Hike to the Quarry for St. George temple stones
Quarrying stone and hauling the stone for the St. George temple was a labor-intensive activity carried out by people who were still carving out an existence in the desert. It’s kind of inspiring to see what they were able to accomplish without cranes and trucks.
In the St. George area, you may have noticed many pioneer era buildings with orange stone. The St. George tabernacle is one example as well at the Cotton Mill in Washington that is now Star Nursery. What you may not have known is the St. George temple is also made from these orange sandstone blocks and covered in white plaster.
Looking at the cliffs around town you may guess where the stones came from, and the truth is all the stone on the old buildings come from the same quarry. This site is an easy hike near the top of bluff street near the Red Cliff Golf Course.
To get to the entrance, take Diagonal and turn on 700 West in St. George, travel to the end of the street and you’ll see it. It is a moderate 2/3 of a mile hike on a trail that winds by the golf course and into the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. There are some steep parts, but the trail is well cared for and has red blocks that act as stairs through these areas.
As you move along the trail, there are several plaques that give you information about the quarry and how it was used. There are also benches to rest on. At the top you will find the quarry.
Here you can see the tailing piles from the men chipping away at the stone. There are also blocks where you can see where the marks as the men chiseled in to split the massive stones. Some of these blocks were up to 7 tons, so you can imagine the labor involved.
This is an enjoyable hike, great for kids or anyone wanting to understand more about the history of this area.