Friday, May 23, 2014

A Town Named for Virgins?

We moved on to the West side of Zion National Park to a nice spot 2 miles north of the town of Virgin, UT on the Kolob Terrace Rd. It's a primitive campground along the river, on private land. The caretaker originally wanted $20 a night each, but we found out that is highly negotiable. We settled on $50 each for the week.

The area around Zion has gotten like Moab. All public land is closed to camping, except in campgrounds, which are always full.

One hike I really wanted to do on this side of Zion is the hike to Hop Valley. I had attempted it once before but didn't make it to the valley. So this time we cheated. We drove on a dirt road about 1 1/2 miles paralleling the trail, then cut over through the brush .4 miles to the trail. Saved a little over a mile each way.

By doing this, we missed the uninteresting part of the trail, and almost immediately got to the scenic part.

After a while, the trail started to descend into the valley, and the scenery got even better.

And we got a great view of the valley.

Now, if we can just find the car...

Also on this side of Zion is the ghost town of Grafton.

It was a Mormon town in the 1860s and only lasted a few years, before everyone moved to safety in the larger town of Rockville.

Pretty scenery and rusty stuff, though....

Phil loves to go driving on dirt roads, so we did a lot of that, too.

Glad he didn't want ME to move that rock...

And rocks weren't the only thing we found on the road!

In town is a cute little commercial fake town, with a Virgin Jail. We also got a kick out of the real Virgin Fire Department.

Next - a trip into Zion Canyon...


  1. So, you're saying Virgin is a ghost town. kyuk kyuk

  2. Oh, I'll have to start planning for a trip to the other half of Utah. I was so impressed with the East....the west will have a lot to live up too!!

  3. Good idea to cut that hike down to size! I've seen a few photos of that old school house in Grafton under the night sky and long exposure shooting, I wonder who owns the town now?

  4. Hop Valley really looks to be worth a hike. Do you need 4 wheel drive on the cheater road?

  5. Well, gee I was there in mid-April. I boon docked on the other side of the highway outside Virgin. Spent a day exploring Zion NP. Your hiking avoids the crowds though.

  6. 4-wheel drive would be best for the cheater road - a lot of it is sandy.

  7. We went to the other corner of southern Utah last fall and hope to make it to this area soon.

  8. I'm impressed with your negotiating skills. Can you teach me your secrets?

  9. Good job on getting the rate down. You would do well where bargaining is a way of life.

  10. Catching up on everyone's travels again, and you're in the place I'm drawn to the most. To me there is no part of Utah that I don't feel like jumping right into the picture and going until I drop. It will be a few years before we're up that way again, I don't want to go until we have a big chunk of I don't have to leave! Good to know there is other camping options in Virgin, that area is on a proposed trip plan I have.


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