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Bob Sihler

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 Ghost Rock West

Ghost Rock is a pinnacle along I-70 in Utah's San Rafael Swell. Apparently, a cowboy on a foggy morning saw the top of the pinnacle protruding from a bed of fog, thought it appeared ghostly, and dubbed it "Ghost Rock." Today, there is a rest area by the formation, and travelers can get out to enjoy the great views. Sadly, some visitors have left behind modern rock "art" (graffiti) on the formation. "Ghost Rock West" is a notable formation adjacent to I-70 directly west of Ghost Rock. The name is not official and comes from the name of the rest area just east of it. While it is not as dramatic or as steep as Ghost Rock, it provides a fun scramble on crumbly slickrock and is great not as a major objective but rather as something to do if one needs to get out and stretch the legs. Climbing it only takes about 15 minutes, and elevation gain isn't even 200'. As I said, it's a fun little scramble, not something to plan a day around. The southeastern corner has a line up it that has the look of Class 4 or low Class 5, but I found something easier and less exposed on the north face. I zigged and zagged up a short series of ledges and slabs, eventually gaining the summit, where there was a small cairn but no register. This route was Class 3/4 on soft sandstone that broke easily, though I should add that when I climbed it, the rock was probably softer than usual due to rain and snow the night before. Views are really not much different than they are from the adjacent rest area, but there obviously is more peace and quiet at the summit. It's a spectacular view, though, giving a nice perspective of Ghost Rock and a stunning, sweeping vista north of the Swell, replete with deep canyons and unnamed monoliths, that have seen little or no hikers and climbers.

View from Ghost Rock West

Getting There

"Ghost Rock West" is located between Exits 116 and 131 on I-70, almost halfway between but closer to 116 than to 131. The Ghost Rock West rest area is accessible to westbound travelers; the Ghost Rock rest area is off the eastbound lanes. It might be illegal to cross the interstate by foot (it probably is since pedestrians are not allowed on the highway), but bold outlaws should know that the highway is rarely busy and is easy to cross on foot, though this page is not an endorsement or an encouragement of breaking the law. There are also numerous gravel median crossings; some are clearly marked as open to authorized vehicles only (i.e. police officers setting speed traps to collect revenue for the local government), but others are not. Again, this is information, not an encouragement or an endorsement.

Red Tape and Camping

Red tape out here? Nah. The only thing I'd say are these: 1. Don't be yet another jackass thinking it's a good idea to vandalize the rock. 2. On the approach (and the return), do your best not to trample the biological crust . The closest developed campground is about 20 miles north on a dirt road from Exit 131. However, at Exits 116, 131, and 149, there is access to unpaved roads where dispersed camping is available.

View Ghost Rock West Image Gallery - 6 Images

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Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

  • San Rafael Knob
  • Train Robbers Mesa AKA Saddle Benchmark
  • Sagebrush Bench
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  • Locomotive Point
  • Toviah Tower
  • Indian BM (Indian Mesa)
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  • B Crags (Little Spotted Wolf Canyon), 5.5-5.12
  • Jolly Green Giant-- 5.6-5.11+
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Mountain Zone

Ghost Rock, Emery County UT

View Ghost Rock Topographic Map

Latitude: 38.8616394°N Longitude: -110.8126642°W Approx Elevation: 7,405 ft (2,257 m) Topo Map Name: San Rafael Knob Category: Pillar

Other Places to Explore

Emery County Arches (5) Emery County Cliffs (9) Emery County Pillars (7) Emery County Ranges (3) Emery County Ridges (22) Emery County Summits (115) Emery County Trails (8)

Map and location information for Ghost Rock in Utah: Ghost Rock is one of the Pillar in Emery County, UT and can be found on the San Rafael Knob USGS topographic quad map. The GPS coordinates are 38.8616394 (latitude), -110.8126642 (longitude) and the approximate elevation is 7,405 feet (2,257 meters) above sea level. Have you been to Utah's Ghost Rock before? If so, we ask that you post a quick review of it below. Tell us the time of year, what your goal was, and how your trip went. Thanks for sharing your experience at Ghost Rock!

Scenic I-70 in Utah

Last updated on December 20, 2023.

I-70 in southeastern Utah is a gorgeous stretch of highway that passes several cliffs, rock formations, and canyons. There are seven scenic rest areas heading eastbound and seven heading westbound where travelers can stop and admire the scenery.

Because of our late start leaving Great Basin National Park due to an unexpected flat tire , we weren’t able to enjoy the scenery heading eastbound during our drive to Arches National Park . This post should tell you about many of these rest areas, but unfortunately we could only make one stop before sunset – Sand Bench.

