national park — Bryce Canyon National Park, which includes more sandstone features, huge, breathtaking amphitheaters, and a dazzling array of color. Summer is a great time to visit Bryce Canyon, but late August and September are especially timely; at this point, the summer rains have subsided and temperatures are still pleasant. In fact, while other popular outdoor areas in southern Utah experience fairly scorching heat, Bryce Canyon remains more temperate.

If you are looking to visit Utah destinations off the beaten path, Bryce is several hours from any major airport and over 100 miles from the I-15. We’re happy to take you as close as we can!

Bear Lake

Bear Lake, one of the great Utah destinations
Photo courtesy of Andrew Kalat, via Flickr

On the other end of the state, straddling the Utah-Idaho border, Bear Lake boasts just about all the summer fun you can imagine. Swimming, boating, camping, and fishing are all available from both states’ sides.

You can also enjoy summer events at Bear Lake, such as the Bear Lake County Fair and coinciding Rodeo Days.


Our summer days may be numbered, but in Utah, there are plenty of attractions to fill them up. From the diverse cultural experience of the city to the beauty and wonder of the parks, these Utah destinations are ideal during this time of year.

Book your trip to your next destination with Salt Lake Express and we will take you there or to the nearest drop-off point. This state is vast and open for adventure, so make good use of the summer and explore its endless majesty.

Snow Canyon State Park

What To Do In Snow Canyon State Park

Home to some of the most breathtaking vistas and diverse life in the west, Snow Canyon State Park has much to offer its visitors. The appeal of this state park is reflected in its average attendance of a quarter million visitors annually. Why do so many people visit Snow Canyon? What is there to do in all 7,400 acres of this state park? You’re about to learn.

Hiking

There are over thirty-eight miles of hiking trails in Snow Canyon State Park. These many trails range from easy to moderate, making it a very family-friendly hiking destination. There is also a three-mile paved trail for walking and biking as well as fifteen miles of equestrian trails. Nevertheless, hikers of all skill levels will enjoy the beautiful canyons and dunes of Snow Canyon.

Some of our top picks are White Rocks Trail/Lava Overlook, Whiptail Trail, Petrified Sand Dunes Trail, and Johnson Canyon. Find a more comprehensive list here.

Snow Canyon State Park

Camping

One of the good things about Snow Canyon’s location — besides the amazing landscape for which people visit — is the fact that it rarely receives snow. Low precipitation and mild climate allow for their campground to be open year-round.

The campsites feature a large number of amenities and accommodate motorhomes, RVs, and tents. Water hookups, bathrooms, electricity, and more are available to campers, and pets are allowed. Anything you need for your basic camping or extravagant glamping is available.

Reserve your campsite at Snow Canyon State Park here.

Wildlife Viewing

Snow Canyon’s location not only creates a welcoming climate for camping, but its geography lends to fascinating wildlife. Situated at the crossroads of the Mojave Desert, Great Basin, and Colorado Plateau, its dryness attracts a unique fauna. In fact, wildlife enthusiasts can discover thirteen state or federally-protected sensitive species, such as the peregrine falcon, desert tortoise, and Gila monster.

You can, of course, see many, many other types of wildlife in the park. The Utah Department of Natural Resources has identified coyotes, kit foxes, quail, roadrunners, and more. If you have an eye for wildlife you’re sure to see much more!

Always remember to exercise caution around wildlife; look, do not touch.

Snow Canyon State Park

Photography

Whether you’re into wildlife, beautiful views, or different species of plants, Snow Canyon State Park is a haven for photographers. The red Navajo sandstone and black lava rock make for colorful, stark, and striking backdrops. Wildflowers are beautiful in the spring and fall, and everything from narrow leaf yucca to blackbrush dot the landscape. Time and climate have carefully carved out this beautiful state park for us, and a picture is worth more than a thousand words — its beauty is inspiring.

Taking photographs is highly recommended; removal of plants, rocks, or wildlife is not.

Junior Ranger

Snow Canyon State Park is also a proud participant in the Junior Ranger Program, which is a national program to educate children on state parks. Their mission is best expressed in their motto: “Explore, Learn, Protect!”

Kids between the ages of 5-13 can participate in this program by following a few simple steps. You don’t have to go to Snow Canyon to earn some of the badges, but it sure makes it a lot more fun! As you and your child explore Snow Canyon State Park, you’ll both love what you see and learn.

Snow Canyon State Park

At over 7,000 acres, Snow Canyon State Park has everything to offer: gorgeous vistas, hiking, camping, wildlife, and activities for visitors of all ages. Plan your trip, remember to take pictures, and take in the wonder of one of Utah’s amazing state parks.

