Added by Crystal Sibson

A beautiful and historical site within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, full of amazing views.

Pahreah was a townsite established along the Escalante River in 1870's. The town grew to include a general store, church, and enough homes to house 47 families at its peak. Due to the close proximity to the Escalante River, the town was flooded every year from 1883 to 1888, washing away crops and buildings. The devastation forced many families to move away, leaving only 8 families by 1892. That same year, the town gained a post office under the new name of Paria. The town of Paria never recovered due to the constant flooding. The post office closed in 1914 and the last resident left in 1929.

The now abandoned site of Paria became a picturesque backdrop for filming Westerns in the 1940's. Several scenes for Buffalo Bill were shot here in 1943. Filming continued at the site for various movies and television programs throughout the 1950's even though crews were constantly battling flood waters. Then in 1961 the old ghost town was chosen as a major location for the film Sergeants 3 when a newly constructed movie set was built one mile to the West. The new set was used until 1971 when it too was abandoned. After more flooding damaged the new site, it was deconstructed in 1998 then reconstructed in 1999 by the Bureau of Land Management. In 2007 the movie set was completely destroyed by a suspicious fire. 

Access to the Phareah Ghost Town Day Use Area is a short drive from the Highway US 89 on a well maintained dirt road. The day use area is the site of the old movie set and has several placards explaining the history. Many visitors confuse the movie set to the actual town of Pahreah. The original townsite and cemetery can be accessed by following the dirt road past the day use area. The road is often washed out requiring a high clearance 4x4 vehicle or by simply hiking. The cemetery is situated along the road halfway between the movie set and the Escalante River. The old townsite is located on the opposite side of the Escalante River where the road ends.

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Easy Parking
Picnic Area


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