Fremont Indian State Park and Museum

Written by on March 8, 2017 in UT History & Heritage - 1 Comment

Fremont State ParkAround the year 1,000 A.D., Native Americans known as the Fremont, gathered on a hilltop in what is now Fremont Indian State Park and Museum in Central Utah. More than 100 structures dot the ridgeline and the people decorated the area with more than 690 rock art panels. Life wasn’t easy here though as each day started with carrying water from the river far below. Still the panoramic view must have been dynamic. The largest settlement of its kind, nearly 300 ancient people called this place home for many years.

Today, you can see how they lived, worked and played when you visit the Fremont Indian State Park and Museum, which houses Utah’s largest collection of Fremont artifacts in the world. Castle Rock Campground, a 31-site area with running water and bathrooms, allows visitors to access hiking trails from 1/4 mile in length to 5 miles and visit the rock art throughout the area. Nearby Tushar mountain offers even more recreational opportunities with mountain biking trails, skiing and hiking.

Unlike many state parks, this one has a unique beginning. As road crews were starting the last stages of Interstate 70, archeologists were sent ahead to scout the future roadway looking for signs of our pre-historic ancestors. They found it at a place called Icicle Cave where pictographs, petroglyphs and pottery shards suggested human occupation in the area stretched back to 5000 B.C. Students from nearby schools were bused in to explore and learn more about the history of the area. One young boy told his father all about it. That story got the father thinking and remembering his youth and a few days later he called Brigham Young University and the U.S. Forest Service archeologists and told them about a hilltop burial ground.

Since the hilltop was schedule to be dynamited and removed, experts moved quickly and were stunned to discover not just a burial ground, but the remains of a Fremont Indian village, probably the largest ever found. Sadly, Five Fingers Ridge and the village were sacrificed to the highway, but scientists saved and preserved nearly all the artifacts at Fremont Indian State Park and Museum, just across the road from the ridge. They also succeeded in protecting Clear Creek Canyon, which also shows evidence of Fremont habitation.

The price of admission is a modest $3 per person, and what you will learn here is well worth the price. The Fremont Indians are among the most elusive Native American Tribes, living in extremely remote areas and eventually disappearing altogether around 1250 A.D.

Located 21 miles southwest of Richfield on Interstate 70, there aren’t many amenities close by. However, there are plenty of things to do if you love to camp and enjoy the outdoors. Visitors may enjoy riding off-highway vehicles on the Paiute ATV Trail, exploring Cove Fort and the Kimberley ghost town, or visiting Clear Creek Narrows, Big Rock Candy Mountain and Bullion Canyon Miners Park.

Fremont Indian State Park and Museum
3820 West Clear Creek Canyon Road
Sevier, UT 84766
(435) 527-4631

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