Southwest Silver Screen
See silver screen cowboys and real ones, too. This five-day itinerary will take you to famous film backdrops and to the real Old West.
Even if you haven’t been to Utah before, chances are you’re familiar with Utah’s vistas from the silver screen. Utah has been the backdrop to numerous Hollywood flicks for almost 100 years, from “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” to “Indiana Jones.” This five-day itinerary for film fiends will take you to famous locations and put you in the saddle like you’re in a Western.
It’s hard not to imagine yourself on horseback chasing down outlaws or hiding away from the marshal when you’re scrambling around the red rocks and canyons in Moab. If you want to have your very own “City Slickers” experience, you can hop in the saddle for a few days at Tavaputs Ranch or Rockin’ R Ranch.
You can see John Ford’s most famous backdrop in Monument Valley, where you can imagine John Wayne riding across the vista or you can find the exact point where Forrest Gump stopped running. You’ll be transported to another planet in Goblin Valley’s Martian landscape. Then, be taken back in time at Gifford Homestead, a striking 110-year-old farm framed by cliffs.
The last two days of your trip are all about the spirit of the Old West. Go to an amateur rodeo where the real cowboys ride or drive through Johnson Canyon and its rugged backcountry scenery. If you’re in town at the right time you can brush elbows with Western film stars at the Western Legends Roundup or with 1,000 sheep at the Cedar City Livestock Festival. After this week you’ll have lived the West, not just watched it.
See day-by-day options in Base Camp Kanab or explore more itineraries.
Dead Horse State Park
A broad peninsula of land jutting out over the spectacular White Rim of the Colorado River, Dead Horse Point State Park specializes in the type of sweeping, jaw-dropping views that make visitors run for their cameras to try and capture the area’s grandeur. In recent years, a tight network of fun singletrack trails has begun attracting mountain bikers who want epic views with moderate rides, increasing the popularity of the park.
Delicate Arch Trail
If you’ve ever seen a postcard or poster of Arches National Park, you’ve probably seen Delicate Arch. This amazing arch has become the symbol of Arches National Park, which is somewhat surprising because it is barely visible from the road.
Kodachrome Basin State Park
Kodachrome Basin covers 2,240 acres of canyon country and is surrounded by Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument on three sides.
Little Hollywood Museum
Little Wild Horse & Ding and Dang
Among the exceptionally beautiful slot canyon hikes in the southern San Rafael area, Little Wild Horse Canyon is a classic, as well as the perfect introduction both to non-technical canyoneering for just about anyone in decent shape. The nearby Ding and Dang Canyons are a bit more difficult, and best suited for experienced hikers.
Movies Filmed in Utah: Plotting a Cinematic Drive-Through
Follow a Germany-based film enthusiast on an extended road trip to discover the rich history of Utah cinematography.
Road to Mighty
Utah adventures range from satisfying solitude to amazing high adventure. Browse our suggested Southern Utah itineraries. Which vacation appeals to you?