Butch Cassidy's West
He's one of the American West's most notorious outlaws. Though his fame is rooted in theft, his story has transcended the life of crime to became a legend with almost mythical underpinnings. The son of rural Utah pioneers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that legend is Butch Cassidy. On this multiday road trip through Utah, wrap the Hollywood narrative into landmarks from the outlaw's life by exploring locations from both stories.
Many travelers visit southwestern Utah to see the soaring cliffs of Zion National Park and to hike, climb and mountain bike the incredible red rock landscapes. For movie buffs, this scenic corner of the state of Utah comes alive with nostalgia for Robert Redford’s iconic film, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” The complete list of filming locations includes the ghost town of Grafton, Snow Canyon State Park, the city of St. George and Zion National Park.
After exploring these Hollywood backdrops, you'll set off on one of Southern Utah's best road trips, the All-American Road: Scenic Byway 12. You'll steal glimpses of the red rock country that captivates modern travelers and at times shielded Butch Cassidy's Hole-in-the-Wall Gang from the law. Here's where you can add extra days to your itinerary. In other words, come for the chance to participate in Butch Cassidy's legend, but don't miss the opportunity to linger in some of America's most scenic and most adventurous parks and monuments.
While you could head back at this point, you're now close enough to Salt Lake City to consider seeing the legend kept alive in the present day. Rumor has it the Owl Bar, originally built in the 1890s, was moved from the town of Thermopolis, Wyoming, and had been visited by Butch Cassidy’s Hole-in-the-Wall Gang. Sundance owner Redford Redford played the Sundance Kid in the 1969 movie, and his Sundance Mountain Resort and Park City-based Sundance film festivals inherit the spirit of that film.
- St. George Area
- Running Through Snow Canyon
- Grafton Ghost Town
Below the rim of the Great Basin sits Utah's warm-weather retreat, the town of St. George. The stunning valley combines transitional land features from the neighboring basin and Colorado Plateau with the landscapes and wildlife of the Mojave Desert and is an excellent base camp to southwestern Utah's adventures and most scenic movie backdrops.
Contrary to its name, there isn't a lot of snow in Snow Canyon State Park, but it’s the backdrop for the famous 30-minute chase scene in "Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid." Get on a horse and see for yourself with Patty at Snow Canyon Trail Rides or set out on foot across the park’s playful blend of petrified sand dunes and lava fields amid red rock walls and bright skies.
Every ghost town has a story to tell. They are often reminders of long forgotten dreams, hopes, struggles, and gradual decline. Some say that Grafton is the most photographed ghost town in the West, and it was, in fact, the filming location for parts of "Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid," among other Hollywood movies. This is private property, so do not attempt to enter structures and visit with respect.
- The Birthplace of Butch
- Cassidy Trail
An unlikely candidate for the outlaw life, Cassidy, whose real name was Robert Leroy Parker, was born to Mormon pioneers in the small town of Circleville, Utah. On your journey (granted, a bit out of the way), stop by the site to see the recently restored cabin and to gain perspective on the rural life and place that began it all.
The Cassidy Trail wasn’t just the filming location for an iconic Western movie, it’s steeped in history. The trail is the same one Butch Cassidy used to evade the law, and it would become part of what was known as the "Outlaw Trail." Once you find this hidden trailhead, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking scenery and Wild West legend.
- The All-American Road Scenic Byway 12
- Kodachrome Basin State Park
- Capitol Reef Country
Discover two national parks, the vast Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and the tranquil beauty of Boulder Mountain along with national forest lands and state parks unlike anywhere else. While you can complete the whole drive on one scenic three-hour tour, even a four-day itinerary only cracks the surface.
The first official name, “Chimney Rock” reflects the area’s 67 monolithic stone spires, part of a multicolored landscape so beautiful it earned the nickname “Kodachrome” after a popular Kodak film. The name stuck and today visitors enjoy camping and hiking across 2,240 acres of photogenic, geologic wonder.
Southern Utah is one of few places left where the romanticized wild of the American West and magic of the desert still coexist. We hike, canyoneer, rock climb and go off-road where a century before, only outlaws came to find refuge. Capitol Reef's Cassidy Arch is a spot wild enough to earn the outlaw's name. Or, if you have the right resources, set out for the remote Robber's Roost.
- Owl Bar
- Sundance to Park City
- Robert Redford's Sundance
(Depart SLC Int'l)
Sit at The Owl Bar’s restored 1890s rosewood bar and muse that Butch Cassidy once drank at this plank. Back then, though, the bar was located in Thermopolis, Wyoming, but has since been brought to this watering hole in the shadow of Mt. Timpanogos. Explore an excellent Scotch selection by the fireplace and order food prepared at the Foundry Grill next door.
Sundance, Utah, home to "Jeremiah Johnson" star, Robert Redford, was one of the main shooting locations for the film. Redford acted as a tour guide for the scenes that were shot on his property. Today, Sundance is a year-round destination for outdoor adventure and rustic, yet upscale, amenities. Only an hour from SLC International, the mountain resort offers downhill, Nordic, fly-fishing, hiking, zip-lining, arts, fine dining and more, all in the shadow of majestic Mount Timpanogos.