New Cascade Springs Road is Now Open!

The road to Cascade Springs, in the mountains above Midway, is now open and much safer. The Central Federal Lands Highway Division (CFLHD), Wasatch County, the United States Forest Service, and Utah State Parks have been working together since 2019 to make some dramatic improvements to the roadway. The road was closed throughout the summer but recently reopened to traffic. According to the Federal Highway Administration, although the road is open, construction will continue through October. Visitors are advised to watch for work crews and anticipate delays.

Cascade Springs is “a large artesian spring with naturally-terraced cascades and pools,” according to the U.S. Forest Service website. “Over seven million gallons of water flow through the springs each day.” Cascade Springs is extremely guest-friendly, with boardwalk trails, bridges, benches, and signs. Some areas are handicap-accessible, and restrooms are provided. Wildflowers, trees, and other vegetation are abundant around the springs.

Cascade Springs Road can be accessed through Midway City. The newly-improved road stretches from the boundary of Wasatch Mountain State Park all the way to the Alpine Scenic Loop Road. On the western half of the road, the project included pavement rehabilitation. For the eastern half to Midway, however, work included “complete roadway reconstruction, including slope and roadway stabilization, guardrail, retaining walls, minor roadway realignment to straighten curves, and drainage enhancements,” according to the Federal Highway Administration’s Project Description. The eastern road before construction was a dirt and gravel roadway, with no guardrails and huge drop-offs.

The new road provides safer and more reliable access to the Cascade Springs recreation area. It also enhances the entire Cascade Scenic Drive. The improvements cover approximately 12 miles of mountain roadway.

For more information on the Cascade Springs Scenic Drive or the Cascade Springs Recreation Site, contact the Pleasant Grove Ranger District of the Uinta National Forest at 801-785-3563.

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.