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Due to the rich rock, mineral and fossil specimens in the surrounding desert, Delta makes a great homebase for rockhounds, gemologists and crystal gazers. 

Forgotten History and Wild Horses in the Heart of the West Desert

by Andrew Dash Gillman

An outpost in the west desert, Delta, Utah, offers easy access to the distinct outdoor adventure and western heritage of the Great Basin. The recently opened Topaz Museum recounts the troubling history of Japanese-American internment during World War II while the desert landscape blossoms with discover ranging from wild horses and rock hounding to solitary hikes.

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What's Nearby

Topaz Museum

The Topaz Museum on the south side of the wide U.S. Highway 50 that doubles as Delta’s main street is a no less an anomaly in its space than the nearby square mile “city” Japanese internment camp it commemorates (at 10000 West 4500 North, Delta). The modern, austere lines of the museum exterior give way to a thoughtful procession of five distinct spaces in the interior exhibits, where modern geographical context combine with deeply problematic historical events.

Great Basin Historical Society Museum

The Great Basin Museum in Delta has displays of rocks and fossils found in the West Desert, plus western historical and cultural artifacts and a video on Topaz, a World War II Japanese Internment Camp.

Fort Deseret

Built in 1865 by Mormon settlers, see first-hand the ingenuity of early settlers by visiting this old mud fort.

Van's Hall

Originally constructed in the late 1920s by William Van DeVanter, this domed hall was a great center of entertainment for all of Central Utah.

Little Sahara Sand Dunes

60,000 acres of sagebrush flats, juniper-covered hills and free moving sand dunes provide an experience unlike any other for OHV fun and camping. Learn more

For more detailed information on attractions, accommodations and dining, visit Millard County Tourism


  • View of the Tushars

    View of the Tushars

    The distant Tushar Mountains frame the eastern horizon of Utah's west desert, part of the Basin and Range province. Photo: Eric Erlenbusch

  • East of the House Range

    East of the House Range

    To the southwest and northwest, roads trickle off into the indiscernible distance toward a motionless dust storm and a hazy other range. Photo: Andrew Gillman

  • Jackrabbit and Jalopy East of Death Canyon

    Jackrabbit and Jalopy East of Death Canyon

    A jackrabbit’s flying-saucer ears are tuned toward the visitor. The window of the passenger door, ajar for unknown ages, frames her. It's a quintessential desert tableau at a crossroads east of Dome/Death Canyon. Photo: Andrew Gillman

  • Dome Canyon, House Range

    Dome Canyon, House Range

    Historical marker at Captain James H. Simpson's House Range route of the Central Overland Trail. Photo: Andrew Gillman

  • Snow Geese

    Snow Geese

    Each February, Lesser Snow Geese make their way into Utah and use the fields and waters in the Delta area as a rest stop on their northern migration.

  • Hermit's Cave House/Cabin

    Hermit's Cave House/Cabin

    After breaking down in the west desert, Bob Stinson (who had recently returned to heartbreak from World War I) cleverly walled in a natural alcove overhang with a stone-and-mortar enclosure complete with framed windows, a door and externally exhausted stove. Photo: Andrew Gillman

  • End of the Sinbad Spring Road

    End of the Sinbad Spring Road

    Even without binoculars, the Basin and Range comes into clear focus; it defines itself. The bleached-bone-white and ashen deposits of an ancient lakebed stir up in the wind. There are multiple horizons. Photo: Andrew Gillman

  • Wild Horses

    Wild Horses

    They are far enough away not to be spooked; close enough to be curious. They watch as the car comes to a halt. They return our gaze and pose for our cell phones, then return to their grazing. Many journeys along the backways of Utah's west desert pass through Wild Horse Herd Management Areas. Photo: Rosie Serago

  • Wild Horses of Utah's West Desert

    Wild Horses of Utah's West Desert

    Millard County's House Range cluster of herd management areas and the Swasey Peak HMA are excellent bets for seeing wild horses. Photo: Rosie Serago

  • A Gathering of Wild Horses

    A Gathering of Wild Horses

    Even at a distance, wild horses capture the imagination and command respect due to their centuries-old lineage. Photo: Rosie Serago

  • Lone Mustang in the Wild Open Space of Utah's West Desert

    Lone Mustang in the Wild Open Space of Utah's West Desert

    "When you grow an intimate relationship with the west desert you’ll always be coming back." — SunHawk, quote from a logbook at the Hermit's Cabin. Photo: Rosie Serago

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