Circleville and Piute County
Piute County is located in the central southern portion of the state, and at the present, is one of the smallest in both area and population of Utah's twenty-nine counties. Its area is largely covered with mountains. In fact, it would probably be one of Utah's largest counties if it were ironed out flat.
There are two narrow valleys in the County, one east and one west, that furnish tillable land for agriculture. The western valley of the Sevier River runs from Marysvale on the north to Junction, Kingston and Circleville on the south. The eastern valley is the Otter Creek Valley. It is about the same length and width beginning at the Greenwich area on the north, and running to the Angle-Antimony area on the south. The western boundary approximate the crest of the Tushar Mountains, Delano Peak – 12,173 feet – is the high point of the High Plateaus section of the Colorado Plateau. The eastern border is on the plateau of the Parker Mountain Range. The two valleys are split by the Sevier Plateau – Monroe Mountain-Forshea Mountain Range. These valleys produce some of the finest potatoes in the world due to the high altitude and rich soil. They are truly mountain grown.
Circleville is home to some of the richest soil in the county. Circleville potatoes are some of the finest grown anywhere. Alfalfa farming flourishes in the nutrient rich soil, contributing to some of the largest diary farms in the county. Circleville boasts of their famous, or infamous, Robert Leroy Parker, better known as Butch Cassidy. His boyhood home still stands on U.S. Highway 89, 2 miles south of town. Circleville is the gateway connecting the Paiute ATV Trail and the Freemont ATV Trail, which leads to the west side of Bryce Canyon National Park.
Kingston is a beautiful area for picnicking, camping, hiking and fishing. The rock formations in the canyon are varied and interesting with many Indian caves to explore. The town of Kingston is a treat to visit. It is beautifully rural and has many historic and human interest sights. The crumbled remains of the tree open-air dance halls in the County are reminders of the excitement and romance of the 1930s to 1950s. The open-air dance hall just outside of the Kingston was called Purple Haze. It has had some work done on it and has been used for dancing on special occasions through the years. (Two open-air dance halls in Piute County stand as reminders of the excitement and romance of the 1930s to the 1950s. The open-air dance hall just outside of Kingston is called the Purple Haze.) The other historic beauty is the Cottonwood Grove in Marysvale. Both have been used for dancing and special occasions through the years.
There are three reservoirs located within the county boundaries. The two largest, Piute and Otter Creek, supply water for the counties to the west and north of Piute. The other, the Box Creek Reservoir, supplies water for the Greenwich area. The Kingston-Circleville area is irrigated from the waters of the Sevier River. The balance of the country's farms and ranches are irrigated from the numerous mountain streams.
Junction is the Piute County seat. A beautiful old courthouse, built with handmade adobe bricks, was built in Junction in 1903. It has been in use as County offices and very functional until March 1, 1997. In 1971 it was placed on the National Register of Historical Buildings.
Groundbreaking for the new Piute County Courthouse Complex was held April 1, 1996, at 1:00 p.m. It was built on 550 North Main Street in front of the Piute High School. In one year the complex was finished and operating. The open house was held February 28, 1997. There are also a new post office and district school office in this complex. (The complex is home to a U.S. post office, courts, the public health department, school district offices and USU Extension offices, as well as all essential county offices.) The County is enjoying the beauty and space of the new complex. The old courthouse was sold and remodeled on the inside as a vacation rental. The outside of the building was to be kept as it was.
Highway 153, which goes from Junction to Beaver, is a special scenic drive, climbing from 6,000 to 10,000 feet in beautiful mountain country abounding with deer and elk. Snowmobiling and skiing are becoming a growing sport, and this highway takes sportsmen to good snow country.
Marysvale to the north end of the western valley is known for its rich mining heritage. The primary canyon west out of Marysvale is the beautiful Bullion Canyon, which derives its name from gold bullion. Be sure to pick up a driving tour pamphlet to guide you on your beautiful ride up the mountain. Don’t miss the rich in history, open air museum at the Marysvale Miners park. Most importantly, make the 2-mile round trip hike to see the spectacular Bullion Canyon Waterfall. Though mining in the Marysvale area has dwindled to one operation, agriculture is abundant with tourism and recreation dominating the local economy.
There are six reservoirs located within Piute County boundaries. The two largest, Piute and Otter Creek, supply water for the counties to the west and north of Piute and are home to some of Utah’s best fishing. Barney Lake is a beautiful, secluded lake known for its pristine location and world class fly fishing. Manning Meadows reservoir is known for its native Bonneville Cutthroat Trout. Upper and Lower Box Creek Reservoirs supply water for the eastern valley and Greenwich area. The Kingston-Circleville areas are irrigated from the waters of the Sevier River. The balance of the county’s farms and ranches are predominantly irrigated from the numerous mountain streams.
Whether on your ATV/UTV, fishing, camping, winter sports, family or any other adventure that brings you to Piute County, we invite you to fall in love with every part and come back to visit often.