About Kane County
Kane County is famous for its dramatic scenery, and the unique topographic features which comprise the Grand Staircase. In 1880, geologist Clarence Dutton gave the name Grand Staircase to five layers of cliffs—the Chocolate, Vermilion, White, Gray, and Pink Cliffs—which climb from the Colorado Plateau desert on the south edge of Kane County to the coniferous forests northward. The stunning cliffs, dramatic canyons and beautiful alpine forests, along with the silence of the deserts give Kane County an unparalleled diversity of scenery and geology. More than half of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument lies within Kane County.
With only 6,046 people inhabiting its 3,992 square miles, much of the county is a wilderness enjoyed by the modern-day explorer. The county seat is at Kanab, also home to half its residents, which lies southward in the county at the feet of the Vermilion cliffs. Most of the rest live in Long Valley, on the Virgin River, north of Kanab. U. S. Highway 89 travels northward from Kanab into Long Valley. It heads eastward from Kanab, along the base of the cliffs, to cross the Colorado River at Page, Arizona.
Two national parks also lie on the borders of Kane County, and a national recreation area. Zion National Park is on the western boundary, Bryce Canyon on the northern boundary and Glen Canyon Recreation Area on the eastern boundary. Glen Canyon Recreation Area is home to Lake Powell, one of the largest reservoirs in the world, boasting a shoreline 1,900 miles long. It was made by damming the Colorado River, which forms the eastern boundary of Kane County. Lake Powell draws two million visitors a year, and provides water and electricity to a large area.
Kane County was named after Colonel Thomas L. Kane, who was sent by the Federal Government to recruit 500 men from among the Mormon refugees, who had just been driven from Nauvoo, for a battalion to aid in the Mexican War. He became a great friend of the Mormons and afterwards helped negotiate a settlement in the Utah War. Kane County was settled my Mormon pioneers, and still benefits from their friendly and caring culture.