Morgan – The Utah State Parks Road Trip RV is expected to arrive at East Canyon State Park Thursday, May 12 at approximately 7 p.m. on its history-making tour of all 43 state parks in three days.
Nearby residents and visitors are encouraged to show their support of East Canyon State Park by welcoming the Road Trippers. All visitors who meet the RV will earn Utah State Park supporter pins and Odwalla fruit/granola-type bars.
East Canyon is the fifth stop on the 43-state park tour that begins at noon Thursday, May 12 from Antelope Island State Park. A group of six people will pile in an RV and drive approximately 2,200 miles visiting all 43 state parks and returning back to Antelope Island Sunday, May 15.
“The idea of the Road Trip is to showcase the importance, beauty and diversity of Utah’s state park system and rally Utahns to come out and support their favorite state parks, and state parks in their communities,” said Barbara Riddle.
Barbara Riddle, Chris Dallin, Tim Hughes, Russ Smith, Bill Francis and Vaughn Jacobsen will share close quarters in an RV as they visit the parks. The trip is funded privately and through in-kind donations: RV provided by All Access Recreation Club, cash from Chevron, promotion by KSL Radio, satellite communication by Skycall Communications and videography by The Imagination Company. During and after the trip, the Road Trippers will blog, and share video and photos through updates on their website at www.utahstateparksroadtrip.com.
“We challenge every Utahn to visit a state park this year, if we can do all 43 parks in three days, you can visit one,” said Russ Smith with Skycall Communications.
The Road Trip coincides with the Utah Tourism Conference and National Tourism Week, and is an official Travel Day Event designated by U.S. Travel. Road Trippers will stop briefly at the Utah Tourism Conference in Park City on Thursday night to meet up with the Utah Tourism Industry Coalition, Utah Office of Tourism, and other tourism entities.
Tourism is one of Utah’s largest industries, generating $6.2 billion in traveler spending every year and $625 million in state and local taxes. Utah’s state parks alone host nearly 5 million visitors annually.
Established by the 1957 Utah Legislature, the state park system has been a recent target of budget cuts, stripped of $8.3 million in general funds over the last four years. With no new funding in sight for operations or replacement of aging facilities, the Road Trippers want to raise awareness about potential state park closures.