Spooky Fun Places!
Halloween is on Tuesday (happy Halloween, everybody!) so we’re thinking about all sorts of spooky things. And believe it or not, there are a lot of Halloween-esque locations in Southern Utah. Places that seem just a little too unreal, like eery rock formations and forgotten settlements. Let’s get scared! And visit some of the spookiest places in Southern Utah!
Hoodoos and Goblins
Hoodoos are some of the strangest rock that you will find anywhere on earth. And Southern Utah has a lot of them! The sandstone pillars are shaped by the forces of erosion into truly unique, and sometimes unsettling, spires and knobs. Visiting them, especially at night, is a great way to celebrate Halloween. Here’s three locations to check out:
1. Bryce Canyon –
If you know anything about hoodoos, you already knew this would be on our list. It is the most famous hoodoo destination in the world, after all. The Amphitheater in Bryce is packed full of the strange and the surreal. Check out our guide for what to do in Bryce Canyon. There is tons to explore for a great weekend of Halloween fun! And you can find Bryce’s location here on Google Maps.
2. Goblin Valley –
This is one of our favorite state parks in Utah. It’s actually quite similar to Bryce Canyon, but it’s a smaller in area, and the hoodoos are more tightly packed into the basin. The hoodoos are also a little shorter and stumpier than those found at Bryce, more like hobgoblins – hence the name! We’ve written some helpful details about Goblin Valley here. And you can find it here on Google Maps.
3. Wahweap Hoodoos –
These might be the weirdest, the most wild, and the spookiest hoodoos in Southern Utah. Seriously, they are even nicknamed “the white ghosts!” They are also very remote, so they require a bit of adventuring to get there. You can read about how to find them here on this post. But once you find them, you’ll see a grouping of vertical white pinnacles topped with odd purple rocks. Super scary! Here’s the location of the Wahweap Hoodoos on Google Maps.
So, in addition to all the strange rocks and hidden hoodoos, Southern Utah is also home to a bunch of abandoned settlements – ghost towns! For any number of reasons these towns were left behind by their inhabitants. Sometimes the local mine went bust, sometimes floods or droughts forced people to relocate, and occasionally populations just dwindled in a certain areas. But whatever the reason, the towns that these people built (or at least some of the buildings) remain to be explored. If you want a slice of history with your Halloween, go check out some ghost towns! Here are a couple of our favorites:
1. Grafton –
The iconic film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid includes a scene that was filmed in the ghost town of Grafton. (He rides the bicycle around the schoolhouse.) Grafton was founded in 1859, but adverse weather, and conflicts with the American Indians forced them to move. The site is maintained and monitored, but you can still visit. Here’s a link to the official page, and here is the location on Google Maps.
2. Paria –
Paria is one of the most scenic ghost towns in Southern Utah. It is situated in the high desert country amid red sandstone hills. The town was founded in 1870 and was abandoned in 1929. It was partially rebuilt during the 1950’s as a film set, and was the filming location for many western films. Flooding and fires damaged and destroyed some of the sets, but it’s still cool to visit. Bonus: there’s actually a couple of lone hoodoos nearby. Here’s the location on Google Maps.
Treat or Treat!
That’s our list! But don’t worry if you can’t make it these locations this weekend. No matter when you visit, Halloween or not, you’re in for a treat! C’mon, it’s Southern Utah, even when it’s spooky, it’s still scary good! Happy Halloween from the Lodge at Red River Ranch!