Here are some accommodations, restaurants, and adventures that don’t have “what the hell have you gotten me into?” moments but are worthwhile nonetheless.
Kanab in general and Parry Lodge in particular celebrate the area’s history with the movie industry — loads of westerns were made here. Every room at Parry Lodge is named after a Hollywood personality, and the walls in the restaurant and lobby are covered with photos of big names who have stayed there.
Do as the website advises and “surround yourself with peace and solitude ... and nature nestled in the trees and hollows of beautiful red rock country in Southern Utah.” This camp of cozy yurts is located along Utah’s Scenic Byway 12 and sits inside 20 secluded acres. Sit on the deck to watch the sun set, and get up early to watch it rise.
The restaurant, part of the Slot Canyons Inn, prides itself on serving its own grass-fed beef — raised on the Rex Ranch — and locally sourced ingredients. I follow a policy of ordering items if I’ve never seen them on a menu before, which is why I fully endorse the polenta fries.
This restaurant in quaint downtown Kanab was rocking, all right. There was barely a seat available when I went on a Sunday night in June. Can’t-miss item on the menu: tomato basil soup.
I spent 10 days absorbed by Utah’s unending scenic beauty. I rafted, hiked, and drove through canyons, deserts, and mountains. If you forced me to pick the prettiest place, it would be Angel’s Palace Trail. You’ll find it outside the town of Cannonville and just miles from another gem, Bryce Canyon National Park.
Remains from petrified trees that dot the landscape in this park outside of Escalante are more than 100 million years old. Some of the “logs” along the trail are no longer round — they have flattened out, as if they gave in long ago to the unbearable weight of time.
You might feel like you’re in a western when you explore the landscapes around Kanab. That’s because these backdrops have starred in dozens of westerns filmed here — everything from The Big Trail with the Duke in 1930 to The Outlaw Josey Wales with the Clint in 1976. Highlights of this tour: walking through a canyon in which you can touch walls on both sides with your hands at the same time, an ancient granary, and a lake/pond in a cave.
Canyoneering is a relatively new sport in the United States and is sometimes confused with rappelling. Rappelling is the act of descending via ropes. Canyoneering is everything you can do in a canyon — including, but not limited to, hiking, swimming, wading, crawling, and, yes, rappelling. For more on C&I’s adventure in Utah, click here.
Photography: Images courtesy Get in the Wild, Utah State Parks, Forever Adventure Tours
From our October 2020 issue.