  • 0.0.1 Sand Bench Rest Area
  • 0.0.2 Other Scenic Rest Areas
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Sand Bench Rest Area

Sand Bench Rest Area is located at milepost 104. There’s one rest area each for eastbound and westbound traffic. To the south, you can see the Henry Mountains . To the west, you can see the forests of the Wasatch Plateau and Fishlake National Forest .

Other Scenic Rest Areas

Rest areas heading eastbound include Ivie Creek (milepost 86); Devil’s Canyon (milepost 115); Ghost Rock (milepost 123); Spotted Wolf (milepost 142); San Rafael Reef (milepost 146); and Crescent Junction (milepost 181).

Rest areas heading westbound include the Harley Dome View Area (milepost 227); Thompson Springs Welcome Center (milepost 228); San Rafael Reef (milepost 146); Black Dragon (milepost 142); Ghost Rock (milepost 123); Eagle Canyon (milepost 116); Sand Bench (milepost 106); and Ivie Creek (milepost 86).

The map below shows the other scenic rest areas on I-70.

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Iconic Rocks Jutting Out of  the San Rafael Swell

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GHOST ROCK VIEW AREA: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

BlueRibbon Coalition/ShareTrails

Lost Trails Guide #8 | Cold Wash Wilderness, UT | Ghost Rock Spur to Chimney Rock Trail | BLM SS3300 to SS3301

Apr 20, 2022 | 10,000+ Project , ATV , BLM , Dirt Bike , Dispersed Camping , Fight for Every Inch , Lost Trails Guidebook , Overlanding , SXS , Utah | 0 comments

ghost rock utah

Overview: Devil’s Racetrack is one of the most well-known and well-travelled tracks of Southern Utah. Less well-known are the many side-spurs currently open for exploration. Located just outside of Green River and north of the San Rafael Swell, Sinbad Valley offers fantastic variety in terrain and scenery; with banking turns, dramatic sandstone cliffs, and hidden destinations, this area is well worth your while to explore. If you are out exploring the Devil’s Racetrack and want to get away from the crowds, the trail we are about to reveal is well worth your while to explore. Located near Chimney Rock and numerous other destination locations, these trails are sure to offer memorable experiences for you and your group.

Getting There: There are several ways to approach these spurs within the many existing trails of the San Rafael Desert. Take time to familiarize yourself with the map and coordinates and plan a route that best fits you and your group. Be sure to not head off into the backcountry alone and tell someone where you are going before starting your trip.

Ghost Rock Spur (BLM trail SS3300) turns off from the Devil’s Racetrack at GPS coordinates 38°52’36.25″N and 110°47’40.85″W. Approximately 0.35 miles from the turnoff, Chimney Rock Trail (BLM trail SS3301) turns off to the west at GPS coordinates 38°52’32.20″N and 110°47’59.79″W and continues to the border of the Cold Wash Wilderness. At this point, you will need to park your vehicle and continue on foot. Below, you will see the sign marking the entrance to the Cold Wash Wilderness. It is badly sunfaded and difficult to make-out. Please be careful not to pass this sign with your vehicle as you approach the Cold Wash area. Broad vistas of dramatic sandstone cliffs and desert skies open as you approach this pristine area.

ghost rock utah

Trail Conditions: Ghost Rock Spur and Chimney Rock Trail offer terrain experiences that are best suited to an AWD or 4WD vehicle (see image on the bottom right). The combination of open stretches, rocky terrain, and banking curves gives this route exhilarating variety.

As always, utilize LEAVE NO TRACE practices. Irresponsible recreation leads to ecological damage, road closures, and loss of access to important resources. It is important that motorized users stay on the trail and camp within a 30′ buffer zone on either side of the road.

ghost rock utah

As is depicted in the images above, these trails are clearly visible on the ground; however, many of the trails in this area are being targeted for closure with the claim that they are reclaiming. Trails marked as reclaiming are often closed in travel management plans, even when a short trip past an obtrusive bush or rocky wash reveals a trail that clearly stretches on for miles. Traveling more frequently in these areas helps to keep them on the map. Please help us in our fight to keep these trails open by visiting and responsibly recreating on them with your family and friends.

ghost rock utah

This route report is part of a larger guidebook BRC is completing to educate users about high-value motorized trails that are at risk of closure if we don’t use them. This guidebook will be called the Lost Trails Guidebook, and has been funded by a generous grant from the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative with Jorgensens Powersports as a sponsoring dealership .

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Ghost rock .

Ghost Rock is not actually  a park. Rather, it is a pinnacle along Interstate 70 as it extends east-west through central Utah that serves to remind us of the dramatic   and striking beauty of that area that has earned that stretch of I70 the designation as a National Scenic Byway.

