The county seat – Price—lies in the Price River Valley, at the foot of the Book Cliffs. Bounded by the Wasatch Plateau on the north and west and the Book Cliffs to the east, the first residents belonged to the ancient Fremont Culture, which left behind plentiful historical evidence, including artifacts and petroglyphs. Glimpses of prehistoric life include many dinosaur footprints and buried bones.
Farming and ranching became early economic activities, giving Carbon County a tradition of cowboys and outlaws, with the likes of Butch Cassidy and Gunplay Maxwell roaming the area. During the early 1880s the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, seeking a route from Denver to Salt Lake city, discovered and opened up the vast coal lands of Carbon County. Many immigrants arrived to work in the mines and on the railroad. Helper became known as the town of “57 Varieties” because of its ethnic diversity. Coal mining plays a vital role in economic development to this day.
The College of Eastern Utah in Price is another important community asset, as are the many tourism services available to visitors coming to see historic Nine Mile Canyon, the San Rafael Swell and the Dinosaur Museum.