Silver Reef Mining District

  • Robert F. Biek Utah Geological Survey
Keywords: Washington County, Navajo, Virgin, Silver


The Silver Reef mining district in southwestern Utah is a geologic anomaly, a historical curiosity, and an ecological novelty. It is one of the few places in the world where economic disseminated silver chloride (chlorargyrite or horn silver) was produced from sandstone. The area is a little-known ghost town, now reborn as the upscale residential community of Silver Reef with deep ties to its history. The old Wells Fargo Bank Building, home of the Silver Reef Museum, is listed on the National and Utah State Registers of Historic Buildings, and several other historic buildings and sites make this a fascinating area to visit. Finally, the mining district lies near the junction of the Mohave and Great Basin ecological provinces and so contains an assemblage of plants and animals common to both regions; its mines are habitat for bats, including species considered imperiled in the state.

View northeast to the Silver Reef mining district. Cottonwood Creek is in the foreground, the snow-capped peaks in the distance are in the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park, and Interstate 15 is on the right.
How to Cite
Biek , R., 2021, Silver Reef Mining District: Geosites, v. 48, no. 1, p. 1-14., doi: 10.31711/ugap.v1i1.93.