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"HURRICANE? Are there really hurricanes in Utah?" Well no. This is Utah, not Florida. "How did the town get the name Hurricane?" Legend has it that one windy day in the 1860's Mormon leader Erastus Snow had a whirlwind blow the top off a buggy he was driving. He reportedly said, “Well, that was a Hurricane. We’ll name this the Hurricane Hill.”
We do have some very windy days, especially during the winter, when there can be gusts over 50 miles per hour.
By the way, Hurricane is pronounced “Her-ah-kun” by the locals. Don't want you to sound like a tourist. Read about Hurricane's history at Utah's Dixie History. For another perspective read more at the Utah History Encyclopedia. To learn about Utah state history visit the Utah State History web site.
For a more intimate look at Hurricane's history visit the Hurricane Valley Pioneer Heritage Park and Museum. You can take a walk to learn about the area's historic buildings and get directions to the Hurricane Canal Trail. The Museum is located at 35 W State St. and is open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM.
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Washington County overview from St. George Area Chamber of Commerce
Demographics and Statistics from the State of Utah
A nonprofit public/private organization promoting economic development within the state of Utah including site selection services.
An independant research organization that promotes informed public policy through the publication of numerous research reports.
Hurricane can be used as a gateway to exploring Utah's fabulous collection of national parks and monuments, all within a day's drive. Here are some travel distances:
58 miles - Cedar Breaks National Monument
110 miles - Bryce Canyon National Park
130 miles - Grand Canyon North Rim
130 miles - Lake Powell
Click the milage chart at right to view a larger image.
State Parks within Hurricane City Limits:
Quail Creek State Park - Boating, Fishing, Camping
Sand Hollow State Park - Boating, Fishing, Camping, OHV recreation
Hurricane is also the Gateway to these other wonderful Utah State Parks:
5300 W State St, Hurricane, UT
Schedule of Events
Established in 1996 the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve is a 62,000-acre scenic wildlife reserve set aside to protect the Mojave Desert Tortoise and other rare and sensitive plants and animals. At the junction of three great ecosystems, the Mojave Desert, the Great Basin, and the Colorado Plateau, the Reserve covers an area of approximately 20 miles wide and 6 miles deep. Thanks to the courage and foresight of the Washington County leadership the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve is one of the largest regional reserves in the country.
Hurricane hosts the eastern most part of the Reserve called the Babylon Section. You can enjoy hiking this section starting at the Hurricane Cinder Knolls Trailhead. Stepping over one of the reserve’s distinctive “step-over” gates you can explore this sections unique wildlife, plants, and geology. Remember to pack your camera in case you discover the rare Mojave Desert Tortoise on your walk.
If you visiting the Washington County area for the first time and want more information on the spectacular recreational opportunities available, visit the Arizona Strip Interpretive Association's book store located in the BLM's St. George Field Office at 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George, UT.
Dinosaur Foot Prints
Dinosaur foot prints are scattered throughout the Southern Utah area. Just a few minutes from Hurricane are some of the best preserved and protected examples at the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm. More than 1,000 examples of these 200 million year old wonders have been found including imprints of dinosaur skin!
The Virgin River meanders for over 150 miles from its headwaters above Zion National Park, passing through Hurricane, and eventually joining the Muddy River in Nevada to ultimately flow into Lake Mead.
If not for the Hurricane Canal the town of Hurricane would not exist. Begun in 1893 the Hurricane Canal took water from the upper reaches of the Virgin River and delivered it to the rich agricultural valley of Hurricane. Today visitors can hike along the path of the original pioneers who created this engineering marvel. For more information on the Hurricane Cliffs Trail System visit the St. George BLM Field Office web site.
Marathons and Runs
Locally sponsored events include the Hurricane 1/2 Marthon, Pumpkin Festival (Oct), Hurricane Valley Christmas Tree Festival (Dec)
Off-Highway ATV Trails
Home to the annual Tri-State ATV Jamboree and surrounded by open BLM lands, Hurricane is a great jumping off point for off-road adventures. See our Contacts page under the Utah DMV for information on OHV registration requirements.
Southern Utah Shooting Park
Located near the Fairgrounds off State Route 9 in Hurricane Utah, the Southern Utah Shooting Sports Park offers state-of-the-art facilities for a variety of enthusiasts.
Hurricane is the jumping off point for access to numerous mountain biking sites in the area. For more information on mountain biking in the area visit the St. George BLM Field Office web site or the Utah Mountain Biking web site.
Hurricane occupies a unique position in the physiographic regions of the west. It sits at a geologic division line between the Colorado Plateau to the east and the Great Basin to the west. Many of the landforms you see as you travel along SR-9 through Hurricane are evidence of this fact.
To the east you can see the horizontal formations of the Grand Canyon suite that form the classic mesas and canyons of the west, including Zion National Park. These formations have been uplifted by the Hurricane Fault which forms the steep cliffs just east of the downtown area.
To the west is Pine Valley Mountain, a 6500' granite laccolith that pushed its way through the overlying formations. Pine Valley Mountain represents the eastern edge of the Great Basin and Range provence in this area. Pine Valley Mountain is part of the Dixie National Forest.
As you drive past the Washington County Fairgrounds you'll be in the middle of the angled formations that form the Virgin Anticline. It forms the basin where the Quail Creek State Park and reservoir are situated.
And then there are the extinct volcanic cinder cones that were formed continuously from about one million to 140,000 years ago. The age and compositon of the cinder cones suggest that they are related to the same volcanic activity associated with the formation of San Francisco Peak near Flagstaff, Ariziona.
See the Utah Geology's I-15/SR-9 Geological Road guide for more details.
Why go all the way to Salt Lake City to ski? Great sking adventures can start 50 miles north on I-15 from Hurricane.
Las Vegas / Mesquite Nevada
Hurricane is only 35 minutes from Mesquite and about 2 hours from exciting Las Vegas.