First settled in 1896, Hurricane lies in the far south-west region of Utah, not far from the border with Arizona. It was named after a whirlwind blew the top off the buggy of Erastus Snow, who was an important figure in the Mormon colonisation of the area. The settlement grew following the excavation of the Hurricane Canal, which was dug by pick and shovel.
Things to do in Hurricane
North-east of Hurricane is Zion National Park, which encompasses rugged canyons, red-hued buttes and slot canyons. Many of the park’s most popular attractions can be accessed along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, with the lush hanging gardens of the Emerald Pools a must-see. If you’re not worried about getting wet, wade through the Virgin River to explore the Zion Narrows.
On the other side of Hurricane is the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, with its magnificent cliffs and fossil sand dunes forming part of the Mojave Desert. Kilometres of hiking and mountain biking trails wind through the adjacent Snow Canyon State Park, which is also renowned for its rock climbing routes. Coyotes, foxes and roadrunners can often be spotted in the park at dawn and dusk.
If you’re interested in the local history, visit the Hurricane Valley Pioneer Heritage Park to find quirky artefacts, including a wedding cake from 1907. Learn about the 19th-century construction of the Hurricane Canal, with the waterway hand-excavated for irrigation purposes. Behind the museum is a children’s playground where kids can let off steam.
Getting around Hurricane
Hurricane is around 30 minutes’ drive from St. George and St. George Regional Airport, which has flights to destinations across the United States. Renting a car is the most convenient way of getting to Hurricane and exploring the area.