- This event has passed.
Scenic Johnson Canyon: Petroglyphs & Movie Locations
August 24, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
An event every day that begins at 9:00 am, repeating until August 25, 2018
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY TOURS (9 am)
Petroglyphs and Western Movie Sets
Johnson Canyon, just east of Kanab, is a treasure trove of History. This scenic red rock canyon is a ‘gateway’ into the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It also served as a thoroughfare for many previous civilizations! Dinosaurs roamed the area millions of years ago–The Grand Staircase has yielded at least 20 brand new dinosaur discoveries on the Kaiparowits Plateau area. You can clearly see the different eras of Earth’s history in the different strata of rocks as you drive up the canyon.
Later, the ancient Anasazi Indians called the nooks and crannies of Johnson Canyon their home. The left behind tools, pottery shards, and PETROGLYPHS! What did they have to say? And was their mothers chastising their children for writing on the walls?
On this tour, you will have the unique privilege of viewing what has been described as one of the most historically significant petroglyph panels in the state. These panels are located on private property and are not open to the public. However, the Western Legends Round-Up has received permission from the landowner to bring in a limited number of individuals to see the panels. This guided tour will also take you through beautiful Johnson Canyon which has served as the backdrop to many Western adventures, both real and fictional.
Later, Mormon Pioneers used Johnson canyon as a route to some of their Southern settlements. You will see what we affectionately call “Cowboy-glyphs” along the sheer canyon walls. The signed their names and used the flat wall as an early ‘billboard’. All alongside the ‘ancient ones’ graffiti.
Gunsmoke Movie Set
In the early era of movie making, filmmakers fell in love with Johnson Canyon’s nooks and crannies. As we travel up the canyon, you can just see Cowboys and Indians, “Good Guys” and “Bad Guys” riding their horses down from the rocks and slot canyons.
The television series of Gunsmoke ran from 1955 to 1975 and is said to be one of the longest running prime-time shows on television. There were 635 episodes and many of the outdoor scenes for this show were shot in Johnson Canyon near Kanab, Utah. The setting of Gunsmoke is Dodge City, Kansas during the 1870’s. A replica of the Hollywood set was created just three miles outside of Kanab.
This Johnson Canyon movie set, is perhaps the largest movie set constructed in the Kanab area. It can still be viewed from the road but is not accessible due to its state of general disrepair. A great example of Hollywood movie set construction, and great “ghost town” photo ops.
Hurry! Seating is LIMITED! This popular tour sells out quickly!
Bus Tours Available: FRIDAY, Aug 24 and SATURDAY, Aug 25 — ALL TOURS WILL DEPART PROMPTLY AT 9 AM FROM DENNY’S/IRON HORSE PARKING LOT!!
The ending time of each bus tour is approximate.