Ghost Rock (Central Utah)

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ghost rock utah

Iosepa Ghost Town and Story Rock – Skull Valley, Utah

Iosepa Ghost Town and Story Rock – Skull Valley, Utah

The Trek Details

The Trek in a snapshot

ghost rock utah

GPS Coordinates

Iosepa Ghost Town Cemetery: 40°32’31.39″N, 112°43’59.69″W

GPS Coordinates to Story Rock and additional information are only available to Trek Planner Insider Members

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ghost rock utah

Experience. Discover. Explore.

Follow along on our adventure then go out on your own!

ghost rock utah

Iosepa was settled by Hawaiian and other Polynesian members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from 1889-1917.  They emigrated to Salt Lake City to be close to the Salt Lake Temple.  About 200 people lived here and all that is left at the town center are building foundations and some piles of crumbled concrete.

ghost rock utah

To the northeast of the original town is the cemetery, pavilion, and other buildings.  These buildings are used for reunions and celebrations.  There are many signs that tell you about the history of Iosepa.  The townsfolk built canals, planted crops, raised pigs, and even built the Kanaka Lake reservoir which is to the north west of town still.

ghost rock utah

You can tell by all the graves that the people faced incredible hardship.  They traded their tropical homes to a desert landscape with extremely limited resources.  Yet, they did their best to make it their home.  They planted yellow roses, fruit trees, and raised fish.

By the year 1915 an LDS temple was announced to be built in Hawaii and almost all of the Iosepa settlers moved back home. 

Take a walk through the cemetery to learn about the settlers and the town.  Iosepa was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

For more interesting reading on Iosepa please see the following:

Iosepa from Wikipedia

Iospa from Utah Stories

The hike to Story Rock is steep and moderately difficult.  After about 1/4 mile, the trail disappears and you are forced to walk through the thick weeds and shrubs to get to the rock.

In warmer months be very aware of snakes.  Garter and Rattlesnakes are common.

I got so many weeds and thistles in my shoes and socks that I had to spend nearly an hour to get it all out.  Yet the 1.5 mile roundtrip hike was worth it to see these petroglyphs.

Additional Information and pictures will be revealed below to Trek Planner Insiders Only

I searched for the elusive rock for about 4 hours on a previous visit and then my mother and I searched and found them on the second visit.  Upon seeing the petroglyphs, my mother said the settlers must have been homesick to draw depictions of sea turtles, a beach with birds and the sun, whales, starfish, boats, and more. 

I agree with her.   I can imagine a group of homesick settlers missing their native homeland and these petroglyphs helped tell their story to younger generations.

ghost rock utah

Personal Thoughts

I really enjoy learning about Utah History. Iosepa is a fascinating place that you should visit at least once! Once you are here, visit the nearby Horseshoe Springs!

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Kanab creek canyon.

  • Location: Kanab Utah Regional Essays: Utah Kane County Architect: Paiute Types: petroglyphs pictographs Styles: Native American Southern Paiute Materials: rock (inorganic material) calcium hydroxide

Shundana Yusaf, " Kanab Creek Canyon ", [ Kanab , Utah ], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/UT-01-025-0024 . Last accessed: January 10, 2024.

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ghost rock utah

Kanab Creek Canyon possesses one of Utah's richest rock art sites dating from the late nineteenth century. Southern Paiutes created the site for the Ghost Dance, a Native American movement that was begun in 1870 and reached its height in 1889–1890 as a response to the social, economic, and cultural destruction brought to the native peoples by Euro-Americans. The Ghost Dance sought to reunite the living with the spirits of the dead and it flourished as a revitalization movement, spreading to hundreds of Native American tribes, each adapting the ceremony to fit to its own culture. The rock art at Kanab Creek Canyon links geography, artifact, resources, political context, and prayers; it infuses landscape with meaning, memory, history, and cultural associations. The site forms part of the living memory of elders who have visited it since their childhood. Because of this continuity, the site offers scholars a deeper understanding of rock art.

There are a number of petroglyphs and pictographs at this site, but the rock art associated with the Ghost Dance consists of a 400-meter-long panel on an easily accessible outcrop. It possesses a number of pecked and incised petroglyphs, though it is dominated by paintings. In one spot, there is a four-meter-long zigzag pattern, its scale and composition accommodated to the shape of the ledge. The most prominent segment of the panel has a natural overhang and is painted in bright white pigment made from limestone. Like the zigzag pattern, it unrolls along a narrow sliver of rock. In the front panel human figures predominate, some with rounded shoulders and torsos, others rendered as stick figures. Read from right to left, the panel begins with concentric circles around a central dot with an undulating line bleeding out of it like a horizontal smoke line. In some contexts, the circles have been defined as representing astronomical bodies (sun, stars, moon), in others the cyclicality of life, and yet others the shield of a warrior. Researchers believe the spiral in this case may be related to the spiral painted on the center pole used in the Ghost Dance. That spiral is presumably a representation of the route used to enter a trance. The concentric circles on the rock in question could then be a representation of a representation (a pole) that in turn stands for something else (the path to the trance or another state of consciousness). Here, image and reality are so deeply intertwined that these sharply defined analytical categories are inadequate.

