For ghost enthusiasts that also love outdoor adventures, Utah has some fun and spooky haunted hikes. So, lace up your hiking boots and get ready to head into the great outdoors where you just may encounter a ghost or two.
This is a short trek near highway 89 in Layton on the way to Ogden. There is a hidden trail said to lead to the large hollow. A better hike is along Kays Creek Parkway to Hobbs Reservoir, often referred to as Hobbs Pond.
A favorite swimming hole, Hobbs Pond was a local hangout. Rope swings suspended from waterside trees were especially popular ways to plunge into the water. It is said that sometime in the 1970s a strange and violent undertow occurred on certain nights and several people drowned. It's believed their spirits haunt the reservoir. Some ghostly occurrences include disembodied screams, cries for help and strange reflection on the water surface. Foggy nights are said to be especially active.
Hobbs Reservoir is privately owned but fishing and hiking are allowed. This is a moderate self-guided hike. You cannot swim in the 35-acre pond. The rope swings were removed by the city police in 2014. Police issue trespassing citations to anyone caught swimming in the reservoir.
Rock Canyon Trail
Located in Provo, Rock Canyon Trail has many stories of people dying in the canyon. This popular rock-climbing area has also been the scene of rock climbers falling to their deaths. While any of these could be attributed to the hauntings reported by hikers and other visitors, many feel it is the story of Big Elk that explains the paranormal activity. This isn't an easy hike and can be risky.
Big Elk and 70 of his men fought the Mormon Militia over land ownership. Wounded in the battle, Big Elk, along with several of his wounded men escaped into Rock Canyon. Big Elk succumbed to his wounds and is said to have died at the canyon mouth. His mate attempted to escape the militia by climbing up the canyon walls but plummeted to her death. The peak was named in her honor, Squaw Peak.
The various paranormal reports of Rock Canyon from hikers include both hearing and seeing disturbing things. These include phantom footsteps, hair-raising screams, beating drums, a woman crying/wailing, and a man dressed in 1970s garb running down the mountainside and disappearing. A young girl is seen by the creek playing with rocks and disappears when hikers attempt to approach her.
American Fork Canyon,
Located in Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, the American Fork Canyon is 5.2 to 10.5 miles of trails depending on where you stop. You either hike, ride a bike or saddle up your horse to cover this trail in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. This is a moderate hike for any of the three modes of travel.
This canyon is said to be haunted by a young woman and an older man. The couple wanders about the canyon at night. You may meet them on the trail and even have a short chat with them before they vanish into thin air. People traveling through the canyon by car have picked up the duo only to have them suddenly vanish.
Located in Kaysville, Kay's Cross, a large stone and mortar cross. Many believe it is the scariest place in Utah. It is also rated as one of the Top 100 Scariest Places in America. This is an easy access hike. The area covers part of the sloping trail for only three-quarters of a mile. In October and part of November, you can participate in a guided haunted trail and forest ghost hunt.
There are several stories about this oddity. Some say that a polygamist named William Kay built the rock and mortar cross in the 1800s after murdering his wives, burying them in the backyard and then erecting the 17-ft cross and buried one wife's heart in the hollow center. Others researching the history argue William Kay wasn't the builder and certainly not a murder. In 1922, someone, never identified, blew up the cross.
It's believed the cross served as a dark magnet used in secret satanic rituals and ceremony.
- One woman confessed to Ghost Adventures she was possessed during her visit and paramedics were called to assist her.
- A man retold his frightening experience of burning his back when he lay down on the broken pieces of the cross to get a better photo shot.
- Other stories include werewolves, purple fog, a shadowy figure with red eyes, and a demonic presence.
Exploring Haunted Hikes and Trails in Utah
You can explore haunted hikes and trails in Utah by reading about them. Once you have a good idea what to expect and where to you, select the most promising and be prepared for a paranormal encounter.