The St George, UT Temple Quarry Trail is an out an back that trail that is suitable for most ages. The path is mostly flat with a few stairs at the beginning and a couple of areas along the trail where small lava rocks jut out from the trail. If you’re looking for a great trail with beautiful sites and you are short on time this is a great one to try!
Map to Trailhead. From I-15 take exit 8 onto St. George Boulevard and head west toward the Black Hill (the one with the big white “D” on it). When you come to the intersection of Boulevard and Bluff St. continue across Bluff and up the hill. As you approach the top of the hill take your first right onto 265 S. Take your next left onto Donlee Rd. Drive 100 meters and turn into the parking lot on the right with a sandstone arch marking the trailhead.
Plants: Typical plant life for Southern Utah lowland hiking. Animals: Typical animal life for Southern Utah lowland hiking.
We started our hike in the evening in early March. We were cutting it close with the amount of light that we had left, but I knew if we hurried we would make it. The trail is fairly flat besides a few built in stairs at the beginning of the hike and some stubborn basalt rocks that stick up as trip hazards in the middle of the hike. If you have kids, this is a very family friendly hike. You start out with a slight ascent as you climb the stairs and its smooth sailing from there. As we plodded along we were able to take in the scenery that is ever abundant. One of the reasons I like to do this hike in the evening is because of the sun that illuminates all of the surrounding hills and mountains. Looking to the east we could see the red cliffs by Warner Valley that shown a bright crimson as the sun lit them up. Further east we could see Zion National Park. The weather had been stormy and there were ominous clouds that contrasted against the white and red jagged mountains. Turning to look south we had a striking view of Pine Valley Mountain – also surrounded by menacing clouds with the sun shining against them.
What a beautiful and perfect day! Our leisure stroll took us around the point of the hill and into direct sunlight. We were also afforded a wide open view of the valley below. The fields were just starting to green up and everything was just perfect. As the sun slowly slunk behind the west hills we arrived at the Temple Quarry site. Its a hallowing experience walking where others have sweat and toiled. In the huge boulders you could see where the early Utah Cotton Mission Pioneers had drilled into the solid rocks and used dynamite to blast the rocks apart. They would haul out pieces that averaged ten feet long, forty-two inches wide, thirteen inches thick, and five thousand five hundred pounds! They would load it on an wagon and make the trip around the mountain to the temple site. They did this over and over, not to mention the work that was done once they got the stone to the temple site! Incredible piece of history.
There is a lone picnic table at the site of the quarry if you and your group want to stop for a quick snack. After checking out the quarry you just head back the way you came. As we headed back we revisited all of the beauty we saw on the way and were able to see it in literally a “different light”. The sun had crept down behind the hills, but it was still shining on the distant mountains.
On our quick there-and-back trip we saw much of the beauty that people come to fall in love with in Utah’s Dixie, and it only took us about an hour!
Until next time…Remember, your next adventure is just out your door!