Urbex Underground

21 Ghost Towns In Utah [MAP]

Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by Urbex Underground

If you’re searching for ghost towns in Utah we’ve got you covered! Below are 21 different ghost towns you can explore across the great state of Utah along with their status and exact GPS coordinates.

We rate ghost towns in Utah based on their status. Here’s how our system works:

  • Abandoned: Is abandoned with ruins and structures in a decayed state. Great for urban explorers .
  • Historic: Preservation efforts have been made and sometimes plaques installed. Great for everyone .
  • Barren: Almost nothing remains of the town. Ideal for metal detectorists.
  • Commercial: Is commercially owned with amenities, restaurants, and stores. Great for families .
  • Semi-Abandoned : Abandoned areas with a small population in the area.
  • Privately Owned: Tours might be available but not open to the general public.

2. Silver Reef

3. old irontown, 4. stateline, 7. castle gate, 9. promontory, 11. thompson springs, 12. marysvale, 13. mammoth, 15. home of truth, 17. nine mile canyon, 18. blacks fork, 19. coal city, 21. sulphurdale, the anarchist’s guide to exploration.

If you’re looking to dive deeper into the world of urban exploration, this book is for you. Learn how to uncover more abandoned places and the techniques used to capture their beauty.

37.16746, -113.08094 Status: Historic

utah ghost towns near me

A small group of settlers from Virginia established this beautiful area in 1858. They grew cotton, alfalfa, and wheat in scenic surroundings thanks to good soils. The occupancy started declining in 1907 because people started leaving due to floods, harsh winter weather, and attacks by Indians.

Life was very harsh in this area due to attacks such as three brothers and one wife were killed by Indians in 1866. Three children died young (below 9 years of age) from 1865 and 1877. Their graves along with the burial sites of several Native Americans can be seen in the cemetery. The last inhabitants left this area in 1944.

What’s Left?

Grafton is a historical place near the boundary of Zion National Park. There are aged wooden buildings in good condition and a very well-preserved cemetery with graves from the 1860s. Grafton Heritage Partnership was established in 1997 that manages the site. Some people live in small houses in the neighborhood, there is a nearby ranch, farmlands, and orchards. The surroundings are peaceful, authentic, and atmospheric with colorful cliffs of the national park in the backdrop.

37.25333, -113.36673 Status: Historic

utah ghost towns near me

Silver reef became a mining town in late 1800s when silver was discovered in this area. In 1870s, another mining town Pioche, Nevada started to decline and miners were relocating to Silver Reef. In a couple of years, it became a vibrant business district with more than 2000 inhabitants.

The boom of the mining town was short because most of the mines had closed in 1884. People started moving to the nearby town of Leeds by 1901. Uranium was mined in this area after World War II for a very short time. After that Silver Reef became a ghost town with very few buildings.

Silver Reef is a true Wild West Ghost Town. You can visit this stunning geological setting by taking a guided tour, or just wondering around. It starts at the National Historic Register named Wells Fargo Express office that was restored and converted into a museum. There are walking trails that lead to old stone kilns where silver was processed, a museum, a gift shop located in the old bank, an old main street, a gallery, a restaurant, and many other places of interest.

37.60047, -113.4558 Status: Historic

utah ghost towns near me

Irontown was established by Mormon leader, Brigham Young when Irontown was discovered in Southern Utah. He called for volunteers in 1851 to colonize the region. In June 1868, Union Iron Company was established with the investment of Ebenezer Hanks which later became Great Western Iron Company.

By 1870, almost 19 households, two kilns, a pattern shop, a grinding device, and a molding shop in the city. After that, many people started settling in the area and by 1871 the mining town had a schoolhouse, post office, general store, boarding house, and butcher shop. During peak operation, the town was producing five to seven tons of pig iron. Reduced sales of iron items and increased shipping costs became the primary reason for the decline of the Great Western iron company.

There are some places of interest, beehive style charcoal oven, original foundry remains including chimneys and furnace which are very well preserved among the ruins. The site was registered as Old Iron Town, on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. There are some occupied homes and a few newer homes in the town.

38.9624, -119.9399 Status: Semi-Abandoned

utah ghost towns near me

In 1894, Stateline Canyon started to attract residents when gold and silver were discovered in the area. The boom took place after the Ophir mine was discovered in the area and the population started increasing. There were many general stores and approximately 300 people living in the area by 1903. With the decline of mines, miners started moving to other areas for greener areas and gold mines.

You can explore sandstone formations and ruins throughout the canyon. There are well-preserved stone buildings, a mercantile store, a cemetery, and old foundations. Ophir Mine mill is also in a good condition and is one of my favorite buildings on the property. There is also a reservoir for mining facilities that are now used by local ranchers for water in the valley of Stateline.

39.04145, -109.7115 Status: Abandoned

utah ghost towns near me

In the early 1890s, a farmer by the name of Harry Ballard discovered coal adjacent to his ranch. He kept his discovery a secret and purchased that property. Coal operations started on a small scale by digging out manually. The news quickly reached Salt Lake City and a hardware store owner bought Ballard’s property.

People started developing the area rapidly in the coming years. In 1916, the primary investor was not happy with the profits because they started declining. In 1955, Grand coal Company sold all its holdings to another company. That resulted in the decline of population and made this area a ghost town.

The old site displays various places that belong to the prosperous past of the site. There are foundations, mine shafts, old railroad bridges, cemeteries, and other crumbling structures. There is native American rock art among other structures. This combination of history and ruin makes its one of the best ghost towns in Utah.

39.99134, -111.49824 Status: Abandoned

utah ghost towns near me

Thistle was once an important place for visitors of Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. There was a school, saloon, restaurant, and a population of around 650 residents. After the railroads converted from locomotive to diesel engines, trains no longer stopped in Thistle.

After a massive rainfall in 1983, floods and landslides blocked the Spanish Fork River and wiped out the rail line. People had a couple of hours to evacuate the area. Their homes were destroyed and the town became abandoned. There are some houses which are broken and partially in the water.

The town is abandoned and the remaining structures are under swampy water. This area cannot be easily explored. Vigilant explorers can find a few water-logged homes throughout the area. Unlike many ghost towns in Utah, Thistle is one of the few that was completely decimated by a change in water levels.

39.73559, -110.8727 Status: Abandoned

utah ghost towns near me

Castle Gate was a coal mining town that started in 1886, operated by Pleasant Valley Coal Company. The town started booming in no time when more people started settling and building houses. In 1889, coke ovens started to provide coke for Salt Lake smelters.

In November 1903, coal miners went on a strike for dangerous working conditions, low wages, and longer working hours. Later, coal mine 2 and coal mine 3 also opened for mining. In 1924 an open flame ignited the coal dust in Castle gate no.2. Two more explosions occurred after the first one that resulted in the destruction of mining equipment, coal cars, telephone poles, and other things. In 2015, Castle Gate Power Plant closed due to environmental issues related to mercury.

There are many headstones in the Castle Gate cemetery. Most of them are from 1918’s epidemic flu and 1924 of people who were killed in the explosion. You can see the ethnic and religious diversity of this area by the names of people on the gravestones. While the area is far from abandoned there are plenty of ruins in and around the Castle Gate area to explore.

38.46081, -113.26279 Status: Abandoned

utah ghost towns near me

Frisco was a thriving town of 6000 people that was an active mining town between 1879 to 1929. The name of the town was inspired by the famous city of San Francisco. The area started developing when the Horn Silver Mine was established in 1875 and later became the largest producer of silver in the area. With the passage of time many other mines were also discovered. This area had a short-lived success as a mining camp as the mines dried up and silver declined in price. After the decline of mining, people started leaving the town.

Today, there are abandoned structures, crumbling foundations, cemeteries, charcoal ovens, rusting mining equipment, and many other things to explore making Frisco one of the most fascinating ghost towns in Utah.

41.61977, -112.54679 Status: Historic

utah ghost towns near me

Promontory is a high-ground area in the Northwest of Salt Lake City. It is famous for Promontory the Summit with the transcontinental railroad from Sacramento to Omaha. There is an original abandoned alignment called Lucin Cutoff that crosses Promontory mountains.

The first rail route was completed in 1868 through the Sierra Nevada mountains and more than 4000 workers were working on-site, most of them were Chinese. There were shops, stores, tents, and many other places of interest in the area by December 1869. By June 1870, the population started to decline and by 20th century, wheat farmers started changing the landscape with families and farms. As harsh summers dried up the lands, the farmer quickly left for greener pastures.

Golden Spike National Historic Site was signed into law in July 1965. The administration of the park is under National Park Service. There is a visitor center, engine house, walking trails, and the famous Golden Spike ceremony in this area. Promontory is beautifully preserved making it one of the best historic ghost towns in Utah.

40.54195, -112.73361 Status: Abandoned

utah ghost towns near me

Losepa is located in Skull Valley Tooele county, southwest of Salt Lake City. In 1850s Mormon missionaries started settling in the Polynesia area. In 1870s native Hawaiians started settling in Salt Lake City. They faced mistreatment and culture shock due to the white majority. Despite this, they endured and established a settlement.

People started building homes, schools, stores, and a church in this area. An extensive irrigation system was also developed in this area to bring water from the Stansbury mountains.

The entire settlement was very well planned whereas the harsh environment was tough and there were many diseases like smallpox, leprosy pneumonia, and diphtheria. Several crop failures made times harder in this area. People started leaving the area to find somewhere more hospitable. By January 1917, Losepa was a ghost town.

The Losepa cemetery was placed in 1971 on the National Register of Historic Places. A memorial day was organized in 1980 that was attended by a few Polynesian families of Utah. People gather at the location for the celebration. A large concrete pavilion and restrooms were added to the location in 1999. People can visit the location and enjoy camping as well as exploring in this area.

32.95983, -98.76534 Status: Abandoned

utah ghost towns near me

The town started when E.W.Thompson operated a sawmill near the cliffs and established a small settlement. The name of the town was decided based on his name. This small community called Thompson Springs contained sheepherders, small-scale farmers, and cattlemen.

A stop was created in the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad to reach the settlement. Harry Ballard discovered coal mines in the land adjacent to his ranch that became a reason for this town’s prosperity. The town started declining when power engines were replaced by diesel engines and mining transportation became an issue.

The town is a few miles away from the new highway. There is an exit from the road and a gas station. Thompson Spring is visited by tourists for a quick stop while passing west.

38.48097, -112.3714 Status: Historic

utah ghost towns near me

This area started to take off when Silver ore was discovered in Marysvale in the 1860s. After this discovery, gold was discovered in 1889 and in 1949 uranium was discovered just in time to support the war effort. People started moving to Marysvale for mining and other work opportunities. Town started developing when the United States Atomic Energy Commission established a field office and ore purchasing station in Marysvale.

The post office of Marysvale started in 1872 and it is still operating. There is a Paiute ATV trail in Marysvale along with many other activities. Tourists visit this area for ATV tours and other activities.  Of all the ghost towns in Utah Marysvale is arguably the most active.

39.92633, -112.12633 Status: Semi-Abandoned

utah ghost towns near me

Mammoth mine was discovered in February 1870 which kickstarted the population of Mammoth. The environment was harsh with no natural water source. Water pipes were used for industrial use and people had to buy gallons of drinking water for drinking. Mammoth mines produced silver and gold ores. Around 1900-1910, the population of Mammoth rose to 2500-3000 people. There was a school, four large hotels, and other places of interest in the town. The town started declining after 1910 when mining became difficult. People moved to other places with better opportunities, lifestyles, and weather.

Small-scale mining still occurs in the area and some residents still live in Mammoth. The area is popular among campers, hikers, off-road vehicle riders, and ghost town enthusiasts. Mammoth is one of my favorite ghost towns in Utah

38.9114, -109.1404 Status: Semi-Abandoned

utah ghost towns near me

In 1880, the town started as a water filling station and saloon for Denver and Rio Grande Western railroad. Stores, restaurants, and hotels started establishing as travelers came through after the discovery of natural gas and oil. Many miners settled in the town.

The town started declining after the replacement of the steam engine and the economy crashed after Interstate 70 was built. There was no proper connectivity between the town with the highway which ultimately killed off the population.

There are different relics of the old town, abandoned vehicles and belongings. An art residency by Eileen Muza is organized that is joined by different communities and people. This art residency bought attention from all over the world to this town.

38.0608, -109.3841 Status: Abandoned

utah ghost towns near me

The town formed when a wealthy widow started a religious community in 1933 when her husband passed away. She began claiming that God was dictating messages through the typewriter and speaking through her divine manipulation and opened a “Truth Center”.

This small community believed that everything will come to an end as through an apocalypse, except for the barren place where they were living. The decline of this area started when strange rituals began and a woman who was promised a cure for cancer died. Orgen (the cult lady) refused to bury her body and cult members fed the dead body milk and eggs for two months. The community dissolved by the end of the 1930s.

This land is private property and the owner wants to restore Home of Truth and other places of interests to open them to pthe ublic. There are abandoned buildings and a gate to the inner portal. A small cemetery with five graves. Of all the ghost towns in Utah, Town of Truth undoubtedly has some of the craziest stories and characters.

