While the beloved TV show Gunsmoke takes place in the infamous Dodge City, Kansas, many of its outdoor scenes were actually filmed in southern Utah, just outside of the north rim of the Grand Canyon. For two decades, viewers tuned in to watch Matt Dillon, Festus, Miss Kitty, and Doc in their daily lives in the Wild West. The show was incredibly popular while it was on the air and is still one of the longest-running of all time. Longtime Gunsmoke fans should add the small town of Kanab, Utah to their travel bucket list because the ruins of the classic western show still stand on the outskirts of town. Just 90 minutes outside of St. George, Kanab is perfect for fans of Gunsmoke and other western TV shows and films.
The beautiful red rocks of Johnson Canyon proved to be the ideal location to bring the Old West to life on screen. You already know it's going to be one of the most beautiful places in the United States just from its close proximity to the Grand Canyon. The ruins aren't accessible to tour since they are in serious disarray but you can see what they once were from a distance.
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If you want to set inside the Wild West you can visit the Little Hollywood Museum in town. Old western movie sets have been used to create a little town that you can explore. While it's free to look around there are also chuck wagon dinners that you can enjoy for a little authentic taste of cowboy life. The Kanab Office of Tourism has plenty of outdoor activities if you're wanting to feel like a cowboy though. Go horseback riding around the canyons, visit Blacksmith Adventures to learn the historic art of blacksmiths, and animal lovers can take a free tour of the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.
One of the best parts of the area is all of the natural wonders that you can visit -- Peek-a-boo Slot Canyon, Antelope Canyon, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Moqui Cave, The Wave, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, White Pocket, Navajo Canyon on Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and the Coyote Buttes. You're also just an hour outside of the stunning Vermilion Cliffs in Arizona.