In The Desert
Content including photographs are Copyright © 2011 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore
Temple Trail, Utah
This trip may not exactly follow the old Temple Trail used by Mormons to bring a large quantity of lumber from Mt. Trumbull to build the Temple in St. George, Utah. This trail is listed on the Garmin topo as the original Temple Trail, not be confused with the Temple Quarry Trail where lava rock was quarried for the foundation of the Temple in St. George, Utah.
Download Topo Trac HERE
The above photo shows the area where the trail enters Black Rock Canyon, the most challenging section of the route. This section changes after storms, so be aware.
The photo to the left is typical of the scenery encountered on this trip. This whole trip runs along the western side of the Hurricane Cliffs which extend from the Grand Canyon to Hurricane, Utah.
Here is a major power line running East and West across the valley you'll be traveling in, in a southerly direction. The section of power lines shown here are climbing up the Hurricane cliffs. Even though there are many canyons cut into the cliffs only a few have roads, trails, that are accessible to motorized travel.
The section of road shown here is just past the rocky section and the tight switch backs encountered climbing up the mountain. This section of hills is just south of Sand Mountain and Warner Valley.
The majority of the trail looks like this, in front of and in back of you as you travel toward Mt. Trumbull. There are places where canyons, washes, and cuts caused by water run off are troublesome, but nothing that was too hard to conquer. In the lower photograph on the left side are the Hurricane Cliffs that the Temple Trail follows going south to Mt. Trumbull.
Once you're clear of the mountains and rough part of the trip it opens up into flat desert and private cattle grazing areas. Please be sure to close all gates you encounter on this trip. And watch out for the cattle! We saw a lot of cattle on this trip.
We stopped our journey at the old Navajo Trail and then proceeded west to County Rd. 5 and back to St. George. This is an interesting trip. Just seeing where they had to haul over a million board ft. of lumber on wagons over 83 miles to build the Temple was worth seeing. Many building projects like this in the desert southwest amaze us that they could be completed using manual labor without the help of modern day equipment.
As you can see by the photo below, this trail through the valley is very dusty in the dry season. This also means that during the wet season this trail could become a muddy nightmare.
The trail was heavily used from 1874 till 1876 to supply lumber for the LDS Temple in St. George. In places, the road had to be built up with rocks using hand labor. The lumber could only be cut and hauled during the warmer months so the trail wasn't used during the winter months. The Temple was finished and dedicated in 1877.
This map shows the area where the trail above is located. You can zoom in or out and move the map to other loactions.