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John Jarvie Historical Ranch

(Last Updated On: June 23, 2014)

Don’t let anyone say that we don’t go to the farthest corner of Utah for this blog! To get to John Jarvie Ranch, you actually have to go through Wyoming. In fact, “3 Corners” where Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado meet is just down the road (we passed the sign, but didn’t want to do the 10 miles on a washed-out road to get there).

John Jarvie was a rancher who picked a beautiful spot on a wide bend in the Green River to build a ranch, a store, and a ferry station for river crossings. He lived on the ranch in the late 1800s and was eventually murdered by robbers. His body was set afloat and recovered 25 miles down river a week later.

The water wheel by the river

The blacksmith shop

Looking across the ranch.

The ranch is beautiful. There are several existing buildings including a blacksmith area, store building, a corral, and a water wheel. You can even see the posts where Jarvie strung a wire to ferry the boats or wagons across the river. We were a little disappointed that everything was locked up tight, so we didn’t get to see anything inside the buildings even though we were well within visiting hours. Still, we enjoyed a nice picnic on the property, and toured the river bank and the cemetery.

One of the most interesting things that we could see was the rock garden around the flagpole. There were many different kinds of rocks including petrified wood, obsidian, and Native American grinding stones called metates.

We saw a rabbit enjoying the grass.

Cool rocks in the rock garden
Native American grinding stones or “metates”

Enjoying our picnic by the river

The one drawback to visiting John Jarvie Historical Ranch is the trip there. First, the only thing within many miles is Flaming Gorge Dam. Second, even if you drive the 10 miles up the road from the dam into Wyoming, you turn on a road that alternates between gravel, dirt, and pavement and travel another 22 miles to the ranch. We saw deer and rabbits along the road, and a lot of sagebrush. The vast distance from anything makes this adventure a hard one to recommend, though.