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History and Hiking Combine in Southern Utah

History and hiking

Speaking of the great outdoors, if you are a student of history, you’ll find pleasure in an early morning walk along the historic Honeymoon Trail or the Hurricane Canal.

Walking IN a canal may seem like an odd suggestion, but – take our word for it – you’ll find it a memorable experience.  “The canal” is a 17 ½ mile channel which hangs on the solid limestone cliffs where it captured the water from the Virgin River flowing down from the upriver communities to the Hurricane Mesa before this important resource dropped into the Hurricane faultline (you’ll see this early engineering marvel along the route to Zion National Park).   The ambitious project which took more than a decade to complete and  involved 300 men – most who were the second generation of early pioneer settlers – responding to their concern about water for farming.   This monumental open waterway delivered its precious bounty to farms and homes until 1985, but is now dry and safe to hike.  The beginning of the canal walk can be found as follows:  From State Route 9, turn south on 100 South. Turn left onto State Route 59 at the first intersection. Travel .75 miles and turn left into the trailhead. The 3 ½ mile hike (that’s about 7 miles roundtrip) is considered “difficult” but well worth the trouble to see this interesting but shade-less old waterway.

The Honeymoon Trail is a 400-mile corridor connecting LDS settlements as far away as northeastern Arizona with the St. George LDS Temple which was completed in 1877 and for several years was the only such house of worship in the world.  Faithful brides and grooms traveled roundtrip for as long as 6-weeks through steep canyons, across barren plateaus, praying for safe passage without the interference of bandits or natives … their hardship a testimony to their faith and endurance.

The Honeymoon Trail has a comfortable starting point on Donlee Drive (turn left) on top of the Black Hill near the site of the old St. George Airport and is marked by a decorative gate and a rock monument to pioneer tenacity.  Of course, hikers don’t need to traverse the entire 400-mile trail, but you will find a mile or two enjoyable.  You’ll also get a sense of what it took to settle this red rock country.

A word of warning … don’t attempt these hikes anytime between mid-April and late-September (when daytime temperatures frequently reach triple digits) unless it is very early in the morning … and no matter when you explore these historic sites, always be sure to wear proper foot gear and bring plenty of water and a hat!

To enjoy all the beauty and history of southern Utah, reserve your favorite condo over and over so you have a place to call home as you discover each new adventure.  We’re St. George Vacation Rentals … and we’re waiting to meet your vacation needs!

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