Grafton Ghost Town Near Zion National Park

Grafton Ghost Town is located near Zion National Park and is an Instagram-worthy photo spot. Here’s what you need to know.

Getting There

Grafton is located just outside of Springdale, which is the gateway town for Zion. On Highway 9, turn at Rockville. Once you cross the bridge, turn right and follow the dirt road to the end.

What is Grafton Ghost Town?

Grafton was settled by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the 1850s. Many towns were established in this area along the Virgin River.


Grafton was short-lived due to the temperamental Virgin River. Floods doomed their crops, and eventually, they got tired of it and left. There are other ghost towns in this area as well, for the same reason.

Most ghost towns in the west were abandoned due to the mines running out, but Grafton is interesting in that it was due to unpredictable flooding.

In one such flood, a mom was giving birth during a torrential rainfall and flood. She and the baby were miraculously rescued thanks to some brave men, and she named the baby Marvelous Flood Tenney.

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Zion National Park

One reason Grafton is a popular spot for pictures is due to Zion’s red cliffs in the background.


There are only a few nice buildings here, but they are in good condition, thanks to the Grafton Heritage Partnership Project. Kudos to this group for preserving such a cool place!


An old, well-preserved cemetery is also located nearby.

Western Movies

Grafton has an interesting history in Hollywood. The first-ever outdoor talkie was shot in Grafton – 1929’s Old Arizona.

But more famously, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was filmed here, with Paul Newman riding a bike to the tune of “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head.”

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) - Butch's BikeScene (2/5) | Movieclips

Is Grafton Worth a Visit?

Grafton is worth a visit if you’re into history, like ghost towns, or you like photography. It’s not a must-do (Zion has so many amazing things to see-Check out Zion National Park: How to plan the perfect trip), but if you’re in the area for a while, it’s a fun little Old West excursion off the main road.

Things to do nearby:

Planning a Trip to Zion?

Zion National Park is crowded with visitors! Planning and navigating a trip to Zion National Park can be frustrating because of its popularity. The crowds and shuttle system can be confusing to navigate.

Lucky for you, we have you covered. Most travelers want to visit the most popular sites, yet still, avoid crowds (as much as possible). We have a detailed itinerary that gives you a step-by-step game plan so you can get to the best places at the right times!



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