Zion National Park: The Ghost Town called Grafton


Went the original settlers of Grafton, Utah first set eyes on the futile valley along the Rio Virgin, it must have seemed like paradise back in 1861.  Green meadows of tall grass among the barren desert.

But it took less than a year for the settlers to find out how tricky and cruel Mother Nature can be.  The Great Flood of 1862 washed the town away and the settlers had to rebuild on higher ground.

Flash floods are common is this area of canyons and hard surfaces.  When it does rain, the water has no where to go except into the narrow canyons where it quickly fills and flushes out anything in its path.

The people of Grafton eventually grew tired of the lack of water when it was needed and too much water when they didn’t.  Tensions with the local Native American’s also made for an irritating existence. Most of these original Mormon settlers packed up and moved to Hurricane after living in Grafton for only a decade.

Today Grafton is a ghost town, just 10 km south of Zion National Park and is said to be the most photographed ghost town in the West, it has been featured as a location in several films, including 1929’s In Old Arizona and the classic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.


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