Pipe Spring National Monument offers a shady oasis on an Arizona highway, a wealth of history including that of Mormon pioneers and Kaibab Paiute Indians, and live historical demonstrations in the summer. Pipe Spring is worth stopping in for an hour or two when travelling in Northern Arizona. It is also one of a handful of Mormon historical sites not managed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Pipe Spring is a water source in the desert that has been used by humans for thousands of years, and the site of an historic cattle ranch established in 1870. Several stone buildings from the pioneer era remain, including a fortified ranch house called Winsor Castle. A new cultural museum displays Native American and pioneer exhibits. An orchard, garden, farm animals, ponds, Kaibab Paiute Indian camp and 1/2-mile trail are also on the site. It is a great place to travel in the Summer.
Winsor Castle, named after Anson P. Winsor (the first superintendent of the ranch), was built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be a tithing cattle ranch.
The reservation of the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians surrounds the national monument. Their story is told in the cultural museum.
A tour of Winsor Castle takes about a half hour. Allow a half hour to an hour to browse the cultural museum. A hike on the beautiful Rim Trail will add another 30 minutes to your visit.
This is a desert landscape and that is what makes Pipe Spring such an important location. American Indians, Mormon pioneers, plants, animals, and others have depended on the life-giving water found at Pipe Spring.
Flora and fauna
You will see the normal desert flowers in the area. Enjoy pioneer and American Indian crops from the garden during the summer. The orchard contains mostly historic varieties of peach, apple, apricot, plum, and crab-apple trees, as well as grapes.
|Pipe Spring National Monument|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
In summer, daytime highs are in the mid to upper 90's °F (38 °C) and night time lows near 70 °F (16 °C). Late summer afternoons often bring sudden thunderstorms, so an umbrella or rain gear could be helpful.
In winter, daytime highs are around 40 °F (4 °C), and night time lows in the teens (- 10 °C). There is occasional snow.
The closest city with commercial air service is St. George, Utah.
Salt Lake City International Airport is 5 hours north. Take Interstate 15 to Anderson Junction and follow State Route 17 to Hurricane.
Flagstaff Pulliam Airport is 4 hours south. Take US Route 89 straight to Fredonia.
From Interstate 15, turn onto Utah State Route 9 in Hurricane, Utah. Take Utah 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 west of Fredonia.
Fees and permits
As of 2020, an entrance fee of $10 per person is charged, valid for seven days; the entrance fee includes a $3 per person tribal use fee. Children 15 years old and under are admitted free.
There are several passes for groups traveling together in a private vehicle or individuals on foot/bike that provide free entry to Pipe Spring National Monument and all national parks, as well as some national monuments, national wildlife refuges, and national forests:
- The $80 Annual Pass (valid for twelve months from date of issue) can be purchased by anyone. Military personnel can obtain a free pass by showing a Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID.
- The $80 Senior Pass (valid for the life of the holder) is available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over. Applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and age. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities. Seniors can also obtain a $20 annual pass.
- The free Access Pass (valid for the life of the holder) is available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. Applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and permanent disability. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities.
- The free Volunteer Pass is available to individuals who have volunteered 250 or more hours with federal agencies that participate in the Interagency Pass Program.
- The free Annual 4th Grade Pass (valid for September-August of the 4th grade school year) allows entry to the bearer and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle. Registration at the Every Kid Outdoors website is required.
The National Park Service offers free admission to all national parks on five days every year:
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day (third Monday in January); next observance is January 17, 2022
- The first day of National Park Week (third Saturday in April); next observance is April 16, 2022
- The National Park Service Birthday (August 25)
- National Public Lands Day (fourth Saturday in September); next observance is September 25, 2021
- Veterans Day (November 11)
Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time, with the exception of the Navajo Reservation on the state's northeast corner. Pipe Spring National Monument is on Mountain Standard Time all year.
Summer (June through August): Monument grounds and Visitor Center/Museum are open 7AM to 5PM. Tours of Winsor Castle are offered on the hour and half hour from 8AM to 4:30PM. Demonstrations, talks or walks are offered during the morning hours.
Winter (September through May): Monument grounds and Visitor Center/Museum are open 8AM to 5PM. Tours of Winsor Castle are offered on the hour and half hour from 9AM to 4PM
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Days.
Pipe Spring National Monument is a "walk-in" park. Visitors enter the Pipe Spring National Monument-Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians Visitor Center and Museum. The historic buildings, garden, orchard and trailhead are located 150 yards beyond the Visitor Center and Museum.
- 1 Pipe Spring National Monument-Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians Visitor Center and Museum, ☏ . Pipe Spring National Monument and the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians teamed up and developed a new museum. The Pipe Spring Visitor Center and Cultural Museum provides access to an information desk, bookstore, and exhibit hall that documents Paiute Indian and Mormon settler life in northern Arizona. Come inside to explore artifacts, watch a 25-minute film, and learn more about the dramatic history of conflict and compromise at Pipe Spring.
- Guided tours Winsor Castle (the Fort) is accessible by ranger guided tours. These tours are offered every thirty minutes, on the hour and half hour, all year long.
"On your own The grounds of the monument can be visited on your own. The East and West Cabins contain exhibits on cowboying and historic preservation. Enjoy pioneer and American Indian crops from the garden during the summer. The orchard contains mostly historic varieties of peach, apple, apricot, plum, and crab-appple trees, as well as grapes. Stop by the corrals and visit the horses and longhorn cattle.
- Talks and demonstrations 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.
- Hike on the 1/2-mile-long Ridge Trail offers great views of the Arizona Strip.
The Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians operates a gas and convenience store 1/4 mile south of Pipe Spring. There is a small picnic area on the monument. Restaurants and groceries can be found in Fredonia, Arizona (15 miles east of Pipe Spring) and Kanab, Utah (25 miles northeast of Pipe Spring).
It is what Pipe Spring is all about. An oasis in the desert.
The Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians operate a campground 1/4 mile north of the monument. Other campgrounds can be found in Fredonia, Arizona (15 miles east of Pipe Spring) and Kanab, Utah (25 miles northeast of Pipe Spring).
Campgrounds and at-large camping are also available on surrounding Bureau of Land Management (Arizona Strip District) and Forest Service lands (North Kaibab Ranger District).
The National Monument is out of the way, so plan on having plenty of gas in your car and it would be a good idea to take along snacks and water.
- Grand Canyon North rim. This view is not as crowded as the South rim and is only open during the summer.
- Zion National Park just north in Utah.
|Routes through Pipe Spring National Monument|
|Hurricane ← Colorado City ←||W E||→ Fredonia → END|