Ghost town of Kelton, Utah

Adventure, to us, is simply getting out of the house and seeing something new. We’ve made trips out to Spiral Jetty – past the golden spike, a few times and really enjoyed ourselves. Keep in mind there are no services out there (except cell, funny enough); and this is BLM land (Beurea of land management) with REALLY bumpy roads. I wouldnt suggest trying to get to Kelton in a car. The roads were quite rutted, and it was obvious someone drove out there in a very heavy vehicle in some very heavy mud, making them even much more so.

That being said, it is worth the drive if you are a history buff and love old cemetaries like me. For the boys, it was more about getting to shoot their guns (perfectly legal and quite safe out there). I also enjoyed a bit of that myself, turns out I’m an OK shot.

We should have first looked up this PDF, which would have helped us locate some of the ruins (not that there are much) of the old Ghost town. The cemetary is very easy to find, so everything else could be estimated off that-however the grass is quite high right now and that made the searching difficult.

What I read about Kelton before we left…

Kelton served as a section station and major shipping and travel connection to the mineral rich mountains and open rangeland of the Northwest (Fig. 56). Kelton was the southern terminus of the Utah, Idaho, and Oregon Stage Company and a station on the Overland Mail route. In a typical year during the 1870s, six million pounds of supplies were loaded from trains on to wagons in exchange for wool and furs from the intermountain north (Shearer 1885:185).  Below: The Kelton Hotel, and the Kelton Depot

It was reported by a man traveling through Kelton that it was a small, rough town consisting of the two story hotel, a depot, a row of saloons and businesses, and about 50 homes. Its hard to imagine life out there, but the people of Kelton quite obviously were tough.

Kelton was the site of many stage robberies, a story of a “Daring Stage Robbery” near Kelton, reported in 1870, follows.


“Come down” and he did come down very meekly and took the position assigned him. This imperative command was given to the driver by one of the masked robbers, who stopped the incoming stagecoach last night when the vehicle was within eight miles of Kelton, Utah.

There were eight passengers on board the coach. One of the robbers went to the head of the team and took possession of the lead horses. The other three went through the travelers, some of whom were ladies, and disposed them of all their money, and other valuables, which occupied about two hours and a half. The daring thieves got about $2,500 in cash, four watches, and other jewelry. The avaricious, pernicious wretches even took from the persons of the passengers their shirt studs and buttons. They then broke open the traveling trunks and took from them whatever was of sufficient value or convenient to get off with.

After the rascals had plundered the people of all they could, they took off the leaders from the team, unharnessed them, and struck out with them for some place of safe retreat.

We understand they did not interfere with any of Uncle Sam’s mail bags: because they had not the time to go through them. Before they left, they returned the watch they took from the stage driver and gave to each of the travelers, one dollar to buy a supper when they reached Kelton.”

(Ogden Daily Herald, August 1, 1870).

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