Governor Gary R. Herbert, the Utah Office of Tourism and other tourism leaders launched The Road To Mighty® this spring, a new regional television and national digital advertising campaign promoting Utah as the place for the iconic American road trip and adventure.
The marketing strategy builds on the success of the award-winning Mighty Five® advertising campaign, which focuses on Utah’s five national parks. The expanded campaign introduces more of Utah, including our remarkable scenic byways, state parks and other recreational opportunities. The Road To Mighty® tells travelers that the quintessential western road trip they’ve always dreamed of is right here in Utah.
Spot TV commercials showing Road To Mighty will air in Los Angeles, Denver and Las Vegas. The Office of Tourism campaign encourages tourists to experience Utah at all times of year, on and off the beaten path. The $4.6 million campaign includes national cable and digital strategies that will be highlighted at the Thursday press conference. Since 2005, when Utah’s Tourism Marketing Performance Fund was established, Utah’s tourism economy has grown 51%, from $5.23 billion to $7.98 billion. This translates to $1.09 billion annually in state and local tax revenues ($620 million – state, $473 million – local).
Utah’s Road to the Mighty Five
With the National Park Services’ Centennial Celebration set for 2016, there will be a lot of attention on Utah’s Mighty Five National Parks, but there’s so much more to see around the state.
Road to Arches National Park
· Moab Under Canvas: Located just moments away from the entrance to both Arches and Canyonlands national Parks, Moab Under Canvas features tent and tipi suites with separate bedroom and lounge areas, wood-burning stoves, and ensuite bathrooms with flushing toilets and hot water. The complex’s luxurious tents and tipis offer guests the opportunity to enjoy Utah’s spectacular colorful, geologically-rich desert landscape without giving up the comforts of home.
· Castle Creek Winery: Castle Creek Winery sits on a historic working ranch called Red Cliffs Adventure Lodge. Using locally grown grapes, the winery produces over 30 award-winning wines. Watch bottle is filled, labeled and boxed by hand on site. Visitors can enjoy daily wine tasting and sweeping views of the dramatic red rock cliffs.
· Dead Horse Point State Park: Dead Horse Point State Park reveals a different perspective into Utah’s vast canyon country with a 2,000 ft. drop to the Colorado River and views that stretch for more than a hundred miles. In recent years, the park has built a network of trails over gentle slick rock domes and through the knee-high sage, offering opportunities to stop and savor the views.
· Red River Adventures: Red River Adventures offers some of the best guided rafting trips, rock climbing and canyoneering adventures. Both day trips and multi-day trips can be arranged.
· Sorrel River Ranch: Nestled on the secluded banks of the Colorado River, Sorrel River Ranch carefully blends the personal touch and hospitality of a traditional ranch with the service and amenities of a fine resort. Spread across 160 acres of ranch land, visitors can enjoy luxury suites with a view of the mountains or river, tranquil spa treatments, farm-to-table cuisine, and a number of activities including horseback riding, off-roading, hot-air balloon excursions and art classes.
· Bluff: For visitors, Bluff is a fantastic area to visit as it is close driving distance to many outdoor adventures including Monument Valley Tribal Park (40 minutes), Valley of the Gods (15 miles), Moki Dugway, Gooseneck State Park, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Hovenweep (30 minute), Natural Bridges National Park – a designated dark skies park, and Wild Rivers Expeditions (rafting trips along the San Juan River), among other activities.
· Desert Rose Inn: Just under an hour from the Four Corners National Monument, the 40-room Desert Rose Inn and Cabins in Bluff recently opened Comb Ridge Restaurant, where guests can order a staple of the area – blue-corn pancakes – and other seasonal and locally-sourced menu items.
Road to Canyonlands National Park
· Hole “N” The Rock: Carved out of a huge rock in Utah’s Canyonlands Country, Hole N” The Rock is a historic 5,000 sq. ft. home and unusual gift shop/trading post. Hole N” The Rock feature an exotic zoo, the largest collection of Lyle Nichols metal sculptures, antiques, Native American pottery and jewelry and a general store. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the home.
· Goblin Valley State Park: The landscape of Goblin Valley State Park, covered with sandstone goblins and formations, is often compared to Mars. Visitors can explore the geology and camp among the nooks and gnomes. A yoga and hiking retreat offered by Get in the Wild several times a year takes place inside the park and is an otherworldly experience.
· Canyonlands Jeep Rentals: Visitors can rent Jeeps to explore the scenic and fun trails throughout Canyonlands National Park. Each Jeep rental comes with a recommended trail map, a cooler with ice and water and GPS locators. Guests can also arrange to have a picnic prepared.
· Moab Brewery: The beautiful and unique landscape of Southern Utah provides the inspiration for Moab Brewery’s fresh, hand crafted ales. Their most popular, Dead Horse Ale, takes its name from a scenic overlook near Canyonlands National Park. Other favorites include Red Rye IPA, Derailleur Red Ale, Moab Especial, Over the Top Hefeweizen and nitrogen-conditioned Raven Stout.
Road to Capitol Reef National Park:
· Cougar Ridge Lodge: The cozy, rustic cabin design of Cougar Ridge Lodge combines a serene desert retreat with a wide assortment of all-included adventure activities including guided hikes, hunting, fishing, woodworking, stone carving, bowling, indoor golfing and more.
· Boulder Mountain: An anglers paradise, Boulder Mountain is located just west of Capitol Reef National Park, with more than 50,000 acres of rolling forest and meadow-lands on top of the steep slopes and cliffs located inside of Dixie National Forest. There are more than 50 fishable lakes inside this wildlife area, along with the highest timbered plateau in North America.