33.73147, -99.68342 Status: Abandoned

utah ghost towns near me

Lucin was developed in the late 19 th century by the employees of Central and Southern Pacific Railroads. It served as a water stop for railroads and steam locomotives. The town was abandoned in 1936. In 1997 a Venturing aviation entrepreneur and manufacturer of a plane propeller (Ivoprop), Ivo Zdarsky lived in this place.

This area is handled by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources for migrating songbirds and other wildlife. There is a large artwork created by artist Nancy Holt in 1976, called the Sun Tunnels. 

39.7762, -110.4964 Status: Historic

utah ghost towns near me

Nine Mile Canyon was the main transport corridor in the 1880s. There were a number of ranches and a small town named Harper. There were rich deposits of natural gas. However, the fugitive dust and truck traffic was destroying cultural resources and the rock art of the canyon. Eventually, in 1920 it became a ghost town.

Today Nine Mile Canyon is known for its extensive rock artwork, granaries, and shelters promoted as “the world’s longest art gallery”. Most of the works are created by the Ute People and Fremont Culture. This is a destination for tourists and archaeologists alike.

40.97099, -110.587 Status: Abandoned

utah ghost towns near me

Backs Fork named after the Blacks Fork River, and was established in 1870 as a supplier of lumber to the mining industries and the railroad. The population of the town reached 100 and soon after that, it was abandoned due to harsh weather conditions. There were a few homes, a post office, and a barn in the town.

The town has abandoned buildings, company offices, large barns, storage places, stores, and restaurants. It is visited by tourists and ghost town enthusiasts. 

39.66666, -111.01638 Status: Abandoned

utah ghost towns near me

Coal City was a farming community, established in 1885. Farming and ranching were difficult because the town’s elevation was almost 7000 feet with rich soil. Small-scale mining began in the town when coal was discovered in the area. Mining was also not successful in the area because the town was away from the railroad. Coal production started declining in 1935 and the town was abandoned in the 1960s.

Coal City has a few buildings which are managed by the Gordon Creek Wildlife Management Area. Deteriorating structures and old water systems can be seen in the area. No motor vehicles are allowed in the area. Tourists and archaeologists can visit the area making it

39.78583, -109.07333 Status: Abandoned

utah ghost towns near me

Dragon was started as a Gilsonite mining camp in 1888. There were veins of Gilsonite a type of natural asphalt that was found nowhere else at that time. The town boomed at the start of the 20 th century and started declining after the end of the Uintah Railway line.

Gilsonite is flammable causing a couple of accidents during the mine’s operation. One of the accidents resulted in the death of two miners and complete destruction of the Uintah Railway warehouse. Mining operations in the town stopped in 1938. The mine was discovered due to a Black Dragon shape substance on the ground so the mine was named Black dragon mine.

The Dragon and Rainbow mines slowly closed down. There are ruins and remains of Dragon, a hotel in the rubble pile, an old school, a small cemetery, and some old foundations.

38.56027, -112.58194 Status: Abandoned

utah ghost towns near me

Sulphurdale kicked off in 1870 but large-scale mining started after 1883 when a thermal plant was built. Proper production began in 1890. Despite the extraction of 1000 tons of Sulphur, high-quality Sulphur was difficult to extract.

There were 30 homes, a company store, offices, and a school in town. Production of Sulphur slowed in 1940s which led to the closing of the mine and mill in 1966. Sulphurdale was completely abandoned by the 1970s. A geothermal power system was installed in 1985 that is still producing electricity.

There is a geothermal power system near the town. There are a couple of houses and a school house in the town. The town is open for visitors. Visitors often stop by to see the town and the old Mormon fort nearby.

Go out and explore!

That concludes our list of ghost towns in Utah, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and find some places for yourself. There are plenty of places I kept off this list so get out there and explore.

If you’re having trouble finding ghost towns be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Finding Abandoned Places , or explore other ghost towns across the country .

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Ghost Towns in Utah

Every ghost town has a story to tell. They are often reminders of long forgotten dreams, hopes, struggles and gradual decline. Sometimes left behind are abandoned homes and buildings. Other times, there's just a hole in the ground and a few scattered boards. But every one of these dusty towns pays homage to the memories of those who lived and died there.

Many ghost towns require maneuvering backroads with unreliable cell service and terrain, so be sure to do your research and ask locals before setting out. Remember the lives who once lived here and visit with respect. 

Mormon Heritage National Historic Trails

Southern Utah Ghost Towns

Ghost towns like Old Irontown, Stateline and Sego existed in tough desert conditions. First timers should start with Grafton and Silver Creek.

The ghost town of Grafton , located south of Zion National Park , was originally settled by Mormon pioneers, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who answered the calling of their prophet and church president Brigham Young to establish towns throughout Utah. It’s unique because it was established for less than a decade before settlers were forced out due to tensions with Native Americans. Only the graveyard and a renovated schoolhouse remain.

While you can’t go into the schoolhouse, it’s one of the most pristine abandoned buildings left in all of Utah’s ghost towns and makes for a great photo opportunity. Some say that Grafton is the most photographed ghost town in the West. It was even one of the  filming locations for parts of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," among other Hollywood movies.

Silver Reef

This fading ghost town is located north of  St. George , close to Leeds. A mining town, Silver Reef was the first sandstone location to hold silver and was named for the lode of it that was discovered there. Dhuring the late 1870s and early 1880s, the height of the town’s silver boom, Silver Reef was the most populous place in southern Utah. 

Today, little remains of the once-bustling mining town, but you can spot foundation remnants, the old Wells Fargo building and the graveyard (where many miners lay, purportedly the outcome of settling their disputes the Western way). A nearby building has some replicas and historical information about Silver Reef.

utah ghost towns near me

Grafton ghost town outside of Zion National Park.

Photo: Eric Erlenbusch

utah ghost towns near me

The cemetery at Grafton.

Photo: Rosie Serago

"Every ghost town has a story to tell. They are often reminders of long forgotten dreams, hopes, struggles and gradual decline."

Northern utah ghost towns.

Utah's northern ghost towns dot the upper half of the state, including across the Great Basin Desert west of Salt Lake City and along the Carbon Corridor between Price and Moab. 

Russian Settlement

"Russian Settlement" is a placeholder for a town that didn't actually have a formal name. The village in northwestern Utah near the Park Valley area was an outlier, both in location and for the fact it wasn't a Mormon settlement. The founding residents were Russian Christians lured to the area by the promise of cheap land, which turned out to be uninhabitable. About 125 people called the place home after migrating east from Los Angeles in 1914. 

The ambitious settlers managed to establish a town center, a school and a modest downtown area. Repeated crop failures led to the abandonment of the settlement in 1917 after three miserable years. A few home foundations, gravestones and a distinct white picket fence remain today. 

Terrace's fate was tied to the formation of the Transcontinental Railroad. At its peak, Terrace reached nearly 1,000 residents, many of whom were likely Chinese, excluded from the census. The railroad town and its population attracted a chain store, imported trees, library, opera house, pleasure garden, a couple of hotels, a school, a public bath and even a justice of the peace who, according to the shot-up interpretive signage at the site, also ran the saloon.

Terrace all but vanished after the shorter line was completed across Great Salt Lake. Travel to this area requires remote navigating on the Transcontinental Railroad Backcountry Byway (Read: A View from The Past ).  

Unlike many ghost towns in Utah, Thistle wasn't a mining hub nor was it abandoned due to its veins of ore being tapped out. It was designed as a railroad town in the late 1800s and served as a waypoint between Denver and points west. Thistle survived well into modern times until it was dealt its death blow in 1983 when a landslide triggered a massive flood that effectively washed away the entire town. To be fair, the town's population had peaked at 600 in 1917 and was reduced to less than 50 when the flood wiped out what was left — meaning it was well on its way to ghost town status even without the natural disaster. 

Some structures still stand, imprisoned by silt. This includes water-ravaged homes and railroad archway entrances to buildings long since destroyed. There are even a few rusting cars within the remaining debris. Thistle is unique in that it is a town that fell into ruin in recent memory and was still functional — although barely — into the 80s. 

Continue driving about an hour toward Helper and you can also find Latuda, a ghost town formed after the mine closed in 1967. 

Frisco & Newhouse

About 15 miles west of the small town of Milford, Utah, exists the remnants of a once wild — and wildly profitable — mining town called Frisco , named for the nearby San Francisco Mountains. The site includes stone kilns and a cemetary. 

Also neartby is the ghost town of Newhouse. Although this area was inhabited as early as 1870 the town never amounted to much until 1900 when Samuel Newhouse purchased the Cactus Mine. Newhouse had a dream to establish a model city for his miners and their families.

The small town consisted of stucco homes, a dancehall, restaurant and one bar located one mile out of town. In the center of town was a clubhouse. This clubhouse contained a well-stocked library and pool tables. Samuel Newhouse died before the completion of his dream, but his brother Matt Newhouse continued on and completed the town and keep it up and running until 1910, when the ore in the Cactus Mine ran dry.

Not much remains of the old colony that existed here for nearly 50 years. Mormon missionaries found eager converts in the Hawaiian Islands in the 1850s and 1860s, and church leaders decided to settle a community of about 100 converts in the desolate Skull Valley.  A minor leprosy outbreak in 1896 gave Iosepa the distinction of having one of the few leper colonies on American soil.

You see the site of Iosepa a long time before reaching it, with the last remaining old shade trees clearly visible for several miles. The town site is a private ranch today, but you may still access the old cemetery, where there is an especially fine memorial and historical marker describing the settlement of the area. Drive about half a mile up the dirt road between two farmhouses (keep in mind you are on private property) and head toward the large pavilion visible from the road. Built by the Iosepa Historical Association, it is now the site of commemorative events every Memorial Day.

utah ghost towns near me

Aerial terrain maps of the region show a hand-drawn re-creation of the former Terrace town site.

Photo: Andrew Dash Gillman

utah ghost towns near me

A landslide in 1983 triggered a massive flood that effectively washed away the entire town of Thistle. Some structures still stand, imprisoned by silt.

Photo: Jenny Bauman, Flickr

utah ghost towns near me

A charcoal kiln at Frisco ghost town.

utah ghost towns near me

A momument and memorial at Iosepa Cemetery.

utah ghost towns near me

Frisco, a ghost town about 15 miles west of Milford, had been one of the wildest mining towns in the West. 

Exploring Other Ghost Towns

Utah's extensive ghost towns make for excellent day adventures, especially for history buffs and photographers. The earliest ghosts towns date back to the mid-1800s. When you're ready to delve into the days of yore in the wild west, there is no shortage of ghost towns to explore. As for spotting actual ghosts —  you'll have to see for yourself.

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utah ghost towns near me

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utah ghost towns near me

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utah ghost towns near me

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utah ghost towns near me

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utah ghost towns near me

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10 famous Utah ghost towns and where to find them

May 22, 2021, 10:28 AM | Updated: May 28, 2021, 8:33 am

utah ghost towns grafton...

Cactus grows in the red dirt of Grafton, Utah, which features prominently in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." The old schoolhouse appears in the background. Photo: Becky Bruce

Becky Bruce's Profile Picture


Becky Bruce, KSL NewsRadio

When you think of famous ghost towns, you might think of places in Texas, Wyoming, Montana, Arizona or California – but it turns out Utah has its fair share, too. 

And most are within a short drive of the major metropolitan areas in the state. 

Here are the top 10 most famous Utah ghost towns and how to find them (with a few honorable mentions for good measure). 

1. Grafton, one of the most famous ghost towns in Utah

Located just outside of Zion National Park, you probably know Grafton already, even if you don’t realize it. It tops our list of 10 famous Utah ghost towns because it got some major screen time in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” Some claim Grafton is the most photographed ghost town in the West. We can’t prove that, but it appeared in at least one other movie, 1929’s “In Old Arizona,” one of the first “talkies.”

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints first settled in the area in 1859, on a mission from Brigham Young to grow cotton in southern Utah. They established a growing community on the banks of the Virgin River known as Wheeler. But flooding washed away most of the town in 1862, so they moved about a mile upriver to a place they named New Grafton. Over time, they dropped the word ‘new’ from the name. 

Flooding continued to plague Grafton’s residents. Rising waters not only threatened its structures but also filled irrigation canals with silt. Residents had to dredge the canals weekly. The outbreak of the Black Hawk War meant the town had to evacuate in 1866, but continued flooding prompted residents to resettle elsewhere. Most historians consider the town’s official demise to have come in 1921, when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pulled out its local presence. But technically, three people still live in Grafton.

Several buildings remain on the site of Grafton, Utah, including homes like this one that still have glass windows. Photo: Becky Bruce

Roots run deep, though, and some of the orchards those early settlers planted still exist today. You can wander through the main street (really just a dirt path) and even into some of the buildings. Pay your respects to early residents at the town cemetery a short distance away. 

Getting there

Take Interstate 15 to exit 27 for Utah S.R. 17, toward Toquerville and Hurricane. Stay on S.R. 17 for about 6 miles until you reach the town of La Verkin. There, turn left on 500 North/S.R. 9 East. Drive 15 miles on S.R. 9 East to the town of Rockville. Turn right on Bridge Road. Drive 0.3 miles, crossing over the Virgin River, then turn right on 250 South/Grafton Road. Continue roughly 3 miles. The road changes from paved to gravel to dirt, then ends at the ghost town. 