Las Vegas shuttles

How Las Vegas Shuttles are Changing Travel

Las Vegas shuttles
Photo by @ryanhafey

Chances are when you think of a shuttle company, you probably think about hitching a ride to the airport. Airport buses are definitely a large part of a shuttle company’s business. There is a high demand for convenient and cheap travel to and from the airport. But many Las Vegas shuttles are more than just buses to and from the airport, offering many different benefits to travelers. That is why we believe that Las Vegas Shuttles are changing and improving the local travel industry for the better.

St. George Express has helped customers reach their destinations for over eight years now. In that time we have learned a lot about travel and how to get it right for our customers. As we have merged with other companies, we have seen our fleet grow and routes increase. We are pleased to be serving customers in Las Vegas and many other areas along I-15.

The benefits of using Las Vegas Shuttles

We all know the benefits of catching a shuttle to the airport. You can skip the hassle and cost of parking and the risk of leaving your vehicle unattended in a lot. Not only that, but a shuttle will conveniently deliver you right where you need to be at the airport. But that is only the beginning of the value we can offer our customers. There are a lot of reasons why you might want to charter a bus, whether it is to make a day trip to a nearby city, to visit family or friends, or to get your kid to college. We understand that travel can be a stressful time, and that is why we do everything we can to improve the experience. We get you to where you need to be so that you can relax and just enjoy your trip.

What we are doing to better serve your travel needs

Customer Support

St George Express is dedicated to better serve you. That is why our office is open 24/7. We want to hear from you and help you out in any way we can. If your plane is late and you miss a shuttle, just give us a call and we will transfer your ticket to the next available shuttle that works for you. And the same goes for any change in plan. Just call us up to a day in advance and we can transfer your ticket to a better departure time. Our office is always open (except Christmas and Thanksgiving, because we aren’t The Grinch) to answer your questions, address your concerns, help coordinate your shuttle times, and do what we can to make your trip the best experience Las Vegas shuttles can provide.

Onboard Services

We are also committed to making sure that our customers have a pleasant and enjoyable trip. That is why we have embraced the modern luxuries technology provides. We offer free Wi-Fi and USB ports so that you can stay connected and charged during your trip, no matter how short or long.

St. George Express is also committed to your comfort. All of our shuttles have individual, partially reclining seats (not benches!), high ceilings, and generous foot room. We also have free cold water available for every passenger so you can stay refreshed during your trip.

Door-to-door pickup in St. George

As we expand our routes, shuttles, and services, we are now offering door-to-door pickup and drop-off anywhere in St George. Because we have merged with Salt Lake Express, we offer more routes than most Las Vegas shuttles, and are the perfect choice for travelers heading from Las Vegas toward Utah, or even farther north into Idaho and Montana.

We are proud to be a Las Vegas Shuttle

We are proud to be among the Las Vegas shuttles serving customers day and night. And we are here to stay! We truly believe that Las Vegas shuttles are continuing to improve the local travel industry for the better, and we are proud to be leading the charge with friendly service and comfortable luxury. So next time you could use a lift, let us be your choice! Charter your ride here.

Globe Theater at the Shakespeare Festival

Visit the 2018 Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City

To go or not to go — is that even really a question?

The world-renowned Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City is ready to kick off another fantastic season this summer with a great lineup of plays and events, including Henry VI, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, and more. Whether you are a Shakespeare buff or not, these performances will have you swooning in your chair at the sweet sound of declarations of love, laughing out loud as Shakespeare’s wordplay tests your wit and awe and humble you as you witness the tragic downfalls of heroes pitted with human foibles. Stunning reproductions and performances are sure to leave you inspired, uplifted, and of course, entertained.

The Utah Shakespeare Festival street signs

A Festival Rich with History

The Utah Shakespeare Festival was founded with the mission of presenting life-affirming classic and contemporary plays, with Shakespeare’s work as the cornerstone. They hope these performances will entertain, enrich, and educate. And they have done just that, for over fifty years. Today, the festival attracts attention all around the country every year, as people come from far and wide to act in or watch the plays. Since its formation, the Festival has received multiple awards including the 2000 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, the 2001 National Governors Association Award, a 2011 Emmy award, and many others, including Best of State in arts and entertainment.

When the Festival first began in 1962, it attracted a little over 3,000 visitors. Today, it brings in over 120,000 each season. They now have four different theaters, including the famous Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre, a beautiful reconstruction based on Elizabethan-era theaters, similar to The Globe,  the theater in London Shakespeare worked in and then part-owned. Of course, some adjustments have been made to make the Engelstad Shakespearean Theatre comfortable and accessible to modern audiences. Overall, however, it is still a unique opportunity to see Shakespeare’s work in a near-authentic setting.