What stands next to this potent symbol can be described as a battle scene: a dead horse and a dead person lie on the ground while other figures run frantically in different directions. Below the concentric circles is a smoky white smear that represents confusion or chaos. Above them is a headless man. The Paiutes believe that the headless figures in the scene are the Paiutes killed by white people.

To the left of the battle, the scene abruptly changes to stick figures in white clothing. Over their shoulders they hold ceremonial rasping sticks and a pole from which a long object with an oval head hangs (interpreted as a rattle or musical instrument used in the dance). Next to these three figures are more stick figures with white paint smeared over them like a veil. To the left of these are three-toed stick figures, a geometric design, and two more stick figures. Some of them seem to be wearing feathers on their heads and shoulders (eagle feathers were an important part of the Ghost Dance). The white pigment may represent the white clothing worn by Ghost Dancers; some participants painted their faces and hair white for the ceremony, while others highlighted their lips, eyes, nose, and hair in white, leaving the rest of the face its natural color. The overhang above this set possesses six flying figures. These could either be spirits of the elders recalled by the shamans or the participants of the prayer, people who climbed up the central pole and fell into a trance. The flying figures of this panel connect it to a related ceremony in Whitmore Wash, farther south in the Grand Canyon.

The scene of the dance is connected to the next set of figures by a three-foot long, crooked zigzag line. This may denote either temporal or spatial distance. Two of the next three figures are again beheaded, with two having grids of dots over their heads. The remainder of the panel contains two distinct animals, headless figures, and smears. This is a register of the stresses experienced by Native Americans at the turn of the twentieth century as well as the last resort of the helpless or the first impulse of the religious—turning to the gods.

The rock art at Kanab Creek was either made as part of the Ghost Dance ceremony or afterwards as a means to record the event. At the most general level, we regard rock art as an emblem of attachment to place and a record of beliefs and history. Anthropologists have celebrated this piece as manifesting the history of Paiutes in place and space. But Pauites believed that the dead animals and humans represented in these paintings would return to life after the Ghost Dance. The arrangement of the panel, with the flying figures at the top, suggests a cosmic map with spirits of the sky shown above the figures in the main panel. These flying figures are often the vehicle used by shamans to explore other worlds. As such it is impossible to reduce the panel to historical evidence or as marked territory. The act of drawing was essential to the miracle that would reverse the order of things—depopulation, displacement, destruction of the ecosystem, and unjust laws that undermined the Paiutes’ whole way of life. Rock art, in this case, is a record of man’s struggles and pain, and a response to the stresses brought on by Euro-American settlement. It is not just a marker of man’s attachment to place, but also the production of place, meaning, memory, history, and identity. On this site drawing becomes prayer and rock art becomes integral to the powers of the shaman.

Aberle, David. “The Prophet Dance and Reactions to White Contact.” Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 15 (1959): 74–83.

Akerman, K. “Tradition and Change in Aspects of Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Religious Objects.” In Politics of the Secret , edited by Christopher Anderson, 43–50. Sydney: University of Sydney, 1995.

Stoffle, Richard W., Lawrence Loendorf, Diane E. Austin, David B. Halmo, and Angelita Bulletts. “Ghost Dancing the Grand Canyon: Southern Paiute Rock Art, Ceremony, and Cultural Landscapes.” Current Anthropology 41, no. 1 (February 2000): 11-38.

Writing Credits

  • Location: Kanab, Utah Regional Overviews: Kane County Architect: Paiute Types: petroglyphs pictographs Styles: Native American Southern Paiute Materials: rock (inorganic material) calcium hydroxide

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Get Your Spook On: Northern Utah's Most Haunted Places

Written By Brett Prettyman

Tooele-County_Ophir-7_Ghost-Towns_Piscotty-Marc_2018

Looking for a different kind of outside adventure? One seemingly outside the realms of possibility? If you’re open to the possibility of experiencing paranormal activity in Utah, here’s a look at places where you can get your spook on.

Ophir Ghost Town

Not all ghost towns are haunted. Many Western  ghost towns  are the result of mining communities that disappeared almost overnight when precious metals like gold and silver ran out. (Read: Frisco: West Desert Ghost Town )

A good example is Ophir, a mining district that retained some of its old buildings and turned them into a  historic site . Ophir, located about an hour southwest of Salt Lake City , is one of several ghost towns found in Utah’s West Desert . And nearby  Tooele  is a good base for further exploring the mining past of the Beehive state. 

