Wednesday , January 31, 2018 - 2:26 PM
I have been on a ride to the Toquerville Falls before, but it was a destination point. We did not take any trails past the falls. A friend told me that the trail on the other side of the falls was worth exploring. Well, my interest was piqued. Having spent a day riding to the Grand Canyon with Dean Eborn of Layton, we decided to catch this trail on our way back home.
Toquerville became a city at the turn of the century. Named after Chief Toquer, a leader of the Paiute Indian Tribe, the town showed a population of 1,370 in the 2010 census — over 50 percent in growth from the previous census. Once depending on an agricultural economy, with its proximity to Zion National Park, it now thrives on tourism. Toquerville is the home of the first pecan tree planted in Utah and is still there to see on Toquer Boulevard.
Driving into Toquerville from exit 17, we turned onto Spring Drive on the north end of town. Passing through a residential section, we stopped at a wide place in the road near a water tank to unload. Once we had ridden past the water tank, we realized that the other side of the tank would have been a better place to stage.
Spring Drive goes all the way to the falls, but we turned left at a fork in the road that took us further up on a bluff before coming back down to meet Spring Drive at the falls.
Toquerville Falls is on LaVerkin Creek, a favorite with the locals when the temperature rises in the summer. The water cascades down a bench onto a flat sandstone table rock then drops into a swimming hole that is about waist deep. I find myself mesmerized by waterfalls and the way the water splashes down into the pool below. That makes this one a classic. The elevation at the falls is about 3,750 feet.
Crossing LaVerkin Creek above the falls, we began to explore the trails on the other side. Turning left, we followed a trail north above the creek, but it soon dead-ended at the water’s edge.
Backtracking, we went south on a path that crossed the creek several times. In fact, we were enjoying crossing the creek so much that we missed the turn that would have taken us out of the canyon on Spring Drive.
Forward progress on this trail became difficult and we sort of found ourselves, well, you know, up a creek. Undaunted, we turned around and found the turn we had missed.
Following Dean, we came to a steep climb with a small ledge near the top. I stopped, shifted into low range and four-wheel drive. Letting the machine pull me up the slope, I approached the shelf at the top. I scooted forward on my seat and slowed my speed, easing over the ridge because a bump at higher speeds could have upset the balance.
Reaching the top, we found ourselves heading back down the canyon to the water tank, finishing a ride of about 12 miles. We took about two hours to ride those 12 miles because in crossing the creek, we were riding some technical terrain.
It is a popular place, especially on a sunny day, as this Saturday was in January. We saw three UTVs at the falls and came across an SUV coming toward us on our way out asking for directions to the falls.
The trail is suitable for jeeps, UTVs and ATVs. The best time to ride these trails is in the spring or fall. The best time to don a suit and cool off in the swimming hole is in the heat of the summer. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down and enjoy this natural wonder.
You can email Lynn Blamires at [email protected]
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