Pipe Spring National Monument, a little known gem of the National Park System, isrich with American Indian, early explorer and Mormon pioneer history. The water of Pipe Spring has made it possible for plants, animals, and people to live in this dry, desert region. Ancestral Puebloans and Kaibab Paiute Indians gathered grass seeds, hunted animals, and raised crops near the springs for at least 1,000 years. In the 1860's Mormon pioneers brought cattle to the area and by 1872 a fort was built
over the main spring. The fort, called "Winsor Castle"
after the first ranch
manager, was built by the Mormon Church to be the headquarters of a large
cattle ranching operation. This isolated outpost served as a way station for
people traveling across the Arizona Strip, that part of Arizona separated from
the rest of the state by the Grand Canyon. It also served as a refuge for polygamist wives during the 1880's and 1890's. Although their way of life was greatly impacted, the Paiute Indians continued to live in the area and by 1907 the Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation was established, surrounding the privately owned Pipe Spring ranch. In 1923 the Pipe Spring ranch was purchased and set aside as a national monument. Today a visitor center, tours of Winsor Castle, summer "living history" demonstrations, an orchard and garden, and a half-mile trail offer a glimpse of American Indian and pioneer life in the Old West.
This isnt a big monument, especially by western standards, but can be easily seen on a trip from the north rim of the Grand Canyon to either Bryce Canyon or Zion National Park.
Basic Information on Pipe Spring National
Operating Hours and Operating Seasons for Pipe Spring National Monument
Summer (June through September): Monument grounds and Visitor Center are open 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tours of Winsor Castle are offered on the hour and half hour from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Winter (September through May): Monument grounds and Visitor Center are open 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tours of Winsor Castle are offered on the hour and half hour from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's days.
How to Get to Pipe Spring National Monument
Nearest Airport to Pipe Spring National Monument
- McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas is 3 hours away
How to Drive to Pipe Spring National Monument - From
Interstate 15, turn onto Utah State Route 9 in Hurricane, Utah. Take State
Route 59 east out of Hurricane. This road turns into Arizona State Route
389 at the state line. Pipe Spring is 45 miles east of Hurricane. From
Utah Highway 89 and 89A, turn onto Arizona State Route 389 in Fredonia,
Arizona. Pipe Spring is 15 miles east of Fredonia.
Weather & Climate
Summer: Daytime highs in the mid to upper 90's F (38 C) and night time lows near 60 F (16 C). Summer afternoons often bring sudden thunderstorms, so an umbrella or rain gear could be helpful. Winter: Daytime highs around 40 F (4 C), and night time lows near 20 F (-7 C). Occasional snow.
The Visitor Center and gift shop are accessible to wheelchairs.
Camping at Pipe Spring National Monument
There are no campgrounds within the Monument
Activities and More Information
for Pipe Spring National Monument
Pipe Spring has three historic buildings open to the public year round. Winsor Castle (the Fort) is accessible only by ranger guided tours. These tours are offered every thirty minutes, on the hour and half hour. The East and West Cabins can be visited by self guided tour.
The Monument grounds include a garden, orchard, corrals (complete with longhorn cattle and horses), other farm livestock, and a half-mile trail offering impressive views of the Arizona Strip. These can be visited by self guided tour.
During the summer months ranger guided walks, talks, and
demonstrations of pioneer and Indian crafts and lifeways are offered daily
in the cooler morning hours.
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