I love old cemeteries. OK, maybe old is not the right word since any cemetery in the western U.S. is really not that old compared to those in the East or elsewhere in the world. How about abandoned? Forgotten or unkempt? Anyway, I'm talking about those overgrown cemeteries found on the hill behind the hundreds of ghost towns that are found throughout the West. Occasionally you'll find an abandoned cemetery in a town that is no ghost. I was delighted to come across such a place in the town of Springdale in southwestern Utah.
Above: the old Moquitch Hill cemetery in Springdale, Utah.
Above: East Temple, Twin Brothers, and the Mountain of the Sun stand above the Springdale cemetery.
Springdale has a beautiful little cemetery. The trees are regularly trimmed. The grass is mowed every week. Flowers are regularly placed by frequent visitors. And with Zion's sandstone monoliths towering above, it just might be one of the most scenic cemeteries in the country.
But, you wont find Springdale's founding pioneers there. You see, there is an older cemetery in town, and, in my opinion, it's a far more fascinating place to visit. It lies near the top of Moquitch Hill where views of lower Zion Canyon are even better.
Above: waist-high sage has obscured many of the tombstones on Moquitch Hill.
Springdale is most famously known as the gateway to Zion National Park with millions of yearly visitors from around the world relying on its hotel and food services. But long before the town became a tourist destination, Springdale began just like other agricultural Mormon community-- with back-breaking labor and that famous pioneer ingenuity. It is here, on Moquitch Hill, where many of those pioneers rest.
Above: sadly, a few of the graves (probably children) lack tombstones or any type of identification.
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