Traveling the Honeymoon Trail: Wagons Ho!
Needed: Draft Horse, Tack, Wagon
In 1877, young couples started traveling a route named the “Honeymoon Trail” on their way to get married in the St. George Latter-day Saint Temple. Engaged couples and their chaperones made the trek from communities in Northern Arizona and Southwest Utah by horse-drawn wagon. Due in part to its reliable spring-fed water, Pipe Spring was an integral stop along the Honeymoon Trail. Traces of the Honeymoon Trail run through Pipe Spring National Monument and the park wants to bring the experience of pioneer travel to life for modern-day visitors.
As one of the great historic trails in our region, Pipe Spring hopes to create an immersive Honeymoon Trail experience for 20,000 visitors a year. Through acquiring an authentic reproduction 2-bench buckboard wagon, a trained draft horse, and driving harness and tack, this project will give visitors a 10-minute ride on this frontier conveyance over a portion of the historic trail that runs through the monument.
While feeling the jostle and hearing the sounds of a wagon ride, visitors will soak in the colorful views of the Vermilion Cliffs and the vast expanse of the Arizona Strip. The viewshed modern-day visitors witness is little-changed scenery from the 1870s when the fort was constructed and honeymooners started riding this trail. By actively connecting visitors to a bygone era, this project gives visitors an opportunity few others have experienced as they ride a horse-drawn wagon over a frontier road. Through hands-on learning, visitors will see horsepower in action, appreciate the craftsmanship and ingenuity of an operable buckboard wagon, and remember a story that helped shape the Pipe Spring community.