"Many Western ghost towns are the result of mining communities that disappeared almost overnight when precious metals like gold and silver disappeared."

ghost rock utah

Established in 1870, Ophir has retained some of its old buildings and turned them into a historic site.

Photo: Marc Piscotty

ghost rock utah

The community has centralized many of Ophir's historic buildings, creating a unique window to the past.

ghost rock utah

Once a mining boomtown of about 6,000, Ophir isn't completely a ghost town — about 30-40 people still call it home.

Antelope Island State Park

Another case of abandoned property-turned-haunted are the buildings of Fielding Garr Ranch on the Great Salt Lake’s Antelope Island. The ranch, now part of Antelope Island State Park , was settled by rancher Fielding Garr and its oldest structure dates back to 1848. While the buildings have certainly provided a strong dose of the creepies, it is the woods between the ranch house and the lake that seem to provide more intense paranormal experiences. In 2021, a crew from local news outlet KSL documented some of the strange activity alongside a team from the Western Association for the Science of the Paranormal.

Antelope Island is connected to another unique “ghost” story. In 1862 Salt Lake City police arrested local grave digger Jean Baptiste for robbing clothing and jewelry from coffins. He had a tattoo placed on his forehead and was banished to Antelope Island. During a low water year, which would have allowed Baptiste to walk to the mainland, he was moved to the more remote Fremont Island. People later checking up on him found his wooden shelter dismantled and a slaughtered cow, but no sign of Baptiste. Some say he never made it off the island and he still haunts it. Others say he drowned trying to escape and haunts the waters of the Great Salt Lake.

In addition to trying to creep yourself out, there are plenty of other things to do during a visit to Antelope Island. Bring binoculars and a camera on your trip. Visitors will likely see bison, pronghorn, mule deer, shorebirds, waterfowl, coyotes and even have a chance to spot a porcupine, burrowing owl or a bighorn sheep. There are also several hiking, mountain biking and horseback options on the island.

Two important tips. If you take your children, make sure to bring a change of clothes for the ride home. There is no way to keep them from wading into the Great Salt Lake. Prepare to have salty sand in your car for months after the visit. In addition, keep your distance from all wildlife, particularly the bison. People who don’t give the huge beasts plenty of space have experienced close up encounters they would rather have avoided.

ghost rock utah

The Fielding Garr Ranch was initially established on Antelope Island in 1848.

Photo: Utah State Parks

ghost rock utah

The ranch was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

Utah Hotspots Showcased on "Ghost Adventures"

The benson grist mill in stansbury park.

Rumor has it that a young woman drowned at the historic Benson Grist Mill in Stansbury Park, but visitors experience a wide range of paranormal vibes as confirmed on an episode of Travel Channel's “ Ghost Adventures ."  The mill has a storied past since it was built in the mid-1850s with ties to the  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . It was fully restored in the late 1980s and is a beautiful piece of architecture with an eerie energy. 

While in this area, a stop along the shore of the Great Salt Lake is a must and  Great Salt Lake State Park  is only 12 miles away just off of Interstate 80. The park provides a campground, seasonal boat tours and a trailhead to Utah’s famous Black Rock. Beginning around 1850, Black Rock became a place where couples took all-day dates, and starting in 1893, some then headed to nearby Saltair resort (now a popular concert venue located just east of the state park) to dance the night away. 

The Great Saltair

"Ghost Adventures" visited the Saltair in 2021 to film " The Great Saltair Curse ." The show claims the building and land around the resort is plagued by "hostile paranormal energy," including the haunting presence of Saltair Sally.

If you like hiking with your haunting, you might consider the  Deseret Peak hike . It is a steep 3,595-foot elevation climb from the trailhead to the 11,031-foot summit with a round trip of roughly 9 miles. Always remember to take plenty of water. Utah air is dry and hot, even in the high elevations. ( See more Utah hiking tips )

"Ghost Adventures visited the Saltair in 2021 to film "The Great Saltair Curse." The show claims the building and land around the resort is plagued by "hostile paranormal energy," including the haunting presence of Saltair Sally."

ghost rock utah

A visit to the Great Salt Lake is a must — both for its intriguing, haunted history and sheer beauty.

Skinwalker Ranch and Blind Frog Ranch

Niche media has long been reporting mysterious events at the Skinwalker and Blind Frog ranches in northeastern Utah — as documented on popular television shows like History’s " The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch " and Discovery's  " Mystery at Blind Frog Ranch . " But even traditional local media have jumped on the spooky bandwagon. Interest has reached such a high level that visitors from more than 24 states attended the inaugural PhenomeCon event in Vernal in 2021 (Read:  The Unknown & Otherworldly Near Vernal, Utah ). The  paranormal conference  is typically scheduled each year in early September. While Skinwalker Ranch remains private land and a visit is limited to posing for pictures near the ranch, visitors can book an interactive tour of the  Blind Frog Ranch .