2. Silver Reef, former mining boomtown

Like many ghost towns of the Old West, Silver Reef got its start as a mining settlement. A man named John Kemple discovered silver there in 1866. He returned in 1874, hoping to find the source of the vein of silver, staking several more claims, but without locating the source. 

Then, in 1875, word got out about Kemple’s discovery. A pair of Salt Lake bankers known as the Walker brothers hired a prospector to check it out on their behalf. The prospector, William T. Barbee, staked nearly two dozen claims and established a town he called “Bonanza City.” But miners drawn to the area by reports of silver preferred to set up camp outside of town, which they called “Rockpile.” 

That same year, after the mines closed in Pioche, Nev., some of its miners relocated to Rockpile, renaming it “Silver Reef.” At its peak, the town hosted 2,500 residents, nine grocery stores, six saloons and even a newspaper, which made it the largest town in southern Utah at the time. 

But it wouldn’t last. A downturn in the silver market dealt one major blow, and decreasing wages for miners dealt another. While the mines generated millions of dollars of silver ore, the last mine closed up in 1891. 

Today, much of the town has been overtaken by new development, making it therefore off-limits to explorers, but you can still visit the old Wells Fargo Express Office, which was turned into a museum, and the bank, now a gift shop. Feel like stretching your legs? A short trail will take you to one of the kilns once used to process silver. 

Getting there 

From the north, take southbound I-15 to exit 23 for Leeds/Silver Reef. Turn right at the “T” on Silver Reef Road, driving west about 1.5 miles. Turn left at the “Y” in the road, which becomes Silver Reef Drive. The museum is on the right at the corner of Silver Reef Drive and Wells Fargo Drive. 

From the south, drive northbound on I-15 to exit 22 for Leeds/Silver Reef. Turn north on Main Street through Leeds, about 1.3 miles. Next, turn left on Silver Reef Road, passing under the freeway toward the red cliffs, for about 1.5 miles. Turn left at the “Y” in the road, which becomes Silver Reef Drive. The museum is on the right at the corner of Silver Reef Drive and Wells Fargo Drive. 

3. Old Irontown, one of the first Utah ghost towns

Just about 20 miles outside of Cedar City lies Old Irontown, one of the Utah ghost towns with the most structures left behind to explore.

old irontown coke oven

Remains of a coke oven in Irontown. Old Irontown was settled in the 1850s for the purpose of mining iron ore, however, the venture quickly proved unsuccessful and Old Irontown became Utah’s first ghost town. Photo: Deseret News Archives

Founded in 1868, Old Irontown was originally known as Iron City. In a way, it came about because of the establishment of Cedar City, more than a decade before. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints settled Cedar City in the 1850s, with the express goal of establishing an iron works. The mining operation there eventually failed and closed down, though settlers remained. However, that led to Peter Shirts’ discovery of the Iron City site in 1868, and the subsequent organization of the Union Iron Company by Ebenezer Hanks that same year. 

Iron City grew quickly, filling with 97 residents within two years. The town boasted not just the foundry, furnaces and blacksmith you would expect, but even a schoolhouse. However, by 1876, it was abandoned. A money panic in 1874 proved too difficult to overcome. 

Today, you can still check out ruins of Old Irontown that tell the story of iron mining and processing. The most recognizable structure is an old beehive-shaped charcoal oven, but you can also find the brick chimney that once served as part of the foundry, and an “Arastra,” a type of mill used to grind the iron ore so it could be used to charge the furnace. 

Be polite if you visit — there are nearby residents who call the area home. 

Take I-15 to Cedar City, exiting at Utah State Route 56, also known as 200 North. Head west on UT-56, continuing 19.5 miles, then turn left on Old Iron Town Road, which is gravel. Follow roughly 3 miles to the historic site. 

For extra credit, stop by the Frontier Homestead State Park Museum in Cedar City on your way to see artifacts from the site and learn more about the area’s early settlers. 

4. Welcome to Stateline, born in a Utah gold rush

Someone discovered gold around 1894 in them thar hills — or at least in Stateline Canyon near the Nevada state line in Iron County, Utah. 

The discovery of gold and silver in the area prompted a bit of a rush, followed by the establishment of the Ophir mine in Stateline Canyon in 1896. Two more mines, the Johnny and the Creole, soon followed.

At one point, 300 people called Stateline home. It included everything you would expect of an Old West town: saloons, a couple of general stores, a daily stagecoach to the nearest town with a railroad stop and even its own newspaper. 

But before long, the mines had given up all they could; the town slowly faded away; its last residents gone by the end of 1918. 

Sadly, much of what remained of Stateline burned with widespread wildfires in 2020. However, the cemetery is well-kept and worth paying your respects. 

Need more adventure? Stateline Canyon and the surrounding area feature plenty of trails for ATVs and dirt bikes. You’ll also pass through Modena to get to Stateline — and with its fewer than 20 residents, it practically qualifies as a ghost town, too. 

Take I-15 to Cedar City, exiting at Utah State Route 56, also known as 200 North. Much like the road to Old Irontown, your next move is to head west on UT-56, but this time, you’re going to drive 51.6 miles to the town of Modena. Turn right on Modena Canyon/Hamblin Valley Road. Continue 12.9 miles, then turn left at Hall’s Road. After 1.1 miles, the road curves to the right and becomes 13600 West. Continue another 0.1 miles, then make the first left you can make, followed by the next right. Continue roughly 2 miles – the road ends at the Stateline cemetery. 

5. Sego, Utah – a coal ghost town

If you’re already planning a trip to the red rock country around Moab, Utah, you might as well check out one of the easiest to reach ghost towns on this list: Sego. In fact, if you’ve ever needed to make a pit stop at the Thompson Springs rest area between Moab and the Colorado state line, you were almost within reach of Sego without knowing it. 

Sego got its start as a coal town. Henry Ballard, one of Thompson Springs’ founding fathers, found a seam of coal near Sego in 1908 and established a camp, calling it — what else? Ballard. 

Ballard eventually sold his camp to B. F. Bauer and his American Fuel Company, which resulted in fast expansion, a spur railroad line and the renaming of the town to Neslen, after the mine’s new general manager, Richard Neslen. A company store, a boarding house and a post office soon followed. 

But it’s hard to keep a town functioning and growing without water, and soon after its founding, Neslen’s creeks and springs started to dry up. In perhaps an ironic twist, too much water, in the form of flash floods, proved problematic for the trains — washing out bridges and trestles needed for the railroad spur to reach the coal mine. The coal company struggled to make a profit, miners went on strike when they weren’t paid for months at a time, and the company went through a restructuring in 1916. That move, which also replaced the mine’s general manager, eventually resulted in a name change for the town, in 1918, to Sego, for the Utah state flower, the sego lily.

But the financial struggles didn’t go away with the restructuring. Corporate coal moved out of the area in 1947, and while the remaining miners bought what was left and established a company of their own, it didn’t last. Flash floods wiped out the last vestiges of town life in the 1950s and forced any remaining miners to leave.

Not much remains, because a number of the buildings were moved to Thompson after the town petered out. But you can still see dugouts and foundations of a number of structures, plus the old Sego hotel’s red rock walls still stand. 

Take I-70 to exit 187, toward Thompson Springs. Turn left on UT-94 North, crossing under the interstate and driving 1.4 miles until the road merges with Sego Canyon Road and curves to the right. Drive 3.4 miles on this road, passing through the town, until you see Bureau of Land Management signs for the Sego Canyon Rock Art Interpretive Site. Turn right, then right again to stay with Sego Canyon Road. If you want, park at the BLM site to explore petroglyphs before continuing past to find the ghost town, another 1.7 miles down the road. 

Note: The road turns to gravel in places, and dirt in others, and crosses through a dry wash at several points. Check the forecast before you go and do NOT attempt when meteorologists predict rain, as the road becomes impassible. 

6. Thistle, a rare non-mining example among Utah ghost towns

One of the few Utah ghost towns on the list not to have ties to gold, silver, iron or coal mining, Thistle stands out from the rest. Its origins stem not from early Latter-day Saints settlements but from the arrival of the railroad. 

thistle railroad depot utah ghost towns

The railroad depot at Thistle. Photo: Deseret News Archives/Utah State Historical Society

Designed to accommodate the trains chugging through Spanish Fork Canyon in the late 1800s, Thistle became an important stop between Denver and the Salt Lake Valley. The Denver & Rio Grande Western railroad rebuilt an existing narrow-gauge track there to standard-gauge, then connected it with its line from Denver, providing a connection to Salt Lake City to the north. As a result, the railroad added facilities at Thistle to service trains and prepare them for the grades and curves ahead, for example by adding an extra engine before a steep climb. Before the era of dining cars on trains, Thistle also served as a meal stop. 

Thistle’s decline began long before natural disaster took its toll. When railroads switched from steam to diesel locomotives, the town’s maintenance services became less and less important over time. Between the 1950s and the 1970s, the population shrank. Crews tore down the passenger depot in 1972 and the post office two years later. 

Heavier than normal rain and snow in the autumn and winter of 1982, followed by more moisture and a faster than expected snowmelt in spring 1983, created a perfect storm for Thistle. 

On April 13, 1983, railroad maintenance crews started to notice the track had shifted. A highway patrol trooper hit a buckle on US 6, the road through the canyon, that pitched him up against his car’s roof. Crews immediately went to work to try to keep the highway and the rail line open, but to no avail. On April 14, they closed the road and the tracks to all traffic. Another two days later, the landslide had completely buried the tracks. Another day after that, the evacuation order became mandatory, as the landslide’s impact damming the nearby river would undoubtedly flood the town. 

Residents evacuated to the town of Birdseye, 5 miles away, with whatever they could grab on short notice. By the next day, the water reached the rooftops of their former homes. The day after that, 50 feet of soil covered the former route of US-6. By the time it was done, the landslide created a lake held in by an earthen dam. 

You can still see partially flooded homes and other structures left behind by the Thistle landslide and flood . 

From I-15, drive east on US 6 from Spanish Fork. Drive roughly 11 miles away from I-15, then turn right on Spanish Fork River Park Road to view the landslide from the “downstream” side. If you prefer, get back on US 6 and continue another 1.7 miles. Turn right into the large pullout just before the massive double road cut. You’ll find a sign with an overview of the disaster and a viewpoint. Travel another 1.5 miles past the pullout and turn right on US 89, then follow another 1.5 miles to find the remains of Thistle. 

7. Castle Gate, site of a coal mining disaster 

Once a thriving mining town, and like Thistle, an important stop on the Denver & Rio Grande Western railroad’s line from Denver to Salt Lake City, not much remains of Castle Gate. But we included it on our list of ghost towns because if you drive US 6 from Spanish Fork toward Price (or vice versa), you can’t miss it. And it’s the site of two major historical events in Utah.

Castle Gate gained a measure of notoriety during its heyday, as the site of one of Butch Cassidy’s most daring heists. 

The town wouldn’t get its name for a number of years, but activity in the area started to ramp up in 1886, as the Pleasant Valley Coal Company set up shop and began mining. PVCC set up a company town, naming it after the unique rock formations near the mine. 

On April 21, 1897, a train from Salt Lake City rolled into Castle Gate with PVCC’s payroll — around $8,800 in three bags. Two cowboys approached the company paymaster and the two guards with him, intercepting their plan to carry the money the 75 or so yards from the train to the PVCC office. Later identified as Butch Cassidy and Elza Lay, the two cowboys made off with around $7,000 of the cash. No one ever recovered the money. 

March 8, 1924 goes down in infamy in Castle Gate history. On that date, a series of explosions destroyed the Utah Fuel Company’s Castle Gate Mine #2. And 172 miners perished, many of them immigrants. To this day, it remains the tenth deadliest mine disaster in United States history . One of the three explosions resulted in the mine’s collapse. But historians believe lighting a gas lamp near improperly dampened coal dust caused the first blast. 

The only visible remains of Castle Gate itself are the rock formations that gave it its name, and a power plant, no longer in operation, that sits at the base of the canyon. However, travelers can learn more about the mine disaster through interpretive signs at a pullout near the rock formations. The town cemetery is well-preserved and easily accessed. 

From Spanish Fork, take US 6 east through Spanish Fork Canyon. The pull-off to view the Castle Gate rock formation and learn more about the mine disaster will be on your left after about 55 miles. To reach the cemetery,  proceed south past the pull-out and make the next possible left turn, on US 191. The cemetery sits just a short distance to the east, on your left. 

8. Frisco, one of the more notorious ghost towns in Utah

The town of Frisco got its start as a post office for the San Francisco Mining Company after the discovery of silver in the area in 1875. Miners established the post office just two years later, and within two years, the site boasted two smelters. In 1880, the completion of a rail spur to Milford, 15 miles away, fueled Frisco’s population boom to more than 6,000 residents.

beehive kiln in frisco, utah

These iconic beehive kilns are in the ghost town of Frisco. Photo: Deseret News Archives

The population boom and the attraction of precious metals also brought some less than savory elements. Frisco earned a reputation as a wild, rough and violent town. Several accounts tell of the town’s 23 saloons and, at one point, an average of one murder per day. 

