Panguitch, Utah, captures the enduring pioneer spirit of Utah with its welcoming rural charm and strong sense of heritage. Yet Panguitch is also an important base camp for many of Southern Utah's top natural attractions, potentially including three of The Mighty 5® national parks (Zion, Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef), two vast expanses of distinct national forests (Fishlake and Dixie), two national monuments (Cedar Breaks and Grand Staircase-Escalante) and several state parks.
Scenic Byway 143
Travel 48 spectacular miles from Parowan to Panguitch with multiple interpretive sites, an essential side trip down S.R. 148 to Cedar Breaks National Monument, and access to resort skiing or boarding on The Greatest Snow on Earth®.
Quilt Walk Festival
In 1864, so the story is told, a group of pioneers were sent eastward from Parowan, Utah, along a stretch of the Old Spanish Trail to establish a settlement.
At more than 6,600 feet, that early settlement, which became known as Panguitch (meaning "big fish" in the language of the Paiute tribe), was surprised with a particularly short growing season, cutting off the settlers' harvest. With the situation growing dire, a group set out over the snowy 8,000 foot pass, heavily wrapped in quilts, back to Parowan for supplies to save the settlement.
The challenges of walking through deep snow eventually led the team to discovering the surface area of their quilts would make the difficult journey easier. Every year, this historic town now hosts a festival commemorating the famous quilt walk that saved this early settlement.
The spirit of survival, pioneer determination and the rugged Old West endure not only in this lively three-day festival, but in the very soul of Panguitch, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The festival is held on the second week of June, and 2014 marked the 150th anniversary of the quilt walk that saved a settlement.
Gateway to Adventure
A town whose name means "big fish" surely will deliver on a promise of great angling. Indeed, four Blue Ribbon Fisheries, so called for their combination of exquisite settings and sustainable, healthy fish populations, are within about a half-hour of Panguitch: Paragonah Reservoir, Panguitch Lake, Panguitch Creek and Asay Creek.
Beyond the Blue Ribbon, Panguitch distinguishes itself with access to myriad trail systems, whether you seek trails for your footwear, your mountain bike tread, or your ATV.
Scenic Byway 143 also accesses some of The Greatest Snow on Earth® at Brian Head Resort, one of Utah's most unique resort experiences thanks to the high elevation of its base and proximity to Utah's iconic red rock.
"America's Toughest Stage Race," the Tour of Utah, also passes through Panguitch, highlighting Utah's passion for world-class sporting events and the incredible scenic beauty of Southern Utah and its byways.