Monday, June 06, 2016

Pipe Springs National Monument

Pipe Springs National Monument
We were headed to Zion National Park but we didn't plan our location very well. We stayed in Kanab, Utah which looked like it was close enough but it's about an hour away from both Zion and Bryce Canyon. With the overcast skies and realizing we would have to take a bus to get around in Zion, we decided to look closer to town for things to do.

Pipe Springs National Monument is in Arizona, just across the border from Utah. If you're there in late spring or summer you can also go to the northern rim of the Grand Canyon. It was closed when we were there (early April) because there's still a chance of heavy snow in the area.

The Pipe Springs fort was originally set up as ranch by the Mormons. Because they built the fort almost directly over the spring, they controlled the water supply in the area, eventually causing the Kaibab-Paiute to move on and decreasing the usability of the soils by overgrazing cattle and sheep.

In the photo above you can see the main 'castle' to the right and the bunkhouse to the far left. We hiked around the bunkhouse, up the cliff-hanging trail to the top. Yes, more cliff-hanging. We had an excellent tour of the fort by a local Kaibab-Paiute. (Go early in the morning, there's no one else around!) 

Deseret Telegraph
With the completion of the line from the fort up through Salt Lake City and into Idaho, Arizona had its first telegraph system. Run mostly by the plural wives of the Mormons, the line was sometimes used to alert the folks at Winsor Castle of incoming federal marshals looking for polygamous families. Part of the creation of the state of Utah was dependent on the renunciation of polygamy. But, what do you do with all those extra wives and children? You hide them in the desert.

The original State of Deseret extended from the present central Arizona west to the Pacific Coast in southern California, north to parts of Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming and east to Colorado and New Mexico, covering the entire state of Utah.

After the excellent tour we walked around the grounds and hiked up the hill behind the fort. To show what the fort would have looked like when in use you'll find a variety of livestock in pens just outside the walls.

Cactus trains
Cactus trains.
 I thought these cacti were interesting, the way they grow in rows that meander this way and that.


View from the trail behind the bunkhouse.

Kaibab-Paiute Reservation and Tribal Offices

The Old Trail runs through the desert sometimes parallel to and sometimes bisecting US roadways.





After Pipe Springs it was time to turn the car toward Nevada and think about getting on the plane back to Maine. But, we still have one more day on the road and a stop at the Lost City Museum in Overton, NV.

178 Main Street Freeport, Maine 04032

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