Gold Hill and Clifton Ghost Towns |

Deep Creek

Roadside Attraction Gold Hill and Clifton Ghost Towns - Deep Creek Roadside Attraction Gold Hill and Clifton Ghost Towns
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Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments

Overview

RATING: Roadside Attraction
LENGTH: 1+ hours
MAPS: GOLD HILL, UT; CLIFTON, UT

Sun

41 | 24

Mon

42 | 30

Tue

29 | 19

Wed

33 | 17

Thu

37 | 24

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Any, hot in the summer
WATER: None, bring all you need.

Sun

41 | 24

Mon

42 | 30

Tue

29 | 19

Wed

33 | 17

Thu

37 | 24

View Full Weather Details
Goodwin Mercantile Company in Gold Hill

Goodwin Mercantile Company in Gold Hill

Clifton ghost town is near the north end of the Deep Creek Mountains in the extreme western site of Utah. Gold was first discovered in the area in the late 1850s by people out scouting and developing the Pony Express trail. It wasn’t until 1869 that the Clifton Mining District came into being and the area became a bustling mining community with a hotel, saloon, and stores. As so often happens, boom quickly led to a bust. By the mid-18070s, the mines and town were in decline as the boom moved north to Gold Hill. Today, there is little that remains in Clifton, aside from a few structures. It is an interesting place to visit.

Not far north of Clifton lies its successor, Gold Hill. The community of Gold Hill isn’t a ghost town, but more of a semi-ghost town. The settlement began in 1871 as other mining sites in the area declined. Gold Hill the town was established in 1892. High-quality ore, combined with the Deep Creek Railroad that went from Gold Hill to Wendover, helped establish and grow the area. Over the successive years, Gold Hill had several boom and bust cycles, starting with gold and copper, then transitioning to arsenic around World War I. Today there are still residents at Gold Hill, though there are a few abandoned structures to see, including an old mercantile and train station. Perhaps another boom is yet to come to revive the town again.

Note: Respect private property in Gold Hill and keep out of places marked private.
Old building in Clifton

Old building in Clifton

Getting There

Gold Hill
There are many ways to get to Clifton/Gold Hill. Described here are the easiest/least dirt road directions.

From downtown Wendover, Neveda head south on US-93. Follow US-93 for 25.6 miles to the paved Ibapah road on the left. Turn left onto Ibapah road and follow it for 16.4 miles to a dirt road on the left (Gold Hill Road).

Follow the good dirt road 11.6 miles to the center of Gold Hill.

Gold Hill to Clifton
To reach Clifton from Gold Hill, go south on Main Street from downtown Gold Hill. The good, graded dirt road leaves town and heads south. There are many lesser side roads, but stay on the main road. At 3.9 miles, near the top of a hill, is a major junction. Go left here.

Again, there are many smaller side roads. Follow the main graded road. At 2.4 miles, the main road makes a hard left curve with a less used road going off on the right. Go right. The last section of the road from this main road is described below.

Old building at Clifton

Old building at Clifton

Route

Gold Hill
In the center of town, at the junction of Main Street and First Avenue, sits the old Goodwin Mercantile Company. This old abandoned building is the iconic image that most photograph. It is a striking large old building.

From the mercantile, if you head north on Main Street, just north of town, the old train station is visible on the left (west) across the wash with the old railroad grade heading north. The railway connected Gold Hill and Wendover. You can also visit the old train station from a county road that leaves First Avenue by heading west from the Goodwin Mercantile Company for about 0.3 miles until partway up the hill, then taking the dirt road on the right. This is a rough two-track road and will require high clearance.

Clifton
As soon as you turn off the main dirt road, there are old house foundations on the hillside to the right. Following the good dirt road a few hundred feet, it splits with a two-track road leaving on the right. Walk or drive the two-track a few hundred more feet to its end with an old building and cellar looking structure. This, at least according to the map, was the main area of Clifton. It is interesting to wander around. The USGS topo map shows a cemetery north of the old town site, not far east of the main dirt road. I could not locate any markers or sign of it on our visit, though.


Maps

Printable Maps:
Gold HIl

12T 258935mE 4450049mN

N40° 09' 58" W113° 49' 51"

Goodwin Mercantile Company

12T 258917mE 4450044mN

N40° 09' 58" W113° 49' 52"

Old Train Station

12T 258984mE 4450484mN

N40° 10' 13" W113° 49' 49"

Gold Hill / Clifton Junction

12T 256922mE 4444763mN

N40° 07' 05" W113° 51' 09"

Clifton

12T 259772mE 4443150mN

N40° 06' 16" W113° 49' 06"

Old Structures

12T 259795mE 4443216mN

N40° 06' 18" W113° 49' 05"

Junction - Right

12T 259851mE 4443265mN

N40° 06' 20" W113° 49' 03"

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