Cultures at a Crossroads: An Administrative History
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Location and Environment

Pipe Spring National Monument is located on a 40-acre tract of land in Mohave County, in the northernmost part of central Arizona. The monument is eight miles south of Utah's southern boundary, 60 miles southeast of St. George, Utah, 20 miles southwest of Kanab, and 15 miles west of Fredonia, Arizona, on State Highway 389. The entire stretch of land between Utah's southern boundary and the Grand Canyon is known as the "Arizona Strip." This region has very strong historical and cultural ties with Utah among the immigrant "Mormons," a popular term for those with religious and/or cultural ties to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [2] The Kaibab Paiute consider the larger area encompassing the southern half of Utah, northern Arizona, and portions of Nevada as traditional areas of prehistoric and historic use. Pipe Spring National Monument lies within the boundaries of the Kaibab Indian Reservation, established before the monument was created. [3]

Primary historic resources at the monument include three sandstone buildings (the Pipe Spring fort, east cabin, and west cabin), the historic-period sites of the Whitmore-McInytre dugout and a lime kiln, and other structures, including stone walls, the quarry trail, and the fort ponds. Reconstructed "historic" features include a vegetable garden, orchard, vineyard, telegraph line, and corrals. For the most part, modern developments are located at the southernmost part of the monument and include a residential area, maintenance area, and access road. This area is fairly well screened by plantings. There are three springs at the monument: the main spring (Pipe Spring), emerging from beneath the fort itself; tunnel spring (located just southwest of the fort); and cabin spring (a seep spring near the west cabin, once called the "calf pasture spring"). The springs are fed by the Navajo Sandstone aquifer to the north and west, via the Sevier Fault. Because there is more than one spring at the site, for many years it was referred to as "Pipe Springs," although the monument's official name was never plural.

The monument occupies the Moccasin Terrace of the Markagunt Plateau at the southern sloping base of the Vermilion Cliffs. From this site, a dry plain slopes southward for 40-50 miles before it descends dramatically into the Grand Canyon. The elevation of the monument is 5,000 feet, the climate is fairly temperate, and the plant and animal species are typically semi-desert. North of the monument is pinyon-juniper woodland. Intermingled with and at the edge of this woodland community is a sagebrush grassland with sagebrush dominant on the more level areas of ground and pinyon-juniper occurring on the shallow rocky soils and broken country of adjacent higher elevations. Other on-site vegetation includes rabbitbrush, prickly pear cactus, and sagebrush. Culturally introduced plant materials include a variety of shade trees (ash, cottonwood, poplar, elm, locust, ailanthus), fruit trees, a grape arbor, and a vegetable garden. Animal species include small rodents, reptiles, birds, coyotes, badgers, and porcupines. [4] High temperatures range in the summer from 90 to 115 degrees; in the winter, normal low temperatures range from 0 to 40 degrees.

vicinity map
1. Pipe Spring National Monument vicinity map; 1959, modified
(Pipe Spring National Monument).

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Last Updated: 28-Aug-2006