Old Iron Town
Old Iron Town tells the incredible story of Southern Utah’s historic mining industry. During the 1850s, Mormon pioneer leader Brigham Young sent several families to the Cedar City area to establish an iron works. Iron City (Old Iron Town) was established as Iron County’s second attempt at mining iron; the establishment had a schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, a foundry and charcoal kiln. While Iron City seemed prosperous at the time, it only operated for seven years, closing due to the lack of sufficient transportation for the iron ore and the money panic of 1874.
While visiting the park, tour the ruins of the iron works and a preserved beehive-shaped charcoal oven, and stroll along the nature trail. Before embarking on your journey to Old Iron Town, visitors are strongly encouraged to first stop by the Frontier Homestead State Park Museum in Cedar City to obtain a better understanding of the area and to pick up a self guided tour brochure.
There are two easy hikes through the Old Iron Town ruins, and several hiking trails can be found in the nearby Pine Valley section of Dixie National Forest. A list of Pine Valley hikes can be found at www.fs.fed.us/r4/dixie.
Old Iron Town Ruins
A short ¼-mile trail with interpretive plaques describing the significance of the ruins including the kiln, furnace and foundry area and the Erastra (grinding stone).
A short ¼-mile trail that includes information about the area’s vegetation and leads to the remnants of a pioneer cabin.
Newcastle Reservoir is just 10 miles west of Old Iron Town along Hwy 56 (follow the signs). The lake is stocked with trout and bass and there is also unimproved camping areas and a boat ramp.
Mountain Meadows Historic Site
An interesting side trip for history buffs, Mountain Meadows is a memorial site for a massacre that occurred on September 11, 1857 between the Fancher Party Wagon Train and local settlers. To get there, head west on Hwy 56 to Hwy 18 and proceed south on Hwy 18 for about 10 miles to the site.
Plan Your Trip
From Cedar City head west on Hwy U-56 for approximately 20 miles. Turn south onto Old Iron Town Rd. Travel this gravel road for approximately five miles to the ruins located on the left-hand side.
Distance from Cedar City
Free. Open all year, daylight hours only.
Old Iron Town is open year-round but use caution getting there in the winter months. Old Iron Town is only open to the public during daylight hours. No staff are on the premises.
Old Iron Town has restrooms and a small, covered picnic area. There are no campgrounds, however, primitive camping is available at Newcastle Reservoir farther west and developed campgrounds are available in Cedar City.