Adapted from: Richard A. Firmage, A History of Grand County. Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1996. “Facts and Figures.” Castle Valley Utah, Accessed April 13, 2020; “Castle Valley Utah.” All Moab, Accessed April 13, 2020.
If you had been in Grand County in the Late 1800s, you likely would not have guessed that Castle Valley would be the second town to be incorporated in the county. Other nearby towns, including Castleton and Miner’s Basin were booming towns, and even the outpost of Richardson had a post office, while Castle Valley was little more than agricultural areas. In 1903, Castleton even bid, unsuccessfully, to become the county seat.
By the 1920s, things were different. Miner’s Basin had gone bust, Richardson completely disappeared, and Castleton was hot on its heels, with only six people in the town by 1930. Still, Castle Valley was a minor settlement at the time, mostly just several large ranching parcels. In 1973, however, the Carlsberg Development Corporation bought one of the ranches and began development for housing lots.
The town was incorporated in 1986, the second town to be incorporated in the entire county. Some residents were unsure about the incorporation, as it led to additional costs and restrictions, but the town has kept its incorporated status. It serves as a less touristy destination for travelers, with less amenities and a more peaceful location to recharge than Moab. The town’s population is approximately 350.