16 water-based adventures in Utah
WHEN YOU THINK OF UTAH, you don’t usually think of water. There’s the Great Salt Lake, for sure, but otherwise, Utah is usually associated with its striking desert scenery in the Great Basin and on the Colorado Plateau. During the summer months, it’s one of the driest states in the country. So if you’re a watersports enthusiast, you might not consider Utah a viable travel option.
As it turns out, you’d be dead wrong. All that dryness and desert doesn’t change the fact that Utah ranks among the top ten states in terms of boatable surface-acres of water. There are literally hundreds of places to partake in the state’s excellent watersports culture, stretching from Lake Powell in the south to Bear Lake up north. Here are some of the things you probably didn’t know you could do on the water in Utah.
1. Jet skiing
Jet skis make for some of the most fun you can have off of dry land. Rentals are available at and around virtually all of the major lakes and reservoirs, such as Deer Creek, Rockport, Echo, and Pineview.
2. Whitewater rafting

Some of the West’s most hallowed rivers cut a path through Utah, providing for all levels of whitewater rafting, from Class I to Class V. The big names are the Colorado, which enters the state at the midpoint of its eastern border and runs southwest to eventually form Lake Powell; the San Juan (pictured above), located in the southeast corner of the state and also feeding into Powell; and the Green, which flows from the northeast of the state to meet the Colorado.
3. Kayaking
With the Colorado River running through some of the country’s most scenic landscapes — Arches, Canyonlands, Glen Canyon — the best way to experience it is by kayak or canoe. Moab makes for a good base camp to organize a paddle trip, with plenty of guided tours and rentals available. 
Keep reading

WHEN YOU THINK OF UTAH, you don’t usually think of water. There’s the Great Salt Lake, for sure, but otherwise, Utah is usually associated with its striking desert scenery in the Great Basin and on the Colorado Plateau. During the summer months, it’s one of the driest states in the country. So if you’re a watersports enthusiast, you might not consider Utah a viable travel option.

As it turns out, you’d be dead wrong. All that dryness and desert doesn’t change the fact that Utah ranks among the top ten states in terms of boatable surface-acres of water. There are literally hundreds of places to partake in the state’s excellent watersports culture, stretching from Lake Powell in the south to Bear Lake up north. Here are some of the things you probably didn’t know you could do on the water in Utah.

1. Jet skiing

Jet skis make for some of the most fun you can have off of dry land. Rentals are available at and around virtually all of the major lakes and reservoirs, such as Deer Creek, Rockport, Echo, and Pineview.

2. Whitewater rafting

Whitewater rafting in Utah

Some of the West’s most hallowed rivers cut a path through Utah, providing for all levels of whitewater rafting, from Class I to Class V. The big names are the Colorado, which enters the state at the midpoint of its eastern border and runs southwest to eventually form Lake Powell; the San Juan (pictured above), located in the southeast corner of the state and also feeding into Powell; and the Green, which flows from the northeast of the state to meet the Colorado.

3. Kayaking

With the Colorado River running through some of the country’s most scenic landscapes — Arches, Canyonlands, Glen Canyon — the best way to experience it is by kayak or canoe. Moab makes for a good base camp to organize a paddle trip, with plenty of guided tours and rentals available. 

Keep reading

14 easy yet impressive campfire meals
DISCLAIMER: If you are about to embark on the Appalachian Trail and you just finished cutting all the tags out of your t-shirts, these recipes are probably not going to work for you. So just go back to quietly weighing your socks and scheming ways to dehydrate beer.
These meal ideas will work perfectly, however, for your next music festival, car camping trip, or backyard adventure.
1. Fish tacos
Grab some white fish. Mix some taco seasoning into a little container of sour cream. Slice up some avocado with a crunchy vegetable (I like radishes or purple cabbage) and throw it all onto a grilled mini corn tortilla. Boom. Taco party.
Tip: Use tinfoil to keep the fish from falling into the fire.
2. Grilled pineapple on a burger with sharp cheddar cheese
These don’t even need condiments. However, if you absolutely cannot eat a burger without at least one condiment, I recommend spicy mustard. Crumbled blue cheese could also work here.
3. Nachos
Throw everything you would put on a nacho in a cast iron skillet: onions, black beans, jalapeños, green peppers, I don’t need to tell you what goes on a nacho. Make multiple layers. You should be doing this in your normal nacho making, but you should especially be doing it here.
Cover it all with some kind of lid (a stainless steel plate, a pot lid, another skillet) and let it sit for maybe 10 minutes. Just keep an eye on it and you’ll be fine. Top with sour cream, avocado, and sliced tomato. The best cheese for nachos is NOT Monterey Jack. It is freshly grated, extra sharp cheddar cheese. Don’t argue with me on that.
4. Salad pizza
I invented this in college. Get some pita bread. Throw it on the grill and melt some cheese on it (feta and mozzarella combo?). Take it off and top it with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, whatever. Dress it with some vinegar, olive oil, and dill. Slice it up. Pretend it’s a pizza.
5. Crispy fancy kale
Toast a sprig of kale like a marshmallow (pinkies out!). Is the fire too hot for your dainty fingers? Poke a shish kabob stick in it and quit complaining. Immediately dip your crispy kale into a mixture of soy sauce, olive oil, and hot sauce.
6. Fried bologna sandwich
Don’t turn your nose up at bologna. Throw it on the grill and make it curl up at the edges. Put it on an egg sandwich with some cheese and mayonnaise.
7. Spin-off tomato soup with grilled cheese
Get a can of whatever soup you’re partial to. Fire-roast some tomatoes over the fire and add them to the soup. Eat a grilled cheese. Grilled cheeses are even better with mayonnaise and Sambal on them.
See the rest