Frisco became more respectable with the arrival of a sheriff. He made quick work of putting a stop to the lawlessness. But its demise came from the collapse of the silver mine in 1885. The collapse forced the mine to close for a year, and when it reopened, it produced ore much more slowly than before. Residents slowly drifted away; by the 1920s, most had departed.

The most recognizable remnants of Frisco include charcoal kilns, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But visitors will also enjoy exploring the town cemetery and remaining abandoned structures and equipment. 

Follow I-15 to exit 228 in Nephi, toward I-15 Business/North Main Street. Turn right onto Utah State Route 41/UT-28 South. Drive 2.7 miles, then turn right onto UT-132 West/West 100 North. Continue 33 miles, then turn left on US 6 West. Travel 15.9 miles. Turn right on East Main Street in Delta, which is also US 50 West and US 6 West. Continue 5.5 miles, then turn left on UT-257 South. Drive 69.5 miles. Turn right on West Center Street in Milford, which is also UT-21 West. Drive 14.7 miles to the town of Frisco. 

9. Welcome to Promontory, home of the Golden Spike

golden spike ceremony transcontinental railroad

A scene at the Golden Spike ceremony photographed May 10, 1869 at Promontory Summit in Box Elder County. Southern Pacific photo X1071 from an original photograph owned by the Iowa Historical and Art Department. Photo: Deseret News Archives

Not much remains of Promontory, the town that sprang up practically overnight as crews raced to connect the railroad from East to West on the north end of the Great Salt Lake. 

Sometimes confused with Promontory Point, the name of a “cape” of land that juts into the Great Salt Lake, the city of Promontory grew quickly before the railroad arrived there, as the agreed-upon location for the railroads to join. Meetings in Washington, D.C., in April 1869 resulted in the choosing of Promontory Summit as that site. Originally, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads planned to lay the final tracks at that location on May 8. But bad weather and a labor dispute resulted in a two-day delay; instead, we mark the anniversary of the completion of the intercontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. 

promontory summit celebration utah 1869

FILE – In this May 10, 1869, file photo, provided by the Union Pacific, railroad officials and employees celebrate the completion of the first railroad transcontinental link in Promontory, Utah. The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad was a pivotal moment in the United States, ushering in a period of progress and expansion nationwide. The Union Pacific’s Locomotive No. 119, right, and Central Pacific’s Jupiter edged forward over the golden spike that marked the joining of the nation by rail. (Andrew Russell/Union Pacific via AP, File)

A crew of Chinese and Irish immigrants laid the final 10 miles of track in just 12 hours. 

The tent city that sprang up around the event thrived, with some “tents” sporting wooden facades. But it soon earned a reputation as a rough and tumble place. Saloons and card rooms in particular attracted unsavory elements. After con artists took everything from a family of German immigrants, Promontory’s workers put up notices warning those who would do harm to others to leave town or face hanging. They did so, without further violence, by sunset on Sunday, Nov. 21, 1869. 

Promontory City lived just a short time later. By December of 1869, most of the traders and merchants who set up shop had moved on, as the railroads changed the transfer point for trains from Promontory to nearby Ogden. A hotel and restaurant remained a little longer, but by the next summer, just 120 people, mostly railroad employees, remained at Promontory. 

Eventually, a more direct route across the Great Salt Lake finished off what remained of Promontory City. Southern Pacific built a wooden trestle that crossed the salty lake, bypassing Promontory altogether. During World War II, the area marked the “unspiking” of the historic site, removing the last rail from Promontory Summit to repurpose the old steel for the war. 

You can’t really visit structures leftover from the Promontory City days of Promontory Summit. But the location itself still offers a lot to visitors. Now set aside as Golden Spike National Historic Park , a museum on the site offers photos of what the town once looked like, plus two replica locomotives that regularly re-enact the events of May 10, 1869. If you want to stretch your legs, walking trails offer a close look at some of the railway cuts and grades. 

From Salt Lake City or Ogden, head north on I-15 and take exit 365 toward UT-13/Promontory Road. Merge onto UT-13 to head west. Continue 2.7 miles as UT-13 becomes UT-83. Drive 17.4 miles, then turn left on 7200 North. Continue another 2 miles, then make a slight right on 18400 West. After another 4.6 miles, turn left on 22000 West/Golden Spike Road. You will see the historic park on your right after about a mile. 

10. Russian Settlement, one of the Utah ghost towns with no real name 

Last but not least on our list of Utah ghost towns is Russian Settlement, which lasted just three years in Box Elder County, northwest of the Great Salt Lake. 

We don’t know what its residents called Russian Settlement. What we do know is that it was founded, much like the state of Utah itself, on faith. 

The Russian people, Spiritual Christians , who purchased 4 square miles of Park Valley land in Box Elder County in March 1914, hoped to shield their children from worldly influences and to raise them in their own traditions and culture . In Los Angeles, where they had lived for roughly 10 years before that, they worried about urban influences on some of their practices, such as arranged marriages. Advertisements from Pacific Land and Water promised rich farming land, some of the best in Utah. 

Arriving in April 1914 at their new town site, they put in the work to build a village. Town founders laid out an east-to-west main street with 200 feet of frontage for each lot. They bought farm animals from nearby ranchers, planted crops in the dusty soil and built houses, barns and wells to support their new life. Promised irrigation wells and pumps from Pacific Land and Water never materialized. So instead, most families used their smaller wells to water what they could. 

The failure of the land to support crops eventually led residents to abandon Russian Settlement, starting just a year after they arrived. In fact, the decline was so swift, Box Elder County decided school-age children should attend class in Rosette just a year after first establishing a one-room schoolhouse at Russian Settlement. 

By 1917, everyone was gone, and while Box Elder County residents removed buildings and materials from the site, no one ever tried to make the area a home again. Today, all that remains is a tiny cemetery with two graves, surrounded by a picket fence.  

Take I-15 toward Idaho, splitting with I-84 and heading west toward Boise. From I-84, take exit 5 toward Park Valley/Elko. Head west on UT-30. Travel 15.8 miles on UT-30, then turn left to stay with UT-30. Drive another 19.8 miles. Turn left on 54000 West. After 1 mile, turn right on 16800 North. After about a tenth of a mile, the road curves and becomes Board Ranch Road. Keep driving 6 miles. At the next available right, turn right, then continue 2.6 miles. 

Honorable mentions for Utah ghost towns and beyond

Picking just 10 Utah ghost towns to highlight meant leaving out so many others. Some estimates suggest Utah includes over 100 ghost towns . Here, we list just a few others that you may want to check out. 

No longer exactly a ghost town, a woman named Eileen Muza purchased Cisco in 2015, making improvements and leaving her mark on the landscape ever since. But prior to that, the town was featured as the location of Thelma and Louise’s famed police chase  and also gave a Johnny Cash song its name. 

Spring Canyon/Storrs 

Jesse Knight purchased the land to develop a coal mine and company town he named Storrs, after the mine superintendent, in 1912. The name changed to Spring Canyon in 1924. It slowly declined as demand for coal decreased after World War II; by the late sixties, no one called it home anymore. 


Not exactly a true ghost town, Topaz deserves a place on the list because it once housed a number of people who do not live there today. Topaz was the site of a Japanese internment camp during World War II. Today, a museum educates visitors about what happened there. Visitors can also tour the nearby camp site. 


Notom, just outside of Capitol Reef National Park , doesn’t include buildings or even foundations to explore (that we know of!). But it made our list because of the accessibility to fun trails and outdoor activities. If you find yourself at the national park already, you probably also spotted the remains of Fruita, an early settlement. Notom just gives you more to explore, either by vehicle or on foot. 

Bannack, Montana 

This honorable mention isn’t in Utah, but Bannack State Park is worth a trip if you find yourself in Montana. One of the state’s original territorial capitals is restored with buildings you can explore, plus a museum and gift shop. Unlike most ghost towns, it includes dozens of structures. It’s one of the more “complete” ghost towns available to tour. 

Silt, Colorado 

Not only is Silt not in Utah, it’s also not technically a ghost town. But if you drive I-70 between Moab and Denver, you might as well stop at Silt. The town restored a number of historic buildings that visitors can explore, right in the heart of Silt, at Silt Historical Park . 

Which Utah ghost towns did we miss? Send us an email at [email protected] , and we’ll add it.

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THE 10 BEST Utah Ghost Towns

Ghost towns in utah.

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  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

utah ghost towns near me

2. Cisco Ghosttown


4. Old Iron Town


8. Jacob City

utah ghost towns near me

12. Widtsoe Ghost Town

13. fairfield, what travelers are saying.

Roger C

Utah Stories

The Voice of Local Utah

Exploring Ghost Towns Royal & Cisco near Moab, Utah

In the frontier days of the American West, industries rose and fell in arcs spanning just a few decades, sometimes launching communities that endured, and sometimes sprouting small towns and settlements that faded quickly away, leaving only scattered remnants. Many lonely corners of Utah harbor sites of these former communities. Royal and Cisco are two…

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Rachel Fixsen

utah ghost towns near me

In the frontier days of the American West, industries rose and fell in arcs spanning just a few decades, sometimes launching communities that endured, and sometimes sprouting small towns and settlements that faded quickly away, leaving only scattered remnants. Many lonely corners of Utah harbor sites of these former communities . Royal and Cisco are two such decrepit and forgotten towns. 

utah ghost towns near me

In the 1880s, the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad company was expanding its lines through southeastern Utah and discovered rich, valuable coal deposits along the way. Coal was a primary source of energy, and extracting and transporting it served as the economic backbone of many small towns in Carbon and Emery Counties. 

One such coal mining town, named for its location in Bear Canyon, just north of present-day Helper, bustled with activity in the early 20 th Century. Trains came and went, moving coal and mine tailings. Dozens of homes sprouted between the canyon slopes, and the town carried on as various mining companies bought claims to the area and renamed the settlement Cameron, then Rolapp, and finally Royal, the name by which it is remembered. 

Scott Wheeler, a present-day resident of Carbon County, remembers that railroad and mining companies recruited laborers from Europe and Asia to boost production — and the workers often suffered oppressive conditions.

Wheeler’s mother, Phyllis Keele Wheeler, moved from Royal to Price when she was in fourth grade, and Scott Wheeler has photographs of his mother’s second grade class; a group of over 20 students taught in Royal, and also a 1942 shot of his grandfather with a group of more than 100 miners wearing their work clothes and smeared with dirt, posing in Royal. In the decade following that photograph, coal went into decline and people moved away from Royal. 

Wheeler makes a hobby of creating historical “double” photographs. He seeks out old photos of interesting local subjects, finds the vantage from which they were taken, and recreates the shot in the present-day. One of these “doubles” shows a view of his mother’s childhood hometown, one taken in 1922 and the other in 2017. The distinct cliffs and peaks are nearly identical, but in one photo they frame rows of rooftops, and in the other a lonely dirt road winding through trees and shrubs along the deserted canyon bottom. Wheeler plans to make a 100-year double using the same photograph next year. 

utah ghost towns near me

Many of the structures that made up the town of Cisco, Utah have not disappeared, though most are in deep disrepair. The town, located northeast of Moab on the Colorado River, was once a crucial watering stop for the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad. The train stop seeded further industry and population: stores, hotels, and restaurants developed to accommodate workers and travelers, and later, ranchers and sheepherders used Cisco as a supply source and to transport their products. 

Later, vanadium, uranium, oil and gas deposits were discovered near Cisco and contributed to the economy there. However, with the decline of steam engines, the town became less important as a rail stop. In the 1970s, the new Interstate 70, allowing east-west transit, completely bypassed the town of Cisco, and the population eventually dwindled to zero. 

Scenic Highway 128 passes through Cisco, and the abandoned town has been a curiosity to motor-tourists and river-runners who use a put-in near Cisco to access the popular Westwater Canyon stretch of the Colorado River. 

In recent years, the town’s allure has attracted some new official occupants. Eileen Muza purchased property in Cisco and took up residence there, and started an artist-in-residence program called Home of the Brave . 

In 2019, Jean and Alan Murawski opened up the Buzzard’s Belly General Store , a unique shop in a historic building which they restored, that sells not only food, drink, and sundries, but also an eclectic selection of years’ worth of thrift, antique, and yard sale finds of Jean’s. 

Opening a vintage store had been a dream of Jean’s for years, and the couple was proud to open the remodeled building and pleased to see steady business — before the coronavirus forced months of closure. Cisco may have felt more like a ghost town during that time, but the Murawskis are back open again and doing business. 

“We hung in there,” said Jean. “We’re open now!”

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After growing up on the east coast and earning degrees in English and art from the University of Maryland, Rachel moved to Utah in 2010 and fell in love with its deserts, mountains, rivers and canyons. She has worked as a wildland firefighter, a park ranger, a field research technician, and a builder. She now lives in Moab, where she writes for the Moab Sun News and the Moab Area Real Estate Magazine. She loves rock climbing, hiking, trail running, and summiting mountains. She also enjoys learning more about Utah’s history and culture, and how we are all adapting to a changing world.

