3,300 square miles; population: 20,789 (in 1990); county seat: Parowan;
origin of county name: from iron deposits in the area; principal cities/towns: Cedar City (13,443), Parowan (1,873), Enoch (936); economy: government
(including education), wholesale and retail trade, services, light manufacturing,
and construction; points of interest: Cedar Breaks National Monument, Iron Mission State Historic Park in Cedar City, Old Iron Town, Southern
Utah University (Utah Shakespearean Festival), Brian Head resort, old
rock church, and Jesse N. Smith adobe house in Parowan.
County is a study in contrasts--from its arid western reaches of the
Escalante Desert and Great Basin ranges to the meadows and forests of
the high plateaus on the east. The Markagunt Plateau is creased by the
colorful formations of Cedar Breaks National Monument, a kind of miniature Bryce Canyon. Brian Head (11,307 feet), named for a profile resembling
that of William Jennings Bryan, rises abruptly behind Iron County's
major string of settlements and extracts a toll of precipitation from
passing westerlies to help feed the headwaters of the Sevier River.