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21 Ghost Towns In Utah [MAP]

    ghost towns in Utah

    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.


    1. Grafton

    37.16746, -113.08094
    Status: Historic

    Photo Credit: James Marvin Phelps – flickr.com

    History:

    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.


    2. Silver Reef

    37.25333, -113.36673
    Status: Historic

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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.


    3. Old Irontown

    37.60047, -113.4558
    Status: Historic

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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.


    4. Stateline

    38.9624, -119.9399
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    Photo Credit: jbarberphotography – youtube.com

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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.


    5. Sego

    39.04145, -109.7115
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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.


    6. Thistle

    39.99134, -111.49824
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: arbyreed – flickr.com

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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.


    7. Castle Gate

    39.73559, -110.8727
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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.


    8. Frisco

    38.46081, -113.26279
    Status: Abandoned

    History

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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.


    9. Promontory

    41.61977, -112.54679
    Status: Historic

    Photo Credit: Jimmy Emerson, DVM – flickr.com

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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.


    10. Losepa

    40.54195, -112.73361
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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.


    11. Thompson Springs

    32.95983, -98.76534
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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.


    12. Marysvale

    38.48097, -112.3714
    Status: Historic

    Photo Credit: arbyreed – flickr.com

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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.


    13. Mammoth

    39.92633, -112.12633
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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


    14. Cisco

    38.9114, -109.1404
    Status: Semi-Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Nicolas Henderson – flickr.com

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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.


    15. Home Of Truth

    38.0608, -109.3841
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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.


    16. Lucin

    33.73147, -99.68342
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    Lucin was developed in the late 19th 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.

    What’s Left?

    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. 


    17. Nine Mile Canyon

    39.7762, -110.4964
    Status: Historic

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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.


    18. Blacks Fork

    40.97099, -110.587
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

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


    19. Coal City

    39.66666, -111.01638
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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


    20. Dragon

    39.78583, -109.07333
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    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 20th 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.

    What’s Left?

    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.


    21. Sulphurdale

    38.56027, -112.58194
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    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.

    What’s Left?

    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.