Silver Reef, Leeds, and Babylon Utah


The original route started at the Stormont Mine in Silver Reef and crossed through the town of Leeds at what is
now 200 North. Then the old wagon road headed southeast crossing what is now the Stirling property in Leeds.
Farther down, it passed through the Grapevine Gap where Grapevine Creek cuts a path through the anticline
and from there on to the Stormont Mill in Babylon.

It is believed there was an alternate route that went south near the river and then cut back to Babylon. This may
have been needed when flooding or spring runoff made the route through the gap impassable.

For an aerial view of the route through Leeds, click here. And for an aerial view of the general area, click here.


The newer route starts at Main Street (formerly Highway 91) and 900 North in Leeds. Then it runs in a southerly
direction about seven miles to the ghost town of Babylon on the northwest side of the Virgin River.

For an aerial view of the route, click here.


The Stormont mine owners made the decision to freight their mined rock down to a mill they would construct
on the bank of the Virgin River. This would allow them to use river water in the milling process. A remnant of that
freight road still exists between downtown Leeds and the Stirling property on the outskirts of Leeds. South of the
Stirling property, there is still clear evidence of that old road. That part of the historic road is a designated hiking
trail in the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. Most of the trail is very clearly an old road and there are
several places where the original road builders piled a huge amount of lava rock to try to stabilize the road as it
crosses drainages. It is not hard to visualize those heavy wagons of mined rock making their way toward the mill.

There is a trailhead at the Grapevine Gap above Babylon that hikers use to access the historic road and hike
back toward Leeds as far as Stirling property. Stirling's permission is needed to cross his land so without that
permission a hiker can't hike from Leeds all the way to Babylon on the old road. The trail does have ancient
petroglyphs as well as the historic rock structures. And sometimes tortoises can be seen there in the spring
and fall.

The current motorized route to Babylon that takes off north of Leeds may have been built during the 1950's
Uranium boom. That road is good enough for high clearance vehicles and should only be accessed in fair
weather as the lower part of that road could be hazardous if muddy.