UTAH'S DIXIE HISTORICAL SITES
SONS OF THE UTAH PIONEER - COTTON MISSION CHAPTER
 

D04- HURRICANE CLIFFS

 

 

 

 

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Where is it?

 

GPS DATA: 

 

Section of the historic Honeymoon Trail.

Exciting, challenging climb up Hurricane Cliffs. Desert cactus vegetation.

History

The Hurricane Cliffs lie along the north-south Hurricane fault line. Movement of this fault caused the lands east of the fault to lift by hundreds of feet, which left a basin to the west. The Hurricane Cliffs extend down into the Arizona Strip and present an almost unbroken face for more than 200 miles.

The Honeymoon Trail is an early Mormon route, constructed by John D. Lee, that led from the Mormon colonies along the Arizona Strip north to St. George. In the late 1 800s, many Mormons were settling the remote areas of southwest Utah and the Arizona Strip district. Some were moving by choice, others at the direction of the Mormon Church, which was actively encouraging and directing pioneers into this remote region. Still others were quietly relocating there in an effort to evade the federal government in its crackdown on polygamists.

St. George Temple, the first Mormon temple built west of the Mississippi, was opened in 1877, a full 16 years before the better known temple in Salt Lake City. After St. George Temple opened, a steady stream of Mormons began to make the long trek from their settlements along the Arizona Strip to St. George to be married. They traveled in groups, and the route they traveled became known as the Honeymoon Trail. Most of this trail is still visible today and can be traveled in a 4WD.

This trail follows the section of the Honeymoon Trail that descends theHurricane Cliffs, and it connects with the much easier Southwest #6:

The Divide Trail to make a loop back to Hurricane.

Description

Getting to the start of this trail is a slight challenge in itself, as none of the roads are marked.! From Utah 9, on the west side of Hurricane, turn south on the signed road to the airport. Follow this due south, then before entering the airport itself, swing tight, then left. The graded road continues due south, closely following the base of the Hurricane Cliffs. After 11 miles from the airport entrance— past the subdivisions and just across the Arizona border (although there is no state line sign)—book for an uptight wooden post carved with the words "Honeymoon Trail." The sign is to the left of the trail, where the trail drops down into a creek wash. This is the trail*s original entrance, but it is washed out. Zero your trip meter here, and after another 0.1 miles, turn left onto an unmarked but well-used trail.

The trail climbs steeply almost immediately and becomes vesy steep in places, with low traction on loose rock. For the most part the trail follows an extremely narrow shelf road, where passing places are very limited. The most difficult section is near the top: a narrow, rocky~ off-camber section tilts vehicles toward the drop. Those who do not like narrow shelf roads will rate this trail with a high fear factor!

As you climb, the views are stunning over Sand Mountain to Hurricane Cliffs, and it connects with the much easier Southwest #6:

The Divide Trail to make a loop back to Hurricane.

Description

Getting to the start of this trail is a slight challenge in itself, as none of the roads are marked! From Utah 9, on the west side of Hurricane, turn south on the signed road to the airport. Follow this di~ie south, then before entering the airport itself, swing right, then left. The graded mad continues due south, closely following the base of the Hurricane Cliffi. After 11 miles from the airport entrance— past the subdivisions and just across the Arizona border (although there is no state line sign)—book for an upright wooden post carved with the words ‘Honeymoon Trail." The sign is to the left of the trail, where the trail drops down into a creek wash. This is the trail*s original entrance, but it is washed out. Zero your trip meter here, and after another 0.1 miles, turn left onto an unmarked but well-used trail.

The trail climbs steeply almost immediately and becomes very steep in places, with low traction on loose rock. For the most part the trail follows an extremely narrow shelf road, where passing places are very limited. The most difficult section is near the top: a narrow, rocky off-camber section tilts vehicles toward the drop. Those who do not like narrow shelf roads will rate this trail with a high fear factor!

As you climb, the views are stunning over Sand Mountain to the west, along the face of the sheer Hurricane Cliffs, and south into Arizona over multicolored, branded buttes and mesas.

At the top, the trail is an easygoing two-track as it joins Southwest #6: The Divide Trail. This trail should not be attempted in slippery conditions

 



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21 Feb 2004