Ophir is a ghost town in Tooele County. You won’t see any ghosts here, though, because Ophir still has a population of around 38 (according to Wikipedia). Still, Ophir is pretty cool for its historical significance.
Ophir was established around 1870, and was named after a town in the Bible that provided precious metals and things to King Solomon every three years. Legend has it that some men found the Indians were using silver and gold bullets and followed them to this area. A mining town quickly cropped up and Ophir was born. Later, the silver ran out and the town disappeared as quickly as it had arisen.
Now Ophir is like an outdoor museum, with a few streets to walk and several houses and businesses to see. If you go on a Saturday in the summer months, the buildings will be unlocked and you can walk through them. There is a reconstructed school, a post office, a train car, a shoe shop, and several houses.
Ophir was amazing to us because we’d never heard of it, even though it is only about 45 minutes west of Lehi. Drive out past Fairfield and toward Tooele and you’ll pass a lot of sage brush, and a turnoff to Ophir. The road winds up into a beautiful canyon. Ophir is nestled among the rocks.
The operation is run entirely by volunteers, and because Ophir is still a town with citizens, it is important to stay off of private property. The historic site is easy to navigate, though. Park at the bottom of the hill near the train car. There is a pavilion, and you’ll meet a volunteer if you are here at the right time. The train car is a make-shift Visitor’s Center, so you can start there. A path circles up the hill past several of the houses and shops. Another path goes farther up the hill to the school. There are also really nice restrooms across the street.
Ophir may disappoint you if you can’t walk through the buildings, so go at the right time. Currently, the right time is Saturday from 11am-3pm between May and September.