Orson B. Adams House


353 East Riverside Drive St. George, UT 84790

37.20994857, -113.399608

Access note: To enter the Red Cliffs Recreation Area, vehicle and trailer height and width is restricted to 11 feet 9 inches to pass through two narrow underpasses beneath the I-15 freeway. Plan your travel according.

Northbound from Saint George: From I-15 northbound, take exit 22 for UT-228 north toward Leeds, then turn right onto Old Highway 91. Continue for 2 miles, then turn right onto West Red Cliffs Campground Road.

Southbound from Cedar City: From I-15 southbound, take exit 23 toward UT-228/Leeds, then turn left onto Silver Reef Road. Continue for 480 feet, then turn right onto Main Street. After 1.5 miles, continue southbound on Old Highway 91 for 2 miles. Turn right onto West Red Cliffs Campground Road.

Fee Description:

Day Use Fee: $5 per vehicle. Cash or check only. The America the Beautiful Passes are accepted here and allow free day-use.

Orson B. Adams House

The St. George Field Office has completed rehabilitation of a mid-19th century Mormon pioneer residence for adaptive re-use.

This small sandstone masonry house was built in 1863 for the Orson B. Adams family, in the now abandoned Mormon agricultural settlement of Harrisburg, located approximately 15 miles north of St. George.

Critical to the successful completion of the rehabilitation project were partnerships with Washington County, the Utah Heritage Foundation, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation; technical assistance from the Utah State Historic Preservation Office; and volunteer labor during several phases of the project.

The Adams house is open sporadically for public visitation with the assistance of volunteer docents. In 2004, Washington County, Utah State University (USU), and the Utah Chapter-American Society of Landscape Architects worked with BLM to create a conceptual plan for public recreation use of the 215 acres that surround the Adams house.

Quail Creek flows through the tract, creating a lush riparian area with tall cottonwood trees and willows. Other historic Harrisburg structures, terraced gardens, an orchard, fields outlined by native rock walls, irrigation ditches, and wagon roads are preserved on the property.

Students and faculty from USU documented the features of this still-intact 19th century agrarian landscape, as part of the first Historic American Landscape Survey conducted in Utah. The final concept plan will integrate the Adams house with a system of linked hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails that connect to trails in the Red Cliffs Recreation Area, the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, and the nearby historic Silver Reef mining district. Based on the conceptual plan, BLM completed an environmental assessment for the proposed development of a non-motorized trail system and an equestrian trailhead.

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