"Grafton Ghost Town" Top 5 Page for this destination Utah Off The Beaten Path Tip by toonsarah

Utah Off The Beaten Path: 108 reviews and 154 photos

  Grafton Ghost Town
by toonsarah
 
  • Grafton Ghost Town - Utah
      Grafton Ghost Town
    by toonsarah
  • Grafton Ghost Town - church - Utah
      Grafton Ghost Town - church
    by toonsarah
 

If the building in my photo looks familiar, maybe this will jog your memory:

”Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head ...”

Yes, this is the location for the famous “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” bicycle scene, as well as several other less well-known films. The building formed the backdrop as Butch took Etta for a ride on the then new-fangled invention.

Grafton is fairly well-preserved, although not restored to the extent that some ghost towns are, so it retains a lot of character and is very photogenic. It is also rarely visited despite its proximity to popular Zion National Park. Access is down a four mile dirt road, but perfectly manageable in a standard car – we were fine in our hired Toyota.

The town was established in 1859 as a settlement for cotton-growers farming the fertile plains next to the Virgin River. Frequent floods and Indian attacks caused problems for these early pioneers, but some persisted and the town became quite successful. It lasted until the 1930s when residents moved away to better land in Hurricane, 30 miles west. Today you can still see several of the buildings, including a church and the large house featured in the film. There is also an interesting the old cemetery, with a few dozen graves from the period 1860 – 1910. Inscriptions tell of the harsh conditions experienced by Grafton’s early settlers, such as the three Berry brothers (and one wife), all killed by Indians on April 2nd 1866, or the five children of John and Charlotte Ballard, all of whom died between 1865 and 1877, all under the age of 10.

Directions Turn south from UT-9 near Rockville on Bridge Lane, cross the Virgin River (on a single-track iron bridge), and follow road, which soon becomes unpaved. due west. After 2 miles the main road curves back south, while the road to Grafton turns off to the right, parallel to the river.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Written Apr 5, 2010
  • Send to a Friend
  • Report Abuse

Comments

toonsarah

“I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust”

Online Now

Female

Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 0 9
Forum Rank:
0 0 1 0 7

Have you been to Utah?

  Share Your Travels