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Parowan & Brian Head - Utah

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Parowan calls itself the Mother Town of Southern Utah. It was the first Mormon settlement in the area (1851), established to foster mining, and provided a base for development of other communities in the region. It's located north of Cedar City, just off Interstate 15 in southwestern Utah.

In recent years, the people of Parowan have established a Heritage Foundation to focus on the town's history, and one of its projects is the Parowan Heritage Park, now being planned and constructed with historic buildings brought to the site. There are a number of beautiful historic homes in the town, as well.

Brian Head is a powder skiing favorite, and the small town has become a destination resort that also operates as a recreation and cultural center during summer months. It's the northern gateway to Cedar Breaks, providing lodge and B&B accommodations, plus several good places to eat. There's fishing nearby at Panguitch Lake, Navajo Lake, and the Yankee Meadow Reservoir.

What to See & Do

The Rock Church stands in the middle of the Parowan town square. Completed in 1867, this building has been a church, town council hall, school, and social hall. In the 1940s, the church was restored by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, who now operate a historical museum in the building. The Jesse N. Smith Home is located across the square from the church. It was built out of red adobe in 1857&endash;58, and the Smith family lived here until 1880. It remained empty for many years and was restored to become another museum. Tours through the mansion can be arranged by phoning (435) 477-8728.

Parowan Gap, a natural pass, is located 12 miles northwest of Parowan. Indians passing through the Gap left messages on the boulders here, and the petroglyphs feature drawings of snakes, lizards, mouse-men, mountain sheep, and bear claws. There's an information display at the Gap with the story of the Indian migrations.

Brian Head is both a mountain and a resort town. From the 11,207-foot peak, you can see the red rock pinnacles of Cedar Breaks National Monument and the surrounding Dixie National Forest. Brian Head is a powder skiing favorite, and the small town has become a destination resort that also operates as a recreation and cultural center during summer months. It's the northern gateway to Cedar Breaks, providing lodge and B & B accommodations, plus several good places to eat. There's fishing nearby at Panguitch Lake, Navajo Lake, and the Yankee Meadow Reservoir. For accommodations, see page 164.

Between the two towns lies Parowan Canyon. Highway 143 leads south from Parowan, passing through this scenic canyon. Five miles up the canyon is the Vermillion Castle picnic area and campground (called Five-Mile by locals). Here one sees high, red cliff formations. Beyond the castle area is the Yankee Meadow Reservoir mentioned above. An alternate (4WD) route to the reservoir is through Second Left-Hand Canyon, which leaves the highway just beyond the Vermillion Castle turnoff. Beyond the reservoir is Paragonah Canyon and the nearby Reed Creek Reservoir. A stand of ancient bristlecone pines can be seen by taking forest backroads along the north rim of Cedar Breaks, starting at Brian Head.

Where to Stay -- Hotel Guide

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In Parowan

Swiss Village Inn
P.O. Box 967, Parowan UT 84761
(435) 477-3391
Swiss decor marks this Best Western motel. It has 28 units, a heated pool, and in winter, an enclosed whirlpool. There is also a restaurant here ($).

Jedediah's Inn and Restaurant
625 W. 200 South, Parowan UT 84761
(435) 477-3326
As the name implies, this motor inn has a restaurant attached, and there is also a lounge. There are 40 units available, with cable TV, movies, and phones. It is open year-round ($).

Parowan Camping

Foothills RV Park is open all year and has 79 RV sites with full hookups, as well as 40 tent sites, water, showers, toilets, laundry, and dump station (435-477-3535). Pit Stop Campground has 20 RV and 34 tent sites, year-round (435-477-9990).

In Brian Head

Cedar Breaks Lodge
223 Hunter Ridge Rd., Box 190248, Brian Head UT 84719
1-888-AT-CEDAR
This large hotel (170 rooms) has many amenities, including sauna and steam room, indoor swimming pool and fitness center, and full-service spa. The hotel offers studio rooms including kitchenettes,and also "Parlor" bedrooms with whirlpool tubs, a king or two queen beds, and a sitting room with a sofa sleeper. Larger suites provide two-bedrtoom accommodatons, plus units sleeping up to ten adults. Three restaurants offer a wide range of food and ambiance.

Copper Chase Condominium Hotel
150 Ridge Road, P.O. Box 190218, Brian Head UT 84719
(435) 677-2890 or 800-468-4898
The Copper Chase is one of several facilities in town with condominium units; this one has 65 available of varying sizes, all with kitchens (fully furnished with appliances and utensils) and some with hot tubs. Also available to guests are a covered heated pool, whirlpool, and weight room.


Nearby Places

Cedar Breaks National Monument

Bryce Canyon National Park

Cedar City

St. George

Zion National Park

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