I have a friend who was building a house here in Southern Utah. As they were digging down for a basement, they uncovered a human skeleton. After having the remains analyzed they found it was a Native American from the distant past. There was a process to properly re-intern the skeleton and it got me to thinking about where people are buried and what the laws regarding it may be. 

In the days of the early settlers who traveled to this area from the east, they usually buried people where they passed away. Many pioneers were buried along the trail with nothing but a wooden cross or a rock to mark the grave. Later, they established cemeteries, but it was not uncommon for a loved one to be buried on their own land under a favorite tree. 

Is this still possible? Can you be buried just off the back patio where you liked to eat barbecue? 

Surprisingly, Utah doesn’t have a law that prohibits burying someone on their own property or even establishing a family cemetery on private land. Before you start digging though, you should check with the county and city you live in to see if it has been addressed. Usually there are zoning laws that outline what can be done. It is more probable that it could be done in more rural areas.


I personally love the little pioneer cemeteries, especially if it is a ghost town like Grafton. I would like to know if I can get a plot in one of those. If I did, I would figure out how to get water to it and have my portion covered in immaculate grass and a brand new, but traditional looking headstone.  

Offbeat adventures: Travel to the coolest hidden wonders in every U.S. state

Fuel your offbeat travel dreams. Stacker found the coolest hidden wonders in all 50 U.S. states (plus D.C.) using data from Atlas Obscura.

[WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter private or abandoned property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing.]

More From Kool 107.9