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Helper, with its colorful mix of history, art, and decrepitude, is not on everybody's must-see list. But this old railroad and mining town is a fascinating place to poke around for a day or to visit during its annual arts festival, which, thanks to the artists who have established studios in the old downtown buildings and to their friends from all over the state who come for the weekend, has some high-quality art and good music. Stop in at the historical museum and pick up a map of nearby ghost towns, where coal mines operated during the early 1900s. North of town, Price Canyon has good spots to camp and hike. And it's camping you'll be ...

Helper, with its colorful mix of history, art, and decrepitude, is not on everybody's must-see list. But this old railroad and mining town is a fascinating place to poke around for a day or to visit during its annual arts festival, which, thanks to the artists who have established studios in the old downtown buildings and to their friends from all over the state who come for the weekend, has some high-quality art and good music. Stop in at the historical museum and pick up a map of nearby ghost towns, where coal mines operated during the early 1900s. North of town, Price Canyon has good spots to camp and hike. And it's camping you'll be doing unless you book a room in the nearby town of Price. Price, while less charming than Helper, has more services and a good dinosaur bone collection at the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum.

Judy Jewell
About the Expert

Judy Jewell and W.C. McRae are frequent collaborators: together they have written Moon Handbooks to Montana, Utah, and Zion-Bryce and updated the Moon Handbooks to Oregon and Coastal Oregon. Judy wrote the Compass American Guide to Oregon.

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Judy Jewell for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Helper is a city in Carbon County, Utah about 120 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. It is situated on the eastern side of the Wasatch Plateau in central Utah.
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The only time the town is particularly lively is during the mid-August arts festival.