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The few remains of Kelton, the first big railroad town west of Promontory, are 35 miles southwest of Snowville off Hwy 30 on a gravel road.

Today Park Valley, 38 miles southwest of Snowville on Hwy 30, is a ranching town with many stories of the gold rush and the town's Russian settlers.

Twenty miles south of Tooele is the town of Ophir, where many original building and artifacts have been preserved from its historic mining past.

Near the old mining town of Eureka are several ghost towns such as Silver City and Mammoth.

Located on a road out of Clear Creek Canyon near Richfield is the mining ghost town of Kimberley. At the turn of the century Kimberly was a lively, thriving community with a lucrative mining industry.

Bullion City, up the canyon west of Marysville, once had a population of over 1,600 people, and several significant gold mines. Today relics of the mines and a few buildings remain.

Twenty-three miles north of the historic town of Callao (which is near the Nevada border) on an unpaved road is Gold Hill, one of Utah's largest, best-preserved ghost towns.

In Utah's coal mining past, many boomtowns went bust. It is no wonder that so many ghost towns are located across the state. A few examples are: Consumers, National, and picturesque Coal City, 2 miles south of Helper on Hwy 6/50 and west on a dirt road to Consumers Wash for 10 miles. Coal City is nicknamed Dempseyville because Jack Dempsey lived and trained for fights there.

If you've ever seen 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid', go to Grafton, the site of filming, and relive the bicycle scene. To find this southwestern Utah ghost town, settled in 1859, cross the bridge at Rockville and continue west on BLM's Smithsonian Butte National Backcountry Byway for 3 mi. on the south side of the Virgin River.

Just north of I-15 near Leeds are the remains of Silver Reef, a roaring 1870's mining town. The newly-restored Wells Fargo Building is on the National Historic Register. An excellent map of the townsite allows visitors to picture Silver Reef as it once was.

Thirty-three miles east of Kanab on Hwy 89, a winding dirt road designated as a Scenic Backway turns north for 6 miles to a movie set and Paria, settled in 1870 amid spectacular red rock BLM scenery.

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(Please visit the Utah Ghost Town Project on the ExpeditionUtah forum for additional site data) Adairville – Kane County Adventure – Washington County Ajax (aka Center) – Tooele County Aldridge – Wayne County Alta (aka Central City & Galena City) – Salt Lake County Alunite – Piute County Angle – Piute County Antimony (aka Old Antimony) – Garfield County Aragonite – (aka Hastings Pass) – Tooele County Arago City (aka South Camp * – Mining Camp) – Beaver County Argenta (aka Camp Carr) – Salt Lake County Argyle – (aka Kennedyville) Rich County Arhur – Salt Lake County Asay Town (aka Asays) – Garfield County Atkinville – Washington County Babylon – Washington County Bacchus – Salt Lake County Baker Mine – Box Elder County Basin – Emery County Batesville * – (aka Knowlenville) Tooele County Bauer – Tooele County Bear River Camp* – Randolph, Rich County Benmore – Tooele County Beryl – Iron County Bingham – Salt Lake County Bingham’s Fort* – Ogden Black Mesa Missile Base – San Juan County Black’s Fork – Summit County Black Point: Along Lincoln Highway Black Rock * – Millard County Bloomington – Washington County Bluff Fort* – Bluff, San Juan County Blue Acre – Beaver County Blue Creek * – Box Elder County Boltenheim – Piute County Bonanza – Uintah County Boston Terrace – Box Elder County Bradshaw – (aka Cave Mine) – Beaver County Brigham River * – Sevier County Bromide Basin – Garfield County Browns Park (Brown Hole) Buckhorn (aka Dugway) – Tooele County Buckhorni Springs – Iron County Buel City – Box Elder County (listed as “unresearched” in Carr’s guide) Bullion (aka Campe Homestake & Bullion Canyon) – Iron County Bullion City – Piute County Bullionville – Tooele County Bullionville – Uintah County Buster City – Cache County Burbank – Millard County Cainsville – Wayne County Call’s Fort* – Brigham City Callao – Juab County Camp Battle Creek Settlement Camp on Bear River Camp Beaver Creek* – Pleasant Grove, Utah County Camp Bingham Creek* – Bingham Canyon, Salt Lake County Camp on Birch Creek* – Unknown Location Camp Cedar Swamps* – Promontory Camp Church Buttes* – Great Salt Lake Camp Clarke* – Sanpete Valley, Sanpete County Camp Conness* aka Camp Rush Valley – Rush Valley, Tooele County Camp Crossman* aka Fort Crossman – Nephi, Juab County Camp at Deep Creek Station* – Ibapah, Tooele County Camp Defiance* – Weber County Camp Dodge* – Provo, Utah County Camp Eastman* – Levan, Juab County Camp in Echo Canyon* – Echo, Summit County Camp at Farmington* aka Farmington Stockade – Farmington, Davis County Camp at Fillmore* – Fillmore, Millard County Camp Floyd* aka Fort Crittenden aka Fairfield Fort – Fairfield, Utah County Camp Floyd Pony Express Station Camp Fountain Green* – Fountain Green, Sanpete County Camp George* – Ephraim, Sanpete County Camp at Government Springs* – Unknown Location Camp on Lolos Creek* – Unknown Location Camp at Loveland’s* – Unknown Location Camp Murray* – Murray, Salt Lake County Camp Pace* – Gunnison, Sanpete County Camp Parker* – Unknown Location Camp Paige* – Moroni, Sanpete County Camp Porter* – Unknown Location Camp Rawlins aka Fort Rawlins* – Provo, Utah County Camp Relief* – Webster Junction, Cache County Camp Sevier* – Sevier, Sevier County Camp Shunk* – Vernon, Utah County Camp Timpanagos* – Provo, Utah County Camp Tyler* – Unknown Location Canyon Station* – Goshute Carbonate – Beaver County Carslisle – San Juan County Castleton – Emery County Castle Gate – Carbon County Castle Rock – Summit County Castleton – Grand County Cedar – Emery County Cedar Creek – Box Elder County Cedar Fort* – Cedar Fort, Utah County Cedar View – Duchesne County Cherry Creek – Juab County Chloride – Iron County Cisco * – Grand County Clarion – San Pete County Clear Creek – Carbon County Clear Lake – Millard Clifton – Tooele County Clifton – Garfield/Kane County Clover Flat – Piute County Coal City (aka Dempsey) * – Carbon County Colton (aka Pleasant Valley Junction) – Utah County Columbia – Carbon County Connellsville* – Emery County Consumers * – Carbon County Copperfield – Salt Lake County Copper Globe – Emery County Corinne – Box Elder County Cove Fort aka Charles Willden’s Fort – Millard County Crafton – (aka Laketown) Millard County Croyden – Morgan County Cullen – Beaver County Dalton – Washington County Death Canyon Deep Creek Pony Express Station Deer Creek – Utah County Deer Trail Mine – Piute County Desert Lake – Emery County Desert Springs – Iron County Detroit – Millard County Devil’s Slide – Morgan County Dewey (aka King Ferry) – Grand County Dewey’s Camp* – Fairview, Sanpete County Diamond – Juab County Dividend – Juab County Dixie – Washington County Dover – Sanpete County Dragerton – Carbon County Dragon – Juab County Dragon – Uintah County Duchesne Strip (aka The Strip) – Dushesne County Dug Out Pony Express Station Dugway (Buckhorn) – Tooele County Dugway Mine Dugway Pony Express Station Duncan’s Retreat – Washington County Dunstein – Tooele County Dyer – Uintah County Eagle City – Garfield County East Canon Pony Express Station Echo City – Summit County Echo Canyon Breastworks* – Echo, Summit County Elephant City* (aka Middle Camp – Mining Camp) – Beaver County Elgin – Grand County Emmaville – (aka Granite City) – Salt Lake County Emery – Emery County Erekson – Tooele County Eureka* – Juab County Eva Mine – Utah County (listed as “unresearched” in Carr’s guide) Fairfield – (aka Dobietown & Frogtown) Utah County Fairview Fort* – Fairview, Sanpete County Farr’s Fort* – Ogden, Weber County Faust Pony Express Station Fish Springs – Juab County Fish Springs Pony Express Station Forest City (aka Forrest City) – Utah County Fort Ashley* – Provo, Utah County Foret Ashley – Uintah County Fort Bear River* – Bear River City Fort Berryville* – Glendale, Kane County Fort Buenaventura* aka Browns Fort & Goodyears Fort – Ogden, Weber County Fort Buttermilk* – Holden, Millard County Fort Cameron* aka Camp Beaver, Post of Beaver Canyon, Post near Beaver City – Beaver, Beaver County Fort Davis* – Brigham City Fort Deseret* – Fort Deseret, Millard County Fort Douglas* aka Camp Douglas aka Camp Kent – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County Fort Duchesne* – Fort Duchesne Fort Ephraim* aka Little Fort, Large Fort – Ephraim, Sanpete County Fort Gunnison* – Gunnison, Sanpete County Fort Harmony* aka New Fort Harmony – New Harmony, Washington County Fort Herriman* – Herriman, Salt Lake County Fort Kanab* – Kanab, Kane County Fort Kingston* – Ogden, Weber County Fort Malad* – Washakie, Box Elder County Fort Manti* aka Little Stone Fort – Manti, Sanpete County Fort Meeks* – Old Paria, Kane County Fort Moab* – Moab, Grand County Fort Montezuma* – Montezuma Creek, San Juan County Fort Moqui* – Hite, Garfield County Fort Nephi* – Nephi, Juab County Fort Pearce* aka Fort Pierce – St George, Washington County Fort Robidoux* aka Fort Kit Carson – Ouray, Uintah County Fort Santa Clara* aka Fort Santa Clara – Santa Clara, Washington County Fort Uintah* aka Fort Robidoux 2 aka Fort Wintey – Whiterocks, Uintah County Fort Union* – Union, Salt Lake County Fort Utah* aka Fort Provo aka Fort Sowiette – Provo, Utah County Fort Wordsworth* – Alpine, Utah County Fort Wahweep* aka Fort Wah-Wiep – Big Water, Kane County Fort Walker* aka Fort Hamilton aka Fort Sidon – Cedar City, Iron County Fortuna – Beaver County Frisco – Beaver County Fruita* – Wayne County Gardnersville – Utah County (near Lower Goshen) Garfield – Salt Lake County Georgetown – Kane County Giles – Wayne County Gisborn – Tooele County Glenbrook – Box Elder County Gold City – Salt Lake County Gold Hill – Tooele County Gold Springs (Jennie Mine) – Iron County Gold Strike – (aka Goldstrike) – Washington County Golden* – Box Elder County (Home of Century and Vipont Mines) Goshute (Oro Del Rey) – Tooele County Grafton – Washington County Grampion – Beaver County Grass Creek* – Summit County Grassy – Emery County Greendale – Dagget County Green River Missile Base – Emery County Grouse Creek Fort* – Grouse Creek, Box Elder County Hale – Carbon County Half Way Pony Express Station Hamblin (aka Fort Hamblin) – Washington County Hamilton Fort – Iron County Hanksville – Wayne County Harker * (aka Harker Canyon) – Tooele County Harper (aka Brock) – Carbon County Harrisburg* – Washington County Hatton (aka Petersburg) – Millard County Hayden – Uintah County Head of Echo Canon Pony Express Station Hebron * – Washington County Heiner – Carbon County Heist – Iron County Hiawatha – Carbon County Highland Boy – Salt Lake County Hillsdale – Garfield County Hite* – Garfield County Hogum (Little Cottonwood Canyon, see Mike Moree) Holt – (aka Holts Ranch) Iron County Homansville (aka Lawrence) – Utah County Home of Truth * – San Juan County Ibapah (Deep Creek PO) – Tooele Ibex – Juab County Ibex – Millard County Ignatio (aka White River Station) – Uintah County Independence – Uintah County Indian Springs  – Tooele County Ingersol – (aka Ingersoll) Millard County Iosepa – Tooele County Ironton – Juab County Irontown (aka Iron Town, Iron City) – Iron County Jacob City – (aka Jacob’s City) – Tooele County Jackson – Box Elder County Johnson – Kane County Johnson’s Fort* aka Johnson Springs – Enoch, Iron County Joy (aka Drum Post Office) – Juab County Juab (aka Chicken Creek) – Juab County Kamas Fort* – Kamas, Summit County Kaysville Fort* – Kaysville, Davis County Kelton – Box Elder County Kenilworth * – Carbon County Kimberly (see Lower Kimberly) – Piute County Kiz * – Carbon County Kosmo (aka Cosmo) – Box Elder County Knightsville – Juab County Knowltonsburg (aka Knowltonburg) – Box Elder County La Cigale (aka Cigale) – Tooele County La Plata – Cache County La Sal (Old La Sal) – San Juan County Lakeview – Box Elder County Lark – Salt Lake County Latuda * – Carbon County Lawrence – Emery County Lee – Morgan County Lewisville – Beaver County Lincoln – Beaver Counth Lincoln * (aka Pine Canyon) – Tooele County Linwood – Dagget County Little Dell (Stage Station) – Little Pinto Little Sevier – Piute County Little Valley – Box Elder County Lockerby – San Juan County Lofgreen – Tooele County Logan Fort* – Logan, Cache County Losee (aka Loseeville) – Garfield County Lou Mine – Lower Goshen – Utah County Lower Kimberly – Piute County Lucerne – Millard County Lucin – Box Elder County Lund – Iron County Mahonri – Garfield County Mammoth (aka Robinson) – Juab County Manasseh – Sanpete County (listed as “unresearched” in Carr’s guide) Manning – Utah County Martinsville – (aka Rush Lake, Slagtown) – Tooele County Mcduff – Unknown (listed as “unresearched” in Carr’s guide) Meadowville McCornick (aka Pahvant) – Millard County Mechanicsville – Utah County Mercur (aka Lewiston) – Tooele County Mesa (aka Wilson’s Mesa) – Grand County Mill City – Summit County Mill Fork – Utah County Mills Milltown – Tooele County Milton (aka Richville) – Tooele County Miners Basin Modena – Iron County Modoc City – Salt Lake County (listed as “unresearched” in Carr’s guide) Moffet – Uintah County Mohrland * – Emery County Monte Christo – Cache County Montezuma Creek (aka Montezuma) – San Juan County Moroni Fort* – Moroni, Sanpete County Morrison – Sanpete County (listed as “unresearched” in Carr’s guide) Mosida * – Utah County Mound City – Cache County Mound Fort* – Ogden, Weber County Mount Pleasant Fort* – Mount Pleasant, Sanpete County Mountain City – Washington County Mountain Dell Pony Express Station (aka Dale & Ephraim Hanks Station) – Salt Lake County Mountain Dale – (aka Mountain Dell) – Washington County Mountain Green Post* – Mt. Green, Morgan County Mountainville * – Sanpete County Moyle’s Turret* – Alpine, Utah County Mercury Springs – Beaver County Mutual * – Carbon County Myton – Dushesne County National * – Carbon County Needle Rock Pony Express Station Newhouse (aka New House) – Beaver County New Fort Thornburgh* – Vernal, Uintah County North Oakley Northrop* – (aka Northrup) Washington County Notom – Wayne County Nowlenville – Tooele County (listed as “unresearched” in Carr’s guide) Ogden Station* – Ogden, Weber County Ogden Stockade* – Ogden, Weber County Old Camp Floyd (West Creek) Old Fort Thornburgh* – Ouray, Uintah County Old Irontown Oljato – San Juan County Ophir – Tooele County Orrs: Along Lincoln Highway Osiris (aka Henderson) – Garfield County Otter – Piute County Ouray – Uintah County Pahreah (aka Paria) – Kane County Panguitch Fort* – Panguitch, Garfield County Park City – Summit County Park Valley – Box Elder County Peerless * – Carbon County Pelican Point Peterson * (aka Weber City, Littleton, Morgan) Pine Grove – Beaver County Pine Valley – Washington County Pinto – Washington County Plateau – Sevier County Pleasant Valley – Juab Plainfield – Grand County (now Spanish Valley) Point Lookout Pony Express Station Porcupine – Cache County Price City – Washington County Professor Valley – Grand County Promontory – Box Elder County Promontory Point – Box Elder County Rainbow – Uintah County Rains * – Carbon County Red Rock – Cache County Reed (aka Read) – Beaver County Revenue Mine – Beaver County Richardson – Grand County Richville (aka Milton, Mill Town, Millvale, Benson Mill) – Tooele County Riverside (aka Riverside Station) – Beaver County Robinson – Juab County (West of Mammoth) Rockhouse Rockport – Summit County Rockwell Pony Express Station Rockville – Washington County Rock Fort* – Wanship, Summit County Rolapp – Carbon County Rosebud – Box Elder County Rosette – Box Elder County Round Station* – Overland Canyon, Juab County Round Valley – Rich County Rowley – Tooele County Royal – (aka Bear Canyon,Cameron & Rolapp) – Carbon County Rozel – Box Elder County Russian Settlement – (aka Pryguny & Molokane) – Box Elder County Sage Creek – Rich County Sage Bottom Fort* – Peoa, Summit County Sahara (aka Zane) – Iron County Salduro – Tooele County Saltair – Salt Lake County Salt Lake City Fort* (aka North Fort aka South Fort) – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County Salt Lake City Post* – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County Salt Lake Pony Express Station San Domingo City – Salt Lake County (listed as “unresearched” in Carr’s guide) San Rafel (aka San Rafael) – Emery County Sandtown – Utah County Scandia – Box Elder County (listed as “unresearched” in Carr’s guide) Scofield – Carbon County Scranton – Tooele County Sego – (aka Nelson) Grand County Sells – Tooele County Shambip (aka Jonson’s Settlement) – Tooele County Shanty Town (MK Tunnels) – Emery County Shauntie (Mining Camp) (aka Shawnee, Shaunty, Moscow & Shaunty Springs) – Beaver County Shem – Washington County Shenandoah City (aka Star City, North Star, North Camp) – Mining Camp – Beaver County Shunesburg (aka Shunsburg, Shonesburg, Shuensburg and Shirensburg) – Washington County Shirts Fort Shivwits – Washington County Silver City – Juab County Silver Fork – (aka Silver Springs City) – Salt Lake County Silver Lake City – Utah County Silver Reef – Washington County Simpson Springs Pony Express Station Skutumpah – Kane County Slagtown – Tooele County (listed as “unresearched” in Carr’s guide) Smithfield Fort* – Smithfield, Cache County Smyth’s – Beaver County Sodom – Utah County Soldiers Summit – Utah County South Camp – Beaver County Spencer’s Camp Sphinx Spring Canyon (aka Storrs) * – Carbon County Spring City Fort * – Spring City, Sanpete County Staffordsville – Tooele County Standardville * – Carbon County Stateline – Iron County Stewart – Carbon County (listed as “unresearched” in Carr’s guide) Stockmore – Duchesne County Sulphurdale – Beaver County Summerville * – Emery County Summit Creek Fort* – Santaquin, Utah County Sunflower Sunshine Sweat Ranch Sweet * – Carbon County Tannersville – Salt Lake County Tasso Mine Telegraph (Salt Lake County) Temple Flat Temple Mountain Terrace * – Box Elder County The Foothills – Beaver County Thermo Thistle Thompson Springs * – Grand County Tickville – Utah County Tintic (aka Ely Mills, McIntyre) – Juab County Tonaquint – Washington County Topaz – Millard County Topliff – Tooele County Town of Truth – San Juan County Traders’ Rest Pony Express Station Troy – Beaver County Tucker * – Utah County Tyng – Utah County (Site of George Tyng’s mines) U.S. Upper Kanab – Kane County Utahn Valley City – Grand County Verdure – San Juan County Victor – Emery County Vipont – Box Elder County Wah Wah Springs – Beaver County Wahsatch * – Summit County Wallsburg Fort * (aka Little Warm Valley, Round Valley) – Utah County Warm Creek – (listed as “unresearched” in Carr’s guide) Watercresss – Box Elder County Watson – Uintah County Wattis – Carbon County Weber Pony Express Station Webster City – Pitue County Westfork – Summit County (listed as “unresearched” in Carr’s guide) Westwater – Grand County West Dip * (aka West Mercur) – Tooele County West Wendover Wheaton Springs Pony Express Station White Canyon Widstoe (aka Widstoe Junction, Houston, Winder) – Garfield County Willow Creek Willow Fort * – Draper, Salt Lake County Willow Springs Pony Express Station Willow Valley * – Cache County Wilsonville – Emery County Winters Quarters * – Carbon County Woodard * – Millard County Woodrow – Millard County Woodside – Emery County York * – Juab County Zion – Washington County

