But not all ghost towns remain dead. If the former reasons for the town’s existence are gone, they may be revived by new economic circumstances.

Alta, a former silver mining camp, was a ghost town by the 1930s when skier Alf Engen came scouting for the U.S. Forest Service in search of good sites for ski resorts. Today the Town of Alta is built around both winter and summer recreation and has its own town government. For more information, about the history of skiing in Utah, see the Alta Ski Area page of the Ski and Snowboard Archives digital exhibit.

Extra caption area.

Alta Community Center and fire station, built in 1978

Silver Reef, a 19th century mining camp, was long abandoned, but its location near fast-growing Saint George has led to its revival as a bedroom community.

Old Silver Reef

Silver Reef street

Ruins in 1920s

Silver Reef aerial image, 2008

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