Panguich, Utah ~ Gateway To Bryce Country!

Panguich, Utah ~ Gateway To Bryce Country!

Many old historic western towns have evolved to become gateways to adventure in the modern age and Panguich, Utah is a prime example.  Panguich began as a Mormon pioneer settlement in the early 1860s.  As the pioneers soon found out, life in these parts is not so easy.  The original Panguich settlement was abandoned after agricultural hardship set in and skirmishes with natives became more intense.  Things progressed quickly during this period of western history and Panguitch was resettled by the Mormon pioneers once again in the early 1870s.  From back then till the age of the automobile, this town was a quaint self sustainable farming and ranching community that had very little need for the outside world. 

Just like with most of the old pioneer towns in southern Utah, major changes took place shortly after the age of the automobile came to be.  During the same period of history when cars were starting to replace the horse and carriage, President Theodore Roosevelt was busy creating National Parks and National Monuments in order to protect the majestic beauty of this land.  Soon the old horse and buggy trails were converted to roads and people driving cars had easy access to scenic western destinations that they could only dream of going to in the past.  The age of modern automobile touring began and this trend took off in a big way.  It did not take long for small pioneer towns out west to jump on the bandwagon and soon the tourism industry became the number one source of income in these local communities.

As far as being a gateway to adventure goes, Panguich could not be located in a better spot.  Every road that leads to Panguich is a memorable scenic drive that runs past some of the most spectacular natural wonders of the west.  Just uphill from Panguich is the Cedar Breaks National Monument, Duck Creek, Navajo Lake, Brain Head Ski Resort and plenty of campsites in the Dixie National Forest.  Zion National Park is 45 minutes south of Panguich and the Grand Canyon is only about two hours further on down U.S. Highway 89.  

There are two tourism areas in Panguich. One is the historic downtown area and the other is located on the furthest edge of the city limits next to Red Canyon. The boundaries of the town of Panguich cover the intersection of Highway 89 and Utah Scenic Byway 12, which is the starting point for many great vacation adventures.  

The primary summer tourist attractions near Panguich are Red Canyon and Bryce Canyon National Park, which are literally located right next door on Scenic Byway 12.  Less than 45 minutes away from Panguich on Scenic Byway 12 tourists will find Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Kodachrome Basin State Park.  There is plenty to see and do in the Dixie National Forest too, especially if you drive an ATV.  As can be seen, Panguich is located smack dab in the middle of some of the most desirable places vacation destinations in the west!  As far as being a gateway to outdoor adventures is concerned, it simply does not get any better than this!

Panguich offers a few modern corporate amenities, but fortunately this town has retained traditional values.  Locally owned businesses take precedence over national corporate chains, so one will not find mega department stores, fast food joints or modern cookie cutter motels in this old town.  What a visitor will find is cozy Route 66 travel era style motels, old fashioned western steakhouse restaurants and locally owned drive-thru snack bars along with a few interesting local artisan shops.  Outdoor outfitters, local grocers and ATV rentals can be found in historic Panguich too. Outside of downtown, visitors will find, cabin lodges, RV parks and trading posts closer to Red Canyon.

The community of Panguich has taken great length to promote its pioneer heritage and many history displays can be seen downtown.  Old wagons, water carts and carriages from the days of the wild west are artistically displayed along the streets in this town.  There are several historical markers, a pioneer heritage park and a couple of museums in town too.  The pioneer theme spurns interest in outdoor adventure and Panguich has plenty of outfitters that cater to the needs of hunters and fishermen.  Everything from horseback riding tours of Bryce Canyon to hunting guides and ski instructors can be found in this place!

Panguich is one of many local Bryce Country pioneer communities that have adopted summer season tourism as a chief source of income.  Because Panguich is closer to Brian Head, this town gets some winter season tourism business flow too.  Towns like Panguich never seem busy during daylight hours, because the visitors are busy exploring the great outdoors.  It is not till sunset when the tourists seek food, drink and shelter, so at dusk the tourism service businesses fill up pretty fast.  With this in mind, it is highly suggested to book motel accommodations, RV land yacht slips or campground sites well ahead of time. 

A gateway to adventure is what this historic pioneer town is and the location of Panguich could not be better!  A visitor could spend weeks exploring all the outdoor adventures that this region has to offer and even just spending one day at Bryce Canyon is enough to create pleasant memories that will last a lifetime.  No matter whether you need to restock camping supplies or you are looking for a place to bed down for the night, the old west pioneer town of Panguich is well worth checking out!        

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Author: wildwestdestinations

I worked as a chef in remote resorts and National Parks, which provided the time to explore western travel destinations. I have a BA Degree in Culinary Management with high honors and currently I am working on a Masters Degree in Adult Education. My food and travel blog writing began as a means to generate income during college and now photo journalism has become my lifestyle.

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