Visiting Grafton Ghost Town in Utah

Grafton Ghost Town is a historic mining town in Utah near the Virgin River just south of the boundary of Zion National Park. The town was abandoned in 1938, but many of its buildings remain.

If you’re looking for unique places to visit in Utah, Grafton Ghost town is a popular destination for history lovers and photographers alike.

Grafton Ghost Town in Utah

The town is only a quarter mile from the main highway to Zion National Park, but is relatively little visited because it is hard to find and the unpaved road can be impassable when wet.

We highly recommend adding Grafton Ghost Town to your list of things to do near Zion National Park!

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Visiting Grafton Ghost Town

The town of Grafton has been around since the late 1800s and is full of fascinating stories of the past. From its original inhabitants to the many businesses that once operated there, Grafton offers a unique glimpse into what life was like during this period of American history.

The dead end road to reach Grafton Ghost Town is impassable in a hard rain storm. There are no services, water, power, or toilets along the route or at the town site.

church and home at Grafton Ghost Town Utah
Grafton Ghost Town buildings

Why Did Grafton Become a Ghost Town?

Grafton was a mining town in Utah whose population dwindled after the local mine closed in the late 19th century. Without the mine, the town no longer had a source of income, and people began to move away. Eventually, the town became abandoned and is now known as a “ghost town.”

Today, Grafton is a popular tourist destination for those looking to explore the history of the Wild West. While most of the buildings have been destroyed, visitors can still explore the ruins of this once-bustling mining town.

How to Get To Grafton Ghost Town

Use the Google Map directions for Grafton Ghost Town above. GPS coordinates: 37 degrees 10’02″N 113 degrees 04’48″W.

Driving east along SR9 toward Zion National Park, go past Rockville then turn south (right) onto Bridge Road and go over the Virgin River.

Take a right at the intersection a turn right at every intersection and follow the signs a few miles to reach Grafton Ghost Town. The cemetery will be on the left before you reach the town.

Grafton Ghost Town schoolhouse
Grafton Ghost Town schoolhouse

Grafton Town

Five surviving structures are on either side of the road – two on the west and three on the east.

School House – Built in 1886 this building was used as a school, community meeting place, church, and a place for dances and plays. People would come from all the settlements on the Upper Virgin River to attend the community dances, which were held on weekends.

Russell Home at Grafton Ghost Town
Russell Home

Russell Home – Built in 1862 this adobe home features a hand-crafted front porch where Alonzo Haventon Russel’s family met to socialize and sing. Alonzo was an expert blacksmith by trade and supplied the town with eating utensils and farm tools in addition to repairing broken wagon parts, sharpening plows, and shoeing horses.

John and Ellen Wood Home – Built in 1877 as the family home. John was a farmer, raised cattle, worked in a blacksmith shop. Ellen died on May 7, 1898, and is buried in Grafton cemetery. The property contains two other buildings: a large log barn (1877) and a raised one-room log granary (1877).

Ballard Home and Barn – Built in 1907 by David and Maria Smith Ballard, these building still stand in Grafton today.

Louisa Marie Russell Home at Grafton Ghost Town
Louisa Marie Russell Home

Louisa Marie Russell Home – Built in 1879, this one story gabled log home is where Louisa raised six children.

Ruby Rose Cabin – In 1947 a log cabin was moved from Beaver, Utah to the Hastings Dugout lot in Grafton for the movie Ramrod. The cabin interior had plaster walls and used extensively in the movie as Rose’s home and dressmaker shop. 

Grafton Cemetery
Grafton Cemetery

Grafton Cemetery

The Grafton Cemetery is located on high ground off on a side road leading into Grafton. More than the line of headstones indicates, the cemetery is thought to contain 80 gravesite. Along with Grafton residents, the cemetery also includes the graves of Native Paiute.

Grafton Ghost Town Louisa Marie Russell Home
Louisa Marie Russell Home

Is Grafton Ghost Town Worth Visiting? 

If you’re already visiting Zion National Park, then yes, Grafton Ghost Town is a fun place to see! If you enjoy history and exploring old abandoned places, it offers a glimpse into the past to see life in a small pioneer settlement.

Several historic buildings are still standing, including a schoolhouse, church, and cemetery. The town is also located in a picturesque location, surrounded by the stunning red rock formations of Zion National Park.

Grafton Ghost Town is a relatively small attraction and doesn’t take much time to walk around the town and cemetery.


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Things to Do Near Grafton Ghost Town

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