Kanab Utah

Named for a Paiute word meaning “place of the willows,” Kanab was settled in 1864 when Fort Kanab was built on the east bank of Kanab Creek for defense against the Indians and as a base for the exploration of the area. Indian attacks forced the abadonment of the fort in 1866. In 1870, ten Mormon families moved into the fort and began to establish the present town. That same year Brigham Young, Prophet and President of the mormon church, visited the area twice, making suggestions and supervising the town planning.
For many years Kanab was one of the most isolated cities in the nation. It was cut off from the east by the Colorado River and could only be reached with difficulty by rough dirt roads stretching over the rough terrain of the Arizona Strip west toward Las Vegas, NV. A twenty three mile journey north to Orderville, UT took nearly four days. Perhaps this isolation is why Zane Gray lived in the town while writing his Riders of the Purple Sage in 1912. Today, Kanab is a scenic tourist town with a friendly western spirit where tens of thousands of tourists stop to enjoy the “Old West” quality of life each year. The history in Kanab comes alive in the architecture of the old homes and buildings of the community.
Many Movies were made here, including episodes of Gunsmoke, Outlaw Josie Wales, Planet of the Apes and most recently John Carter. Some of the movie sets are still here. An old theather still shows some of the old movies for $2.00!

Our interest in Kanab was the atving that was available in the area. Many of the trails are sand, make that all of them are sand in the immediate area. Somewhere exciting(got stuck, missed trail turnoff etc) and many lead to scenic views of the valley below us. The highest elevation was just under 8000 ft. We did 6 rides in the Kanab area and one ride in the Kaibab Forest for a total of 133.1 miles. We really liked the forest riding, no sand and lots of trees. Also about 15 degrees cooler!

We took several “rides” in the car to explore the area. One of our trips was to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. This park has huge sand dunes, that with the right light look coral pink. Since we do not like sand, we decided not to ride there. Another day car trip we took was to the Grand Canyon North Rim. Tuesday the 15th the road to the park opened for the season. The lodge was smaller than the south,however the food in the dining room was reasonable and good. Some great views from the lodge, probably the best in the park. In fact the lodge was built around this view. We did have to wait  in line to get into the park! Only one lane and it was opening day! It was a little hazy, maybe due to the fires to the south?

Our visit to the Kanab area is coming to a close. We will be leaving here tomorrow the 18th and will head to Circleville, Utah for the next 2 weeks.                                                                                                                                             Circleville sits at 6,060 feet in elevation in Circle Valley, surrounded by the mountains of south-central Utah. The name is derived from the shape of the valley, which widens out into a wide, round shape here, in contrast to the other long, narrow valleys along the Sevier River. The flat valley floor indicates that a lake once occupied this valley. Mountains reach above 10,000 feet on all sides of Circleville. Mt. Dutton, prominently visible to the south, is 11,041 feet tall. Thick alpine forest cover the tops of the mountains, with junipers and sagebrush on the lower slopes. With the valley floor in irrigated farmland, Circleville is surrounded by beautiful green scenery.

There are 2 major atv trails in the area, the Paiute Trail and the Fremont trail. Both have hundreds of miles of riding. Hopefully the snow will have melted by the time we get there. Circleville has a population of only 549 folks! Does have a restaurant and a mercantile that sells groceries.

So until later, keep in touch!

Happy Trails



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