Located 5 miles north of Kanab, Utah, Moqui Cave is a museum of artifacts, fossils and history, depicting life in southern Utah spanning the centuries. In 1951, Garth and Laura Chamberlain purchased the cave and began collecting historic items from the surrounding area, and their children continue to run the operation. Astonishingly, the museum is actually located inside a 200 foot sandstone cavern at the bottom of Three Lakes Canyon.
The word Moqui is an ancient term, now commonly used to refer to the Hopi tribe of Native Americans that inhabited the region. The museum portrays life of the ancient Anasazi Indians of southern Utah, and exhibits including over 1,000 arrowheads, pots, bowls, jugs, ceremonial points, and the working tools of the ancient people who called Utah home. Garth Chamberlain also loved to collect fossils and dinosaur tracks, as well as fluorescent rocks — Moqui Cave boasts one of the largest fluorescent rock displays in the U.S.
The cave’s history is as interesting as the artifacts contained within. According to several archeological digs, the cave and surrounding area was most certainly used by the Anasazi, either as a travel stop or shelter. When the cave was rediscovered by white settlers in the early 1900s, it seemed an ideal solution to avoid pesky lawmen and became a speakeasy during prohibition. If you are interested in the history of the cave and the Anasazi people, Lex Chamberlain offers a wonderful historical tour of the museum.
The gift shop, located in a side chamber of the cave, offers a wide array of Indian arts and crafts, kachina dolls, rugs, pottery and turquoise. Summer hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Winter hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Other attractions in the area include:
- Paria Canyon
- Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Zion National Park
- Cedar Breaks National Monument
- Kodachrome Basin State Park
Kanab, UT 84741