After you check out the ranches, explore the ancient mysteries in the Uinta Basin . This area is well-known across the world for its dinosaur fossil discoveries.  Dinosaur National Monument  is located 24 miles east of  Vernal  and its Quarry Exhibit Hall offers visitors a chance to see more than 1,500 fossils embedded in a cliff face. 

"After you check out the ranches, explore the ancient mysteries in the Uinta Basin. This area is well-known across the world for its dinosaur fossil discoveries."

ghost rock utah

One of the best ways to explore the mysteries of the Uinta Basin is to take a guided ATV tour.

Photo: Arianna Rees

ghost rock utah

The Quarry Exhibit Hall at Dinosaur National Monument features more than 1,500 fossils embedded in a cliff face.

Photo: Mark Osler

If you want to stay in town for your dinosaurs-meets-paranormal adventure, don’t miss the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum located on Main Street.

If you plan to stay overnight, there are plenty of hotel options in Vernal, and two nearby state parks — Steinaker and Red Fleet — offer camping and RV options as well as fishing and water recreation opportunities. Camping is also found in the nearby Ashley National Forest .

For more spooky inspiration, check out the Utah Film Commission 's articles: Spooky Locations in 6 Rural Utah Counties and 6 Spooky Utah Locations . 

Northern Utah's Most Haunted Places

ghost rock utah

About the Author – Brett Prettyman

Native Utahn Brett Prettyman grew up exploring the natural wonders of the state and shared them with the public as an outdoor writer, editor and columnist with the state’s largest newspaper, The Salt Lake Tribune, for 25 years. Prettyman is the author of "Fishing Utah," "Best Easy Day Hikes Capitol Reef National Park" and "Hiking Utah's High Uintas" (revision) and a contributor to Visit Utah's Forever Mighty Field Guides series . When not covering stories, and sometimes while doing it, he can be found exploring new Utah adventures with family and friends. @BrettPrettyman

Ghost Towns in Utah

From the southern reaches of Grafton and up north to Thistle, these abandoned towns have left behind crumbling relics, memories and stories of another era.

Explore Ghost Towns in Utah

Read the stories

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ghost rock utah

A View From the Past

Written By Andrew Dash Gillman

8 minute read

Follow a historian on a tour of the Transcontinental Railroad Backcountry Byway as he reconstructs forgotten history.

ghost rock utah

Frisco: West Desert Ghost Town

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Standing in the Basin and Range topography of Utah's West Desert at ghost town Frisco, you'll feel the solitude of the space

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UFOs, dinosaur bones, ghosts — there’s a chance to see all of them in the wild, weird and existential landscapes of Northeastern Utah.

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You’re doing it wrong if you think road trip pit stops are boring layovers on your way to more exciting destinations. How many of these hidden gems have you been to? Here are 11 mini-adventures to check off your list next time you’re road-tripping through Utah.

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The Creepiest Hike In Utah Takes You Through A Haunted Rock Canyon

ghost rock utah

Courtnie Erickson

From Southern Utah to the Panhandle in Idaho, Courtnie Erickson has lived in what she believes are the best (and the most beautiful!) areas in the country. She graduated with a journalism degree from Utah State University and has more than 15 years of professional writing experience. You’ll likely see her with a Dr. Pepper in her hand and a pair of running shoes on her feet. Courtnie is a writer and editor at OnlyInYourState.

More by this Author

Utah is no stranger to ghosts and paranormal activity. In fact, we created an entire road trip to visit some of these spooky locations . However, there is one haunted hiking trail in Utah County that is often overlooked and forgotten but super spooky — Rock Canyon Trail. As you explore this trail, be prepared for a creepy experience. Many hikers claim to have seen and heard disturbing and unexplainable things as they’ve explored this area. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the Rock Canyon Trail is definitely one of the creepiest hikes in Utah .

ghost rock utah

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ghost rock utah

What do you think? Do you believe Rock Canyon Trail in Utah is haunted? Have you explored this trail before? Are you willing? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! And if you want to venture on this hiking trail in Utah, make sure to bring a map along ! There’s nothing more frightening than becoming lost in a haunted canyon!

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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More to Explore

Rock canyon trail.

What are some other haunted places in Utah?

The Rock Canyon Trail is certainly one of the best haunted hiking trails near me and it may just send a chill down your spine. However, there are several other destinations around the state if you are searching for someplace creepy, spooky, and spine-chilling to explore. Some other haunted places in Utah you may want to check out include:

  • Mountain Meadows Massacre Site
  • Rio Grande Depot, Salt Lake City
  • Salt Lake City Cemetery
  • Fort Douglas, Salt Lake City

Are there ghost towns in Utah?

