Indians called the area Timpoweap, "Rock Canyon". It is a deep gorge
where the Virgin River emerges from the Hurricane Fault. The town of
Hurricane lies below the fault to the south of the river and the community
of La Verkin. Hot sulphur springs boil
up from the bottom and sides of the river on the fault line. About one
mile below the hot springs the conjoined streams of Ash Creek and La
Verkin Creek make a common confluence with the Virgin River. It is a
site of great historical significance.
and Escalante in 1776 made the first historical reference to American
irrigation as they observed it at this watercourse confluence: it was
a Paiute Indian farm and remains a farm to this day. There are those
who say that mountain men Jedediah Smith, George C. Yount, and William
Wolfskill passed this way. For certain, the Parley P. Pratt southern
expedition of 1849-50 and the John Steele--J.C.L. Smith exploration
of 1852 along the Markagunt
Plateau and Upper Virgin River used this river junction as a landmark.
It was a place that could be forded.
The river has
cut deep into the volcanic walls of Timpoweap Canyon, thus making it
impossible to take water directly to the table-lands above. However,
the soil was fertile and there was good forage, so the pioneer residents
of Toquerville and Virgin town were able to use the benchland as range for their herds. These
users always dreamed that some day they could get irrigation water onto
the flat surface.