Allison’s Bio

About your blogger:

My name is Allison Yamamoto-Sparks and I’m the Visitor Services Specialist for San Juan County, UT, where I spend my days sharing my love of Utah (particularly SE Utah!) with people from around the world. Some of my favorite parts of my job are blogging about San Juan County, managing our ‘Utah’s Canyon Country’ social media channels, answering our visitor information line, and responding to e-mails from people all over the world who are planning trips to San Juan County, UT!

Although I LOVE Utah and love sharing all the great things about it with anyone and everyone who will listen, I’m actually not a native Utahan.  If you’ve been following my blog, I’m sure you’ve picked up bits and pieces- I moved to Monticello in March of 2009 from Missoula, MT, where I graduated from University of Montana (Go Griz!) in 2003 with a degree in Japanese & Asian Studies.  I grew up mostly in Tiller, OR & Yakutat, AK, and have also lived in Bend, OR, Ketchikan, AK, and Tokyo & Ujitawara, Japan.

In my free time I try to get out with my husband and son as much as possible and explore this beautiful area that we’re lucky enough to get to live in!  We enjoy hiking, camping, cross country skiing, rafting/kayaking/paddle boarding, road trips, and FOOD! 🙂

As a blogger, I’m also a big follower of other blogs, especially blogs about Utah, the southwest, travel, and food!  I thought I’d share a few of my favorites…

I hope you enjoy my blog- I welcome comments and will respond to any questions you might have- I’m here to help!  If you prefer to e-mail, please send your questions/comments to:

Happy Reading! 🙂

18 Responses to Allison’s Bio

  1. Sandy says:

    I really love your blog! You have terrific info and it makes me feel closer to this area. Love the snow effect!!=)

  2. Shauna says:

    Hey girl, spring has sprung you job needs done. Let’s see a new blog with no snow!!!

    • Allison says:

      Shauna- I agree! Jan-March is our busiest time of year with all the travel & sportsman’s shows we attend to promote the area and I apologize for getting WAY behind with my blogging! I just returned from my last show of the year last week, and am looking forward to doing some serious blogging! Should have a new entry up within the next few days!

  3. Davon says:

    Hello Allison. I am planning a road trip to Four Corners next month and I was wondering if you could suggest a good eatery for us to dine at while there. And a good itenery for a group that will only be there for a day or two. I was looking around for a good place to go for Cinco De Mayo 😉

  4. Nathan says:

    Hey! I am a blogger of southern Utah also! my world press blog is You should check it out some time. Hopefully I can hear from you soon. My email is

    If you need info about a hike that I have been on, feel free to let me know what your plans are and contact me. I plan on adding something every week.

  5. I saw your wonderful photo on TwistedSifter and I visited your blog then I found the word Ujitawara! I’m form Kumiyama where next to Uji and I know about Ujitawara of course.

  6. Yes it is! And pretty exciting! Ujitawara and Kumiyama are not well known like Uji but very relaxing places so I like them a lot.
    I also like your pictures so much. とっても素晴らしい!

  7. Derryl G. Berry says:

    You might be just the person to help me figure out how to optimize my upcoming trip to Utah. I’ll be driving my new 2014 Miata and taking my new Nikon D800 and 24-700mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8, and 2x tele-extender, and tripod, from North Carolina, through a couple of stops in Texas to see relatives, and then through Santa Fe, up into lower Colorado, and then across to Utah. After Utah, I’ll go to Mt. Rushmore then back home, with not much stopping on the return trip.

    Here’s the places I want to see on my trip:
    Great Sand Dunes N.P., CO
    Mesa Verde N.P. , CO
    Natural Brides N.M., UT
    Monument Valley, AZ
    Antelope Valley, AZ
    Zion N.P., UT
    Bryce Canyon N.P., UT
    Arches N.P, UT
    Mt. Rushmore N.M., SD

    I plan to go in May, and I can time my trip to catch the full moon on 5/14/2014. I can shift my starting date in order to get the full moon at Natural Bridges, or Zion, or Bryce Canyon, or Arches. Which would you recommend? I also am trying to time the driving and hotels to get at least the sunrise or the sunset at each of these place (perhaps both). I realize that I might be trying to pack too much into the three weeks that I suspect that it will take me to make the trip.

    I would greatly appreciate your advice.

    Thank you,
    Derryl G. Berry

    • Allison says:

      Thank you for your question- I’ve just responded to you directly to your e-mail address. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with!

  8. Gina says:

    I just discovered your blog today. Great information. I’m planning to tent camp at the end of the next week at Natural Bridges NP. If there is no camp site available at the park’s campground can you suggest nearby area where I can pitch my tent? I need to have a restroom nearby, needs to be inexpensive and near hiking trails. Thanks

    • Allison says:

      Thank you for your comment- I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog! The campground at Natural Bridges is pretty small (only 13 sites) and I’m not sure how busy they are this time of year, but it can be difficult to get a site there. Luckily, there is a lot of FREE dispersed camping nearby! I believe they have a flyer with a map of nearby camping that they can give you at the visitor center, if you just stop in and ask.
      I hope this helps! Please let us know if there’s anything else we can help you with!

  9. Suzanne says:

    Hi Allison,
    I’m a journalist on deadline with a story about arches around Moab (outside national parks). I’m wondering if you’re familiar with any of them and if we might be able to talk — or if you have one or two sources to suggest. Can you email me? Thank you!

  10. Gary Leverett says:

    Hi Allison,
    I just submitted a request for information but I’m not sure what might be included so I thought I’d send an email. I just read your Lower White Canyon blog and would like to know if you can provide specific directions on where you dropped in for that hike. I’ve read about the Black Hole which would’ve sounded a lot more appealing a couple of decades ago when I was still invincible, but I tend to be a bit more selective these days. I’ve recently hiked Angels Landing and have done the Subway (bottom up) hike in Zion several times in the past couple of years. Basically, if it doesn’t require ropes/rappelling (or swimming), I’m interested. We live near Zion NP and have explored Utah south of I-70 extensively but are always looking for new adventures so I appreciate whatever information you can provide. Thanks!

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