The Hurricane Canal, which for more than 80 years carried Virgin River water from the “upriver” communities of Springdale, Rockville and Virgin to homes and farms on the Hurricane Bench, is an engineering miracle. The story of its construction by second-generation settlers is one of backbreaking labor, creative innovation and sustained determination against the odds.
The canal is a suspended rock-lined delivery channel on the hillside on your right, clearly visible to tourists and residents traveling to Zion National Park. You may not recognize it as you motor through small communities and up the hill toward the park, but this 17.5-mile waterway was chipped through rock cliffs by 3 – 300 laborers using only picks and shovels – and an occasional blast of dynamite – to bring water to the parched Hurricane Valley. Today, there are other water sources for farming and ranching in this part of Washington County, but it is thanks to a handful of visionary men committed to stay put and raise their families here that the Hurricane Canal was built.
The Hurricane Canal, dry since 1985, is now a pleasant and memorable hike. There are places where the canal has been ravaged by years of neglect, and there are the anticipated critters along the way, so hikers should be alert but will certainly find lots to enjoy, including seashells along your way – left over from the ancient Lake Bonneville which millions of years ago covered this part of Utah to the tops of the mesas.
A word of warning: hiking the Hurricane Canal is not advised in the heat of the summer. Despite its name and history, there is no water anywhere along the way. Exploring the canal is something you will want to do on your vacation in Southern Utah, but it is best done in the cool part of the year (mid-November to mid-February) and always with reliable, close-toed shoes, a big brimmed hat and lots of bottled water.
No warning is necessary when it comes to finding a beautiful resort rental as your home-away-from-home when vacationing in St. George. Whether you are here for a week or a month, we will be waiting to make you comfortable after your hiking adventure at the 5 Seasons Vacation condominiums and St. George Resort Rentals. Register online today at stgeorgeresortrentals.com for accommodations at the St. George Resort Rentals or laspalmasresortcondos.com for Five Seasons Vacation condominiums.
Most people who live in the United States are not aware how amazing the country really is. They have no idea of how much natural beauty can be found in the country. All they get to see is the big cities and the big amusement parks when they go on a vacation. If they knew about the history of Zion’s National Park
they might want to find out some more information about visiting it.
The park is located in the southwest part of the United States. Its 229 square miles are located near Springdale, Utah. The park features a canyon that runs for 15 miles. Visitors to the park will see a wide variety of both plant and animal life.
Native Americans were the first humans to inhabit the area over 8,000 years ago. Several different tribes called this area home throughout the centuries. The white man first started settling in the area in the early 1860’s when the Mormons began to relocate to the area. The area was declared a National Monument in 1909 by President William Howard Taft. It was given the name Makuntuweap National Monument. The name was changed in to Zion National Park in 1918 by the newly created National Park Service.
The name Zion was chosen by the park service because they thought it would appeal to a much larger audience at the time. An additional section of the park that was called the Kolob section became a part of the park in 1956.
Visitors to the park will be able to marvel at the canyons that have been formed through 150 million years of nature’s handiwork. She has managed to create 9 different recognizable formations in the park.
There have been many modern amenities added to the park to make it more accessible to visitors in more recent times. The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive provides visitors with a road that allows them to drive through the park. In the 1990’s the park service added a bus shuttle service to ease the traffic that had grown on the scenic drive. The buses use propane gas powered engines that are more environmentally friendly.
Some of the popular activities for visitors include hiking on the different trails and rock climbing. The pictures that can be taken in this national park are often breathtakingly beautiful. A trip to Zion National Park will allow people to see a part of the United States that most people are not aware of. It is definitely something that is worth seeing and learning about. It is also one of those areas that are regretfully overlooked during vacation planning.