Kanab, Utah, with its photogenic red rock country, helped set in stone (or celluloid) one of our enduring cinematic icons—the good guy riding off into the sunset. Several hundred movies and TV episodes, many of them Westerns, were shot around Kanab, including The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, and Planet of the Apes.
Ponder which came first—the Old West or Hollywood's rendition of it?—at Frontier Movie Town on Kanab's Center Street. Stroll a planked sidewalk past the jail, livery, boarding house, general store, and log and adobe dwellings, all part of original set designs preserved from such films as Black Bart (1948), The Desperate Hours (1955), One Little Indian (1973), and The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). All is silent on gunslingers row, where Clint Eastwood shot 'em up as outlaw Wales. But long johns on a clothesline, saddles on hitching posts, and a pine-box coffin impart an ominous feeling of action to come. Just wait till dusk.
General admission to Universal Studios, Hollywood, $47. Admission to Frontier Movie Town, Free. (800) 551-1714, www.frontiermovietown.com.
Dine at Frontier Movie Town on Dutch oven feasts or outdoor barbecues ($16-$20) and catch a live spoof of Westerns while sitting in a covered wagon. Don a costume and join in reenactments of gun battles at sundown.
Photography by Alan Huestis
This article was first published in July 2003. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.