discovering God's creation

Leeds Reef Wild Flowers

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.

The trail that is posted as the Leeds Reef trail connects Leeds through a gate at the Red Cliffs northern boundary and thence south to join the White Reef trail. This trail does not actually follow the Leeds Reef but follows a ridge between the White and Leeds Reefs.

There is an old horse trail that does follow along the west side of the Leeds Reef. It is accessed from the south from the White Reef parking lot.

This is a beautiful and more remote route with lots of wild flowers in the spring. We recently counted 31 varieties of flora.

Overall rating = easy

Distance: 3.7 miles – easy
Elevation gain: 200 feet – easy
Terrain: Route finding and narrow dirt trail – easy
Exposure: minor exposure along reef – 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 White Reef parking lot.

The Trail

Leave the White Reef parking lot and head behind the kiosk and along the wooden parking lot. You will see a telephone pole on the ridge. Ascend to this pole and follow the fence line west across a flat area. You will pass 14 concrete pads for an old building. Just past this there is an opening in the fence. Cross to the other side of the fence and continue following the fence line to the crest of the hill.

There is a slight depression worn by horses along the crest of the hill going north. This may be hard to see but just follow the ridge line. There is the remains of an old barbed wire along here. You will cross a stone fence line and from here the trail becomes more distinct.

Follow this trail as it gradually ascends to join the wash below. Continue to follow the trail and wash until you come to the Reserve fence line which crosses the wash. Turn left and follow this fence line. You will eventually come to the marked Leeds Reef trail. You can either return via this trail or cross over the Adit trail to the White Reef and return that way. The Adit trail branches off not far from the gate.

Leeds Reef Trail Google Earth

Leeds Reef Trail

Here are some pictures along this reef.

Between April 10 and 12 we traveled north on the Leeds Reef and back the White Reef and located many desert wildflowers in bloom. Images of those identified are shown below.