Fall is in full swing here in Panguitch! To celebrate this glorious time of year Panguitch business owners have gotten festive and come up with scarecrows to display. We love all the creativity that went into the planning and building of these fun scarecrows! Which is your favorite?

Top left to right: Small Town Cozy, Panguitch Drug, Lincare

Middle left to right: Garfield Memorial Foundation Thrift Store, Hitch-n-Post

Bottom left to right: Red Rock Eye Clinic, Little L’s Bakery, Panguitch City Office

Scarecrows

“My Panguitch” A Local’s Perspective – Randy and Becky Yard

Randy and Becky

Randy first came to the Panguitch area as a young boy to hunt with his father. They have hunted this area since 1965. Randy’s father loved it here so much that he purchased a lot in town with plans to retire here. Unfortunately his father passed away before he was able to live out those plans, so Randy likes to say that in being here he is “living his father’s dream.”

Randy bought a house in town about 30 years ago, which he has since sold. He purchased property out on River Lane just north of Panguitch where he and Becky have lived full time for the past 15 years…loving every minute!

As an avid quilter, Becky finds the Panguitch Quilt Walk Festival her favorite weekend here in town. She also enjoys their retail shop on Main, Cowboy Collectibles, where she and Randy have an incredible collection of western saddles, spurs, bits, cowboy boots, vintage clothes, and original cowboy items from stars such as Roy Rogers, Lone Ranger, Hop-a-long Cassidy, Buffalo Bill, and Davy Crockett to name a few.

Randy enjoys hunting, exploring on his ATV, and working in his woodworking shop. They both enjoy riding along the Fremont Trail (great for ATV’s or Side by Side’s), the festivals held here in Panguitch, and having Sunday morning breakfast each week at the Flying M Restaurant.

What they love most about Panguitch: “That is such an easy answer. The people. We have always been so welcomed into this community. We love volunteering and giving back. We are blessed to call Panguitch home.”

Why Panguitch?

By: Art Cooper

March, 1864. On this date a group of Mormon pioneer settlers arrive into a beautiful valley on the Upper Sevier River. Under the direction of Jens Nielson crops were planted and a fort constructed with small log houses to provide shelter. The settlement was called Fairview. Shortly thereafter it was discovered that there was a Fairview already in Sanpete County and the name of the new settlement was changed to Panguitch, the name the Paiutes had given to a lovely natural lake about twelve miles west-southwest of the settlement. The unusual word means “big fish.”

The first winter was very difficult in Panguitch. The crops did not fully mature and provide sufficient food. It was necessary to send folks to Parowan to get flour and other supplies or the settlers would starve. Several men volunteered to make the trip and seven of them were selected. They started with oxen and a wagon but had to abandon them in Bear Valley due to heavy snow. The men continued on foot, carrying their quilts with them to provide warmth. As they started up the mountain, snow drifts became too deep to cross. What were they to do? If they didn’t get to Parowan and obtain food, their families back in Panguitch would surely die. They spread quilts out on the snow and had a prayer circle. After praying they noticed that the quilts had kept them from sinking into the snow. That was their answer! As they came to deep snow drifts, they would spread their quilts over them and walk across on the quilts. They were successful in getting to Parowan, obtained supplies, and carried them back to Panguitch. Their families were saved!

Panguitch was abandoned in 1866 due to the Blackhawk War. In 1870 Mormon President Brigham Young decided that Panguitch should be resettled and called George W Sevey of New Harmony to direct the effort. Sevey ran a notice in the Deseret News that anyone desiring to settle Panguitch should meet him at a certain place and time. Sevey and his gang arrived in Panguitch in March, 1871 and the community has been the beloved home of hundreds since that time.

This year, 2014, is the Sesquicentennial of Panguitch. Why has it been such a special place for 150 years? One reason is the scenic beauty of the area. Panguitch Valley is simply beautiful. To the west is Little Creek Peak and Sandy Peak. To the east is the Mt Dutton Range with Mot Dutton, Blind Spring Peak, Hancock Peak and Casto Knolls. The north part of this mountain range has pastel colors of pink and white. As one’s view moves south, the colors become darker finally reaching the rich red-orange of Red Canyon.