DISCLAIMER: If you are about to embark on the Appalachian Trail and you just finished cutting all the tags out of your t-shirts, these recipes are probably not going to work for you. So just go back to quietly weighing your socks and scheming ways to dehydrate beer.

These meal ideas will work perfectly, however, for your next music festival, car camping trip, or backyard adventure.

1. Fish tacos

Grab some white fish. Mix some taco seasoning into a little container of sour cream. Slice up some avocado with a crunchy vegetable (I like radishes or purple cabbage) and throw it all onto a grilled mini corn tortilla. Boom. Taco party.

Tip: Use tinfoil to keep the fish from falling into the fire.

2. Grilled pineapple on a burger with sharp cheddar cheese

These don’t even need condiments. However, if you absolutely cannot eat a burger without at least one condiment, I recommend spicy mustard. Crumbled blue cheese could also work here.

3. Nachos

Throw everything you would put on a nacho in a cast iron skillet: onions, black beans, jalapeños, green peppers, I don’t need to tell you what goes on a nacho. Make multiple layers. You should be doing this in your normal nacho making, but you should especially be doing it here.

Cover it all with some kind of lid (a stainless steel plate, a pot lid, another skillet) and let it sit for maybe 10 minutes. Just keep an eye on it and you’ll be fine. Top with sour cream, avocado, and sliced tomato. The best cheese for nachos is NOT Monterey Jack. It is freshly grated, extra sharp cheddar cheese. Don’t argue with me on that.

4. Salad pizza

I invented this in college. Get some pita bread. Throw it on the grill and melt some cheese on it (feta and mozzarella combo?). Take it off and top it with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, whatever. Dress it with some vinegar, olive oil, and dill. Slice it up. Pretend it’s a pizza.

5. Crispy fancy kale

Toast a sprig of kale like a marshmallow (pinkies out!). Is the fire too hot for your dainty fingers? Poke a shish kabob stick in it and quit complaining. Immediately dip your crispy kale into a mixture of soy sauce, olive oil, and hot sauce.

6. Fried bologna sandwich

Don’t turn your nose up at bologna. Throw it on the grill and make it curl up at the edges. Put it on an egg sandwich with some cheese and mayonnaise.

7. Spin-off tomato soup with grilled cheese

Get a can of whatever soup you’re partial to. Fire-roast some tomatoes over the fire and add them to the soup. Eat a grilled cheese. Grilled cheeses are even better with mayonnaise and Sambal on them.