* Indicates partner site link, clicking will take you to a site outside of ExpeditionUtah.

Outside of Utah:

Idaho: Chesterfield, Idaho

Nevada: Deer Lodge , Lincoln County, Nevada Fay , Lincoln County, Nevada Jarbidge, Nevada Metropolis, Nevada Taber City , Nevada Tungstonia , White Pine County, Nevada Wilkins , Nevada

Wyoming: Fort Bridger – Uinta County, Wyoming Miners Delight – Fremont County, Wyoming Piedmont – Uinta County, Wyoming

See a site we don’t have? Please let us know as much as you can about the site and we will get it added to our database and hopefully get out to document it. Better yet we would greatly appreciate your documentation of the site. Please visit our submission guide here.

What about ghost towns outside of Utah? We welcome any and all submissions and would love to see our Utah Ghost Town Project morph into a much larger project.

How do we classify a ghost town? Visit our classification guide here.

How can you find out more information about Utah’s ghost towns? Please visit the Utah Ghost Town Project on the ExpeditionUtah forum

Thanks for stopping by and we hope you have enjoyed the Utah Ghost Town Project!

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Gold Hill and Clifton Ghost Towns |

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Roadside Attraction Gold Hill and Clifton Ghost Towns

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Goodwin Mercantile Company in Gold Hill

Goodwin Mercantile Company in Gold Hill

Clifton ghost town is near the north end of the Deep Creek Mountains in the extreme western site of Utah. Gold was first discovered in the area in the late 1850s by people out scouting and developing the Pony Express trail. It wasn’t until 1869 that the Clifton Mining District came into being and the area became a bustling mining community with a hotel, saloon, and stores. As so often happens, boom quickly led to a bust. By the mid-18070s, the mines and town were in decline as the boom moved north to Gold Hill. Today, there is little that remains in Clifton, aside from a few structures. It is an interesting place to visit.

Not far north of Clifton lies its successor, Gold Hill. The community of Gold Hill isn’t a ghost town, but more of a semi-ghost town. The settlement began in 1871 as other mining sites in the area declined. Gold Hill the town was established in 1892. High-quality ore, combined with the Deep Creek Railroad that went from Gold Hill to Wendover, helped establish and grow the area. Over the successive years, Gold Hill had several boom and bust cycles, starting with gold and copper, then transitioning to arsenic around World War I. Today there are still residents at Gold Hill, though there are a few abandoned structures to see, including an old mercantile and train station. Perhaps another boom is yet to come to revive the town again.

Old building in Clifton

Old building in Clifton

Getting There

Gold Hill There are many ways to get to Clifton/Gold Hill. Described here are the easiest/least dirt road directions.

From downtown Wendover, Neveda head south on US-93. Follow US-93 for 25.6 miles to the paved Ibapah road on the left. Turn left onto Ibapah road and follow it for 16.4 miles to a dirt road on the left (Gold Hill Road).

Follow the good dirt road 11.6 miles to the center of Gold Hill.

Gold Hill to Clifton To reach Clifton from Gold Hill, go south on Main Street from downtown Gold Hill. The good, graded dirt road leaves town and heads south. There are many lesser side roads, but stay on the main road. At 3.9 miles, near the top of a hill, is a major junction. Go left here.

Again, there are many smaller side roads. Follow the main graded road. At 2.4 miles, the main road makes a hard left curve with a less used road going off on the right. Go right. The last section of the road from this main road is described below.

Old building at Clifton

Old building at Clifton

Gold Hill In the center of town, at the junction of Main Street and First Avenue, sits the old Goodwin Mercantile Company. This old abandoned building is the iconic image that most photograph. It is a striking large old building.

From the mercantile, if you head north on Main Street, just north of town, the old train station is visible on the left (west) across the wash with the old railroad grade heading north. The railway connected Gold Hill and Wendover. You can also visit the old train station from a county road that leaves First Avenue by heading west from the Goodwin Mercantile Company for about 0.3 miles until partway up the hill, then taking the dirt road on the right. This is a rough two-track road and will require high clearance.

Clifton As soon as you turn off the main dirt road, there are old house foundations on the hillside to the right. Following the good dirt road a few hundred feet, it splits with a two-track road leaving on the right. Walk or drive the two-track a few hundred more feet to its end with an old building and cellar looking structure. This, at least according to the map, was the main area of Clifton. It is interesting to wander around. The USGS topo map shows a cemetery north of the old town site, not far east of the main dirt road. I could not locate any markers or sign of it on our visit, though.

Goodwin Mercantile Company in Gold Hill

Legends of America

Legends of America

Traveling through american history, destinations & legends since 2003., ghost towns & mining camps of utah.

Virgin, Utah by Kathy Alexander

Virgin, Utah by Kathy Alexander

utah ghost towns near me

Cisco’s tiny post office is long closed, by Kathy Alexander.

Castle Gate – Queen of the Coal Camps  – Carbon County coal mining camp, no remains except for a cemetery

Cisco – Crumbling in the Relentless Sun – Grand County railroad town, many deteriorating buildings.

Clear Creek Mining Camp – Located in Carbon County, this site is occupied by a youth camp today. There are several intact houses.

Coal City/Dempsey – Carbon County coal mining camp, just a few buildings.

Colton – Railroad Mining Ghost Town – Carbon County, coal mining camp, no remains.

Corinne – Box Elder County, railroad and mining camp, several buildings, current residents.

