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Leeds Reef, Harrisburg

There are three reefs that run parallel to Interstate I15 west of Harrisburg, Utah. The one closest to I15, the Leeds Reef, is of dark rock. The White Reef is west of the Leeds Reef and is of white rock where silver was found in the 19th century. The Red Reef is further west again.

There are two trails along the Leeds Reef: the one is a well marked and well travelled trail while the other is relatively unused and more difficult to access. The latter reef trail is described here.

To make a loop of the route you can return by way of the White Reef Trail or the well travelled Leeds Reef Trail. On this occasion we returned along a wide grassy wash to the east of the White Reef Trail.

Overall rating = easy

Distance: 3.8 miles – easy
Elevation gain: Terrain: Narrow trail plus wash travel and some bushwhacking – easy
Exposure: Minor on the first section – easy

To see the trail rating system used here see Trail Rating System

Getting There

If travelling north-east on Interstate I15, take exit 16 towards Hurricane and then turn left at the 2nd traffic light, 5300W, towards Quail Lake State Park and Reservoir. This road ends at the service road near Harrisburg. Turn right and then turn left on the marked Red Cliffs Desert Reserve Road which goes west under the interstate highway.

If travelling south-west on Interstate I15 take exit 23 into Leeds and turn left onto N Main Street. Continue through Leeds to a stop sign at the end of State Road 228. Veer left taking the service road to the marked Red Cliffs Desert Reserve Road and turn right going west under the interstate.

Just after going under I15 turn right on the gravel road and park in the designated parking lot.

Directions to the East Leeds Reef Trailhead

The Trail

Exit the parking lot and travel north outside the lot fence towards the single power pole on the crest of the hill above the north end of the parking lot. From the power pole follow the fence line west. You will pass a place with several old cement pads and then come to a hole in the fence. Cross to the north side of the fence and follow the fence west to the crest of the hill.

The trail starts here but is very faint at this point. Travelling north close to the ridge you will cross an old stone fence and then the trail becomes more evident. From here the distinct trail follows the west side of the ridge gradually descending to the wash below after about 1 mile. Continue in the wash north to the Reserve fence. Turn left, west, and follow the fence line eventually coming to a well travelled trail which is the normal Leeds Reef Trail. You can return by turning left on this trail.

To return by the White Reef Trail, turn right and travel a short distance to the Adit Trail. Take the Adit Trail to the base of the White Reef. From here you can ascend the White Reef on the Adit Trail to explore some old mine workings; or return by heading south, left, on the White Reef Trail; or as we did on this date, follow the wide grassy wash east of the White Reef Trail.

This return route passes through an area of petrified wood. There are many small pieces of petrified wood and several logs embedded into the light colored sandstone mounds.

Leeds Reef East Start

Directions to the East Leeds Reef Trail

East Leeds Trail GPS Map

East Leeds Reef Trail Returning by Valley Between the Two Reefs

These are some of the pictures that we took on March 5, 2015.
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