The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area is the only National Heritage Area designated and named for a specific people, the Mormon Pioneers – as they forged to the west. Their remarkable story of dedication, fortitude, and extraordinary efforts offers one of the best features of the Mormon colonization experience in the United States. The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area has been identified by Congress as a factor in the expansion of the United States and contributing to the United States becoming a major world power.
The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area contains:
- 5 Districts
- 3 National Parks
- 2 National Monuments
- 3 National Forests
- 1 National Recreation Area
- 8 State Parks
- 8 National Historic Sites and Districts
- 4 Preserve America and National Main Street Communities
- 50 Museums
- Heritage Area Markers and Historic Buildings and Pioneer Sites
The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area includes 250 miles of glorious scenic byways, a vast array of wildlife, the best of western living, cattle and sheep ranches, and colorful mountain vistas, all within a trip on Utah Heritage Highway 89. Here you will discover some of the most diverse, beautiful, and inspiring scenery in America.
- Cowboys, Outlaws, and the Movies The unique landscape features a geological wonderland that has been the backdrop for feature films including; “Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid,” and “Jeremiah Johnson.” While traveling through the picturesque scenery, you might recognize a scene or two. Included in the heritage area is the birthplace of Utah outlaws, Butch Cassidy and Matt Warner. Matt was a lifelong friend and a gang member alongside of Butch.
- Mormon Colonization In the later part of the 1800s the Mormon pioneers began their great relocation to the west. They trekked 1,400 miles from Illinois to the Great Salt Lake. This mass-Exodus brought about colonization in Utah, Nevada, the southwest corner of Wyoming, the southeast corner of Idaho, southeast Oregon, and a large portion of southern and eastern California.
- Boundaries The historical, cultural, and natural heritage legacies of the Mormon colonization and settlement are nationally significant starting along the Highway 89 corridor at the Arizona border, passing through Kane, Garfield, Piute, Sevier, Wayne, and terminating in Fairview, Sanpete County, Utah. Their role comes alive as you travel through the communities they built, giving you a picturesque glimpse into the Mormons’ role in the old west, and a sense of life in the mid 1800s. You will be awed by the area specific architecture found in the heritage area. It was largely influenced by the vast number of European immigrants that came to Utah in the 1800s. The colonization of central and southern Utah brought many talented stonemasons to the area to quarry the unique natural resources of the Oolitic limestone exclusively found in Sanpete County which is located in the Little Denmark District.
- Areas Of Interest In the heritage area there truly is something special for everyone. For the history enthusiast, you will be amazed at the vast amount of information that is contained in our museums. Family recreation can be found in all districts. By the way, you might just find a long lost relative or two in the many museums that contain family histories, life stories, pictures, and family genealogies. For those interested in archeology, a life-size Mammoth is on display in the Fairview Museum in Fairview, Sanpete County, Utah. This fossil was discovered nearby in Huntington Lake.
- Outdoor Activities If camping is your pleasure, there are many breathtaking areas available in all of the heritage areas. It is said by many sportsmen that the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area is a hunter’s and fisherman’s paradise.
- Getaways There are many romantic Bed and Breakfast Inns that will surely appeal to the Honeymooning Brides and Grooms, Wedding Receptions, Anniversaries, or a romantic getaway for two.
Experience the charm of the communities, stroll down the Main Streets of towns that have been preserved as if you were walking into the 1800s. You will witness the appeal that many find in the charismatic towns. Visit the many artisans, crafters, innkeepers, outfitters, historic landscape, customs, national parks, and unique architecture in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area.