The construction of the Hurricane Canal is one of Utah’s proudest stories of pioneer determination. This canal, built completely by hand, opened the Hurricane Bench to farming and the establishment of the town of Hurricane. In 1893 two local men decided to try to build the canal, even though earlier reports had determined it impossible.
Work on the canal was difficult and dangerous. The canal’s 7-1/2 mile length clings to the sheer walls of the Virgin River Canyon, then follows the Hurricane Fault and circles the farmlands of the Hurricane Bench.
The canal is 8 feet wide and 4 feet deep, laid out on a 12-foot shelf of conglomerate and limestone rock. Twelve tunnels had to be blasted through solid rock and six flumes on wooden trestles were built to span ravines. Ten cisterns were built on the hillside below the canal to hold drinking water.
After eleven years of tenacious effort, the canal was finished in 1904, providing water for 2,000 acres of farmland and the new community of Hurricane.
Today you can walk a portion of the canal off 200N Hurricane just west of State Street.
Overall rating = easy
Distance: 1.4 miles return both directions – easy
Elevation gain: <100 feet - easy
Terrain: flat fairly wide - easy
Exposure: some places the trail is high above the surrounding terrain - easy
To see the trail rating system used here see Trail Rating System
Take N State Street, State Road 9, east and north out of Hurricane. Turn right on 200N and park at the trailhead at the end of this street.
The canal is open for ½ mile north from the parking area to the first tunnel which is blocked at the far end by a fence. If you wish to go through the tunnel you need to take a light.
The canal is also open for 1/5th of a mile to the south as far as SR 59.
You can walk on the edge of the canal or in the canal in certain sections.