Visit the Flooded Thistle Ghost Town

Visit the Flooded Thistle Ghost Town

Rate this Adventure 18899-19003 U.S. Highway 89

Activities

Chillin, Photography

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Added by

Parker Murray

Groups
River
Scenic

Explore a flooded ghost town created by the costliest landslide in US history.

Thistle, Utah was a small community located in Spanish Fork Canyon, founded in 1883. It flourished for a time as a ranching community and eventually became a major stop on the rail line that ran through it. This all changed in 1983 when a massive landslide dammed the Spanish Fork River and flooded the town. Now there are only a few structures remaining, and most can be seen from the road. Most notable are a red school house, a church on a hill, and a house half sunken in a bog.

From Salt Lake: Travel on I-15 towards the town of Spanish Fork. Take exit 261 and head east on U.S. Route 6/89. To view the landslide from the downstream side, turn right onto Spanish Fork River Park road after approximately 11 miles; otherwise, continue approximately 12.7 miles (from I-15) and turn right into the large pullout immediately before a massive double road cut. This pullout provides an excellent overview of the area. Approximately 1.5 miles past the pullout, turn right onto U.S. Route 89 and travel approximately 1.5 miles to the ruins of the town of Thistle. You can find it with these coordinates: 39.990477,-111.498388. 

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $300/night

The Cliff Lodge

Sandy, Utah

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Activities

Chillin, Photography

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Added by

Parker Murray

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