Nestled in a quiet canyon of the Oquirrh Mountain range is the town of Ophir. In 1860 precious minerals were discovered in the canyon. Word traveled fast and soon miners from Nevada and California arrived to strike it rich. Like many of Utah’s mining town’s growth was fast and furious. Ophir quickly boomed with stores, brothels, saloons, and dance halls. In 1870 the Ophir mining district was organized and the first mining claim was established. Most of the oar that was mined in the canyon consisted of silver, lead, zinc, copper, and some gold.
Most towns in Utah’s mining history quickly grew and died just as fast; but Ophir has managed to survive. Today the town consists of a dozen or so permanent residents and a handful of summer homes. The town hall has been restored, and located directly across the street are several restored old buildings and other mining artifacts on display for those that visit this town.
I have read many articles that stated that the locals don’t like visitors in their town. Utah Outdoor Activities has visited this town many times and we have never had any problems. Please respect private property, no relic hunting, and leave everything as you found it and you will have no problems. Next time you’re going stir crazy at home, load up the family and take a drive to Ophir.
From Tooele, head south on Highway 36. Take a left on Highway 73 and travel to the Ophir Canyon road. Travel distance approx 19.6 miles.
From Lehi Utah, travel on Highway 73 to the Ophir Canyon Road. Travel distance approx 38.6 miles.