Utah people are said to be the greatest campers and picnickers in the world. Nearly every family has a smoke-blackened coffee pot and skillet, a brace of wire grills, a set of oversize spoons, and tinware suited to rough usage and large helpings in the open. The geographic basis for this proclivity is easy to find. Utah is an arid State, and nearly everybody, whether a city or rural dweller, lives at the mouth of a canyon, from which the family-size or city-size water supply is obtained. On hot summer evenings or weekends it is customary to toss a camp or picnic outfit in the family car and go where canyon breezes blow, or where increased altitude provides relief from the heat. The ten national forests and the eleven national parks and monuments provide recreation for residents mainly in proportion to their distance from populous centers, though more distant areas have a way of achieving popularity for hunting and fishing.
The Wasatch National Forest, being nearest to Salt Lake City, draws most visitors. Most Of these are picnickers, spending only a day at a time; most of the remainder are weekend campers. The forest is also popular as a summer home site, and for fishing and winter sports. The four widespread units of Fishlake National Forest attract visitors, and serve the recreational uses of a considerable population in southern Utah. As the name indicates, it is the most popular fishing area, and has the greatest number of hotel and resort guests. Cache National Forest, checkered about the northern end of Utah's population axis, and has the largest concentration of summer cottages.
Away from the cluster of communities that line the central axis of the State, Utah is still essentially frontier--with, perhaps, the rough edges knocked off, the old pony trails sometimes widened into dubious roads, and an occasional iron-lidded stove competing with Indian fire pits. The best sports the State offers are of the frontier breed, the kind that "take a good eye and make a flat belly." Hunting and fishing of one kind or another extend throughout the year and account for about 65 per cent of the money spent for recreation in Utah; winter sports, skiing, skating, and tobogganing last from November to May; water sports are best in the summer and fall, though some, such as the descent of the Colorado River, may be engaged in during the winter months; trips into the mountains, whether by car, pack train, or afoot, may be undertaken from April to November without serious discomfort; trips into the desert regions are possible at any time, but are most comfortable in the spring or fall. Water should be carried where camping on the desert is contemplated.