Every 24th of July, Utah celebrates Pioneer Day. There are parades, fireworks and barbecues everywhere. In recognition of the first settlers of the Salt Lake Valley, the state looks back at it’s history and remembers. So we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch thought we’d do a little remembering ourselves. There have been thousands of years of human history lived in the deserts of Southern Utah. And each tribe or group or civilization that lived here left its mark.
The first settlers were, of course, Native American Indians. Anasazi and Hopi tribes lived in what is now Capitol Reef National Park and Boulder Mountain. You can view petroglyphs inside Capitol Reef, and in lots of other places nearby. Drive into Fish Creek (the turn-off is located between the back road that connects Teasdale and Torrey) and see more rock cravings up close. Then take the road up to the town of Boulder and visit the Anasazi Museum.
Right next to the petroglyphs you will likely see names of early explorers and pioneers. Utah has a rich pioneer heritage. Most of the early settlements succeeded, but many of them failed. Boomtowns came and went, and entire towns were abandoned for various reasons. You can visit these ghost towns. Check this post for more info.
Utah is also famous for its Old West outlaw lore. Butch Cassidy and his gangs frequented the area to lie low for a while. They frequented many of the canyons and remote areas of the Waterpocket Fold.
This area is wild and remote. It was one of the last explored and mapped regions in the United States. It was only opened up to visitors in the last fifty years. The legends and myths of the area are fascinating. And we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch can claim a little connection to the past. We are located on the site of an old stagecoach way station.