Panguitch, Utah – Little Britches & Big Horses in the City Park

June 2022 – We’d been driving north through glorious Utah red rock landscapes for a while, and Mark suddenly said, “I’d really like to go to a nice city park with some lush green grass so Buddy can stretch his legs!”

Well, gosh. I wasn’t sure I could produce such a thing out here in this dry craggy landscape, but I did a quickie search and suddenly found just the thing. And it was only a few miles ahead to boot: Panguitch City Park.

We pulled in and parked by the lush green grass. As we looked around, we discovered the fairground behind the park was filled with horses and horse trailers!

Little Britches Rodeo in Panguitch Utah City Park

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Horses were standing around tied to their trailers, resting between events. No doubt they were analyzing their performance and thinking of ways they could improve next time.

Horse waits for the Little Britches Rodeo in Panguitch Utah

A horse waits for his next event.

Cowboys and cowgirls were doing the same thing, but they weren’t tied to their trailers!

Quiet time between events at Panguitch Utah Little Britches Rodeo

Young riders discuss the day’s events.

Downtime between events at Little Britches Rodeo in Panguitch Utah

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We wandered closer to the action and saw a line of horses tied up outside the arena. There were lots of trailers parked back there too. We’d arrived just in the nick of time — yet we’d stopped here just to give Buddy a break from driving!

Horses wait their turns at Little Britches Rodeo in Panguitch Utah

Horses were lined up outside the arena.

Suddenly two young women riders came out and circled around in front of us. One had a lasso in her hand and she was expertly swinging it around above her head.

Two riders in Little Britches Rodeo in Panguitch Utah warm up for their event

Two gals warm up, one swinging a lasso!

Other riders came out and took a spin around in front of us to warm up before heading into the arena to compete.

Rider warms up for Little Britches Rodeo in Panguitch Utah

Two riders in Little Britches Rodeo in Panguitch Utah warm up for their event

We found out this event was part of the National Little Britches Rodeo, and it was the tail end of the second day of events. These young riders were the very last to compete!

Horse waits behind dummy roping steer

Roping was a big part of today’s events and there were practice bullhorns by each horse and trailer.

Beyond the fairgrounds there was a dramatic view of red rocks in the distance. What a place to ride a horse!

Red rock views in Panguitch Utah

The view beyond the fairground — stunning!

Down at our feet we noticed some yellow wildflowers blooming.

Spring wildflower in Panguitch Utah

Spring was springing!

As we strolled back to the lush green grass of the city park, we admired the many types and styles of horse trailers that were here for the rodeo. It was a multi-day event and lots of people stayed in their horse trailers.

Horse trailers are really different than fifth wheel RVs, though. Besides having a gooseneck hitch and shorter overall height, the trailer axles are placed at the far back end of the trailer. This is because of the heavy weight of the horses standing in the rear end of the trailer. This axle placement is similar to a semi tractor trailer.

Horse trailer

A triple axle horse trailer has the axles way at the back of the rig.

In contrast, the axles on a fifth wheel RV are placed quite close to the midline of the trailer because there isn’t all that much weight in the far back.

Genesis Supreme 28CRT Toy Hauler

Our fifth wheel toy hauler has its tandem axles closer to the middle of the trailer

You’d think that a toy hauler might be something like a horse trailer in terms of weight distribution since the toy goes in the far back, but our RZR weighs only 1,250 lbs, and even if it were 2,000 lbs., our toy hauler can carry 15,000 lbs, so it’s not that large a percentage of the total. So, fifth wheel toy haulers are built like regular fifth wheels with the axles placed just a smidge further towards the rear end of the trailer.

When turning a fifth wheel trailer, the back end swings quite wide because so much of the trailer is located behind the axles. Whereas with a horse trailer or tractor trailer you don’t have to worry so much about smacking something out with your wildly swinging rear end since very little of the trailer extends beyond the trailer’s axles.

Back at the lush green grassy park, we noticed that a woman with two Australian shepherd dogs was letting them run free and play. Buddy couldn’t resist and he ran over to introduce himself. For a split second they all huddled face to face. After that, of course, it was all about sniffing each other…at the other end!!

Playful dogs meet at Panguitch City Park

Buddy meets some new friends!

We strolled around this pretty park enjoying the shade of the tall, full trees.

Panguitch City Park serenity

This is a lovely park

Buddy absolutely loved running and prancing in the soft, moist grass. This was quite a contrast to the red rock desert we’d just traveled through.

Playful pup prances in the grass at Panguitch City Park

Weeeeeeee!

Off to one side we came across a very old log cabin. A plaque explained that it was built for Kate Alexander by her son in 1890. It is a tiny structure that is around 12′ x 15′ in size, the size of many modern day bedrooms!

Kate Alexander Cabin Panguitch Utah

Kate Alexander’s son built this home for her in 1890.

There was a little knothole in the front door and we peeped in. Inside there was a small bed, a cupboard, a pot belly stove and a fireplace.

Keyhole interior view Kate Alexander Cabin Panguitch Utah

Peaking in the front door knothole, it looked like life had been simple in this house.

There were doors on three sides of the house (a door on each wall except the wall with the fireplace). There were two windows, one by the front door and one by the back door.

It is very hard to imagine living in a house like that—a space much smaller than a typical RV used for full-time living!—but the homes from that era in this area are all about that size.

A quilt had been placed over the exteriorwall with the fireplace. We were puzzled at first and then we noticed a sign advertising the Panguitch Quilt Walk festival on June 8-11, 2022. Another quilt was draped near the sign too.

Kate Alexander Cabin Panguitch Utah Quilt

A quilt hung on the outside of house.

Panguitch Quilt Walk Utah

Another quilt was hung nearby.

