School’s out for summer

No more pencils. No more books. No more teachers’ dirty looks. Now what? It’s time to play outside. Here are a few examples of what one can do this summer.

Hiking and Backpacking

There is nothing like loading up a backpack and heading for the hills to wander aimlessly among Aspens and Evergreens. Whether it is a day hike or a weeklong adventure, Utah has some spectacular trails.

Locally, you can hike to the top of Mount Timpanogos or to its heart in Timpanogos Cave National Monument.

In the awesome expanse of the High Uintas, you can lose yourself, both figuratively and literally. Southern Utah includes adventures such as Calf Creek Falls, the Needles and Goblin Valley.


Like baseball and barbecues, camping is a summer tradition. Generations of Americans have pitched their tents, fired up their lanterns, and cooked hotdogs on straightened clothes hangers over a glowing campfire. Norman Rockwell meets Ansel Adams.

In Utah there is no shortage of campgrounds. Almost every national park, state park and national forest in the state has campgrounds. Near campus you will find developed campgrounds in American Fork and Provo Canyons.

Remember, as the temperatures rise, so does the fire danger. By August some areas will prohibit campfires. Sure, you can still use a camp stove but camping without a campfire is like eating a s’more without a marshmallow.


Oh, it is a great feeling. You are landing a monster fish and you glance up at your fishing buddy. The envious look on his face is priceless. But your buddy understands. He saw the same look on your face last summer.

Bragging rights for the summer are found in the waters of Utah. Whether it is fly-fishing for trophy trout or lure fishing for big bass, there is a fishing hole for you.

The Provo and Weber Rivers are great places to wet a fly and bass fishing has been good in recent years at Lake Powell.

The high lakes of Boulder Mountain are a backcountry fisherman’s dream, where he or she can fight with feisty fish.

Closer to Campus

Communing with trees and trout doesn’t appeal to everyone. There are some who would prefer to stay closer to campus, where they can begin their day with their favorite bowl filled with Lucky Charms and end it with Conan O’Brien. And there are others who are looking for an excuse to ditch Math 1050, summer term. Utah has something for them, too.

Seven Peaks water park in Provo is the largest water park in the state. There you will find a lazy river, a giant wave pool and more than a dozen water slides. Watch out for whining kids in water wings, the park is flooded with them in the summer.

Lagoon amusement park in northern Utah has been around since the late 1800s. There are more than 40 rides at the park, including a wooden roller coaster and a modern suspended coaster. The biggest complaint about the park is the steep price of admission.

If you have a need for speed, Miller Motorsports Park near Tooele is the place for you. There you can race rental karts or even your own vehicle. Forget the slick track at Trafalga Family Fun Center. This is a whole new level of kart racing. If you would rather sit in the grandstand and watch the pros, the park hosts several events, including NASCAR and the American Le Mans Series.

Does anyone even use pencils anymore?

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