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Pioneer Roads

U.S. Highways 89 and 89A parallel the original route of the Old Arizona Road. This route was travelled many times by frontier scout Jacob Hamblin searching for a safe route to Lees Ferry and beyond. Imagine yourself traveling the Old Arizona Road on horseback or covered wagon as ou continue your journey today. Before paved roads, and air-conditioned autos, life along the Arizona Strip was more than hard. Pioneers, ranchers, and miners desperately needed communication and transportation linkages with the outside world. Through the late 1800's, the Old Arizona Road linked settlements along the Little Colorado River to southern Utah through Lees Ferry and Kanab. It also linked Arizona settlements to St. George, Utah, through Fredonia. Pipe Springs, and the Arizona Strip. Arizona towns like Snowflake and St. Johns sprung up aftr exploration of this route by Jacob Hamblin. When the St. George Temple opened in 1877, many faithful members of the Mormon church traveled the rugged Old Arizona Road to be married in the temple. This portion of the road soon became known ast the "Honeymoon Trail." You are traveling on the only paved road across 2.8 million acres of public land managed for a variety of uses by the Arizona Strip Bureau of Land Management. In the interiior of the Arizona Strip you will find 4,000 to 5,000 miles of unpaved road which require advance travel planning and precautions to ensure a safe trip. "We found but little grass and no water to speak of, occassionally there was a little in holes along the bed of the river, but it was so salty that it could not be used. We dug near the mouth of some of the large washes that came in where we found some water that was a little better. At Black Falls we found a little but it was not fit to use as the fish had died in it and it smelt very bad like carrion. --Joseph Fish, 1879

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