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Colorado City

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Northern Arizona : Colorado City
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Colorado City is a city in Arizona just south of the Utah state line. Colarado is the largest and best known polygamist community in the United States. The city has no facilities for travelers and many residents are distrustful of or even hostile toward outsiders.

Understand

Mormon pioneers first settled in Utah and neighboring states in 1848 to avoid persecution and to live their faith, which included a belief in polygamy. In 1894, amidst heavy pressure from the United States Government, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints renounced polygamy and to this day continues to forswear the practice.

Some Mormons, however, never accepted the church doctrine and Federal law that forbid polygamy. They continued the practice of polygamy. As their viewpoints were not accepted by the mainstream Church, they founded splinter groups such as the "Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" (FLDS) and usually live in remote communities, keeping mostly to themselves.

Colorado City is one such community. Virtually all land in the community is owned by the United Effort Plan, a FLDS corporation. Local government, including the police and public school, is run by church members. While Colorado City has survived an infamous anti-polygamy raid in the 1950's as well as the death of its founder, its future remains uncertain. Detractors, including those formerly associated with the Fundamentalist community, say the church leader exercises extreme control over its members and may re-assign wives and remove men on his orders. A State investigation has begun over allegations that some underage women were taken as brides in the community and that the local police worked to squelch any investigation.

Get in

Colorado City is one of the most remote communities in the lower 48 states, in terms of distance to other cities. But it is located right along State Highay 59 and easily reached from Hurricane, Utah.

A tiny municipal airport is adjacent to the city. No commercial flights serve the airport; in theory private aircraft could in.

Get around

You can drive your car around. You could park your car by the playground and sit or walk.

See

You will see a great number of large, unfinished houses in Colorado City. Polygamy obviously leads to large familiy sizes and sometimes exterior improvements are delayed due when money is tight. You may also see that local residents dress modestly, often wearing hand sewn clothes.

Do

Unless you are a Fundamentalist LDS church member, there is little more to do here other than to drive by and look at this unusual community and its residents. There is a small playground within the town.

Buy

There are no stores in Colorado City and absolutely nothing to buy.

Eat

Colarado City has no restaurants.

Drink

Colorado City has no bars, and FLDS church members do not drink alcohol.

Sleep

There are no hotels. Unless you are the invited guest of a local resident do not even think of sleeping or camping here.

Get out

With absolultely nothing inviting to tourists in Colorado City you likely will be drive out only a few minutes after arriving. Colorado City is about a 40 minute drive from Pipe Stem National Monument. Pipe Stem is also of Mormon signifcance

Safety

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