Hanksville Post Office
Hanksville was first settled as "Graves Valley" (named for John Graves, a member of the Powell Expedition) on the Dirty Devil River, just below the confluence of the Fremont River and Muddy Creek in 1882. In 1885, the settlement formally changed its name to Hanksville, after Ebenezer Hanks, leader of the Mormon pioneers who established the settlement.
Hanksville began as an agricultural settlement but mining took on a role early on and these days, tourism plays a big part in the local economy, too. Hanksville is at a crossroads for people coming from and going to Capitol Reef National Park, Goblin Valley State Park, the Henry Mountains, Lake Powell and the San Rafael Swell. The Capitol Reef County Scenic Byway passes through Hanksville on the way to Green River while Hanksville is the northern terminus of the Bicentennial Highway.
Southeast of Hanksville in the canyons along the Dirty Devil River is Robber's Roost, a famous outlaw hideout that was often used by Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch in the late 1800's. When "home," those outlaws usually came into Hanksville for food and supplies. Hanksville was also a supply center for many of the uranium prospectors who were scouring the deserts of the Colorado Plateau in the years after World War II. Nearly all of those mines they opened are abandoned now, but the nearby Hanksville-Burpee Quarry has recently become a prolific producer of dinosaur fossils and other remains.
7 miles northwest of Hanksville (near Factory Butte) is the Mars Desert Research Station, a location that was chosen by the Mars Society for developing field tactics based on working in spacesuits, to test habitat designs and features, and to assess crew selection protocols. While the area is obviously much warmer than the surface of Mars, the terrain and its appearance are very much like the surface of Mars. Crew and equipment simulations occur only in the winter months.
High School or Higher: 87.9%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 17.9%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 2.9%
Cost of Living Index for Hanksville: 84.0
Median Household Income: $43,000
Median Home Value: $155,000
Median Resident Age: 34.0 Years
Lodging & Food Services, Agriculture, Construction, Arts, Entertainment & Recreation, Government, Educational Services, Social Services
Unemployed (March 2015): 5.0%