Consumers – Carbon County, coal mining camp, foundations only.

Emery – Emery County, semi-ghost, active town,  farming and ranching community, with numerous new and old buildings and current residents.

Eureka – Utah County, mining camp, semi-ghost, numerous buildings, cemetery, current residents.

Frisco – A Ten Year High – Beaver County, silver mining camp, numerous buildings, and mining remains.

Fruita – A Lush Valley in the Desert Terrain – Wayne County, farming community, a few buildings, active orchards, inside Capitol Reef National Park.

Grafton, Utah

The ghost town of Grafton near Rockville, by Kathy Alexander.

Grafton – Virgin River Ghost Town – Washington County, farming community, a few buildings, cemetery.

Harper – Located on the Nine Mile Canyon Scenic Byway, this was a former stagecoach stop. A few buildings remain today.

Iosepa – Tooele County, Mormon Historical Site, foundations, cemetery.

Kenilworth – Carbon County, coal mining camp, numerous company houses, old company store, current residents.

Latuda – Carbon County, coal mining camp, mining remnants, and foundations.

Mammoth – Juab County, mining camp, just a few buildings.

Mutual – Carbon County, coal mining camp, a few buildings, and mining remnants

National – Carbon County, coal mining camp, foundations.

Old Iron Town – Iron County, iron ore mining camp, foundations, beehive kiln, furnace.

Ophir – Tooele County, mining camp, many remaining buildings, current residents.

Park City – Salt Lake County, active town, mining camp, a few mining remnants, and several historic buildings.

Peerless – Carbon County, coal mining camp, foundations.

Rains – Carbon County, coal mining camp, a few buildings, and foundations.

Scofield – Carbon County, coal mining camp, active community, numerous old and new buildings, current residents.

utah ghost towns near me

American Fuel Company Store, Sego, Utah, by Kathy Alexander.

Sego Canyon – History & Ancient History – Grand County, coal mining camp, a few crumbling buildings, mining remains, cemetery.

Silver City – Juab, mining camp, current mining operations, few original mining remains.

Silver Reef – Sandstone Ghost Town – Washington County, mining camp, a few old buildings, mine, foundations, current residents.

Spring Canyon/Storrs – Carbon County, coal mining camp, razed in 1975, railroad remnants only.

Standardville – Carbon County, coal mining camp, several buildings, and foundations.

Sweet – Carbon County, coal mining camp, foundations only.

Thompson Springs – Dying in the Desert – Grand County, ranching and railroad town, numerous old buildings, current residents.

Winter Quarters – Hidden Loot in a Ghost Town – Carbon County, coal mining camp, one building, private property, no access.

See our Utah Ghost Town Gallery HERE

© Kathy Alexander / Legends of America , updated January 2023.

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Grafton Ghost Town

Grafton Ghost Town near Zion National Park

Grafton Ghost Town near Zion National Park. Though I can’t attest to any actual ghosts at this abandoned Pioneer town, I can say that the town itself is much like a ghost along the route to Zion. Zion National Park sees all kinds of crowds throughout any given day, yet very few of them even know that they’re passing a historic (and actually famous) ghost town. Grafton, Utah is said to be the most photographed ghost town in the West.

Grafton in its Glory

First settled in December 1859 as part of the cotton mission sent by Mormon leader Brigham Young, Grafton was first called Wheeler and was about a mile downriver of where it is now. When Wheeler was destroyed by the flooding Virgin River on January 8, 1862, Pioneer settlers rebuilt the town, calling it New Grafton, named after Grafton, Massachusetts. The town began to grow and by 1864 there were 28 families living and farming in Grafton. Some of the original orchards are still standing today.

For a short time, Grafton was the county seat of Kane County, but the county line was later changed and Washington County absorbed Grafton. Grafton was the only settlement in the area on the south bank of the Virgin River. After the outbreak of the Black Hawk War in 1866, Grafton was completely evacuated to nearby Rockville, Utah, due to fear of Indian attacks. By 1890 there were only four families living in Grafton. The nail in Grafton’s coffin was the closure of the local branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as Mormons) in 1921. In 1944 the last residents of the town left.

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An Old Western Movie Set

On May 23, 1946, a United Press news article noted that the town had been purchased as a film location site by Harry Sherman, a movie producer. However, Grafton’s film fame started long before 1946. As far back as 1929, Grafton was featured in the first outdoor talkie (talkie was the popular term for the first movies (which word comes from the term, “moving picture”) with sound) Old Arizona.  Later, Grafton appeared in the movie  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid . Will it be featured in any new movies?? 

How To Get There

Driving on Highway 9 toward Zion National Park, you’ll drive through Rockville, Utah. On the right (south) side of the road, you’ll turn down Bridge Road. There may not be a visible road sign for Bridge Road, but there is a small sign that says “Grafton” with a little arrow pointing down the road, but be warned, it’s easy to miss! Shortly after turning you’ll cross an old steel bridge spanning across the occasionally mighty Virgin River. You’ll keep following this road which eventually turns into a dirt road. This is a pretty drive and will take about 5 to 10 minutes to get to Grafton. As you’re nearing Grafton, you’ll pass by a turn off road toward Grafton Cemetery. Grafton Cemetery is also a very neat historical stop. Click here to find Grafton on the map!

How to get to Grafton Ghost Town near Zion National Park

Please be careful and respectful while exploring the Ghost Town and Cemetery.

Study up on the weather before going to Grafton.

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utah ghost towns near me

7 Utah Ghost Towns Close to I-15

utah ghost towns near me

A mournful whistle. Boarded up windows. Tumbleweed. Wind. Ghost towns follow a fairly standard formula in the movies. But have you ever actually been to one to confirm that these tropes are true? In Utah, you have multiple options to choose from.

With such an extensive history of pilgrimage coupled with its huge, expansive area, the Beehive State is a perfect landscape for abandoned settlements.

There are nearly 150 Utah ghost towns for you to visit. However, as may be expected, some of them aren’t as accessible as others. Some, on the other hand, you can basically see from the I-15. Perhaps you’ve even caught a glimpse of the fringes of one while taking the St. George Express. If you are looking for a good ghost town time (try saying that five times fast), these will be less out of your way.

Here are seven Utah ghost towns that are right off the I-15.

utah ghost towns near me

Old Iron Town

Resting in Iron County 15-20 miles west of Cedar City, Old Iron Town is not much of one anymore. With a few furnaces and a kiln remaining from its heyday as an iron operation, the town was settled by Mormon pioneers in 1868 and was abandoned by 1877. Why? The nationwide financial panic of 1874 plus a lack of viable northbound transportation sucked out its utility. Access is fairly easy in any size car, and you should be good going at any time of the year.

37°36′00″N 113°27′01″W

utah ghost towns near me

Twenty-four miles north of Beaver, and just northeast of where I-15 and I-70 intersect, lies historic Cove Fort. One of the few forts from this time period still standing, this owes much to its construction. The fort is built of volcanic rock and limestone and acted as a way station for settlers, as well as a pickup/delivery for the Pony Express. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints leased the fort out in 1890, eventually selling it. In 1989, the Hinckley family bought it back and donated it to the Church. It is now a historic site with free guided tours.

38 ° 60’06 ” N 112 ° 58’21 ” W

utah ghost towns near me

You’ll want to visit this one before the snow comes! Mills, also known as Wellington while active, was a railroad town in Juab County. After being abandoned at some point in the mid-1800’s, there are reportedly a few homes there currently , as well as being semi-active for Union Pacific trains.

39°28′58″N 112°01′41″W

utah ghost towns near me

Rockwell Station

Located at the Point of the Mountain in Bluffdale, these days there isn’t much left of this brewery-turned-waystation. Orrin Porter Rockwell, a colorful character in Mormon history, took over the property and it became a station for the Overland Stage and the Pony Express.

40°29’09.7″N 111°54’01.6″W

utah ghost towns near me

While Mormon settlers were busy populating both future ghost towns and booming metropoles like Salt Lake and St. George, there were a few dissidents. The settlers of Corinne built the town on the Bear River in 1868 as a pointed escape from Mormon influence; members of the Church were not allowed to settle there. Founder Mark Gilmore and those that settled with him also wanted to create a railroad and steamboat center. Though the town flourished for many years, by 1903 the main road was rerouted around Corinne and the town began to dissipate. Today, there is still a lot to see in this once great ghost town.

41°33’05.5″N 112°06’43.7″W

utah ghost towns near me

Silver Reef

This town in Washington County, like Corinne, enjoyed a fairly long and celebrated duration. Formerly established as a town in 1876, it grew to be home to over 2,000 citizens, two newspapers, and several stores, hotels, saloons, restaurants, and dance halls. While the ore mines sustained the town, the people there enjoyed moderate success. However, the last mine closed down in 1891, and over the next several years the ore was shipped out of the area and with it, the people and life of the town. Now, there are gift shops and some historic restoration for the curious tourist.

37°15’10.9″N 113°22’04.8″W

utah ghost towns near me

Fort Harmony

This Utah ghost town at one time showed much promise. Constructed a short jog up from the village of Harmony, Fort Harmony was founded in 1854 by settler John D. Lee. As the only white settlement for miles, it was named county seat and headquarters for the Indian Mission, to provide benefits to neighboring Native Americans. It was even lauded by Mormon leader Brigham Young as “the best fort in the territory.” Its fame could not last, however, when a storm of historic and Biblical proportions tore through the area for 44 days in 1861-62. It brought rain, snow, more rain, and finally a hard wind that destroyed part of the fort and took some lives. Instead of rebuilding the fort, the settlers moved on to establish New Harmony, leaving Fort Harmony a ghost town. You can read more about its history here.

37°28’50.0″N 113°14’36.0″W

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I went to most of Utah’s ghost towns. Here’s my guide to visiting them

There are a lot of ghost towns in the beehive state, but you might need to prepare before you visit.

Hanna Seariac

The abandoned schoolhouse in Grafton, Utah.

Nathan Atkinson, Unsplash

Rain soaked my map as I tried to wipe the water off my compass to figure out where I was. Suddenly, I was no longer a writer, but an expeditioner, an explorer headed to the remnants of pioneer towns past.

It took me a few minutes to gain my bearings, but I trekked on and stumbled into a set of what once was old buildings. Only the foundations of the buildings remained in the middle of the hot Utah desert. The closest town to me had just one gas station and a diner.

  • Thistle, Utah: a ghost town unlike the rest

Suddenly, I was hooked. Before I knew it, I was spending my weekends off of school researching ghost towns like Thistle, Grafton and others — and when I could, I would drive out to them and explore. It quickly became my quirky hobby.

Luckily for me, in the Beehive State, there are a lot of ghost towns.

For those who haven’t encountered one before, a ghost town is an abandoned town that used to be populated. Some in the state of Utah are on private property now (so I avoided those), but I made it a goal to visit every ghost town that I could in Utah.

In my opinion, this is the best kind of road trip. Sometimes visiting them involves hiking, other times it involves using map and a compass (not a phone because you have no reception) and it always involves a positive attitude and an adventure.

If you’re looking to visit some ghost towns, here are my tips.

  • Mormon Island: The ghost town that a drought exposed
  • The Latter-day Saint ghost town that keeps emerging from Lake Mead

Research ghost towns beforehand

You will want to visit ghost towns both legally and safely.

Start by searching “ghost towns in Utah” and then find a couple that you would want to visit (Grafton and Frisco are great places to start). Visit Utah also gives great suggestions of ghost towns to visit. Search the name of the town and find information about its location. I recommend writing down coordinates.

A lot of the time, ghost town websites will tell you whether or not a town is on public or private property, but it’s also important to pay attention to signage.

Research the history of the town before you visit, too. Knowing who lived there and what they did can enrich the ghost town visiting experience.

Pack and prepare well

If you’re going to visit a ghost town, I recommend a couple of things. Bring water, a portable phone charger, a map of the area, a compass and a flashlight. It’s important to be prepared because you’ll be going into areas that don’t have cellphone reception.

Always write down the coordinates of a ghost town because those might be more useful than the address given.

Take pictures, but also make observations

When I visit ghost towns, I’ve snapped a lot of photographs, but the most meaningful part for me has been making observations.

Since I’ve read about the history of the towns beforehand, I’ve already got a good grasp of what the town once looked like. That makes looking at the ruins and imagining where each of the buildings used to be a fun, creative and enriching process for me.

Visit the small towns around them

Some of the most interesting places in Utah are near ghost towns. I’ve visited Fillmore, Delta, Spring City, Eureka and other towns because they were on my way to or from a ghost town and I’ve found them fascinating as well.

While they’re not ghost towns, they have a rich history and have some older historic buildings and sites as well that could be easy to miss if you just looked for the most popular historical sites in Utah.

  • What you should know about the Latter-day Saint ghost town near Zion National Park

Why I visit ghost towns

I started visiting ghost towns because I had spent a fair amount of time visiting historical sites in Utah and started to notice the names of towns that I hadn’t visited before. The prospect of visiting a ghost town seemed daunting to me at first, given that I am directionally challenged and grew up in the age of having maps on my phone.

But I quickly learned that it was worthwhile.

