Coal in the eastern canyons and iron ore in the mountains to the west provided the early Mormon pioneers with an industry and the county with a name. The pioneers’ first settlement outside of the Salt Lake valley—Parowan—became the county seat. Before the white settlers, the Parowan Valley was home to the Fremont people who constructed granaries and pit houses dating from about A.D. 750 to 1250. Today, Cedar City, the largest city in Iron County, is the tribal headquarters of the modern Southern Paiute Indian Reservation.
The Dominguez-Escalante expedition traveled through the area in 1776, on its unsuccessful search for a route to central California. Fur trapper Jedediah Smith was a visitor during his amazing journey of 1826.
Located at the crossroads of the west, Cedar City today is home to Southern Utah University and the Tony-award winning Utah Shakespearean Festival. Visitors to the Festival, or to nearby Bryce Canyon National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument and Kolob Canyon by day can find comfortable accommodations and famous Utah hospitality by night in Iron County’s friendly communities. Proximity to a major interstate highway, a railroad spur and a regional airport have attracted a variety of light industry, whose employees enjoy Southern Utah’s mild climate and many recreational activities