To learn the whole story of the festival’s formation and growth, check out this article on their website.

Performers at the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City

Your Quick Guide to this Season’s Lineup

Not sure which play you should attend? That’s okay — we have got you covered. Here is a quick and easy guide to each play that will be performed this season.

The Greenshow – Ashton Family Greenshow Commons

June 28 – September 8, 2018

The Greenshow is Utah Shakespeare Festival’s free nightly entertainment. Lighthearted song and dance serve as the festival’s nightly welcome to help guests get in the spirit of theater before they enter the play. There are three different shows, which are presented on alternating nights. The show often includes singing, magic, dance, and lots of fun.

Henry VI Part One

June 29 – September 6, 2018 – Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

Henry V has died, leaving his son to be crowned king. With war raging in France, various factions vying for power in England, and approaching civil war, Shakespeare weaves together this seldom-told piece of history into a stunning tale of political intrigue.

Othello

June 28 – October 13, 2018 – Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

Shakespeare’s Othello is a powerfully tragic story of passion and anguish. It is a fast-paced, devastating tale of how jealousy and fear can unravel the most intelligent minds and purest loves. It’s the story of a Venetian general who secretly marries the beautiful Desdemona. Iago, spiteful and jealous of Othello, is led to believe that Othello has had an affair with his wife. Iago’s anger transforms into a nefarious plot to get revenge on Othello.

Crowd at the Shakespeare Festival

The Merry Wives of Windsor

June 28 – September 8, 2018 – Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

The Merry Wives of Windsor is one of Shakespeare’s most well-known comedies. It is the story of a quirky old man, Falstaff, who has his lusty eyes on a couple of middle-class housewives. These women, however, will not easily let Falstaff get the better of them, and their wit ultimately gets the better of him. This play is lighthearted and fun.

The Foreigner

June 29 – October 13, 2018 – Randall L. Jones Theatre

Written by Larry Shue, the Foreigner is a comedy about Charlie, a vacationer seeking solitude at a Georgia hunting lodge. To avoid having to interact with the other guests, he pretends to be a foreigner who doesn’t understand English. However, he soon witnesses bizarre schemes by people who think he can’t understand a word they say, leading to confusion and non-stop hilarity that set up one of the funniest endings in all of theater.

Big River

June 30 – September 1, 2018 – Randall L. Jones Theatre

From a book by William Hauptman, adapted from a novel by Mark Twain, gives us another look into the adventures of the beloved classic-American character Huck Finn as he tries to help his friend Jim escape slavery. Featuring original lyrics and music by Roger Miller, audience members describe this play as hilarious, suspenseful, and heartwarming.

Dancers at the Shakespeare Festival

The Merchant of Venice

June 30 – September 7, 2018 – Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

This play is often described as a comedy, and yet, throughout the years, we have begun to call attention to many of the deep-rooted themes Shakespeare wove throughout this play.  When Antonio, a wealthy Venetian merchant, borrows money to help his dear friend Bassanio pursue love, things turn south when the moneylender learns that Antonio may not be able to make good on his bond. The Merchant of Venice is as much a suspenseful tragedy as it is a heartwarming romance-comedy. It is a story of racism, revenge, love, humor, greed, justice and mercy.

An Iliad

July 12 – October 9, 2018 – Randall L. Jones Theatre

This play is a modern retelling of the ancient classic, written by By Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare. An Iliad is the tale of the events following the Trojan war, sung by the Poet, who witnessed it all.

Pearl’s in the House

August 23 – October 13, 2018 – Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

Workshopped at the Festival in 2017, this musical play focuses on Pearl Bailey, performer and special delegate to the United Nations in a racially-charged mid-twentieth century America. Bailey was a trailblazer for African-American women, yet a talk-show host in 1987 questions many of her motives. So Bailey responds the only way she knows how—through her music.

The Liar

September 14 – October 13, 2018 – Randall L. Jones Theatre

In this play by David Ives, the charming Dorante cannot tell the truth, and his manservant Cliton cannot tell a lie. From this simple premise springs one of the Western world’s greatest comedies, a spirited seventeenth-century French farce brilliantly adapted for today, complete with mistaken lovers, suspicious fathers, sparkling romance, frothy comedy, and an abundance of breathtakingly intricate “alternative facts.”