Yes! In fact, Utah is home to nearly 100 ghost towns. Some of these ghost towns may not seem like much but there are others that are quite incredible to visit. But no matter which one you visit, each ghost town has quite an interesting story and will give you a glimpse into Utah’s past and history.  Some of our favorite ghost towns in Utah include:

  • Cisco, Grand County
  • Frisco, Beaver County
  • Grafton, Washington County
  • Thistle, Utah County
  • Widtsoe, Garfield County
  • Spring Canyon, Carbon County

What are some of the best hikes in Utah?

While the Rock Canyon Trail in Utah is certainly one that deserves a spot on your bucket list, there are dozens of others that you need to explore. While we find it challenging to narrow down the list of the best hikes in Utah, we do have a few that we find ourselves recommending quite often. These hikes include:

  • Stewart Falls Trail, Provo Canyon
  • Canyon Overlook Trail, Zion National Park
  • King’s Peak
  • Wind Cave Trail, Logan Canyon
  • Cascade Springs Interpretive Trail, American Fork Canyon

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  • National & State Parks
  • Natural Wonders
  • On the Water
  • Parks & Gardens
  • State Parks

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IMAGES

  1. Ghost Rock, I-70, San Rafael Swell, Emery County, Utah (7)…

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  2. Ghost Rock, Utah, USA Royalty Free Stock Images

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  3. Ghost Rock, Utah, USA stock photo. Image of park, blue

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  4. Holes in Ghost Rock off I 70 in Utah Photograph by Ruth Hager

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  5. Ghost Rock Utah 2 Stock Photo

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  6. Ghost Rock, I-70, San Rafael Swell, Emery County, Utah (4)…

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VIDEO

  1. Utah hiking #Utah

  2. Ghost Towns and More

  3. Mexican Hat Rock, Utah

  4. Time to remodel?

  5. “The Chute” at Hole in the Rock, Utah

  6. First Time I Visit Hole in the Rock Utah USA

COMMENTS

  1. Ghost Rock West : Climbing, Hiking & Mountaineering

    Ghost Rock is a pinnacle along I-70 in Utah's San Rafael Swell. Apparently, a cowboy on a foggy morning saw the top of the pinnacle protruding from a bed of fog, thought it appeared ghostly, and dubbed it "Ghost Rock." Today, there is a rest area by the formation, and travelers can get out to enjoy the great views.

  2. Ghost Rock View Area

    Ghost Rock View Area 6 reviews #2 of 3 things to do in Emery Points of Interest & LandmarksGeologic Formations Write a review About Duration: < 1 hour Suggest edits to improve what we show. Improve this listing All photos (9) Top ways to experience nearby attractions 2022 3-4 Hours Capitol Reef's Cathedral Valley Jeep Tour 37 Recommended 4WD Tours

  3. Great area to stretch

    Ghost Rock View Area 6 Reviews #2 of 3 things to do in Emery Sights & Landmarks, Nature & Parks, More Interstate 70, Emery, UT Save susanl279nm Denver, Colorado 293 111 Great area to stretch Review of Ghost Rock View Area Reviewed July 18, 2020 via mobile Just a little pull off traveling to the Colorado border in Utah.

  4. Ghost Rock in Emery County UT (San Rafael Knob Area)

    Ghost Rock is a 7,405-foot-high rock formation on San Rafael Knob, a popular hiking and climbing destination in Utah. Learn about its location, GPS coordinates, topographic map, and user reviews from MountainZone.com.

  5. Ghost Rock View Area

    The power plant is one of three generating facilities that lie in the rich low-sulfur coalfields of central Utah. Combined they provide 2,215 megawatts of power for users in Utah and California. Coal is extracted from large underground mines in the mountains you can see to the west.

  6. Scenic Rest Areas Along I-70 in Utah

    I-70 in southeastern Utah is a gorgeous stretch of highway that passes several cliffs, rock formations, and canyons. There are seven scenic rest areas heading eastbound and seven heading westbound where travelers can stop and admire the scenery. ... Ghost Rock (milepost 123); Spotted Wolf (milepost 142); San Rafael Reef (milepost 146); and ...

  7. Ghost Rock Utah

    Ghost Rock Utah Saturday, February 25, 2023 11:35:11 AM Iconic Rocks Jutting Out of the San Rafael Swell Travelling either east or west on the Interstate 70 between Salina and Green River in central Utah you will come across a couple of pinnacles jutting out of the high plateau of the San Rafael Swell.

  8. The Wahweap Hoodoos

    Discover The Wahweap Hoodoos in Kanab, Utah: Giant pinnacles in the sun-scorched lands of Southern Utah have been nicknamed "white ghosts.".