I felt like my understanding and knowledge of Utah history was broadened by these visits. Not only that, but I found myself asking more questions about how the environment impacts where people can live.

If you’re looking for something to do this upcoming spring and summer, visiting ghost towns in Utah might be a fun hobby.

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  • Tiny Houses

6 Spookiest Ghost Towns in Utah for Exploring the Old West

by Liz Dengler Updated December 28, 2022

For those with a fascination with the spiritual and the desolate, old deserted towns have an allure that can only be alleviated by exploration.

Luckily, Utah is full of ghost towns and abandoned mining towns to explore. There are over 100 ghost/abandoned towns in the state, most of which are old mining towns (all that remains are cemeteries or old rock walls).

However, a few remnants are especially unique and have a truly fascinating history. Read on to learn more about the 6 ghost towns in Utah you must see for yourself.

Related Read:   The Top 9 Places to Get Spooked on Halloween in the U.S.

sego ghost town utah

Nearest Town: Thompson Springs (10 minutes)

Just a quick hop north of I-70 is the old Sego ghost town. Set up against the Book Cliffs, this small town was once flourishing due to the discovery of a vein of coal by Henry Ballard.

Buying up land and mining the coal, the town sprang up in 1910. A short railroad spur developed in 1912, and the growth led to the establishment of a post office, company store, boarding house, and expansive growth. However, there was little water nearby (what water there was, was poor quality), and the town struggled to develop beyond a few hundred people.

The coal vein was extremely productive between 1920 to 1947, but eventually, the cost of mining the vein outpaced the income and dwindled. In the 1950s, a flash flood took out what remained of the vanishing town.

Today, only a few old stone foundations and run-down wooden structures remain. There is one large stone building that remains in decent shape. There are a few remaining old railroad cuts and trestles visible throughout the town. If you’re looking for something else to do on your visit, on the way up the canyon, there is a small roadside cliff with some interesting petroglyphs. This is a great side trip for any historian to explore!

Related Read:   6 Stunning Backpacking Routes in Canyonlands National Park, Utah

2. Home of Truth

home of truth utah ghost town

Nearest Town: Monticello

A unique ghost town, the remains of the Home of Truth are tucked in the southeast desert. Once a religious colony, the town was initially established as a post-apocalyptic utopia in 1933. The town’s story begins in New Jersey, when Marie Ogden, the grief-stricken widow of a wealthy man, began searching for answers in religion. Claiming God spoke through her (and her typewriter, she opened the “Truth Center.” She was soon told (by God) to build his kingdom in the Dry Valley near Church Rock, Utah.

Marie Ogden, by this time, had accrued a handful of diehard followers, who all believed her tales that the world was going to an end except for this new kingdom of God — the would-be site of Christ’s second coming. The commune grew from a handful to about 100 in 1935, and the property acquired about 20 buildings. Ogden lived in the inner portal, the heart of a settlement, and spread the word of God through a newspaper, printed on her typewriter.

However, in 1935, only seven diehard followers remained. The cult’s rituals spread across the land, and the decline began. Ogden’s prophecies continued to fail to come true, and her followers began to question her authenticity and abandoned the property. By the end of the 1930s, the cult was dissolved.

After Ogden’s death in 1975, the land was bought, and the new owner made a point to preserve the “Inner Portal” with hopes to restore it and open it to the public. Currently, visitors can only view the compound from the road, though many remains are visible from Utah State Route 211.

Related Read:   21 Outdoorsy Things To Do Near Moab

grafton utah ghost town

Nearest town: Rockville

Near Zion National Park is the old Mormon settlement of Grafton that was established in 1859 by a small group of five families from the nearby Virgin. The group found fertile soil to plant cotton, wheat, and alfalfa. However, frequent floods, occasional skirmishes with native Americans, and often harsh winters were brutal on the people of the small community.

Despite the challenges, it wasn’t long before the town population swelled to 168 people (28 families) by 1864. After 1907, some left the commune for the larger Rockville settlement, though the hamlet survived a bit longer.

Only a quarter-mile off the road on the way to Zion, Grafton is super accessible for anyone who wants to take a side trip. Before reaching the remains of the old ghost town, you come upon the cemetery with a few dozen graves from 1860 to 1910.

The only remaining structures are close to the road and include a barn, outhouse, a home built in 1877 by John Wood, a church/schoolhouse from 1886, a two-story dwelling of Alonzo Russell, and a house of Louisa Russell. Some of the structures have been partially restored by the Grafton Heritage Partnership to preserve them. There is even a live-in caretaker to oversee the property and management of the site.

Related Read:   The Perfect Road Trip Itinerary Between Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks

4. Silver Reef

silver reef utah

Nearest town: Leeds

Another mining town established in the late 1800s near what is now Zion National Park, Silver Reef now sits as a restored monument to its time. The old town, has been built up into an established tourist spot complete with building tours and mine exhibits. Unfortunately, there is a small admission fee to experience the site.

The town was established when a rare vein of silver was discovered in a sandstone formation in 1866. Bankers from Salt Lake City sent a client (William Barbee) to stake mining claims (21 in total), and from then, there was an influx of mining and people. Accordingly, Barbee established a small town to accommodate the miners. However, when property values skyrocketed in the established Bonanza City, miners settled on the nearby ridge, which eventually became known as Silver Reef.

Nearly 2000 people were living in the town by 1879. The town had grown tremendously — there was now a mile-long Main Street, Wells Fargo office, and restaurants. Interestingly, there was only a Catholic church, despite its location in territory mostly under Mormon influence. As the global markets prices for silver dropped, the mines slowly began to close, with most of them ceasing operations by 1884. By 1901, most buildings were boarded up, and residents moved to nearby Leeds.

Throughout the 1900s, the mines traded hands numerous times, never with much success or long-standing operations. Visiting today, all that remains are the Wells Fargo, the Cosmopolitan Restaurant, the Rice Building, and a few foundations or walls of the town.

Related Read:   5 Incredible Backpacking Excursions in Zion National Park, Utah

frisco utah ghost town

Nearest Town: Milford

At the base of the San Francisco Mountains is the old mining town of Frisco . Built in 1875, the town was established after the discovery of silver. Known as the “toughest” camp, murder was a daily occurrence in the town, with some reports suggesting an average of 12 men each night. After the discovery of silver, the population soared to over 6000 people — even with the daily debit of 12 souls.

The town was scattered with saloons, hotels, gambling halls, and a top-notch redlight district. The Horn Silver Mine produced over $20 million of ore by 1885 and over $60 million of copper, lead, silver, and gold. However, in the winter of 1885, the mine caved in, and the remaining massive fortune was lost forever. Small operations remained until 1929, but Frisco’s productivity faded over the years.

Today, a few old stone kilns and buildings stand in Frisco. The charcoal kilns are by far the most notable feature with their dome-stoned structure — they are even listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There is some old mining equipment that is barely recognizable, rusting away in the desert sand. A highlight for many folks visiting the town is the old cemetery with headstones dating to the 1800s.

While you visit this spot, please do not enter the mines — it is both illegal and incredibly dangerous due to the instability of the mine. On top of that, some gas still emanates from one of the mines. Entering these places can be deadly.

Related Read:   10 Best Utah Lake Camping Destinations for a Weekend on the Water

cisco utah ghost town

Nearest town: Thompson Springs

Located right off I-70, the road past Cisco is the back way to Moab. The town was established in the 1880s as a water refilling station for the Denver-Rio Grande Railroad and slowly developed. There was a saloon to start, but more establishments popped up as travelers passed through, including stores, hotels, and restaurants.

Eventually, herds from the Book Cliffs began passing through the small town of Cisco, using it as a provisioning center. Around 1900, there were over 100,000 sheep sheared at Cisco each year. Unfortunately, the town was linked to the steam locomotive, and the town’s economy crashed when the interstate was built, bypassing the small town.

Today, there are numerous relics of the town. Driving through, you wouldn’t think much of it, and the old buildings have lured vandals, and it has become a popular spot to abandon litter and vehicles. The more interesting aspect of Cisco’s more recent existence is the presence of Eileen Muza.

In the early 2010s, the artist began a residency in Cisco. She lives in the town (alone) and uses old salvaged and on-site materials to transform the relics into art. There is now an Airbnb, skatepark, an old bus with a wooden snake winding through, and of course, a welcome mural.

Related read : 10 Wild West Facts of Everyday Life on the Frontier

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by Liz Dengler

Liz is a freelance writer and editor who lives on the road. Literally. Home is a cozy van parked wherever the views are stunning and the data is adequate. Always exploring, wherever she ends up, you can be sure she will be out hiking, biking, skiing, and paragliding.

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This Haunting Road Trip Through Utah Ghost Towns Is One You Won’t Forget

utah ghost towns near me

Catherine Armstrong

Writer, editor and researcher with a passion for exploring new places. Catherine loves local bookstores, independent films, and spending time with her family, including Gus the golden retriever, who is a very good boy.

More by this Author

When the weather is decent, it is the perfect time to explore the Beehive State. Why not take a ghost town road trip in Utah to see some of the remnants of our state’s Wild West history? These ten towns are perfect for exploring and photography…and a few of them might just send chills up your spine. 

Utah is full of cool ghost towns, and we wanted to design a trip that you could reasonably do in 1-2 days, so this trip just covers some of the towns in southern Utah – we’ll create another ghost town road trip for the northern part of the state soon!

For the full road trip details, check out this Google map and route we’ve prepared for you.

utah ghost towns near me

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These 8 Road Trips In Utah Will Lead You to Places You’ll Never Forget

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13 Unforgettable Road Trips To Take In Utah Before You Die

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utah ghost towns near me

Ready for another southern Utah road trip? This one is full of amazing views and vistas !

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Ghost town road trip in utah.

What are the most haunted places in Utah?

Many places in Utah are said to be haunted by a paranormal presence. The Rio Grande Depot is just one of the places in Salt Lake City where strange happenings occur. At the This Is The Place Monument, the pink farmhouse is haunted by several spirits. Ann Eliza Webb was particularly unhappy with the Church and Young's teachings. Another spirit, Lucy Ann Decker, is said to be a bit more kind. There are haunted hotels in Utah, too - the Silver Fork Lodge at Brighton is one of the most haunted places in the state.

Can I visit any abandoned places in Utah?

Luckily, thanks to the Bureau of Land Management and National Parks Service, many of Utah's abandoned towns are open to visitors. While some may be tucked away in other monuments or regions - like Paria, in Grand Staircase-Escalante, many can also be found off the beaten path. If you head out to explore abandoned spots in Utah, be sure you're prepared with a plan and emergency supplies, and that you leave no trace of your visit.

What are the creepiest cemeteries in Utah?

One of the spookiest graveyards in the Beehive State is the Logan Cemetery. Visit at midnight during a full moon and you may see the Weeping Woman statue cry. Many of our ghost towns have eerie pioneer cemeteries, and the Ogden City Cemetery is haunted by the young spirit of Florence Grange. At the Aultorest Memorial Park, some graves stay warm all year long, and even snow melts off in the winter.

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If you’re planning a spooky road trip, how about trying something a little different? Here’s is a list of some of Utah’s scariest Ghost Towns.

1. Sego, Utah

utah ghost towns near me

Once a booming coal town and now a lonely ghost town. The discovery of coal brought this small town to prominence. Natural resources couldn’t keep up with its growth and shortage of water became a constant problem. Mines kept experiencing power outages and one after the other, miners left to test their luck elsewhere. Despite a majority of miners leaving, a small group decided to stay behind. With all odds against them they brought back to life the once thriving mining town. Everything seemed to be in their favor until the town caught fire twice. All that’s left: a big red rock building and coal fires that still burn within the mining shafts.

2. 9 Mile Canyon

utah ghost towns near me

This ghost town is located in Price, Utah which is approximately two hours away from Salt Lake City. It has been described as “the world’s longest art gallery.” 9 Mile Canyon offers a variety of recreational activities ranging from hiking, biking and picnicking. In addition, visitors can spend time viewing the prehistoric drawings lining the walls of the canyon. Overall, 9 Mile has plenty of history and recreation to offer if you’re willing to make the trip this summer.

3. Thistle Ghost Town

utah ghost towns near me

Established in 1883, Thistle was once a thriving farming community. In April 1983, a massive landslide hit the town forcing its residents to evacuate. Currently labeled as one of the costliest landslides in U.S. history. Visitors traveling from along Route 89 can still see houses popping up out of the water.

4. Home of Truth

utah ghost towns near me

After the death of her husband Marie Ogden started The Truth Center out in New Jersey. Eventually, her and her followers relocated to Dry Valley, Utah. Three groups of buildings made up the compound. The innermost building housed Ogden and her divine typewriter which she claimed received revelations from heaven. Things really turned a wrong corner when one of Ogden’s followers, Edith Peshak, died of cancer. Eventually, people found out that Ogden had one of her followers burn the body while telling the rest of the group that she would come back to life. Consequently, many of her followers left and Ogden eventually passed away. The three buildings are still in tact and visitors can still see the Inner Portal building which housed Ogden. Home of Truth is located near Monticello, Utah which is roughly five hours from Salt Lake City.

Johnny Max Thomas

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