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|Number of 5 star ratings (5* yield %)||9 (4.4%)|
Ever see a sunset that looks like a painting? I thought I had, but it wasn’t until I visited Zion National Park that I really saw what that could look like. Rose- or coral- colored skies. Mountains that look like they glow from the setting sun. Flowers that close tightly in the waning sun. Ghost towns nestled in desert weeds. I saw all that and more in my visit to Grafton Utah, an abandoned town just south of Zion National Park.
Utah itself has more than 150 ghost towns (source: ghosttowns.com), communities abandoned by their former residents because they found they could not make a living there. In Grafton’s case, it was founded in 1859 – first attacked (or defended, depending on your perspective) by Native Americans, then beset by floods, and having an abundance of hard-to-farm land, it was down to 3 families by the 1920’s.
- In The Weeds – This old barn and corral, surrounded by overgrown weeds welcomes you to the ghost town of Grafton. There are only a few buildings – a restored school house, another fenced in cabin, farm equipment, and a single cow. The setting sun cast a rosy hue on the clouds and drenched the surrounding area with the color. The town has been abandoned since the 1940’s when its residents determined that flash floods and excessive silt reduced the livability of this location.
- Restored Home – This restored Alonzo Russell home (home to one of the last remaining families in Grafton) sits gracefully at the base of the mountain, restored to reveal its former glory. According to the Grafton Heritage Project, Mr. Russell had plural wives, and his second simultaneous wife lived in a cabin across from this stately home – a cabin which pales in comparison to this home.
- Moonflower – This tall, elegant flower closes up tightly for the evening. When open, has a trumpet like shape, and white petals, no indication of its tightly-coiled nighttime shape.
- Zion Mountain Range – This rocky mountain, showing its striation of colors is a part of the picturesque backdrop for Grafton. No matter what your vantage point, it stands out, beautifully so.
- Another Beautiful Sunset – The sun did it! It painted the clouds with this vivid coral on its trek west. And i was there to see it happen.
Yes, I am still mining the images from my western state (AZ, NV, and UT) photography vacation. I keep saying that I am going to go on to something else, but each time I look at these images, I find a new angle to present. This time, it was the sun setting on the UT ghost town. I hope you’re enjoying my revisits to this wonderful part of the US and its scenic vistas.