Red Canyon Tunnels

Red Canyon Tunnels (HMR44)

Location: Panguitch, UT 84759 Garfield County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 44.453', W 112° 17.978'

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Gateway to Natural Wonders

A New Park's Magical Opening
"One little fairy hopped upon the running board and asked Governor Dern if he believed in fairies. 'Yes,' he said. 'Then,' said she, 'enter into Fairyland." - From Golden Nuggets of Pioneer Days, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1949

On June 1, 1925, a 315-car caravan, led by Governor George Dean, arrived at the Red Canyon tunnels to celebrate the opening of Utah National Park (later renamed Bryce Canyon National Park). A flower-strewn gate closed the entrance to the second tunnel, and a banner proclaimed "Welcome to Utah's Fairyland." Children dressed as fairies tied flowers and long ribbons to the bumper of the governor's car. When the governor pronounced his belief in fairies, two young elves opened the gates while a band, perched atop the tunnel, began to play. Dancing fairies pulled on the streamers (and men pushed from behind) to draw the car through the tunnel. Ever since that momentous celebration, the Red Canyon tunnels have served as a magical entrance to Red and Bryce Canyons.

Building the Tunnels
"We came upon what I have always considered the most beautiful piece of natural scenery on the face of the earth. ...Immediately upon my return to Panguitch, I began to make it possible to reach the canyon by automobile."
-W.J. Humphrey, Powell National Forest Supervisor, recollecting his first visit to Bryce Canyon circa 1915. Though it took nearly a decade of effort, Humphrey realized his dream of a road through Red Canyon.

Rusted Rocks
The bright formations of Red Canyon are largely limestone, built from sediment of a lake that covered this region 35-50 million years ago. The pink, orange, and red tones come from oxidized iron in the limestone - in other words, rust. Color hues depend on the amount of iron in the rock.

HM NumberHMR44
Placed ByScenic Byway 12 and Dixie National Forest
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 at 12:47pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12S E 385492 N 4177861
Decimal Degrees37.74088333, -112.29963333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 44.453', W 112° 17.978'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 44' 27.18" N, 112° 17' 58.68" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)435
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 499 Unnamed Road, Panguitch UT 84759, US
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