You’re an hour and a quarter into the drive from Capitol Reef to Bryce Canyon National Park along Highway. The scenery is amazing, but you’re also starting to feel like you could sure use an espresso, and maybe a bite, to keep you fueled for the rest of the way. You happen to notice a sign on the other side of the road, and you screech to a halt: “Kiva Koffehouse,” it reads, like an answer to your prayer.
Tucked on a hillside down a dirt driveway near milepost 73 on the scenic byway, it would be easy to miss Kiva Koffeehouse if you didn’t know to look out for it. And missing it would be a real shame, because this café is one of the most iconic man-made destinations along your drive. You may be wondering what could be so grand about a simple stop on the highway to get a cup of joe, so here it is: In addition to a great spot to get your caffeine fix (though it is that, too), it is also home to one of the most epic views in the area. If you continue past the Koffeehouse, and down driveway you’ll discover that Kiva is strategically perched on the rim of a canyon, that has one of the more extraordinary views around.
The Koffeehouse itself is unique to look at. The circular building was crafted with evident care and attention to detail. The support columns around its perimeter are 13 Ponderosa pine logs, which were collected from west Utah’s forests over a two-year period. Some of these trees had been nearly 300 years old when they fell. The brick between the logs is sandstone that was quarried on-site. Inside, tables are set alongside large windows, and look out onto the grand view (there is also a covered outdoor patio). The Kiva Koffeehouse is an unforgettable place to sip a cappuccino or eat a southwest-themed lunch, while drinking in the scenery of the adjacent red and gold-layered canyon.
Kiva Koffeehouse was the brainchild of the late Bradshaw Bowman. When the structure was completed in 1998 he was an octogenarian. Maintaining the forward-looking vision of a younger man, he decided to add to the Kiva experience by giving visitors the option to stay for longer than just a meal — and so he saw to the construction of the Kiva Kottage. The Kiva Kottage is a two-room cabin located right below the restaurant (and thus it shares the same view). Each of the rooms — the “sunset room” and the “sunrise room” — is available to rent. Staying here will make you feel as though you’ve stumbled upon a veritable oasis in the middle of the desert; a place to kick back and relax before continuing on in your explorations.
The Koffeehouse and Kottage are open seasonally from April-October, and rooms at the Kottage are $190 per night.
GPS Coordinates: 37.771800, -111.418009