Destinations

Quaint charm and picturesque landscape.

Garfield County

Garfield County, Utah is an outdoor paradise families and tourists will love.

Garfield County, Utah is located in the southern part of the state and was established back in 1882. It has a population of around 5,000 people and covers an area of 4,837 square miles. The county seat is Panguitch.

The main industries in Garfield County are agriculture and tourism. Agriculture is an important part of the economy, with farmers growing potatoes, hay, grain, and other crops. Livestock production is also popular; cattle, sheep and goats are all raised here. Tourism is also a major contributor to the county’s economy. Many recreational activities are available in the area, including camping, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and much more.

The Garfield County seat of Panguitch is known for its quaint charm and picturesque landscape. It has a variety of historical sites to visit and plenty of things to do. There are several museums in town, as well as a variety of shops and restaurants. The nearby Red Canyon Park offers great hiking, nature watching, and camping. Panguitch Lake is located just outside of town and is a popular spot for fishing and boating.

History

Discover the rich history of Garfield County, Utah, where traces of ancient Indian cultures have been found. From the Sevier, Fremont, and Anasazi cultures to the Southern Paiute and Ute Indians, this land holds a deep and diverse past.

In the 1800s, brave white settlers, led by Jens Nielsen, embarked on a challenging journey through the mountains to establish the village of Panguitch. Despite temporary abandonment during the Black Hawk War, Panguitch was later resettled in 1871.

Escalante was founded in 1875 as pioneers pushed further east, followed by other small settlements like Hatch, Cannonville, Henrieville, Antimony, Boulder, Tropic, and Widtsoe. These towns, some of them remote and isolated, stood as testaments to the perseverance and determination of their settlers.

In 1882, the county was officially created by the territorial legislature and named in honor of the late President James A. Garfield, who was tragically assassinated. Boulder, in particular, stood out as one of the most isolated towns in Utah until the 1930s, when the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed a road connecting it to Escalante. This development brought new accessibility and progress to the area.

The CCC built roads and undertook vital projects such as reseeding ranges, and constructing telephone lines, ranger stations, and trails. Their work left a lasting impact on the landscape and facilitated communication and growth in the county.

Geography

Garfield County in Utah is situated on the east side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. This plateau is part of the Colorado Plateau and its highest point, Bryce Point, reaches an elevation of 9,115 feet above sea level. Garfield’s landscape features dramatic sandstone canyons, mesas and plateaus.

The county also includes the watershed of the Sevier River, which provides important water for irrigation and recreation. The county is bordered by Iron County to the east, Piute County to the north, Kane County to the west, and San Juan County to the south.

Scenic Byway 12 (also known as The Journey Through Time Scenic Byway) runs through Garfield County from Panguitch to Torrey. This route offers stunning views of red rock cliffs, lush meadows, and beautiful desert landscapes.

Places of Interest

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the major attractions of Garfield County, Utah. This stunning park features a unique landscape of hoodoos or spire-shaped rocks formed by erosion. It is also home to a wide variety of animals, including mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep and more.

Anasazi State Park Museum

Anasazi State Park Museum is an archaeological site in Boulder, Utah that features the ruins of a 1,200-year-old Anasazi village. The museum offers tours and educational programs about the Native American culture.

Planning a trip to Garfield County

When planning a trip to Garfield County, Utah, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, the area is fairly remote and has limited amenities. It’s best to plan ahead and bring essential items such as food and water. Secondly, it’s important to check the weather forecast before visiting so that you can dress appropriately for the conditions. Finally, some popular attractions have admission fees, so check for special discounts or packages.
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lodging

There are a variety of lodging options in Garfield County, Utah. These include hotels, motels, cabins, and camping sites. Most accommodations are near popular attractions such as Bryce Canyon National Park or Anasazi State Park Museum. Alternatively, visitors can stay in a small town like Panguitch or Escalante for a more authentic experience.

dining

There are several dining options in Garfield County, Utah. Visitors can find restaurants serving local cuisine such as enchiladas and Navajo tacos. There are also several cafes and bakeries that offer light meals or snacks. Food is also available from convenience stores located throughout the county.

Seasons

Garfield County, Utah experiences four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and dry, reaching over 100°F (38°C). Winters in the area can be cold and snowy with temperatures falling below freezing. Spring is a transitional season with mild temperatures and occasional rain while fall brings cool weather and changing foliage.
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