It’s amazing what a scenic road trip will do to lift your spirits! We have been hearing for a while how cool the little town of Eureka is, so we set out to discover it for ourselves.
It is an easy drive, with all paved roads.
What is Eureka?
Eureka is a ghost town similar to Ophir, in that people still reside there. It is not completely abandoned like other Utah ghost towns. Ore was found in Eureka in 1870. Before it was known as Eureka and incorporated as a city in 1892, it was known as Ruby Hollow. Eureka was the center for the Tintic Mining District (named after Ute Indian Chief “Tintic”), and produced gold and silver through mining. Even though Eureka was Utah’s 9th largest city in 1910, most of the mines shut down between 1930 and 1940 because of water. (Read more on Ghost Towns.com, Wikipedia and the official Eureka website.)
Eureka is known for it’s popular event “The Zombie Chase”. Run through the ghost town underneath a full moon, while being chased by zombies! Now that is something that would get me to run!
How to get there:
OPTION 1: Interstate 15
To get there, take I-15 to Santaquin and take the Main Street exit (Hwy 6). Head West, and then stay on this road until you reach Eureka. Yes, it’s that easy!
TIP: When you get off I-15 in Santaquin, there is a really yummy restaurant on Main Street called Family Tree Diner. This is a great place to get out, stretch your legs, and have a bite to eat.
OPTION 2: Redwood Road (the more scenic route)
Take Redwood Road southbound, which will turn into Camp Williams Road. You will travel along the West side of Utah Lake. Keep going South until you reach Hwy 6, and turn right (West). Keep going until you reach Eureka.
NOTE: Once you leave Santaquin, watch on your right hand side (north side of the road) for the Goshen Pioneer Cemetery. There is plenty of space to pull off the road and read about this historical site.
What to see in Eureka:
There are many abandoned buildings along Main Street in Eureka. You are going to want to get out and explore them all. Walk around, look in windows, and see what you can discover!
Porter Rockwell Cabin
Porter Rockwell was an early Utah pioneer, and personal bodyguard to Brigham Young. (You can visit his grave on our tour of the Salt Lake City Cemetery.) This cabin was not originally in Eureka, but in Cherry Creek. There are many cities in Utah named “Cherry Creek”, but this cabin was in the Cherry Creek located just West of Eureka near Cherry Creek Rd.
The cabin is located on Main Street in Eureka, and you will see it on your right side. You can’t miss it!
Visit the old Eureka jail dating back to 1896. To find it, walk on the South side of Main Street (opposite side of the road from the Porter Rockwell Cabin), and watch for the sign. You can’t miss it!
Tintic Mining Museum
When we visited Eureka, the museum was closed, but looked fascinating. I couldn’t find their hours, but if you want to visit when they are open, you can call them at (435) 433-6842.
Various old buildings and other mysterious windows on Main Street
When you visit Eureka, make sure you plan on spending enough time to walk up and down Main Street. Look inside the various windows of the closed buildings, and you’ll be surprised at what you can find! The old vehicle show above was in one of the windows we peeked in.
It’s amazing the history you can find wandering around a cemetery. You can find the Eureka Cemetery just West of Eureka as you start to head out of town.
Where to go next?
After leaving Eureka, you can turn around and go back home the way you came, OR you can keep heading West and discover some Pony Express Trail and other monuments.
To visit Pony Express and other monuments:
Head West on the main road out of Eureka (Highway 6). Watch for Highway 36 on the right, and take that (heading Northwest). Read my post on Exploring Utah’s West Desert and Pony Express Trail, and if you keep on Highway 36, you will see these landmarks from that post: 5 (Faust Pony Express Station), 4 (Williams Ajax Underground Store), 3 (Mail Drop Monument) , 2 (Steptoe’s Military Camp, Godbe’s Chicago Ore Smelter, and Overland Stage Station) and 1 (Stockton Jail). You will then go into Tooele, and can go to I-80 and drive back to where to started.
To visit Mercur and Ophir:
(Read my posts on Mercur Cemetery and Ophir Ghost Town.)
Head West on the main road out of Eureka (Highway 6). Watch for Highway 36 on the right, and take that (heading Northwest). When you reach Faust, turn right (Eastbound), then watch for Highway 73 on the left, and turn there going Northbound. Watch for Ophir and Mercur.
You can see the Pony Express Monuments AND visit Ophir and Mercur. Stay on Highway 36 and visit the monuments listed in the above instructions “To visit Pony Express and other monuments”, until you reach Highway 73 on the right. (This is the same place you will see the Mail Drop Monument. Turn right, and head over to Ophir and Mercur.