Take a Walk Through Utah’s Haunted Rock Canyon
When you think of haunted places in Utah, a few spots likely come to mind. There’s the breathtaking, gothic-revival McCune Mansion in downtown Salt Lake City and the Old Tooele Hospital, which was a working hospital with "significant paranormal activity" before it became the haunted attraction that it is today. But a scenic hike through the mountains? That’s probably something you wouldn’t think twice about being haunted, but that’s exactly what happens at Rock Canyon. So if you or your clients are hiking in the area after viewing a few homes in nearby Provo, you might want to bring a friend or two.
Popular with students, visitors, and families who live nearby, Rock Canyon Trail is picturesque Utah outdoor recreation at its finest. Beyond its beautiful natural setting, there are many reasons why Provo is a great place to purchase real estate, including its rising median home value of $329,883 and proximity to Brigham Young University. However, unlike other trails in the area, Rock Canyon has a more sinister past that’s wrought with death.
Who Haunts Provo’s Rock Canyon Trail?
Beginning in 1850, the newly arrived Mormon settlers began to clash with the indigenous Timpanogos (Ute) people who inhabited the area. Mormon leader Brigham Young sent militia members to eliminate tribal members who were hostile toward Mormon settlements in a clash later referred to as the Battle of Fort Utah. The militia grew overzealous in their attack, resulting in the unwarranted killing of dozens of Native Americans, including the wife of Chief Pareyart (Old Elk), right in Rock Canyon. Chief Pareyart was also wounded during the clash and later succumbed to his injuries in the mouth of the canyon.
The chilling effects of this conflict can be felt centuries later. Hikers with a sense for the paranormal report seeing a variety of unsettling sights. They often catch sight of a man in 1970s garb running down the mountainside only to disappear. Some witness eerie beings in the trees and hear a woman crying loudly along with other screams. Phantom footsteps sometimes echo against the canyon walls. Lastly, some hikers report hearing beating drums and claim that paranormal activity is more likely to occur when it’s raining.
The good news is that the trail is still breathtakingly beautiful and heavily trafficked by Provo locals who are familiar with the area. If you or your clients do dare to make the 5.5-mile roundtrip trek, you’ll likely see other people out there. Just be sure to follow hiking safety basics, like telling someone where you’re going/when you expect to be back, wearing proper gear, hydrating, keeping an eye on the weather, knowing your limits, respecting the environment, and staying alert for anything out of the ordinary. Otherwise, happy haunted hiking!
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