Off Road Trail Spotlight: Grand Gulch Mine – St. George, Utah Trails

There are weekends you want to stay close to home and others where you feel like heading out to see the world. On weekends like this, we at Dixie 4 Wheel Drive load up our Jeeps and head out into the desert. 

Most of our trips center on discovering this part of Utah and sharing that with as many avid off-roaders as we can. Compared to Moab’s popular off-roading trails, the trails around St. George are perfect for exploring and learning something about the history of the area.

If you’re in the mood for both history and adventure in the desert, a trip to Grand Gulch Mine should be on your list.

Grand Gulch Mine

The Grand Gulch Mine is one of the many abandoned mines that litter the desert near St. George and Arizona. It’s located a 3-hour drive from St. George and is accessible most of the year, except when there’s been heavy snow or rainfall in the area.

The mine was quite popular from the late 19th century when copper was discovered there. Later on, small quantities of silver and lead were also mined. It reached its peak of operations during World War 1 when copper was in high demand and later declined when the war ended, leading to its closure in 1919. The mine has since been reopened and reworked several times in the 1940s, the 50s, and 60s.

The trail leading to the mine provides a great way for you to enjoy and explore the remote Arizona Strip and the Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument. Along the way, you’ll pass the high desert plains and the Pigeon Canyon, among other canyons and landmarks. The trail itself consists of well-kept dirt roads with some bumpy and rocky sections. The best vehicle to take is a high clearance 4WD to be on the safe side.

Unlike other abandoned mines in the area, Grand Gulch Mine is remarkably well preserved. This is probably due to the remote location that limits access as well as the fact that most of the buildings were built from stone, not wood. Some of the stone buildings, the bunkhouse, two dump trucks, the smelter, and an old steam engine are still on site and can be seen and explored, among other equipment and artifacts.

Trip Preparation and Precautions

This trip will take you to a very remote area of the desert where cell phone reception is patchy at best. For this reason, it’s important to carry another mode of communication as well as a trail map of the area. You can download a map from our online store and then upload it to any GPS device you use so you never lose your way.

Contact us for a quick service and maintenance for your 4WD to ensure it’s in good condition both before and after your trip and we’ll have it fixed and on the road in no time.

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