Leeds, UT can be found just less than 20 miles outside of St. George, UT. Leeds is a very small and quiet town with a fascinating history. I had seen some random posts about a Children’s Forest and old Kiln in “Silver Reef” and was determined to find it. The kiln is found inside Leeds Canyon and is also referred to as the “Silver Reef Kiln” or the “Leeds Kiln”.
Directions to Kiln:
Head north on I-15 from St. George, UT and take exit 22. Turn left on to Highway 91. Drive through the town of Leeds, on Main Street, for approximately 2 miles. Turn LEFT on to Silver Reef Road (post office and strip all will be on the left). Continue on Silver Reef road through the subdivision. In the middle of the homes, Silver Reef Road will turn in to Oak Grove Road. After you have passed the homes, there will be a Y-ish fork, stay to the right. This is where I started to doubt myself. Say on FR-032. Continue to wind around on the forest road for about 3 miles. You will then come to a Y in the road with a sign that points to Oak Grove and St. George. GO RIGHT towards Oak Grove. Continue for another 2 miles until you reach the parking pull-off for the Kiln Trail. The Kiln is by campsite marker #9, so keep your eyes out as you go. Each site is marked.
WARNING: This is a dirt forest road. Our first attempt at visiting the kiln was after 3-4 days of rain. It wasn’t raining the day we went, but the roads were wet and muddy. My minivan did fine and if my husband was driving (verses me) it probably wouldn’t have been an issue at all. HOWEVER — it was muddy and my wheels were slipping. If you have 4 wheel drive, are on an ATV or have an off-road vehicle like a Polaris or Razor then this road would be super fun and just fine. Just wanted to tuck that info in the back of your head.
READ MORE: SILVER REEF MUSEUM AND MINE
Once you have reached parking for the kiln trail, the trail begins immediately. It’s a cute walk that guides you around some native plants. The start of the trail tells you that children provided drawings and information you see placed around the trail. I was super disappointed to see how faded and worn these markers are (great service project anyone??). A few of the signs are completely unreadable, but the concept is adorable.
The trail is very easy to navigate. It’s covered in rocks that appear to come from the local canyon. Little kids and elderly could do this trail with ease. You can head straight down the trail to the kiln, or turn right (just a bit further in) and take the “scenic” route. The trail is very short (less than a mile) and can be done in 20-60 minutes depending on pace and time spent looking around.
Can you spot the kiln?!
The kiln was built in 1885. Its purpose was to create charcoal for the silver mine (that is part of the museum you saw on your way in to town.) I found the informational plaque about the kiln and how it works to be fascinating. The charcoal was critical to the smeltering process at the mine.
Great family trip and there are plenty of other trails within the canyon to hike, such as the Silver Rim Trail. This is also a fun place to camp where you don’t feel stuck next to strangers. It is a bit more “out there” and rural. Things to remember:
- It’s free! Yay!
- No restrooms
- No portable water supply
- Some picnic benches
- Dirt Road access only
- No garbage cans; pack out your trash, please!
- This is a HISTORIC structure. Please be respectful to its history for us and future generations.