  9. Top 10 Best Things to Do in Ghost Rock, UT

    Reviews on Things to Do in Ghost Rock, UT - San Rafael Swell, Devil's Canyon Viewing Area, Cassidy Arch, San Rafael Reef, Color Ridge Farm & Creamery, Circle Cliff Ranch Alpacas, Goblin Valley State Park, Hickman Bridge, Huntington State Park, Little Horse Canyon

  10. Ghost Rock View Area

    Hiking Tours. from. ₱6,237.92. per adult. LIKELY TO SELL OUT*. Thrilling Guided You-Drive Hells Revenge UTV Tour In Moab UT. 296. Recommended. 4WD Tours.

  11. Ghost Rock

    Hiking info, trail maps, and trip reports from Ghost Rock (7,343 ft) in Utah. Hiking info, trail maps, and trip reports from Ghost Rock (7,343 ft) in Utah. peakery; Log a climb. Join/Login. Log a climb. Latest. Peak Map ... Add photo for Ghost Rock. Did you take a good photo of this peak? peakery features 1 photo of each peak - ideally one that:

  12. Lost Trails Guide #8

    Ghost Rock Spur (BLM trail SS3300) turns off from the Devil's Racetrack at GPS coordinates 38°52'36.25″N and 110°47'40.85″W. Approximately 0.35 miles from the turnoff, Chimney Rock Trail (BLM trail SS3301) turns off to the west at GPS coordinates 38°52'32.20″N and 110°47'59.79″W and continues to the border of the Cold Wash ...

  13. UT Ghost Rock

    Ghost Rock is not actually a park. Rather, it is a pinnacle along Interstate 70 as it extends east-west through central Utah that serves to remind us of the dramatic and striking beauty of that area that has earned that stretch of I70 the designation as a National Scenic Byway. Ghost Rock (Central Utah) Back to Other US Parks.

  14. Ghost Rock -- 4K Drone Video

    This is the second video in my series on the landscape areas along I-70 in central Utah between the towns of Salina and Green River. This particular locatio...

  15. Iosepa Ghost Town and Story Rock

    Iosepa Ghost Town Cemetery: 40°32'31.39″N, 112°43'59.69″W. GPS Coordinates to Story Rock and additional information are only available to Trek Planner Insider Members. ... Iospa from Utah Stories. Story Rock. The hike to Story Rock is steep and moderately difficult.

  16. Kanab Creek Canyon

    Kanab Creek Canyon possesses one of Utah's richest rock art sites dating from the late nineteenth century. Southern Paiutes created the site for the Ghost Dance, a Native American movement that was begun in 1870 and reached its height in 1889-1890 as a response to the social, economic, and cultural destruction brought to the native peoples by Euro-Americans.

  17. Ghost Rock View Area Reviews updated 2023

    Ghost Rock View Area Ghost Rock View Area Rest Area Write a Review I-70 East Green River, UT 84525 GPS: 38.8622, -110.8129 Add Photos View 5 Photos Overview Q&A Cell Service Reviews (2) Amenities Overview of Ghost Rock View Area Overnight parking is prohibited. No camping or sleeping outside of vehicle. Last Price Paid: $0

  18. Utah's Scenic Byways

    From ghost towns to dinosaur footprints and red rock towers or a Caribbean-color lake, Utah's 27 state and national scenic byways are destinations themselves. ... Utah's iconic American West offers both the picture-perfect backdrops to freedom and the roads for living it. This six-day itinerary follows the open-road inspiration of "Easy Rider."

  19. Ghost Rock View/Rest Area (Utah)

    https://anniestacie.com

  20. THE SANDS OF TIME

    Travel through Utah, 2023, sights and beautiful interesting landscapes, must be seen. Travel and vacation in USA. Ghost Rock View Area, Interstate 70 in Utah...

  21. The Most Haunted Places in Northern Utah

    Utah Hotspots Showcased on "Ghost Adventures" The Benson Grist Mill in Stansbury Park. ... The park provides a campground, seasonal boat tours and a trailhead to Utah's famous Black Rock. Beginning around 1850, Black Rock became a place where couples took all-day dates, and starting in 1893, some then headed to nearby Saltair resort (now a ...

  22. Castle Rock, Utah

    Castle Rock, Utah. /  41.12444°N 111.18750°W  / 41.12444; -111.18750. Castle Rock, also known as "Frenchies" is a ghost town in Summit County, Utah, United States. The location is currently the site of an automotive junk yard. Some buildings, such as the town's gas station, still stand.

  23. Rock Canyon Trail: The Creepiest Hike In Utah

    Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the Rock Canyon Trail is definitely one of the creepiest hikes in Utah. At first glance, the Rock Canyon Trail is mesmerizing. This hiking trail in Utah is near Provo's largest city park, Rock Canyon Park. Dani V_M/AllTrails. This is a 5.7-mile, out-and-back trail that is rated moderate.