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Ridge Trail - Pipe Springs, AZ

Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
  2.5 of 5 
0 3 0
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 0.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,950 feet
Elevation Gain 150 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.25
Interest Ruins, Historic & Perennial Creek
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
217  2014-05-31
Utah/Arizona Strip Trek - May/June 2014
Author PaleoRob
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 225
Photos 5,981
Trips 1,093 map ( 2,433 miles )
Age 40 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:36am - 7:38pm
0 Alternative

View the Arizona Strip
by PaleoRob

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Pipe Springs is a historic Mormon settlement, located now on the Kaibab Band of Paiutes Reservation. In the 1860's, Mormon ranchers moving up from the area of St. George settled near the constantly-flowing springs at Pipe Springs. This was not well received by the local Paiutes, as they had been living in the area for hundreds of years, proceeded by the Anasazi before them. This created tension between the Paiutes and Mormons, and by 1872 the Mormons had erected a fort, Windsor Castle, to protect the spring. An important stop along the "Honeymoon Trail" for folks in the Arizona colonies traveling to get married at the St. George temple, the Arizona Strip and Pipe Springs also became refuges for polygamists fleeing federal prosecutors and Mormon authorities after the church outlawed polygamy in order for Utah to become a state. Just up the road on AZ389 is living evidence of that polygamist diaspora, Colorado City.

The Ridge Trail starts, like all the trails at Pipe Springs National Monument, at the Visitor Center. Take a minute to go through the small but excellent museum, and then head out the back door. The trail heads towards Windsor Castle, past a few historic displays, and at the Castle, branches. The trail loops up one side of the Vermilion Cliffs, crosses the ridge, and back down the other side. Go to the right, and follow the well-maintained trail up the backside of the Vermilion Cliffs. There are several interpretive signs along the trail. After you pass the old quarry that the Mormons used to mine stone for the fort, watch for signs of a Basketmaker pithouse village. As you near the top of the ridge, you pass through an unexcavated Great Kiva. Pause at the ridge and admire the view of the Kaibab Plateau, Kanab Creek, the Arizona Strip, Mt. Trumbull and Mt. Delenbaugh, Yellowstone Mesa, and the Vermilion Cliffs. Then head down the switchbacks to the base of the cliff. If you have time, a stop in Windsor Castle and see what pioneer life on The Strip was like. Unfortunately, due to increasing water demands, the old Pipe Springs no longer flow. Water is now piped in to the old holding basins from another nearby spring. Water is available at the Visitor Center.

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2007-08-20 PaleoRob
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    National Monument Fee $10-25 per 7 Days

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Flagstaff, drive north on US89 until reaching Bitter Springs. Turn left on US89A. Cross the Colorado River, and follow US89A to Fredonia (do not turn left at Jacob Lake to go to the North Rim). Turn left in Fredonia onto AZ389. Follow AZ389 to the signed turn off to Pipe Springs.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool
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