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Oldest Bar in Utah: Shooting Star Saloon, Huntsville

The Shooting Star Saloon is located in tiny, tiny Huntsville, UT (population 649). 

Founded by Mormon settlers led by Jefferson Hunt in 1860, Huntsville has never been very populous. From its high mark in the 1870s at about 1,000 people, for most of the 20th and 21st centuries the population has hovered between 500 and 600 people.  

The drive to Huntsville through the extremely narrow, winding, and steep Ogden Canyon is absolutely spectacular and is worth the trip itself. The Wasatch Mountains along either side of the canyon rise to nearly 9,000 feet and provide some of the most beautiful scenery that we’ve seen on our travels.

You gotta love it when a bar thinks of your dog.

Despite its origin as a Mormon town, Huntsville saw the very real need to open a saloon in 1879. The Shooting Star Saloon was born and it has been in continuous operation ever since. It remained open even during Prohibition since, because of its remote location, the saloon owners new the authorities were coming before they arrived and so were able to hide any evidence of beer.

The saloon is set in a quintessential A-frame structure just large enough to hold a small bar, tiny kitchen, and a couple handful of tables. Dollar bills cover the ceiling and taxidermied animals the walls.   The latter includes a huge St. Bernard head from a dog named “Buck” who was evidently the largest St. Bernard ever measured.

You might be rich if you could collect all the cash pinned to this ceiling.

The fare is simple and straight forward: beer and burgers. Just remember to get there early: the bar closes at 9 pm due to Utah operating laws.

The mirror works.