Grafton Ghost Town
Not far from the bustling excitement of zillions of tourists in Zion National Park is Grafton Ghost Town, a once-prosperous Mormon settlement, abandoned during conflicts with Black Hawk native people, partially restored by descendants of the original settlers, and featured in famous movies like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Nobody lives there now.
Visit the Past in Grafton Ghost Town and Graveyard
What was once Grafton is now Rockville. Travel east on UT 9 for about 10 miles and turn right on Bridge Road in Rockville. Go about 1.5 miles on a clay road and there you are – Grafton Ghost Town.
In 1859, members of the Church of Latter Day Saints thought the region would be ideal for raising cotton. They soon gave up on that idea and planted food crops…at least until 1862 when the Virgin River flooded and washed the whole town away. The plucky Graftonites simply moved a mile upstream and re-established their community.
Luck wasn’t with them, though. Native American people attacked the Mormon settlement in 1866 and the town was abandoned. A plaque in the graveyard commemorates the deaths of 13 people “taken by epidemics, tragic accidents, and by the friction caused when new folks rub up against old.”
Of the 30 original buildings, five still stand – the church, the school, a barn, and a couple of houses. There are about 100 intricately-carved tombstones in the graveyard of Grafton Ghost Town, often noting the sad details of their deaths. You’ll see trees, flowers, and the stunning views of Zion in the background. And the cost of all this fascinating history? It’s completely free.
Make Zion River RV Resort your Gateway to Grafton Ghost Town
Take the family to experience a slice of America’s past when you reserve your stay at Zion River RV Resort. The incredible scenery, the hopefulness of the settlers, the uprising by the original residents, and the final outcome of this little settlement make Grafton Ghost Town a place that will live in your memory forever.