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The Honeymoon Trail Part 2

Trail Head
Larry E. Heck | Writer
Posted March 17, 2011

Down the Hurricane Cliffs

Editor’s Note: In the April issue of 4WD&SU, we explored the Temple Trail that was used to acquire lumber for building the temple in St. George, Utah. In the May issue we published the first part in this series about Ida Hunt’s journey to the temple to be married. Part Two picks up her journey in Kanab, Utah, and includes the long ride down the Hurricane Cliffs.

Saturday, May 20, 1882
Ida Frances Hunt arrived in Kanab, Utah, after spending two weeks on the Honeymoon Trail from her home in Snowflake, Arizona. She was riding in the wagon of her future husband, David King Udall. They were on their way to the newly built temple in St. George, Utah, where Ida would become David’s wife.

David and Ella were among the pioneers who answered the mission’s call to build settlements in Arizona. Of course, this was long before that region existed as a state. Except for the newly arriving Mormons, the only residents were scattered tribes of natives. David and Ella were among the group that established the town of St. Johns.

On the date above, the group of four wagons arrived in Kanab. They spent some time resting and visiting friends and relatives before leaving on Monday, May 22. By noon on Tuesday, they were at Pipe Spring filling their water barrels and purchasing food supplies from the ranch at Winsor Castle.

Thursday, September 16, 2010
Lone Writer pulled into Pipe Spring National Monument about noon on a sunny day. More than 128 years had come and gone since Ida’s caravan stopped for water and supplies. One hundred and forty years had passed since Brigham Young purchased the property that included Pipe Spring. He appointed Anson Winsor as ranch manager. Winsor built a fort called Winsor Castle, which enclosed the spring. A telegraph line was built connecting Winsor Castle to other Mormon communities and to the headquarters in Salt Lake City. The ranch headquartered at Winsor Castle became a cattle and dairy ranch stocked by animals donated to the church by its members. In those days, instead of passing the plate at church, members donated 10 percent of their profits, which often showed up in the form of living animals.

Pipe Spring became a national monument in 1923. Tours of the restored Winsor Castle are available. Other structures are open to visitors during park hours. It is surrounded by the Kaibab-Paiute Reservation. The Honeymoon Trail crossed the lands that became the reservation, but it has not been preserved. Exploring on the reservation or searching for the trail without permission is not permitted.

Although the approximate location of the trail from Kanab can be determined, the environment has reclaimed the tracks for many miles west of the spring. While Lone Writer searched for anyone who had historical information about the Honeymoon Trail, Happy Jack and Muley explored the desert outside the reservation, looking for its remains.

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