Pipe Spring National Monument Offering Programs On History, Prehistory Of Arizona Strip


March ushers in a rich variety of programs at Pipe Spring National Monument. NPS photo.

History, and prehistory, of the Southwest will be interpreted in March at Pipe Spring National Monument in northern Arizona.

Every March parks, historic areas, museums, and tribes across Arizona honor the history and culture of the state. Pipe Spring National Monument, in cooperation with the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians, will host a series of programs that provide special opportunities to learn about the prehistory and history of the Arizona Strip.

Through guided hikes, cultural skills demonstrations, and hands-on activities, visitors can gain insight into Southern Paiute traditional lifeways and pioneer ingenuity. Highlights include an evening star party, guided hikes on the Kaibab Indian Reservation (reservations required)*, and a hands-on yucca sandal making workshop.

Below are the programs offered March 1 – 15.

NOTE: All programs listed are Arizona time. Daylight savings time starts for UT/NV on March 9 (i.e. 9-11 AZ = 10-12 UT).

* Star Party!

March 1 (6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., AZ time) Join national park rangers and the Dixie University Astronomy Club for an evening of story-telling and dark sky viewing. Listen to cultural stories of the Southern Paiute, Greeks and Romans; learn a bit of astronomical science; discover the importance of protecting dark night skies; and enjoy some close up views of stars and planets.

* Movies at Pipe Spring

March 1, 8, 15, 22 (every Saturday at 2:30 p.m., AZ time) Even Pipe Spring National Monument attracted the attention of Western movie makers during the 1950s-70s. Several episodes of Death Valley Days, one of which was very loosely based on Pipe Spring historical figures, and portions of four feature films were made here. Each Saturday afternoon in March Pipe Spring will offer a viewing of the three Death Valley Days episodes.

* Blacksmithing and Stone Cutting Demonstration

March 1 and 15 (9 a.m. – noon, AZ time) Flames-a-roaring, hammer-a-pounding, and sweat-a-pouring: these were common sights and sounds when blacksmiths and stonecutters were working. Join Park Ranger Evan Cram to see these old methods at work.

* Cultural History Mystery

March 2, 5, 9, 12, (11 a.m. – 2 p.m., AZ time) Join volunteer Cindy Maloney to investigate artifacts – tools and toys in common use 145 years ago. While modern versions of some of these items still exist, all of the tasks these items represent (cooking, building, playing, communicating) are still a part of our lives today.

* The Chuckwagon

March 8 (9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., AZ time) Visit with volunteer Stephen Craig about the variety of uses of this iconic symbol of the West.

* The Art of Rag Rug-making

March 8 (9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., AZ time) From necessity to hobby, join volunteer Vicki Craig for a look at the variety of methods for making rugs “the old fashioned way.”

* Mu’uputs Canyon Hike

March 3, 6, 9, 13 and 23 (9 – 11 a.m., AZ time) Join a National Park ranger on this two-mile, moderate hike into scenic Mu’uputs Canyon on the Kaibab Indian Reservation. Visit two petroglyph sites and learn about Southern Paiute traditional lifeways and connections to the natural world. This hike takes place in cooperation with the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians. Limited to 20 participants; call 928-643-7105 for reservations. Dress in layers, wear comfortable hiking shoes, and carry water and snacks. A tribal fee of $10 will apply ($1.00 for 15 years and younger) in addition to the Monument entrance fee of $5 per person if hikers wish to also visit the Monument.

Pipe Spring National Monument is located 15 miles west of Fredonia, Arizona, on Arizona 389 or 60 miles east of St. George, Utah, on UT 59 and AZ 389. Regular entrance fees will apply ($5/adult). Interagency Annual, Senior, and Access passes are accepted and sold.