Jordanelle, Heber City and Park City Utah- Wow!

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Our move today has us in a quandary. We have so far to travel today yet daylight is coming so late in the morning the lack of daylight makes it difficult to pick up our umbilicals- water sewer, cable, and power cords at the hour we prefer to perform those tasks. And we have so far to go this morning. I guess we’ll just have to accept a late start………

We traveled mile after mile, leaving Provo Utah in favor of Heber Valley and Jordanelle State Park- a total of 35-40 miles! OK, the move was our shortest of the trip yet offered a ton of beauty. The route included several miles traveling north on I-15 and then northeast onto US-189, the latter following the Provo River through its namesake canyon. The canyon is beautiful, steep walls with at least one cataract, Bridal Veil Falls dropping down hundreds of feet to the river below.

We pass Sundance Resort, where actor Robert Redford’s film festival is held reaching Heber Valley, first passing Deer Creek Reservoir, then passing through the city of Heber on our way to Jordanelle State Park.

Heber City (11, 362 souls with last guestimate at 15000) was founded by English immigrants who were members of The Church of the Latter Day Saints in the late 1850s, and is named after the Mormon apostle Heber C. Kimball. It is the county seat of Wasatch County. The original Heber City town square currently houses city offices as well as the historic Wasatch Stake Tabernacle and Heber Amusement Hall. The city was largely pastoral, focusing largely on dairy farms and cattle ranching, and has since become a bedroom communtiy for Orem, Provo, Park City and Salt Lake City.

Heber City was first settled in 1859 by Robert Broadhead, James Davis and James Gurr. John W. Witt built the first house in the area. The area was under the direction of Bishop Silas Smith who was in Provo. In 1860 Joseph S. Murdock became the bishop over the Latter-day Saints in Heber City and vicinity.

On May 5, 1899, the Wasatch Wave published this on the 40 year anniversary of Heber, “Forty years ago this week [April 30, 1859], this valley was first settled by a company of enterprising citizens from Provo. This company consisted of John Crook, James Carlile, Jessie Bond, Henry Chatwin, Charles N. Carroll, Thomas Rasband, John Jordan, John Carlile, Wm Giles and Mr. Carpenter, the last five named persons having since died. Forty years ago today, John Crook and Thomas Rasband commenced their first plowing in the beautiful little valley of the Timpanogos. A wonderful change has taken place of the appearance of the valley since that time. Delightful meadows and fields of waving grain have taken the place of sage brush and willows. Beautiful homes have erected where then was heard only the dismal howl of the coyote.” 

Jordanelle State Park is located on the the banks of Jordanelle Reservoir. The parks foliage is displaying fall colors, the grass is golden and the aspen trees’ leaves are a vibrant yellow. Some trees are starting to turn a rust or red color. It’s very pretty here.

Jordanellre Reservoir looking towards the dam

All RV sites offer water and power while one loop has sewer hookups too. The restroom/comfort stations are very nice, offering a laundry facility.

The lady at the entrance station said that we could take the dogs down to the lake, but only to the “natural areas”. Jeez, it’s a man-made reservoir- where might be the “natural areas?”. We receive no explanation nor a map so we take the mutzos down to the closest water access. Megan immediately dunks- dunk, dunk, dunk, dunk. Ollie spots the Canada Geese out about 50 yards and wades into his ankles- deep for our Boxer. He then notices the wind waves lapping up on the beach and goes into attack mode, trying to eat each wave that comes ashore. Both of the dogs are happy and soaked. Megan takes a beach towel’s worth of drying while Ollie’s short fur requires a lot less towel- but he enjoys being dried off so much we spend just as much time toweling him off as Megan.

Our campground is located equidistant from Heber City and Park City. We go back and visit Heber City, walk around the city park with our mutzos and see a few of the local sites as well as do a little grocery shopping.

One reason we’re holed up at Jordanelle State Park is so that we may visit Park City. Jil’s been here in past years to ski, hasn’t been for 30 years and I’ve never been. Park City (7558 souls) is a rags to riches town. After the area’s mining industry shut down the city rebounded in the 1980’s and 1990’s through an expansion of its tourism business. Currently the city brings in over a half billion dollars to the Utah economy, eighty million of which is attributed to the Sundance Film Festival.

The town is most noted for its winter sports. Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort offer fabulous powder for skiing and snowboarding. The 2002 Winter Olympics were held in Park City. In 2015, Park City Ski Resort and Canyons resorts merged creating the largest ski area in the U.S. In all, the resort boasts 17 slopes, 14 bowls, 300 trails and 22 miles of lifts.

We find the town very active for a fall afternoon, too active. We like quiet or calm at least. Main Street is packed with parked cars and/or people attempting to park a Cadillac in a space large enough for a Kia, multiple generational families jay walking, popping out from between parked cars, and not a one of them watching for traffic. While walking and sight seeing on Main Street might be fun before the crowds arrive, arrive they have and we withdraw and head back to the state park.

On the way back to camp we are treated to a very wide rainbow. The colors in the photo are not as vibrant as they were in person- the photo was taken through a rain soaked windshield but you get the picture…..

Our last night/early morning brought rain, enough to make things a little muddy and snow to the upper elevations. It’s windy and cool/borderline cold. Tonight the temps are supposed to drop to freezing and we are ready for it.

We will be heading towards the barn tomorrow. We’re in no hurry so our planned arrival won’t be for three days. Hope to see y’all soon!

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