Pipe Spring National Monument: Ridge Trail

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Hike the Ridge Trail at Pipe Spring National Monument»

Pipe Spring National Monument is in Northern Arizona, just south of the Utah border. It is a National Park Service gem off the beaten path.  The natural spring made this land home to the Kaibab Paiutes. Mormons, driving cattle from St. George Utah were attracted to the oasis in the 1860s.  A fort called Winsor Castle was erected over the springs in 1872 which was then purchased by Brigham Young for the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

IMG_9052After the tour of Winsor Castle, we hiked the short Ridge trail which starts just to the west of the fort. It’s a short loop, a little over half a mile, that climbs the short ridge behind the fort on a series of long switchbacks. The elevation gain is 130 feet, but it feels steeper in the hot desert sun. It is in the high desert, so the base is already around 5000 feet.IMG_9056The Kaibab Paiute Reservation was created in 1907 and the land surrounding the monument is part of the Reservation. At a few points on the trail, we ran into fencing and signs warning off trespassers from Paiute land.IMG_9044The trail then descends down the other side to arrive at the fort, corrals, garden, and orchard. We visited the oxen and horses in the corral and stopped in the gift shop.IMG_9053


Location: 406 N Pipe Spring Rd, Fredonia, AZ 86022

Designation: National Park

Date designation declared: 5/31/1923

Date of my visit: 4/14/2017

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