Grafton Ghost Town - Things to do around Zion National Park
If you are a history buff, prepare to nerd out on this quaint little ghost town right outside Zion National Park. Grafton was established in 1859 by Mormon settlers who built their homes here in hopes of flourishing cotton crops & farming.
Although the Virgin River has swept out most of the original community, a few houses, a schoolhouse and a graveyard still remain. A visit to this well preserved part of early Mormon history will make will feel like you stepped into an 1800's time portal!
8 miles east of Zion National Park - About a 20 min drive due to slow speed limits and unpaved roads. A 30 minute drive from Hurricane and 1 hour drive from Saint George.
From Springdale, head east toward Rockville, UT. Turn left onto "Grafton Road," also officially marked as Bridge Road. From there, you will continue straight for 3.3 miles until the road drops into Grafton Ghost Town. You will see available parking areas.
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WITH OUR WITHOUT KIDS?
This is an activity the kids will absolutely love! Walk the grounds, read about the history of the town on the information signs, and let the kids explore to their hearts content. Help them imagine what it would have been like for the kids living and going to school in Grafton back in the 1800's. Make it a game of listing all the ways that life would have been different back then.
Allow for an hour or two to walk around and experience this old town. Although Grafton has been abandoned since the mid 1900's, it has been well preserved and cared for over many years. You can access some of the homes, but not all of them & there is no access to the school house.
Make sure not to miss the cemetary just up the road. Reading the old headstones in the historic graveyard is a somber reminder of the difficult times residents faced in the adversity of the hot desert & limited resources at that time.
Grafton is said to be one of the most visited ghost towns in the west! When you visit, you will see why. Much of its notoriety comes from its famous role in 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid', filmed in 1969, featuring the infamous heartthrob, Robert Redford!
The privately owned property has been respectfully maintained, and it almost looks as though a community could still exist there!
GOOD TO KNOW
There are no services at Grafton Ghost Town, i.e food, bathrooms, water etc…Make sure you take care of any "duties" prior to your visit!
LEAVE NO TRACE
Great amounts of work and restoration have been done to care for this ghost town over the years. As with any trail or place you visit, pack in and pack out! Bring an extra bag to put any trash you bring (or find) to take back with you and dispose of properly. These places are left for us to admire and create beautiful memories because everyone does their part to keep it's natural history alive.
Take some time on your next visit to Zion National Park to stop by this little town frozen in time.
Simone & Arika