· Torrey: Located just eight miles from the west entrance of Capitol Reef National Park, Torrey is a charming, tree-lined town surrounded by rose-colored cliffs and green meadows. Its proximity to Capitol Reef National Park, the mountains of Fishlake and Dixie National Forests, Scenic Byway 12, sublime desert landscapes to trout-filled alpine lakes, make Torrey an outdoor lover’s perfect hub for some of the most spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation opportunities in the state.
· Anasazi State Park: Explore an Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) village that was likely occupied from A.D. 1050 to 1200, and one of the largest communities west of the Colorado River. Outside the museum, visitors can tour a life-sized, six-room replica of an ancient dwelling and view a portion of the original site. Inside, they can view artifacts excavated from this site and learn the lifeways of these people.
· Calf Creek Falls: A popular 5.5 mile round-trip hike that begins at the Calf Creek campground, located just off of Scenic Highway 12 between Escalante and Boulder. Pick up a trail map at the start to get tips on key viewpoints, such as where you can see ancient petroglyphs, a Native American granary and more. The easy trail finishes at a gorgeous waterfall and pool, perfect for a picnic lunch and a cool dip.
· Kiva Koffeehouse: Nestled amidst the beauty of the Escalante National Monument in Southern Utah, Kiva Koffeehouse offers a relaxing stop for travelers in need of homemade food and gourmet coffee or an overnight stay. Located on the mountain below the Koffeehouse, there are two 700 square foot cottages, each complete with a jetted tub, fireplace and spectacular views.
· Hell’s Backbone Grill: Dine at Hell’s Backbone Grill in Boulder, Utah. The restaurant’s farm uses sustainable and Buddhist values of right livelihood on the farm (companion planting, straw-bale greenhouse, mowing is done by two rescue goats, and of course, no chemicals used). The 12,000 lbs of vegetables, herbs and flowers are all used in the restaurant (or are frozen, dried and canned if unused in the restaurant at the time of harvest).
Road to Bryce Canyon National Park
· Brian Head Resort: Just a short drive from Bryce Canyon National Park, Brianhead Ski Resort turns into a mountain biking mecca once the snow melts. With trails for all skill levels from beginners to experts, the resorts trail system provides gorgeous vistas of Utah’s iconic red rock country, including views of Cedar Breaks National Monument.
· Cedar Breaks National Monument: Hidden within the mountains above Cedar City is the brilliant geology and vibrant environment of Cedar Breaks National Monument. The geologic amphitheater and surrounding environs are home to cool hiking trails, ancient trees, high elevation camping, and over-the-top views along the “Circle of Painted Cliffs.”
· National Park Services’ Dark Rangers: Each of the national parks offer free ranger-led programs to enhance the experience. A special force of park rangers and volunteer astronomers known as “The Dark Rangers” at Bryce Canyon conduct anight sky program, which integrates a one-hour multimedia show followed by 90 minutes of stargazing with telescopes.
· Scenic Byway 12: One of the most beautiful drives in Utah, Scenic Byway 12 spans 124 miles and travels through some of the most remote and rugged landscapes in the state. The road travels by Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks; Kodachrome Basin, Anasazi, and Escalante Petrified Forest State Parks; Glen Canyon National Recreation Area; and Dixie National Forest. Travelers will be exposed to rolling slickrock, variegated buttes and mesas, snaking canyons, rock walls varnished with mineral stains and a variety of wildlife.
· Shooting Star RV Resort: Nostalgic travel becomes a reality for the masses with theShooting Star RV Resort where guests can select one of eight custom-designed Airstream, each decorated to resemble the dressing trailer of a movie star while they were shooting on location. And, every evening, guests can put the top down in a classic car and enjoyed a drive-in movie.
Road to Zion National Park
· Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument: More than 1.8 million acres make up the Grand Staircase-Escalante wildlife area, full of vast and pristine backcountry rife with outdoor recreation and iconic red rocks imagery. Slot canyon hikes are popular in this area – Spooky Gulch and Peek-a-boo are ideal for beginner to intermediate hikers in the Escalante Canyons section, while more advanced slot canyon hikes and climbs can be found in the remote Grand Staircase portion.
· Red Mountain Resort: Blended naturally into a landscape of vivid red rock cliffs and canyons of southern Utah, Red Mountain Resort has everything visitors need to relax, renew and rediscover a passion for adventure. The resort’s location just outside of St. George, Utah allows for excursions to Zion or Bryce Canyon National Parks or nearby Snow Canyon State Park.
· Snow Canyon State Park: Visitors can explore the trails and dunes of Snow Canyon State Park on foot, bike, and horseback, and camp surrounded by ancient lava flows and red Navajo sandstone.
· Coral Pink Sand Dune State Park: An apt name for this gorgeous state park, visitors will be surrounded by a shifting sea of red sand. With an ever-changing landscape – as much as 50 feet per year – popular activities in this park include off-road adventures (motorized and human-powered).
· Sand Hollow State Park: Located just 15 miles from St. George, this is the newest state park in Utah, and also one of the most visited. The warm, blue waters and red sandstone landscape make it photo-worthy during a boating or fishing excursion on Sand Hollow Reservoir.
· Best Friends Animal Sanctuary: Home to approximately 1,700 rescue animals, this sanctuary is the largest no-kill facility in the nation working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. Located in Angel County, just outside of Kanab, the facility utilizes more than 20,000 acres of land, and welcomes 25,000 visitors to tour and volunteer with the animals.