Crossroads of the West

The state’s southern red rock country serves as a cinematic backdrop  for movies about 19th century cattle drives, crime and justice, and  cultural conflicts that play out in California, Wyoming, Arizona, and  Texas, but almost never in Utah. Few fans of the Old West realize  that outlaw Butch Cassidy, leader of the infamous Wild Bunch and  subject of a popular 1969 movie, was the Utah-born son of Mormon  handcart pioneers. The grand themes and iconic images of the West  — covered wagons on the windblown prairie, thundering buffalo  herds, bluecoats and plains warriors, frontier forts, wild and woolly  boomtowns—touch on other places, not here. Utah’s most legendary  names, native peoples, and core stories, even the astonishing account  of Brigham Young going toe-to-toe with the U.S. Army, are little  known beyond state boundaries.