Free activities Pioneers Utah State Parks

Fort Deseret

(Last Updated On: February 20, 2021)
 

Out west of Delta, there is an old fort that still stands from the early pioneer days. Fort Deseret State Park is the only fort that still stands from that era. It is a few miles outside of Delta, Utah, but it is worth the drive for the history.

In reading our pioneer histories, we noticed that many of our relatives had helped build fort walls around their towns. Edward Ockey helped build a six-foot thick, twelve-foot high adobe wall that included a moat around the settlement of Nephi. Other relatives worked on a similar wall in Ephraim. Sadly, most of these “forts” are long gone, victims of community growth and time.

We heard about one fort that still stands, though, and we wanted to check it out. Fort Deseret was built of adobe in 1866 near the small town of Deseret just south of Delta, Utah. The fort walls can still be seen, and the front wall is mostly intact. The walls were once 10 feet high and 3 feet thick, and you can still see several windows. The “front door” is also intact.

Fort Deseret front wall and door

The front door is still in tact.

Though two of the walls are mostly gone, the shape of the fort is still visible, and the straw that was mixed in with the adobe 150 years ago still remains . In two of the corners, there are small rooms that appear to have served as look-out spots. The pioneers of this area had some trouble with Pahvant Indians.

Small window in the adobe wall of fort deseret

There are a few windows left in the walls. See the straw mixed in the adobe walls?

Forts like this were built in many of the early Utah settlements, but this is the only adobe fort that still exists, so it was really exciting to visit. By the way, Fort Desert is a “dormant” state park. It is currently maintained by local volunteers due to lack of funding. If you’re in the Delta area, check it out! Make sure to check out all of these other fun adventures near Delta. 

Small corner room

This is one of the corner rooms.

Overview of how large Fort Deseret is. Only a small part of the front wall can be seen.

Can you see the door all the way across the fort? I am standing on the other side…it was pretty huge!

Directions

From Delta, head west on US-50. About 5 miles from downtown Delta, turn left (south) on UT-257. Follow this for about 4.5 miles to mile post 64.7. The fort is on the right (west) side of the road. If you continue down this road, you will come to The Great Stone Face.

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