Parry Lodge - the perfect base for exploring Southwestern Utah

We found Kanab, Utah by accident. We were looking for a place that offered good access to Grand Canyon’s North Rim. A close inspection of a map of the area cross-referenced with Google maps for mileage and travel time yielded Kanab. It looked like the perfect base for us. Not only was it convenient to the North Rim, it was within range of both Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, the two other places we wanted to visit. We needed a place to stay. We reached out to Kane County Tourism and they arranged for us to a stay at Parry Lodge.

We love the retro Parry Lodge sign, photo Steve Collins

We love the retro Parry Lodge sign, photo/Steve Collins

We Googled the lodge and discovered it was our kind of place; vintage and loaded with history. Kanab, known as “Little Hollywood” was the location for hundreds of films and TV shows, mostly westerns, back in Tinsel Town’s heyday. The stunning red rock dotted landscape and lots of open land offered the perfect old west setting for movies.

A bit of Parry Lodge history

Parry Lodge - Chevy Fleetmaster parked near the pool takes you back to the good old days,, photo Steve Collins

The Chevy Fleetmaster parked near the pool takes you back to the Parry Lodge in its heyday, photo/Steve Collins

The Parry brothers (Whit, Chaunce, and Gron) got their first taste of the movie business in 1924 when they assisted with transportation for the Tom Mix film Deadwood Coach. The film industry was shooting westerns in the Kanab area; the brothers saw an opportunity to cash in. They opened Parry Lodge in 1931. Those stars had to sleep somewhere; that somewhere was often Parry Lodge. For the next five decades a of films and TV shows were shot in the area. Big names who laid their heads on the lodge’s pillows include John Wayne, Roy Rodgers and Dale Evans, Tyrone Power, Ray Milland, Ava Gardner, Fred McMurray, Alan Ladd, Maureen O’Hara, Gabby Hayes, James Garner, Anne Bancroft, Clint Eastwood,, Sidney Portier, Fess Parker, Telly Savalas and the members of the famous Brat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Sammy Davis, Jr). Legend has it that the  Pack had their own private bar upstairs in the main building.

Parry Lodge today

The entrance to the main building at Parry Lodge, photo Steve Collins

The entrance to the main building at Parry Lodge, photo/Steve Collins

We arrived at the Lodge after a long day on the road and were given a warm welcome by the front desk staff. The lobby is inviting with signed photos of famous past guests lining the walls. Most of rooms at Parry Lodge are named for film stars who slept in them.

Parry Lodge - The Broderick Crawford room, photo Steve Collins

The Broderick Crawford room, photo/Steve Collins

We were in room 177, the Broderick Crawford room. Our room was cozy and comfortable. The bed was firm and we had all we needed for our three-night stay. The surprise feature in the room: a pull-down desk in the dresser that held the TV. It was the right size for a laptop and there were plugs, jacks usb ports, perfect for the working traveler.

Parry Lodge- Breakfast buffet in the historic "Dining Room of the Stars." photo Steve Collins

Breakfast buffet in the historic “Dining Room of the Stars.” photo Steve Collins

All room rates include continental breakfast and from April 1st through October 31st lodge guests can upgrade to a full buffet breakfast for an additional fee. We opted for the continental. It included juices, coffee or tea, hot cereal, granola, yogurt and muffins. My breakfast each morning was yogurt-topped granola and the lemon poppy seed muffins (they happen to be my favorite), Steve enjoyed the oatmeal and blueberry muffins.

The walls in the lobby at Parry Lodge are filled with signed celebrity photos, ph

The walls in the lobby at Parry Lodge are filled with signed celebrity photos, photo/Steve Collins

The front desk staff was really helpful with planning. When asked if we should visit Bryce Canyon or Zion, the friendly young man behind the desk said we should see both. When asked what the difference was between the two and he came up with what turned out to be the perfect explanation, “At Bryce you’re looking down and at Zion you’re looking up.” We took his advice and visited both.

Parry Lodge - The Old Barn Playhouse, photo Steve Collins

The Old Barn Playhouse, photo/Steve Collins

At night during high season the lodge’s Old Barn Playhouse screens old westerns that had been shot in the area. It’s a really retro and fun way to spend the evening especially if you’re traveling with kids. Grab some popcorn and head on over!

Old chuck wagon, photo Steve Collins

Parry Lodge is owned by Forever Resorts who also run the lodges at Grand North Rim and Bryce Canyon National Park. If you’re looking for a homey place with friendly staff and a lot of history, Parry Lodge is the perfect base for your Southwest Utah adventure. Arrive, unpack, and tour!

Using Parry Lodge as a base worked really well for us. Read our post about our exploration of the area . For information on more things to do in the Kanab area click here. If you’re a US citizen or permanent resident over age 62, get your National Parks Senior Pass before heading to Kanab.

Disclosure: Our stay at Parry Lodge was comped. The post is based on our experience and opinions are own own.


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12 Responses to “Parry Lodge - the perfect base for exploring Southwestern Utah”

  1. Elizabeth Rose
    May 1, 2019 at 6:45 am #

    This looked great. I loved my trip through the Utah National Parks.

    • Billie Frank
      May 1, 2019 at 12:08 pm #

      Utah is amazing! We were really glad to have Parry Lodge as a base to explore the southwestern part of the state. We really want to go back!

  2. Ryan Biddulph
    May 4, 2019 at 12:29 am #

    That sign brings me back decades Billie. I feel like I’m watching a show about The Strip, with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Junior headlining at the joint LOL. Big time retro feel to the sign. Love it.

    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..11 Profitable Secrets for Confused BloggersMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      May 4, 2019 at 8:39 am #

      Actually not too far from the strip as the crow flies- that part of Utah is close to Vegas- but a world away!

  3. Doreen Pendgracs
    May 8, 2019 at 8:31 am #

    It’s been a very long time since I was last in Utah, and I don’t recall going thru Parry. the Parry Lodge looks like a great place to spend a couple of days.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted..women’s cocoa cooperatives of the Dominican RepublicMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      May 8, 2019 at 10:13 am #

      You need to go back! Parry Lodge is actually in Kanab, a charming small town. We loved the town and the lodge!

  4. Marilyn Jones
    May 8, 2019 at 8:54 am #

    You certainly found the perfect base for your travels. Utah is such a beautiful state and you are close to so many of its treasures!!
    Marilyn Jones recently posted..A luxurious afternoon at seaMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      May 8, 2019 at 10:13 am #

      I can’t believe as close to Utah as we live I’d never been to the southern part. Want to go back!

  5. Carole Terwilliger Meyers
    May 8, 2019 at 10:04 am #

    With its interesting history, Parry Lodge sounds like a great place to stay even if it wasn’t also so convenient! I liked that young man’s assessment: “At Bryce you’re looking down and at Zion you’re looking up.” We took his advice and visited both.”
    Carole Terwilliger Meyers recently posted..Things to Do: Maracas Beach; Good Eats: Bake and Shark, TrinidadMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      May 8, 2019 at 10:15 am #

      Luckily it’s both convenient and historic and very homey. I, too liked that description of Bryce vs. Zion- it really captures their essences.

  6. Irene S. Levine
    May 10, 2019 at 6:07 am #

    Love retro-type places like this with a storied history!

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