The original Panguitch Quilt Walk was an extraordinary event that took place in the dead of winter in 1863. The devout Mormons living in Panguitch (then called Fairview) began to run out of food and they decided to send their strongest men on foot up and over the towering mountain that was buried in snow to get some sacks of flour from the town of Parawan 45 miles away..

As they ascended the mountain and the snow deepened, the men couldn’t make any progress, so they threw down a quilt and kneeled on it to pray. Suddenly, they realized the quilt was keeping them from sinking into the snow.

So, for the entire mountain pass, the men threw down a quilt ahead of them, traversed it, and then picked it up and threw it down ahead of them. It was painfully slow going, but they made it.

I can’t even imagine a trip like that over a steep mountain simply walking on a road, nevermind crawling across quilts in deep snow. On the way back, the men were loaded down with sacks of flour for the town. And for the entire trip they had to supply themselves with food as well!

In downtown Panguitch there is a memorial that honors these intrepid men, and the town celebrates the memory with an annual Quilt Walk.

This all made for a very fulfilling stop in our travels. When we first went to Panguitch City Park, we thought we were just taking a break from driving to walk the dog for a little while. Instead, we ended up spending several very happy hours in a pretty city park that we’d blindly driven past many times before!

Happy puppy in tall lush grass

Traveling with a dog changes your travel style, but we’d never have seen any of this without our special boy.

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A previous visit to Panguitch a while back

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14 thoughts on “Panguitch, Utah – Little Britches & Big Horses in the City Park

  1. Love your blog. I have been reading your posts for many years and really enjoy them.
    I was just reading this one and my wife was reading over my shoulder. She would really love to be included in your sharing of blogs. We can’t travel anymore as I need to be close to San Antonio to receive regular chemo infusions. I have a chronic form of leukemia that is non-curable. But… the treatment keeps me alive!

    • I am so sorry to hear about your illness, Richard, but it makes me feel good that our blog is a bright spot in your day. I have added your wife to our subscriber list. If for some reason she doesn’t receive the newsletter, please let me know. I wish you well with your treatments and I hope our pics and stories continue to put a smile on your face!

  2. Oh my gosh, it feels so good to have you back blogging. You are such a great story teller and one who always makes me smile. And, it is sooooo GREAT to see Buddy enjoying all of this given he almost lost it there with the rat poison. Thank you for being such a great inspiration!

    • Wow! Thank you, Laura. You’ve got me grinning now! We are having an absolute blast with our travels this year, and I’m tickled to know that you and others are enjoying our journey too. Thank you for reading. Buddy sends tail wags (well, he will when he wakes up from his snooze!).

  3. Having the ability to just decide to find a city park, and finding a jewel worthy of a delightful and unexpected much longer stop is one thing that makes your travels so special. Then you share it with the rest of us in a way that makes up us feel as if we were there to experience it, too! We are so glad you guys are back traveling those roads less traveled and sharing the adventures with all of us again. By the way, Cayenne, our newest 4-legged family member is an Aussie, just like Buddy’s new friends. She is a 15 year old puppy….she is amazing and still bounces around like she is 3. We took her in when a family member passed unexpectedly. She lived most of her life in a 5×8 kennel. Now she smiles a lot as she sleeps inside and has the freedom to run and explore as she wishes here at the lake!
    Thanks again for sharing the adventure via another excellent storybook post!!!

    • Good things just fall out of the sky sometimes, and we feel so blessed and grateful when they do. It is a pleasure not only to tell a cool story after it happens but to know as it is developing that others will get a kick out of it too. One of the reasons we love summertime travel is that every town is alive with activity, whether scheduled or impromptu. Right now we’re at a small beach and I can’t believe how many people are on bikes, kayaks, swimming, fishing…and it’s a really small town and it’s almost twilight! So, we’re lucky to be traveling as we are right now and to have the time to let these fun experiences unfold around us. As for Cayenne, gosh, she must be thrilled to be living with you. What a sense of freedom and joy she must have, even at 15 years young! She and Buddy would definitely bring out the puppy in each other. Thank you, Jeff and family, for being such loyal readers all these years!

  4. How do you ever manage to come upon such unusual events ? Who knew – a commemorative “quilt walk” ….in Utah. Hats off to those resourceful pioneers…proud of American ingenuity !!!

    Love, Mom

    • I really don’t know how these wonderful things happen to us, but we enjoy each one immensely as it does. I think all three of us are free spirits and we go with the flow, whatever it is. We don’t plan anything and we often figure out our itinerary as we’re driving. We also miss a lot of things… As often as we hit upon a cool event going on that we didn’t know about, we get to a town and read a poster for an exciting event that just ended yesterday! As for the pioneers, they blow me away with their resourcefulness and determination. This is a very harsh land out here yet they not only survived…they thrived! xoxo

  5. Great story about the Panguitch area, one of our favorites. Good to see Buddy looking so healthy. And I can’t imagine hauling that triple axle horse trailer. Yikes, that is long! Keep up the blogs, they are such fun to read.

    • Thank you! I’m enjoying writing them! We love that whole area — Panguitch is the gateway to Utah’s most gorgeous red rock areas as well as the ponderosa pine woods of Duck Creek. Can’t beat it!

    • Yes, indeed! We’ve seen a lot in our travels, but I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface. That’s why we were so motivated to find the right rig for summer travels. There are tons of new and exciting places to visit!

  6. That was a very interesting & diverse stop – just to give Buddy a potty break!! lol Horses, quilts, an historical cabin and grass!! So happy you shared this! I love your pictures – and the peep into the cabin!! I am looking forward to your next story! Thank you!!

    • Thank YOU for reading and appreciating these stories and photos, Deborah. It was a fun little stop in a wonderful town. We love unexpected surprises like these, and so does Buddy! I’ve got a new post coming shortly!

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