Discover the Desert: Hiking through history along the Temple Quarry Trail

ST. GEORGE — On the trails around St. George, hikers may find breathtaking views, unique geological resources and fascinating glimpses of human history. But only a special few trails offer all three.

In this special kids’ edition of Discover the Desert, host Sydney Rue led a crew of hikers of all ages to explore the Temple Quarry Trail.

Watch hikers of all ages explore the Temple Quarry Trail on this episode of “Discover the Desert” in the media player above.

Cut into the Black Ridge, the trail offers sweeping views of the city of St. George and surrounding mountains, along with plants and animals typical of southwest Utah lowland hiking. It’s also rich in historical significance.

“The history of this trail is the best part,” Rue said. “From 1871 to 1874, Mormon pioneers quarried lava rock off of the trail to use as the foundation for the St. George LDS temple.”

Today, the massive boulders remaining at the quarry site carry scars from the drilling and blasting done by temple workers more than a century ago. Toiling through the summer heat and winter chill, they hauled out chunks of basalt averaging 10 feet long and often weighing more than 5,000 pounds day after day.

The Temple Quarry Trail is an easy, family-friendly out-and-back hike lasting 2.21 miles. Facing southeast and fully exposed to the sun, it’s best hiked during the spring when daytime temperatures are still moderate and wildflowers may be spotted.

Parking is available on Donlee Drive behind the Tech Ridge business campus. A sandstone arch marks the beginning of the trail. There are some thoughtfully placed wooden stairs and a couple of benches along the way. There are some steep drop-offs in places, so keep a close eye on little explorers.

Grab the kids and give it a try. Bring your furry friends, too – the trail is dog-friendly as long as they’re kept on a leash. And remember to bring plenty of water for everyone!

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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