Hanksville, Utah: Where Mars Meets the Wild West

Strap on your space boots and cowboy hat, folks, because we’re about to embark on a journey to Hanksville, Utah, a place that’s out of this world—literally. This tiny town, with a population that barely outnumbers the tumbleweeds, is where the Wild West meets the final frontier. Ready for an adventure that’s more intriguing than finding out your favorite saloon serves zero-gravity whiskey? Buckle up, space cowboys and cowgirls, Hanksville is calling!

Imagine stepping onto the surface of Mars, but with the convenience of breathable air and the luxury of not having to wear a bulky spacesuit. Welcome to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), just a stone’s throw from Hanksville. This Martian habitat simulation is where scientists and space enthusiasts come to play astronaut for real. Here, you can explore the red rock terrain that’s a dead ringer for the Martian surface, minus the pesky aliens. It’s a total geek haven—a place where your childhood dreams of space exploration collide with the reality of scientific endeavor. Pretty cool, right?

But wait, there’s more to Hanksville than just playing Matt Damon from ‘The Martian.’ This town is a gateway to some of Utah’s most jaw-dropping landscapes. We’re talking Goblin Valley State Park, where erosion has crafted goblins out of sandstone, and you half expect them to start dancing under the moonlight. Or how about Capitol Reef National Park, where the cliffs and canyons tell a story millions of years old, and the fruit orchards offer a sweet taste of pioneer life? It’s a land where nature has gone wild with a paintbrush, creating scenes so surreal you’ll think you’ve stepped into another dimension.

After a long day of Martian exploration and goblin chasing, you’re going to be as famished as a coyote after a desert marathon. Hanksville has got you covered with its quirky eateries, where the ambiance is as unique as the menu. Ever dined in an establishment decked out in space memorabilia? How about enjoying a hearty meal in a place that looks straight out of a spaghetti western? In Hanksville, you can do both. And let’s not forget about the local pie shop that’s as famous among travelers as the town’s alien landscapes. Their pies are so otherworldly, you’ll be plotting a return trip to Hanksville just for another slice.

So, if you’re itching for an adventure that combines the mystique of the cosmos with the rugged charm of the Wild West, pack your bags (don’t forget your space water) and set your coordinates to Hanksville, Utah. It’s the closest you’ll get to visiting another planet without having to leave Mother Earth. Until next time, keep wandering where the Wi-Fi is weak and the stories are strong!