1923: National Monument
About the SiteIn the arid West, it's all about water -- who has it, who controls it. The area of northwest Arizona known as the Strip is particularly dry, averaging less than ten inches of rainfall a year. So, a natural spring running year-round would attract animals and humans alike. The water of Pipe Springs nourishes plants and animals and allows them to thrive in this desert area. Located north of the Grand Canyon, this steady water supply drew ancestral Puebloans (300 B.C. to 1250 A.D.) and then Paiutes to the area, and they grew crops starting at least 1,000 years ago. In 1871, Mormon pioneers built a fort over the spring and established a cattle ranch.
What You're Going to SeeThere is a visitor center here, and you may tour the "Winsor Castle" fort and grounds on your own or with a Ranger guide. There's a 0.5-mile trail to hike as well, and camping is available locally. It's a decent visitors center, with a stamp for you book and many items of both cowboy and Indian nature for sale. Touring this Monument offers a view at how people lived not too long ago, with straw beds, thick walls (for defense against attack), and rooms that were considered adequate back then for a family of 8 but are horribly cramped by today's standards.
Personal ObservationsWhen we visited in the summer of 2004, we got a demonstration of wood-stove cooking by a very nice lady. She was dressed in authentic and I imagine very hot clothing, but didn't complain as she showed us how the stove worked. She was baking bread, and we were in time to sample a piece. Delicious!
Getting ThereFrom St. George, Utah, take I-15 north a few miles to exit 16. Go east on highway 9 for ten miles to Hurricane (that's "HUR-uh-cun"), then go southeast on highway 59 about 40 miles and watch for signs.
Nearby AttractionsCoral Pink Sand Dunes Utah State Park, ten miles to the north; Zion National Park, 25 miles to the northwest; the north rim of Grand Canyon National Park, about 60 miles to the south; Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, about 70 miles to the east; and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, about 30 miles to the northeast.