|| Sego Canyon
Rock Art & Ghost Town
Canyon is a great adventure the entire family will enjoy. The canyon contains rock art
from three different Native American cultures and a very well preserved ghost town. The
company store and a boarding house still partially stand in the center of town. There are
ruins to many houses scattered through out the canyon along with remnants of the coal
This is an adventure the entire
family can enjoy. This wonderful rock art and historic ghost town can be viewed as a short
side trip from Interstate 70 near Green River Utah. Plan to spend about 2 hours to visit
both the rock art and ghost town combined with a little exploring on your own.
Navigation for this route is easy and all sites can be accessed with the
family passenger vehicle in good weather conditions. GPS waypoints are provided for those
who like to play with their electronic toys. There is nothing difficult about the route.
The USGS 7.5' Map titled "Sego Canyon" shows the area. All waypoints and maps
for this route use the WGS84 datum.
Ute Historic Panel:
This panel is probably from the
19th century. The panel contains white men, horses, buffalo and shields. Unfortunately,
this panel has been vandalized.
Fremont Style Panel:
This panel shows a hunter, life
size human figures, mountain sheep and geometric designs. This rock art is similar to the
petroglyphs found in Nine Mile Canyon.
Barrier Style Panel:
In addition to many smaller
figures, the panel contains about ten life size human shapes, most have a strange
mummy-like appearance. They lack arms or legs, and often have huge insect-like eyes and
skull-shaped heads. This panel is similar to the famous Grand Gallery found in Horseshoe
If you look directly across the
canyon from the Barrier Style Panel you can see two additional panels located just above
the horse corral. The panel to the right contains several Barrier Style pictographs. The
panel to the left contains several petroglyphs and gringo-glyphs.
Ghost Town History:
Sego has a history unlike most
ghost towns in Utah. Its history is surrounded by coal and not gold or silver. A rancher
named Harry Ballard made the discovery in the early 1890s. Ballard bought the land
surrounding his find and started operations on a small scale. In 1911, Ballard sold the
mine to a group of Salt Lake City investors. Production started with grand plans for a
long and prosperous run of coal production. The new owners built a store, a boarding house
and other buildings all with their own water supply. Trouble started almost immediately
when the water supply started to dry up. There were other problems as well, all of which
contributed to little or no profit for the investors. Some miners were not paid for as
long as a year but received script, which enabled them to buy food and other necessities
for their families from the company store. In 1933, the miners agreed to become members of
the United Mineworkers Union. On November 1,1947, the mine was closed and the property
sold at auction.
This adventure is not complete
without stopping at Boot Hill (the old cemetery). Check out the headstone on the grave in
the southwest corner for an intriguing surprise that will leave you wondering.
From Green River Utah drive 25
miles east on I-70. Take exit 187 and drive north on the main road through the town of
Thompson. The three rock art panels are located 3 1/2 miles north of Thompson. The road is
paved to the pictographs and petroglyphs (N39° 01' 05", W109° 42' 37"). The
site is protected by a wooden fence and has a small parking lot complete with information
plaques, picnic tables and vault toilet.
To reach the Ghost Town of Sego
drive 0.5 miles further up canyon on a maintained gravel road until you reach a fork in
the road (N39° 01' 29", W109° 42' 47"). Turn east (right) at the signed
turn-off to Sego Canyon. The cemetery is seen immediately to the right (N39° 01'
25", W109° 42' 39"). Keep heading up the road 0.8 miles, and the ghost town
should come into view (N39° 02' 02", W109° 42' 12").. The town site is on
private property, you are welcome to drive up and see the ruins. Just respect the land and