Blast from the Past: Moab wins “Most Scenic Dump”

How many longtime residents remember when Moab won first place in a Most Scenic Dump competition?

Joe Kingsley – who was the totally unbiased judge of the contest – forwarded us an email he recently sent to Pat Branson, the mayor of Kodiak, Alaska, regarding the contest.

Hello Mayor Pat Branson

We recently found the video of the most scenic dump contest and posted it on Facebook on my timeline Joe Kingsley Moab. I do not know if you knew that Kodiak won sister city status in the competition! Over a hundred cities around the world joined the competition. And because I was the judge, I told all applicants that Moab is first place and the second place(tie) would be selected. Your Mayor at the time flew to Moab to get the prize and attended the ceremony celebrating the conclusion of the competition, which was covered by all the networks! I am sorry, but I do not remember his name. As I recall this was in 1986-87, approximately thirty-two year anniversary!


Tonka Toys made a special garbage truck, chrome on a fancy wooden stand as the trophy which your Mayor at that time received!


In the four days, this video has been posted, it has gotten 1.75k views! In as much that Kodiak is our sister city in this event, we felt that you should know what is going on in that great memory!

Kingsley to Branson, in an email sent Sunday, June 15

Branson sent the following in reply to Kingsley’s email the next morning:

Thank you Joe for this dump update. I do remember our certification in the most scenic dump category and one Kodiak still celebrates and talks about. I will pass this anniversary word on to community residents as a reminder that I am sure we still have the most scenic dump-maybe even outdoing Moab.

Branson to Kingsley, in an email reply to Kingsley, sent Monday, June 16

The contest was covered by all of the major television networks in existence 32 years ago. Below is a video of CBS’ coverage, shared by Kingsley on Facebook.

Worlds Most Scenic Dump with Charles Kuralt and Dan Rather!! This is when Salt Lake City discovered were Moab is!! And also there is a bonus: the commercial of Chevrolet on Castle Rock in Castle Valley! The wind started blowing after the filming and the actress had to spend the night…so she would not panic, the movie company lowered a cameraman down to spend the night with her!! Great memories!!

Posted by Joe D Kingsley on Tuesday, June 11, 2019
CBS News television coverage of the Moab dump on Sand Flats Road, which won a competition for “Most Scenic Dump.”
Video courtesy of Joe Kingsley, coverage by Charles Kuralt/CBS

If you are unable to access the above video, use the following link: https://www.facebook.com/moabking/videos/10156875126791998/.