If you have been reading my blog for a bit you know I travel to southern Utah a lot to visit family, my husband grew up in a tiny town in Southern Utah (population about 500) and I have family in a town about 30 miles from that so we both grew up in similar areas. This made it fun when we first met because we both had an understanding and love for that area of Utah. If you have not traveled to Southern Utah you are missing out on some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, it’s amazing and home to some of the greatest National Parks in America.
The area we both grew up in I believe tend to be forgotten treasures in Utah, so many people want to go on vacations but we forget about these small towns and their charm and history. It tends to remind me of Cars the Disney movie about a small town that is forgotten about due to a major highway being built on the other side of the mountain. That’s what has happened to a lot of the small towns in southern Utah, people forget they can take Highway US-89 (which is the scenic route through most of central and southern Utah) Instead of just the fast track on I-15. Some of the towns have found ways to breathe life back into their towns by holding big events, others unfortunately are slowly dying which is sad since our country was built on the backbone of these hard working communities of farmers.
So I challenge you no matter where you live to plan a road trip this summer and take the scenic route and visit these historic towns to help breathe life back in to these forgotten treasures.
Here are some of the Towns you will find taking the scenic route through southern Utah especially if you are planning trips to areas like Bryce Canyon National Park or Zion National Park.
Kanab, Utah: You can find these attraction nearby such as Zion National Park, and North Rim of the Grand Canyon. You can check out a list of events and things to see here.
Zion National Park
Panguitch, Utah: This one is close to my heart since I spent almost ever summer here and there is so much to do here, and it’s a great town full of history. You can find some of the best ATV trails if you an avid rider you can even join in on the ATV/UTV rally from Aug.19-22. There are amazing sights such as Red Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, And Cedar Break National Monument to name a few. There is also great fishing up at Panguitch lake. The outdoor recreation is endless here along with fun events throughout the summer such as the Hot Air Balloon Festival the last weekend in June.
Fremont Trail Balloon Festival
Circleville, Utah: Another favorite of mine since this is where my husband grew up and we spend a lot of time. This little town is a forgoten treasure and tends to be passed over. However I feel its mostly in part to the town not making an effort to revitalize their town like some of the near by towns. This is the home to the great American Outlaw Butch Cassidy, where you can still see his family cabin standing just south of town. This is also home to some amazing ATV trails one of the most famous trails the Paiute ATV trail and also access to the Fremont ATV trail both which I highly recommend. There is also great fishing at Piute Reservoir and Otter Creek Reservoir. It’s also not far from the National Parks either.
Birchcreek Trail Paiute Trail
Marysvale, Utah: Marysvale has done a great job in bringing back new life in their town by catering to ATV/UTVs, they opened a large RV park and have several motels you can stay at. They have Pauite ATV Jamboree every August, and you can count on the town being packed. If you don’t have any wheels but would love to try out the trails you can also rent some, they have several places to rent from. You can also see check out the nearby Big Rock Candy Mountain and go river rafting and hiking.
These are only a few of the great towns you can see on the scenic US-89 in Utah, but if you really want to see history with amazing scenery these are the places to go and teach your family to appreciate the beauty this state has to offer as well. I would love to hear some of your favorite places as well.