"'Jeep Trails Through Utah' was produced by Stan Midgley with the use of a jeep rather than his faithful bicycle. He had to leave his bicycle at home, as the deep sands of Utah can only be traveled in a jeep. In his mechanical horse he criss-crossed one of the emptiest blanks on the American map. He leaves the traveled highways and goes back into the little known areas to find fantastically beautiful and unusual natural formations. He travels over sand-blown desert trails, up rocky mountain paths and through treacherous mountain gorges to produce a gem-like picture of Utah." La Canada Valley Sun, Sept. 9, 1971.
This film is a part of the Stan Midgley Collection held by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.
Screening references: Pacific Union Recorder, April 9, 1951, 5; The Daily Iowan, Oct. 31, 1952, 8; Battle Creek Enquirer, Jan. 26, 1955, 12; Arlington Heights Herald, March 28, 1957, 14; Traverse City Record-Eagle, Sept. 17, 1957, 8; The Owosso Argus-Press, Oct. 30, 1957, 15; Star News, April 27, 1959, 13; Chula Vista Star-News, Sept. 20, 1962, 9; The Hillsdale Daily News, Nov. 24, 1964, 3.
Stan Midgley Collection, UCLA Film and Television Archive
"Before entering Utah we will visit Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona as the shadows fill vast gorges. Then we take a trip to the Navajo National Monument and visit ancient Betatakin ruins. We will now enter Utah in the south-west corner and go to Monument Valley. There, Midgley will introduce us to unforgettable Harry Goulding and his famous trading post and the Navajo Indians. At Ft. Stark we will have a lot of fun watching Midgley take over the fort for some of his inimitable shenanigans. The sand dunes, nearby, produce a magic hour of color mixing.
On the Navajo reservation we will visit the intriguing people as they tend their sheep and make their wonderful blankets of reds, golds, and yellows which match the colors of the desert sands. The San Juan River will take us on a thrilling boat trip. Then on to Natural Bridges National Monument to stand in awe of immense natural bridges. A rickety ferry at Hite will take us across the Colorado River. Utah also has a Grand Canyon that will amaze the tourist who takes the trouble to see it. In Arches National Monument, fantastic sand and stone formations that challenge the imagination and fancy of all are found. Here is the most colorful part of the world and MIdgley's camera captures Mother Nature's works of art. Snowcapped mountains provide a brilliant contrast to the circus-like rock formations of such groups as the Parade of the Elephants. The first half of this spectacular travelogue will come to a glorious end in the lofty La Sal Mountains, as we view half of western Colorado from the very top of a mountain peak.
The second half of our jeep journey begins in the Zion National Park where we will find a colorful duplicate of Yosemite Valley with a beauty all its own. We will zig-zag up the steep cliffs and look down, down, down. The Great White Throne rises before us 2,600 feet into the air, impressing all.
Bryce Canyon National Park provides us with fancy spires and colorful rocks that change their pastel shades with the continual playing of sun and shadow. A morning nature walk takes us, with many others though thirty-three switchbacks over twenty miles of trails. The erosion of wind and water has produced formations that prompt such elaborate names as Queen Victoria. There are innumerable minarets and gargoyle-like groups that defy description.
Stan bounces his jeep through wildest part of the United States to Capitol Reef National Monument. The takes us up dangerous gorges of the Fremont River, and we find our imagination working overtime to dream up names for the thousand of weird rock formations. One section nearby has just recently been discovered and is aptly names Cathedral Valley. The beauty of man-made cathedrals is matched by the lofty cathedrals-like bluffs that rise over 800 feet into the heavens.
The most fantastic place of all is Goblin Valley where we find the weirdest conglomeration of Mother Nature's playful handiwork. There we behold shapes that remind us of shmoos, dinosaurs, polar bears, ducks, turtles, and even bed bugs! These are the very first films ever taken in this remote and bizarre hidden valley.
Going north on highway 50 we will stop at Crystal Geyser which is man-made and vies for honor with "Old Faithful" of Yellowstone. Then we arrive at the great city of Salt Lake City where we will stop to see the Mormon Temple, Temple Square and the capitol buildings.
In the Wasatch Mountains there are turbulent waterfalls and higher up we will find ski-lifts and snow banks in July. We will rock with laughter as Midgley goes swimming in the Great Salt Lake. In the Uintas Mountains he takes us to mirrored lakes that reflect the verdant beauty of the mountain peaks, Midgley is an indominatable mountain climber and he doesn't stop until he goes all the way to the top of a 12,000 feet high mountain. The golden climax of autumn in the high country brings this spectacular film journey to a colorful close." La Canada Valley Sun, Sept. 9, 1971.