Wandering Lizard

An online magazine with information related to attractions, lodging, dining,
and travel resources in selected areas of Utah

Wayne County, Utah

Wayne County
Wayne County Wayne County

Wayne County is located in the southeastern quadrant of Utah. The county seat is Loa. The 2010 census counted 2,776 residents.

Wayne County has a number of fascinating Archaic and Fremont Culture sites. The Fremont Culture was so named because the very first sites to be identified were found along the Fremont River, here in Wayne County. Some scholars have hypothesized from artifacts found in Horseshoe Canyon (previously called Barrier Canyon) the existence of an Archaic period culture that they call the Barrier Canyon Culture and which they have determined to have existed more than 8,000 years ago. Without getting into the debate about which culture produced which artifact, it is possible to say that Wayne County is full of interesting and very unique rock art. It is also full of some of the most dramatic red rock landscapes to be found anywhere. Both Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Parks are located here.

By the time that Anglo-Europeans appeared on the scene, the Archaic and Fremont Cultures had been replaced by Ute Indians. John C. Fremont passed through in the 1840s and Mormans began settling in the 1870s. Fruita, in Capitol Reef National Park, was one of the early settlements and many of the buildings have been preserved. It is an excellent place to get a feel for how the early settlers lived.