Iosepa Historical Association

The mission of the Iosepa Historical Association is to preserve the history of our Hawaiian ancestors who settled in Skull Valley, UT and built a beautiful city in the desert with faith and determination.

** May 25-26, 2024 **

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Iosepa was a colony established in 1889 for the benefit of Hawaiian Church members who came to Utah to “gather” with the Saints and to assist in the work to complete the Salt Lake Temple and to do their temple work of sealing their families for eternity. As about 75 members had immigrated, the church leaders thought they would do better in a colony by themselves to worship together and to continue living their own cultural ways.

Iosepa is located in Skull Valley about 75 miles from Salt Lake and about 30 miles west of Grantsville in Tooele County, Utah. The church arranged to purchase the John T. Rich Ranch, a fully stocked ranch with crops growing, machinery for planting and harvesting, and buildings suitable for all ordinary stock farming, including a large bard, cattle sheds, granaries, a blacksmith shop, a large log and adobe house built over a spring and a large frame building which was later used as a combination school and church. The alfalfa field, the major crop and grain fields were enclosed in fences to protect them from the cattle.

The size of the colony varied from almost 50 members at its inception to approximately 226 just before Iosepa closed. Several families returned to Salt Lake and Hawaii at various times before the final exodus in 1917.

They lived here for 28 years until the building of the La’ie Temple was announced in 1915 and Iosepa was abandoned as the Hawaiian saints returned home to help build the temple there. The only visible remains of Iosepa is a cemetery and a few markers, most which have crumbled or lovingly replaced by descendants, a fire hydrant, a few building foundations, and parts of the aqueduct that was built to carry irrigation and culinary water from the mountains.

The Iosepa Historical Association has added several amenities for the comfort and convenience of Iosepa’s visitors: A pavilion with a stage and dressing rooms, a kitchen, restrooms, running water from a well and a generator to pump the water and provide power. Our goal is to keep these available for our visitors and to have our annual Memorial Weekend Celebration to honor the faith and sacrifice of our Kupuna who lived here long ago.

Volunteer Opportunities

Iosepa has been a labor of love for many people. With their own time and often their own money, we all have what you see there at this time. Presidencies of the past have lead tirelessly to insure the comforts and conveniences we enjoy when we go out to Iosepa. But the work must go on, things need to be repaired, replaced or upgraded. We are seeking those who have resources or skills to help us.

Pavillion Upgrades

  • Cement in front of the pavillion
  • Stage reenforcement
  • Retractable Windbreak

Facilities Updates

  • New Toilets
  • Re-plumbing Bathrooms
  • Retile and Painting Bathrooms
  • Campground Grading
  • Weed Abatement

Power Upgrades

  • Solar Panels
  • Batteries
  • LED Lighting Upgrades

Kitchen Enhancements

  • Tile Kitchen Floor
  • New Freezer
  • New Shed by Imu

Watch Our Video

Festival Weekend


Please read the following informationa about camping at Iosepa.

Iosepa Camping Rules

Iosepa Camping Registration

Iosepa Camping Fees / Donations

Our Board of Trustees

Our Board Members have a love of this place and a desire to preserve it's history and current facilities.

Charmagne Wixom


Ron Manuela Jr.

Vice President

Nick Ho'opi'i'aina


Contact Us

Iosepa, Skull Valley, UT