The Cool Old Hotels, Rich History and Eclectic Shopping of Historic Panguitch
Sometimes you enter a small town in the American West and you can sense a proud and deeply rooted heritage. It’s not just the historic buildings — and Panguitch, Utah, is full of them — or the rustic and calm pace that reminds you you’ve left the big city far behind. Sometimes, a town’s heritage seems still very much in the present, just beneath the surface. It’s a sensation that only adds to this town’s centrally located place in your adventure.
In its first year, the Mormon settlement of Panguitch faced uncertainty as early winter struck and became exceedingly harsh. Provisions ran low and supply routes were blocked by snow. Seven men rose to the challenge of traveling by foot to the nearest settlement for the necessary food for the residents of Panguitch to survive. However, the deep snow was treacherous and they needed a way to solve the problem of falling through. So they utilized quilts. Yes, that’s right: the men would walk on quilts laying one before the next as they made progress to the settlement and back, thus creating the famous Utah tale of the “quilt walkers.” Today, you can easily drive that route (though with care during snowstorms) on Scenic Byway 143, fondly referred to as the Patchwork Parkway. Though you won’t encounter the tremendous hardship, you will encounter stunning national forests (especially colorful in the fall), interpretive displays and possibly even some wildlife.
Modern-day Panguitch is much different, of course, but it does offer small-town charm in big doses. The gateway to Scenic Byway 12, Bryce Canyon National Park, and beyond, Panguitch is worth a drop in to nosh, shop and sleep.
Along downtown’s Main Street, you’ll find a bevy of locally-owned shops to satisfy any shopper in your group, or to ensure you bring home the ideal gift to your loved ones. You’ll find everything from cowboy collectibles and eccentric antiques to the traditional kitsch — perfect, right?
Start your spree by discovering the treasure trove inside Cowboy Collectibles by CZR. Over the company’s 20 years in business, they’ve managed to accumulate a wide swath of saddles, spurs, cowboy boots, vintage clothing, and Western cowboy memorabilia. The name says it all at Smokin’ Hot Antiques & Collectibles, located in the old firehouse; there’s even an Indian Trading Post inside with vintage and new items such as jewelry, pottery, baskets, and blankets. Now, slide on over to Small Town Cozy, the adorable purveyor of everything from sweets and snacks to refinished furniture and decorative items for your home. Round out your shopping trip at Red Canyon Indian Store, where you can purchase souvenirs, Navajo rugs, sand paintings, pottery, and Western apparel, and pick from what they claim to be the largest selection of moccasins in Utah.
Have you shopped till you dropped? Then spend a night or two in Panguitch. The looks of the vintage signs out front of many of Panguitch’s motels make one reminiscent of a bygone era. The accommodations are all modern, though. Don’t miss the opportunity to take photos of your family in front of the cool exteriors and vintage signage either. Some choice spots include Adobe Sands Motel, Blue Pine Motel, Bryce Canyon Motel, and Canyon Lodge Motel.
GPS Coordinates and Addresses
Downtown Panguitch: 37.822715, -112.435910
Cowboy Collectibles by CZR
57 North Main Street
Smokin’ Hot Antiques and Collectibles
38 North Main Street
Red Canyon Indian Store
Adobe Sands Motel
390 N Main Street
Blue Pine Motel
130 North Main Street
Bryce Canyon Motel
308 N Main Street
Canyon Lodge Motel
210 North Main Street