Discover the bustling heart of a vibrant farming.

History of Kanab

Little Hollywood

Discover the bustling heart of a vibrant farming, ranching, and recreational community in Kanab - the county seat of Kane County. Affectionately nicknamed "Little Hollywood" for its rich film-making history, this charming city is a must-visit destination for culture and nature enthusiasts alike.

The breathtaking beauty of the Kanab area is surrounded by a stunning array of western geology. The natural scenery is awe-inspiring, from vibrant coral cliffs and sand dunes to deep canyons and majestic mountains. With consistently good weather, it's no wonder why Kanab is a popular destination for travelers. Situated in close proximity to Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon National Parks, Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument, and Lake Powell, Kanab is the perfect hub for exploring these exciting destinations and enjoying popular Southwestern recreational activities. Quality services are available for both weekend getaways and extended vacations, making Kanab your ideal vacation center for experiencing the best of the Southwest.

Native American History

The Anasazi, Paiute, and Ute tribes established their presence in the area over 700 years ago. They utilized the varied landscape for hunting, gathering, and living off the land. The first settlement of Europeans began in 1858 by Mormon pioneers from Parowan who sought to establish a fort. However, it was not until 1870 that the town of Kanab was officially settled with families from Parowan and Panguitch.

Mormon History

Kanab was settled in 1864 with the construction of Fort Kanab for defense against Indians and exploration of the area. Abandoned in 1866 due to Indian attacks, the fort was later occupied by ten Mormon families who established the present town. Brigham Young, the Prophet and President of the Mormon church, visited the area twice in 1870 to oversee the town planning. Kanab was named after a Paiute word meaning "place of the willows."

Once one of the most remote cities in America, Kanab was separated from the east by the Colorado River and could be reached only through arduous dirt roads through the rugged terrain of Arizona Strip heading west toward Las Vegas. Even a 23-mile journey north to Orderville used to take about four days. Proving that isolation breeds creativity, Zane Gray took up residence in Kanab while writing his legendary novel, Riders of the Purple Sage, in 1912. Today, Kanab has emerged as a welcoming tourist destination with a charming old-school western atmosphere, attracting thousands of visitors annually who come for a slice of the Old West life. Kanab's past persists in the distinctive architecture of its historic homes and buildings.

Kanab Through The Years

Kanab grew at an impressive rate, spurred by the new settlers working to build a thriving community. During the first few decades of settlement, Kanab was known as a farming and ranching center but soon became known for its lucrative mining operations, including iron ore and silver.

The population steadily increased through the twentieth century, with a peak of 5,000 residents by 1930. As technology improved and a new interstate highway was built, commerce began to decline in the area. Today, Kanab is a small town with over 4,000 residents who enjoy a wide variety of recreational activities and the area's stunning natural beauty.

The culture in Kanab still has strong ties to Western history, from historic film locations and monuments to its well-preserved vintage architecture. The city hosts several museums and galleries that showcase the local history and nearby national parks and monuments. With so many exciting things to do, you'll find something for everyone in Kanab. Whether you're looking to explore the area's fascinating past, enjoy a thrilling outdoor adventure, or simply relax and take in the area's stunning beauty, Kanab promises an unforgettable experience.

Kanab Today

Kanab's strong sense of community is evident in its bustling small-town ambiance. Get a glimpse into the heart of this rural western town and experience why it has become an increasingly popular destination for travelers looking to explore nature's beauty, participate in exciting outdoor activities, or simply relax and enjoy the southwest culture. Do not miss out on all that Kanab has to offer. See why Kanab is the perfect getaway for exploring all that this amazing area of the American Southwest has to offer. Come and experience the many wonders of Kanab firsthand!