See the rest

5 easy ways to get your kids stoked on nature
Having been a kid until recently, legally speaking (and, internally, for probably the rest of my life), I know all about the wonder and excitement that comes from being immersed in nature, surrounded by the calls and chirps of an orchestra of unseen animals, and being dwarfed by and seeing my parents equally small among impossibly tall trees or rock formations. Getting out of the house and into the wild was a special treat, since my parents were 9-to-5ers, and it was always too hot in Las Vegas to go out by myself.
Now that I’m older, I routinely forget that every once in a while I need to get back out, away from the sharp unnatural angles of the city, my apartment, and the corners of the bills that keep showing up every month without fail. I need to get back to the trees, to the crisp air, and to paths that were made by water and generations of animals rather than people and asphalt pavers.
Here are five places that make it easy to stoke out your kids on adventures in nature (and which can be pretty fun for you,too).
1. The park / forest 
Maybe it’s really difficult to get out of the city limits. That’s why nearly every major city in the country (and much of the world) has a park of some sort. Park staples include grass (which comes with a host of experiences every kid needs, like grass stains and the itchiness), trees, maybe some body of water or a garden, and, if you’re lucky, a handful of animals. Go have a picnic or collect some bugs or enjoy a moment of silence while your kid cartwheels herself sick. Either way, the park is the easiest way to get a little nature into your and your child’s life.
I’m of the opinion that regardless of where you live, your kid needs to spend some time in the woods, to climb trees and feel the mossy squish underfoot (and, of course, if you have the opportunity, do some ziplining). The first forest I can remember visiting was Muir Woods, just north of San Francisco, and if you’re looking for the mac-daddy of forests, that one will do. There’s something magical about being enveloped in mist and the impossibly red bark of trees so big you can climb inside them. And when I say you, I mean adult you — those trees are freakin’ huge and crazy old.
Make a day of it, teach your kids about how trees make oxygen, and that forests like that aren’t everywhere because of deforestation and why it’s important we conserve the forest (which, admittedly, was a lot for my young brain to grapple with, and I think I cried about it a little at the time, but it was an important lesson nonetheless). Either way, the forest is a necessity in a ‘natureducation.’
2. The canyon
Mother Nature is beautiful, but she’s also a kickass force to be reckoned with, and that’s apparent nowhere more clearly than in a canyon. Even better if that canyon is surrounded by desert — a hostile environment, everything spiky (if you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting one in person, a tumbleweed can be an asshole), where the ground is harsh and jagged, and, yeah, it’s really hot.
I remember going to Red Rock Canyon in Nevada in the middle of summer when it was really too hot to be outside and marveling at the animals that managed to make life happen without air conditioning. Watching lizards do push-ups (yes, this is a thing), and seeing bobcats off in the distance scaling sheer cliffs of burnt-red sandstone.
Later, following the Calico Tank trail down between sheer walls to the cooler shade and softer ground below, I learned that the canyon landscape exists because of the slow wear-and-tear of moving water and wind over an impossible amount of time, which threw my short life into harsh perspective. Again, a moment where young me came a little too close to the big realizations and questions about life, but the canyon made it easy to shake those off and get lost in the reds and tans of the land.
Continue.

5 easy ways to get your kids stoked on nature

Having been a kid until recently, legally speaking (and, internally, for probably the rest of my life), I know all about the wonder and excitement that comes from being immersed in nature, surrounded by the calls and chirps of an orchestra of unseen animals, and being dwarfed by and seeing my parents equally small among impossibly tall trees or rock formations. Getting out of the house and into the wild was a special treat, since my parents were 9-to-5ers, and it was always too hot in Las Vegas to go out by myself.

Now that I’m older, I routinely forget that every once in a while I need to get back out, away from the sharp unnatural angles of the city, my apartment, and the corners of the bills that keep showing up every month without fail. I need to get back to the trees, to the crisp air, and to paths that were made by water and generations of animals rather than people and asphalt pavers.

Here are five places that make it easy to stoke out your kids on adventures in nature (and which can be pretty fun for you,too).

1. The park / forest

Maybe it’s really difficult to get out of the city limits. That’s why nearly every major city in the country (and much of the world) has a park of some sort. Park staples include grass (which comes with a host of experiences every kid needs, like grass stains and the itchiness), trees, maybe some body of water or a garden, and, if you’re lucky, a handful of animals. Go have a picnic or collect some bugs or enjoy a moment of silence while your kid cartwheels herself sick. Either way, the park is the easiest way to get a little nature into your and your child’s life.

I’m of the opinion that regardless of where you live, your kid needs to spend some time in the woods, to climb trees and feel the mossy squish underfoot (and, of course, if you have the opportunity, do some ziplining). The first forest I can remember visiting was Muir Woods, just north of San Francisco, and if you’re looking for the mac-daddy of forests, that one will do. There’s something magical about being enveloped in mist and the impossibly red bark of trees so big you can climb inside them. And when I say you, I mean adult you — those trees are freakin’ huge and crazy old.

Make a day of it, teach your kids about how trees make oxygen, and that forests like that aren’t everywhere because of deforestation and why it’s important we conserve the forest (which, admittedly, was a lot for my young brain to grapple with, and I think I cried about it a little at the time, but it was an important lesson nonetheless). Either way, the forest is a necessity in a ‘natureducation.’

2. The canyon

Mother Nature is beautiful, but she’s also a kickass force to be reckoned with, and that’s apparent nowhere more clearly than in a canyon. Even better if that canyon is surrounded by desert — a hostile environment, everything spiky (if you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting one in person, a tumbleweed can be an asshole), where the ground is harsh and jagged, and, yeah, it’s really hot.

I remember going to Red Rock Canyon in Nevada in the middle of summer when it was really too hot to be outside and marveling at the animals that managed to make life happen without air conditioning. Watching lizards do push-ups (yes, this is a thing), and seeing bobcats off in the distance scaling sheer cliffs of burnt-red sandstone.

Later, following the Calico Tank trail down between sheer walls to the cooler shade and softer ground below, I learned that the canyon landscape exists because of the slow wear-and-tear of moving water and wind over an impossible amount of time, which threw my short life into harsh perspective. Again, a moment where young me came a little too close to the big realizations and questions about life, but the canyon made it easy to shake those off and get lost in the reds and tans of the land.

Continue.