Garfield County Utah Ranches For Sale for Hunting & Fishing
Population estimate, 2007: 4,658, 1.1 persons/sq. mi.
Square miles: 5208
Approximate driving time from Salt Lake City: 4 hours
Commercial Airport: Bryce Canyon, General Aviation: Panguitch Municipal at Panguitch
Ski Areas: None, Brian Head in neighboring Iron County
Major Communities: Panguitch (1623), Escalante (818), Tropic (508)
Elevations: 3700 to 11,000 feet
Major streams: Sevier River, East Fork Sevier River, Escalante River
Average ranch/farm size: 298 acres (NAICS, 2007) vs. Utah average 768 acres
Pros: Excellent hunting and fishing, world-class scenery, abundant public land
Cons: Arid, remote
Extreme variety marks the landscape of Garfield County. The colorful hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park, the slot canyons of the Escalante Staircase National Monument, the cool spruce forests of Boulder Mountain and the deep blue waters of Lake Powell create a landscape mosaic unsurpassed by almost any other county in the United States. Garfield County is huge, stretching 150 miles east to west, over half the width of Utah, and averaging 40 miles north to south. The highest terrain is claimed by Boulder Mountain (sometimes called the Aquarius Plateau), reaching over 11,000 feet and is home to many trout-filled lakes. Foothills are forested with ponderosa pine, pinon pine and juniper interspersed with sagebrush flats, and the lower desert areas near Lake Powell are filled with slickrock domes and cactus. The broad valleys of the Sevier River and its East Fork occupy the western half of the county; smaller, narrower drainages tend to dominate in the south and east.
Tourism is by far the largest economic driver in Garfield County, with Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks drawing close to two million visitors combined annually. Ranching is part of the county’s heritage, and operating cattle and sheep ranches still exist, particularly in the Sevier and East Sevier drainages. Smaller ranches lie in Escalante, Hatch and Boulder areas as well. Almost any ranch in Garfield County has high scenic value, and many are adjacent to public land. Some of the larger ranches, particularly in the vicinity of Hatch, have been subdivided for summer homes.
Hunting: Mule deer, elk and antelope are the dominant big game species hunted in Garfield County. The Paunsaugunt Plateau, in particular, is renowned for trophy mule deer, with many bucks taken each year with 30-inch-plus spreads. Excellent mule deer hunting is found elsewhere in the county, with good animals ranging from the desert canyons to the heights of Boulder Mountain. Black bear and mountain lion hunting rounds out the hunting opportunities in the county, with huge tracts of public land to explore.
Fishing: Trout fishing is surprisingly good for a locale this far south in Utah. The Sevier River often runs murky, but holds some huge brown trout in the vicinity of Panguitch. Its tributaries, the East Fork, Mammoth Creek and Asay Creek are also excellent trout streams, with the East Fork and Asay Creek designated as Blue Ribbon Waters. Many smaller streams flowing off of Boulder Mountain hold brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout, but can be challenging, brushy fishing. Panguitch Lake (Piute for “big fish”) produces large rainbows, and many of the lakes on Boulder Mountain support trophy brook trout.