The many red brick houses and business buildings contribute to Panguitch’s beauty. There were three brick kilns in operation in Panguitch during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many of the workers were paid in bricks. The brick buildings have been occupied continuously since their construction and were the major reason for the entire city of Panguitch becoming a National Historic District in 2007.

Many special events entertain Panguitch residents and visitors throughout the year. Several rodeos are held in the Triple C Arena, one of the finest indoor arenas in the state. An Old West Cowboy Day, complete with bank robbery, is held on Main Street the Saturday before Memorial Day. The Quilt Walk Festival commemorating the event that saved the settlement from starvation during the winter of 1864-65 is held on the second weekend in June. It consists of a beautiful quilt display, quilt making classes, and a dinner theater presenting a musical drama of the event. Two weeks later is the Panguitch Valley Balloon Rally with the ascension of 35 hot air balloons on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings and a stunning balloon glow on Main and Center Streets on Saturday evening. For the past two years the glow has drawn a crowd of near 6,000 people!

The 4th of July brings an outstanding fireworks display. On the Thursday and Friday prior to the 24th of July, there is the Utah Old Time Fiddlers Festival and Fiddlers Feast. Pioneer Day on July 24th provides an outstanding parade and many family reunions.

The month of August presents the many activities of the Garfield County Fair and the Bryce ATV Rally. During most of the aforementioned events, a Panguitch Lions Club breakfast is presented. With pancakes, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, orange juice, milk, hot chocolate and coffee, it is a breakfast to be savored!

In addition to these special events, the hunting, fishing, hiking, ATV riding, skiing and snowshoeing available in the area and its proximity to Bryce Canyon National park make Panguitch a vacation wonderland.

The greatest thing about Panguitch is its people. From the early settlements to the present, Panguitch residents have shown dedication to the two greatest commandments. Love God and love thy neighbor. That’s why Panguitch truly is a place where the unique is common!

Winter…the months of cold can drag on and on, and on. Don’t let that dreary weather get you down. Winter can be a magical time of year, especially here in Panguitch. Listed below are a few cold weather activities you can enjoy right here in our area:

  • Snowshoe Walks: Don’t own a pair? No worries. Bryce Canyon National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument both offer snowshoe walks…free of charge! Every Saturday (weather permitting) through February Cedar Breaks National Monument is offering ranger guided snowshoe walks. Registration is required and groups are limited to 30. You can call 435-586-9451 ext 4425 to make your reservation. Their walk is 2 miles round-trip with a break at the Winter Ranger Station (warming up with a cup of hot chocolate in the yurt is a fun experience). Bryce Canyon National Park also offers guided walks Thursday through Sunday (when snow depth and staffing allow). Registration is required. Sign up at the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center or make a reservation by calling 435-834-4747.
  • Ice Skating: Nothing says winter outdoor fun better than ice skating. The Ruby’s Inn ice skating rink is located across from Ruby’s Inn at the Winter Activity Center (Ebenezer’s Barn & Grill Center). At Ruby’s, young and old can enjoy this winter pastime favorite. Bring your own skates, or rentals are available. See the link for more information on ice skating at Ruby’s Inn.
  • Ice Fishing: Love fishing? The icy lakes don’t have to keep you away during the winter. Find a friend with an ice saw, auger or chisel and enjoy a morning out on the lake…literally on it!
  • Cross Country Skiing: For another fun adventure, try out cross country skiing. Rental equipment, maps, and information are available at Ruby’s Inn Winter Activity Center.
  • Sledding: A local favorite is a hill just south of the road up Red Canyon.

What are some of your favorite winter pastimes?

Snowshoeing

Don’t have a National Parks Pass? Mark you calendar! The National Park Service has announced 9 fee-free days for 2015.

  • January 20th – Martin Luther King Jr Day
  • February 15-17 – Presidents Day Weekend
  • April 19-20 – Opening weekend of National Park Week
  • August 25 – National Park Service Birthday
  • September 27 – National Public Lands Day
  • November 11 – Veterans Day

Make your plans now to take advantage of these free days and enjoy the beautiful National Parks that surround us.

*Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

Bryce Canyon Collage