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Helper City

Shaped by its roots, but ever evolving as artists and community leaders breathe life into its new chapter.

The rugged backdrop of the Book Cliffs mountains sweep across the north side of Helper. Looking at a map, the topography of the cliffs seem to swallow the town up in the river valley between the Western Tavaputs and Wasatch plateaus. Settled in 1881, Helper was named after the team of “helper” coal-powered steam engines that assisted freight trains up the neighboring canyon and over Soldier’s Summit; the city was created because of and for the coal industry. Though the tracks are still integral in the town’s DNA and even more-so, history, its identity has changed. With the invention of powerful diesel engines, we no longer need the Helper of times past, but we still need small towns like Helper — towns with a beating heart and a will to persist by evolving their identity. Now a community of art, culture, history and stories of the power of togetherness, Helper has evolved into a destination of incredible artistry, opportunity and discovery.


Inspiration


Things to Do

Main Street
Many art galleries and must-sees are found along Helper's Main Street. Stroll with your mind wide-opened to the history, livelihoods and industry that created this town.

The Helper Riverwalk
The Helper Riverwalk runs through the heart of town, beginning at the Helper River Beach, located at the corner of Ivy St. and S 100 W. The river's restoration has been several years in the making and has phases yet ahead. Walk, jog or take a bike ride down the several miles of river walk and find easy access points to the water, a sandstone labyrinth, benches for resting or birdwatching and charming bridges. Several beaches and swimming holes have been placed along the river allowing for swimming, wading and habitat creation for native fish.

Western Mining and Railroad Museum
The best place for a quick overview of Helper's incredible history. It’s all here: major events such as the United Mine room, Castlegate Mine explosion room and personal mining items such as lanterns, lamps and bird cages. Butch Cassidy even makes an appearance.

Stargazing
After dark, be sure to look up! The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) has certified Helper City as an International Dark Sky Community. Helper is the second community in Utah and the 25th in the world to be designated. Witnessing a star-show in the heavens is guaranteed to conclude your day with a healthy dose of inspiration. More information on stargazing in Utah

Balanced Rock Eatery and Pub
Named after a nearby rock formation and hike, this restaurant has lasted the test of time with its down-home cooking, charm and large portions. Soak in the artwork lining the walls, if/while you wait for a table.

Happiness Within Coffee Shop
Happiness Within is not just a feeling in Helper. It’s an oasis of great coffee in central Utah, a welcoming shop with an upbeat vibe that builds from and feeds the unique community.

Castle Gate RV Park
Castle Gate RV Park has 106 sites including RV hookups, tents and full-service cabins. On 13 acres on the south end of Helper, the RV park offers a wide range of amenities and Price River access. 

Follow one of our writers on his walking tour through Helper.

To familiarize yourself with the art scene in Helper, watch a seven minute PBS video showcasing the history, growth and current state


Slideshow: It's Happening in Helper

  • Mayor Lenise Peterman

    Mayor Lenise Peterman

  • Steven Lee Adams Fine Art

    Steven Lee Adams Fine Art

  • Main Street Helper

    Main Street Helper

    Near Happiness Within coffee and the Anne Jespersen Fine Arts Gallery

  • Boxcar Gallery's David Johnson

    Boxcar Gallery's David Johnson

  • Boxcar Gallery

    Boxcar Gallery

    The work of David Johnson and Tom Williams

  • The Helper Project's Roy Jespersen

    The Helper Project's Roy Jespersen

    In the Anne Jespersen Fine Arts Gallery

  • Anne Jespersen Fine Arts Gallery

    Anne Jespersen Fine Arts Gallery

    During the "Helper and the Landscape" exhibit

  • Price River

    Price River

    Helper Councilwoman Malarie Matsuda visits the shallows at one of the river's new access points.

  • Trinity Kerby

    Trinity Kerby

    Ask about favorite dishes at Balance Rock Eatery & Pub

  • Balance Rock Eatery & Pub

    Balance Rock Eatery & Pub

    Main Street in Helper

  • Artist Steven Lee Adams

    Artist Steven Lee Adams

  • Interior of the Steven Lee Adams Gallery

    Interior of the Steven Lee Adams Gallery

    The gallery space preserves much of the original J.C. Penney look and feel.

  • Happiness Within Coffee

    Happiness Within Coffee

  • Helper Hope Labyrinth

    Helper Hope Labyrinth

    Accessible from the river parkway

  • Mark Montoya

    Mark Montoya

  • Restored Service Station, Helper, Utah

    Restored Service Station, Helper, Utah

    Though non-operational, Gary DeVincent's passion project brings Helper's history to life.

  • Restoration Expert Gary DeVincent

    Restoration Expert Gary DeVincent


Annual Events

First Friday Art Stroll - First Friday of every month from 6–9 p.m.

Butch Cassidy Film Festival - February

Outlaw Car Show & Cruise - June

Helper Arts, Music and Film Festival - August

Catholic Carnival - November

Utah’s Christmas Town Festival - November and early December

Electric Light Parade + Fireworks  - December

For more information and events, check out itshappeninginhelper.com.


What's Nearby?


More Inspiration

Turning Carbon Into Culture

by Andrew Dash Gillman

A historic mining town built by the railroad stakes a future to world-class art, access to outdoor recreation and a tight-knit community with a welcoming small-town vibe.

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Helper City

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