Just north of I-70, tucked in the Book Cliffs is Sego Ghost Town. The town was inhabited from 1910-1955 and came into existence when a local, Henry Ballard from Thompson, was exploring the area and found an exposed vein of coal. Being a sharp businessman, Ballard bought up the land and began mining the coal. He sold his interests in 1911, and by 1912 a railroad spur was completed to the then named Neslen. The railroad spur and mining brought a post office and growth to the town that was re-named Sego in 1918 after the beautiful sego lily's that flourish in the canyon.
Due to poor quality and quantity of water, the town never flourished beyond a few hundred people at most. Though high coal production occurred from 1920 to 1947, costs finally outgrew profits and the town dwindled. A flash flood sometime in the 1950's laid waste to the few people remaining.
Today, the area has several old foundations and wooden structures. Most interesting is a large stone building that is still in fairly good shape. Remains of the old railroad cuts and trestles are also still visible. I first visited in the late 1990's and was last there in 2013. Just in that 15 or so years since my first visit, a lot more has collapsed and become more dilapidated. Sego is a fascinating roadside attraction I would recommend visiting while the remnants are still visible and somewhat standing.
Note: The road is usually passable to all vehicles, except when wet, then it can be impassable even to 4x4s.
Reaching Sego involves first reaching Thompson, which is east of Crescent Junction (The junction to Moab.) Take the Thompson exit (#187) off of I-70. Go north on UT-94 N/Thompson Canyon Rd toward. Stay on this for 4.6 miles. It passes through the town of Thompson, crosses the railroad tracks, then continues into the Book Cliffs. The Sego rock art panel is on the left at about 4.1 miles. Just past the panel, after crossing the wash, take a right. This passes the Sego Cemetery. Stay left at the next junction, reaching the ghost town proper in 5.6 miles.
From the cemetery mentioned in the trailhead section, there are foundations, cellars, and other ruins all the way to the large stone building and parking area that is Sego proper. Wandering around any or all of these is very interesting.
The old wooden structure across from the stone building was a boarding house and sadly collapsed a few years ago. It was standing in 2008 when I visited, and not in 2011, so collapsed sometime in those years. The stone building was the company store, and being stone, is still holding up fairly well.
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|Main Ghost Town||
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