Canyons, Trails, Rivers and Stars Enliven Kanab’s 12th Amazing Earthfest: May 13 – 19, 2018

Indoor and outdoor adventures, fascinating lectures, live music, documentary films and star parties offer inspiration to travelers attending Kane County, Utah’s 12th annual Amazing Earthfest. If you plan to visit Kanab for a week during Earthfest, you might wind up deciding to relocate somewhere in southern Utah for a lifetime! Kanab’s Amazing Earthfest connects the human heart’s passion for nature to Mother Earth’s landscape of the spirit; the high forested plateaus and red rock canyons of southwestern Utah and the Arizona Strip.  Outdoor adventures including two mountain bike rides, six guided hikes of varying lengths and a birdwatcher’s dream ride, run & walk immerse you in stunning natural beauty.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, take an indoor adventure through imagery and stories at Amazing Earthfest with publisher and veteran Western river runner Tom Martin along a 300-mile rafting journey through Utah’s undesignated but incredibly wild & scenic Green and Colorado Rivers through Canyonlands National Park, Tuesday, 3:30 to 5:00 pm at Crescent Moon Theater. Then pick up a copy of Tom’s newly published Guide to the Colorado & Green Rivers in the Canyonlands of Utah and Colorado, just released by Vishnu Temple Press.

After grabbing a bite to eat, head back to Crescent Moon Theater to discover the otherworldly crystalline beauty of Antarctic sea ice with Victor Cooper and Walt Thirion, Tuesday, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm, May 15. These two local adventure photographer entrepreneurs also happen to provide some of the best restaurant experiences in southern Utah at the enterprises they own here in Kanab!

Are you curious about Native American Rock Art? Join the former president of the Utah Rock Art Research Association, Richard Jenkinson on Monday, May 14, 3:00 to 4:30 pm at the GSENM Visitor Center for an indoor excursion to the Great Gallery in Canyonlands National Park, one of America’s most magnificent pictograph sites.

Early Sunday evening, May 13, from 5:00 to 6:00 pm at Kanab City Library, take in an informative lecture on the many values of wilderness with the Ecological Projects Director for the Center for Deep Ecology, George Wuerthner, a wildlands explorer extraordinaire who has hiked and paddled in more than 400 designated Wilderness areas and more than 180 national park units.

George Wuerthner

Wildlife migration corridors through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument provide essential pathways connecting Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and Grand Canyon National Parks with Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Join the Wildlands Network’s Kim Crumbo on Wednesday, May 16 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at the GSENM Visitor Center to learn how through direct involvement in public land planning and other opportunities to give input, citizens can help protect and restore these remarkable, biologically significant wildways.

Names like the Old Spanish, Lewis and Clark, Mormon Pioneer, California, Pony Express, and Oregon trails, evoke images of westward exploration, expansion and settlement of the United States along primitive travel routes piercing a wild frontier. The Trail of Tears and Nez Perce Trail commemorate the tragic experiences of Native Americans, displaced from their ancestral lands. Other designations like the Appalachian, Arizona, Continental Divide and Pacific Crest Trails beckon outdoor adventurers to seek recreational renewal and personal challenge. The 12th annual Amazing Earthfest 2018 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the National Scenic & Historic Trails Act, a little known but highly significant piece in the mosaic of legislation protecting America’s Public Lands. Get with John Hiscock, Manager of the Old Spanish Trail Association on Thursday, May 17 from 7:30 to 8:30 pm at the Kane County Water Conservancy Building overlooking the beautiful Jackson Flat Reservoir, to learn about this magnificent system of historic routes cris-crossing the continental United States.

Equity, inclusion, and justice in the environmental space are important goals for every community. Explore the many complex and inter-related issues of environmental equity at Willow Canyon Outdoor Books, Gear and Espresso with Carly Ferro from the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club, Wednesday, May 16, 3:00 to 4:30 pm. This workshop offers an interactive exercise to imagine and envision an economically thriving community embracing and preserving its nearby public lands while taking steps to create a vibrant, resilient movement to create social and environmental enhancements for residents and visitors in Utah.