Crowd shot at Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah

Plan your trip to Cedar City

With so many different plays to choose from, from a variety of Shakespearean classics to modern comedies and dramas, the Utah Shakespeare Festival has something for anyone to enjoy. Tickets fill up fast, so now is the time to plan your trip to Cedar City!

7 Utah Ghost Towns Close to I-15

A mournful whistle. Boarded up windows. Tumbleweed. Wind. Ghost towns follow a fairly standard formula in the movies. But have you ever actually been to one to confirm that these tropes are true? In Utah, you have multiple options to choose from.

With such an extensive history of pilgrimage coupled with its huge, expansive area, the Beehive State is a perfect landscape for abandoned settlements.

There are nearly 150 Utah ghost towns for you to visit. However, as may be expected, some of them aren’t as accessible as others. Some, on the other hand, you can basically see from the I-15. Perhaps you’ve even caught a glimpse of the fringes of one while taking the St. George Express. If you are looking for a good ghost town time (try saying that five times fast), these will be less out of your way.

Here are seven Utah ghost towns that are right off the I-15.

There isn’t much left of Old Iron Town.

Old Iron Town

Resting in Iron County 15-20 miles west of Cedar City, Old Iron Town is not much of one anymore. With a few furnaces and a kiln remaining from its heyday as an iron operation, the town was settled by Mormon pioneers in 1868 and was abandoned by 1877. Why? The nationwide financial panic of 1874 plus a lack of viable northbound transportation sucked out its utility. Access is fairly easy in any size car, and you should be good going at any time of the year.

37°36′00″N 113°27′01″W

Today, Cove Fort is a historic landmark.

Cove Fort

Twenty-four miles north of Beaver, and just northeast of where I-15 and I-70 intersect, lies historic Cove Fort. One of the few forts from this time period still standing, this owes much to its construction. The fort is built of volcanic rock and limestone and acted as a way station for settlers, as well as a pickup/delivery for the Pony Express. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints leased the fort out in 1890, eventually selling it. In 1989, the Hinckley family bought it back and donated it to the Church. It is now a historic site with free guided tours.

38°60’06N 112°58’21W

Mills used to be a railroad town.

Mills

You’ll want to visit this one before the snow comes! Mills, also known as Wellington while active, was a railroad town in Juab County. After being abandoned at some point in the mid-1800’s, there are reportedly a few homes there currently, as well as being semi-active for Union Pacific trains.

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Though just a landmark now, Rockwell Station used to be a stop for the Pony Express.

Rockwell Station

Located at the Point of the Mountain in Bluffdale, these days there isn’t much left of this brewery-turned-waystation. Orrin Porter Rockwell, a colorful character in Mormon history, took over the property and it became a station for the Overland Stage and the Pony Express.

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The still-standing Methodist Episcopal Church in Corinne.

Corinne

While Mormon settlers were busy populating both future ghost towns and booming metropoles like Salt Lake and St. George, there were a few dissidents. The settlers of Corinne built the town on the Bear River in 1868 as a pointed escape from Mormon influence; members of the Church were not allowed to settle there. Founder Mark Gilmore and those that settled with him also wanted to create a railroad and steamboat center. Though the town flourished for many years, by 1903 the main road was rerouted around Corinne and the town began to dissipate. Today, there is still a lot to see in this once great ghost town.

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The historic Orson Adams home of Silver Reef.

Silver Reef

This town in Washington County, like Corinne, enjoyed a fairly long and celebrated duration. Formerly established as a town in 1876, it grew to be home to over 2,000 citizens, two newspapers, and several stores, hotels, saloons, restaurants, and dance halls. While the ore mines sustained the town, the people there enjoyed moderate success. However, the last mine closed down in 1891, and over the next several years the ore was shipped out of the area and with it, the people and life of the town. Now, there are gift shops and some historic restoration for the curious tourist.

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Where Fort Harmony used to be before the Great Flood of ’62.

Fort Harmony

This Utah ghost town at one time showed much promise. Constructed a short jog up from the village of Harmony, Fort Harmony was founded in 1854 by settler John D. Lee. As the only white settlement for miles, it was named county seat and headquarters for the Indian Mission, to provide benefits to neighboring Native Americans. It was even lauded by Mormon leader Brigham Young as “the best fort in the territory.” Its fame could not last, however, when a storm of historic and Biblical proportions tore through the area for 44 days in 1861-62. It brought rain, snow, more rain, and finally a hard wind that destroyed part of the fort and took some lives. Instead of rebuilding the fort, the settlers moved on to establish New Harmony, leaving Fort Harmony a ghost town. You can read more about its history here.

37°28’50.0″N 113°14’36.0″W