Red Mountain Spa, St Ivins, Utah

A Bit of History:

The ancient Pueblo Native American tribe known as the Virgin River Anasazi inhabited this area for thousands of years, mainly in cliff dwellings and caves. Petroglyphs etched in the surrounding rock walls proclaim their existence. It wasn't until 1776 that European settlers entered the area when two Spanish Catholic fathers (Dominiguez and Escalante) ventured into what is now St. George to establish a mission. In 1826, Jedediah Smith, a self-proclaimed mountain man and fur trader, explored the area on his way to California, leaving in his wake, grandiose tales of bravado. In 1858, three hundred Mormon families from the southern United States, established cotton farms in the area. The idea was to establish self-sufficient colonies of Latter Day Saints who would supply needed materials to other colonies in the Utah settlements, so they did not have to depend on the Eastern states' products. The profusion of cotton farms that sprung up during this time resulted in the St. George area becoming known as "Utah's Dixie." Later, in 1874, silk production was also introduced and a great number of mulberry trees were planted to feed the silkworms. The trees still dot the area today. The colonies hardly succeeded, though due to harsh weather conditions and river flooding. Many of those settlements are now ghost towns, many of which are tourist attractions.