What do you envision for the coming generations in the community where you live? Bring a sandwich and enjoy a dynamic presentation and thoughtful group discussion to engage your mind and heart in visioning the kind of community you would most like to live in. Bring a bag lunch to Jacob Hamblin Park Pavilion Monday, May 14, from 12 Noon to 2:00 pm and join Neuro-linguistic Programming Practitioner Christiane Turner, who offers a model honoring the wisdom teachings of traditional values with modern innovations that can assure the community you would most like to see will thrive for generations to come.

And what of the starry skies above southern Utah?

Some of the very best night sky viewing anywhere in the lower 48 is found here! Amazing Earthfest includes five events Wednesday through Saturday during this particularly good, moonless viewing week to behold this celestial beauty and one to behold the sun! Check out the festival schedule to and pick the ones that appeal to you most. A Sun Party will be held at Jacob Hamblin Park near the new Solar Garden and Performance Space on Friday, May 18, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm, courtesy of the Southern Utah Space Foundation. Meet Director Lee Ricci and her team to have a safe look at our Sun through a special astronomical solar telescope. Then bring the whole family to join the team again later that night from 9:30 to 11:30 for “Starry Night Sky” at the same location.

In between time, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm on Friday, May 18, catch a live Folk Concert with the impassioned Salt Lake City based Western acoustic Folk Artist Rex Seabury, a.k.a. “Utah Slim” at the Kanab Solar Garden and Performance Space. No one in Utah expresses the beauty and wonder of the Colorado Plateau, and the struggle to safeguard its future like Rex, who loves to sing about Southern Utah. Red Rock, Slickrock, Pioneer Stock, Livestock, Wildstock, run, dream, walk, play, work, live and die in his storied and colorful songs that evoke images of the trail, life in the desert, and the rugged creatures, two and four legged, who make it their home. Slim is inspired by the great troubadours: Ian Tyson, Woody Guthrie, B. Dylan, Chuck Pyle, and Joni Mitchell. The local music group Fool’s Gold, featuring Randy and Shauna Cram and Rebecca Gaver will open for Slim. Suggested donation for this two hour outdoor concert is $5.00!

Recognizing that a diminishing night sky resource would be a great loss for residents and visitors today and into the future, municipalities are beginning to join hands with State and National Parks across the mountain West in taking action to protect the visibility of the night sky. The City of Kanab is among them. On April 17, the Kanab Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend that Kanab City Council enact an outdoor lighting ordinance to preserve the magic of the starry sky for generations to come. If City officials decide to act boldly to stem the trend of rising light pollution from unshielded and excessive nighttime lighting, Kanab could become one of the first rural communities in southern Utah to seize the initiative and establish its leadership as a dark sky destination! Indeed, in their business called Star Party Tonight, astronomers Rick and Gayle Lewis of Kanab offer a wonderful nightly fee-based guided tour of the night sky throughout the warmer months. Astronomical photographers including David Swindler with Action Photo Tours and visiting astronomers like Dave Lane of Leawood, Kansas, choose Kanab precisely because its starry sky resource is so spectacular, and the expansive public lands surrounding the city are so very naturally dark!

Freelance Astronomy Interpreter Randy Dunning will be hosting four star viewing events at Earthfest, with his astronomical quality telescope and stories to delight the whole family. Join Randy for City Lights and Starry Nights on Wednesday, May 16 and Saturday, May 19, from 9:30 to 11:00 pm at Jacob Hamblin Park and the Kanab Ranchos Park, respectively, to experience an informative slide show at dusk, followed by sky viewing of celestial objects visible in the southern Utah spring sky. Randy will also be stationed out at Juniper Ridge Restaurant, Saloon and Sports Bar on Thursday, May 17, until 11:00 pm, the same night the delightful Salt Lake City Singer Songwriter Paul Boruff is performing at the bar. Don’t miss that triple whammy of great music, good food and astronomical treats!

For complete information about these and all other scheduled activities at the 12th Amazing Earthfest visit, download the schedule and join our Facebook page at Throughout the festival week, printed copies of the full Schedule of Events will be available all over Kanab at Visitor Centers, area businesses and at the Amazing Earthfest Information Table, 78 South 100 East in Kanab.

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Amazing Earthfest delivers 16 free virtual events this year over Zoom and Vimeo, beginning May 7 and running through May 15, for your learning enjoyment in five distinct categories; arts and culture, community, documentary film, outdoor adventure, science and land,…

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