Fort Pearce Heritage Site

Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 2937 - 2965 feet
Cellphone: 0-2 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Fort Pearce
Fee: none
Attractions: Historic fort, petroglyphs

The Fort Pearce Historic Site is located in Warner Valley east of St. George, Utah. The defensive structure was built on a bluff overlooking a popular route used by Indians by the local Mormon militia in 1866 to help protect settlers from raiding Ute and Navajo raiders led by Chief Black Hawk (Antonga) during Utah's Black Hawk Wars between 1865 and 1870.

To get there you can either enter Fort Pearce Historic Site into your driving app or from Interstate 15 take exit 2 for UT-7, the Southern Parkway. Continue for 10.4 miles and take the exit for the Warner Valley Road. Follow the Warner Valley Road for 6 miles and turn right at the sign.

Your driving app might only give directions to the turnoff to the fort but it is less than a half mile from there to the parking area. Passenger vehicles typically do fine driving the Warner Valley Road during dry conditions.

A rock wall surrounds the parking lot to help better protect the area from motorized off road travel. Flat benches designed into the wall in places provide a perfect place to sit and have a picnic while enjoying the scenic wash below the fort.

The fort was built without a roof as a place to protect its half dozen or so occupants during a raid.

Rectangular abutments were added to the northwest and southeast corners of the fort as flanking walls (information from BLM website). Narrow gun port slits were constructed near the tops of the walls. You can stand within the fort and peer through the slits to see the same terrifying view the militia would have had while under attack.

Below the fort on a bench is a short trail that leads to some nearby petroglyphs.

The petroglyphs are easy to spot on a slanted slab of rock.

There are a few geometric figures including several concentric circles.

Another stone structure with shorter walls is along the trail to the petroglyphs. We're unsure whether this was part of the corral mentioned on the BLM website.

Fort Pearce is interesting to visit to get an idea of how settlers of the time dealt with marauding Indians that were attempting to drive them from the land. At present there isn't a kiosk at the site that explains the reason for the fort and how it was used so we recommend reading the information from the BLM website beforehand to enhance your visit. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, more petroglyphs in Fort Pearce Wash for those that would like to explore further. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.