Temple Mountain is a hub of recreational activity, from mountain biking to narrows hiking to exploring mining history. The tower-capped butte received its name for its resemblance to the many Mormon temples throughout Utah. From afar, it stands out as the beacon of the southern San Rafael Swell. In the past, the Temple drew a strong following of worshipers—but not a religious-minded congregation. The atomic age of the 1940s and 1950s heralded a flurry of activity to the Colorado Plateau and desert southwest.
Temple Mountain was the focus of much attention when prospectors and mining magnates alike scurried about Utah’s Canyon Country in search of uranium and other radioactive minerals. The butte’s maroon, gray, and chalk-white banded slopes were honeycombed with tunnels and shafts while a sizeable mining community prospered. Many found quick fortunes while others found financial ruin. Although its life span was short, Temple Mountain’s boom days are reflected in the abandoned mining camps and defunct mine workings that litter the district. Tread: Variably sand and rocky doubletracks.
© Gregg Bromka/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.