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It was a beautiful day today, and I had the day off. What to do? I think you know the answer to that. Since I needed to go some place close I decided I would visit the Babylon Mill area. The Babylon Mill is located on the north shore of the Virgin River, and was the only water powered mill to process ore from nearby Silver Reef. At it's peak, the adjacent community of Babylon included only about 25 families. Not much remains. To get to Babylon I rode west on pavement, then took the shortcut past Quail Lake Reservoir to get to Leeds, a small community near Silver Reef. At the north end of Leeds I found an interesting sculpture.







Babylon Mill lies in the Red Cliffs Desert Preserve, prime desert tortoise habitat. So, you need to watch for tortoises, and if you're on a motorized vehicle you may not stray off of designated roads!







On the way to the mill I noticed there are a lot of tailing piles scattered in the area. Some that I checked out appeared to be exploratory in nature, and some appeared to be more recent, like after Silver Reef's heyday. I stopped at the Toquerville mine and looked around.











The mine entrance is gated.







It's clear the installer didn't want the gate to be pulled loose.







The tunnel made a bend to the right, so I couldn't see how far down it went.







Do you suppose this was what they were looking for?







It looked as if they were following this greenish colored seam.



 

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This shallow cave had some rocks thrown up to form a crude wall, like someone had used it as shelter for a time.







This area isn't far from my home, but being on the north side of the river isn't easily accessible from the south.







The end of the road. The river is at the base of the cliffs.















There isn't much left of the mill, or the nearby community of Babylon.



















This website shows what Babylon looked like back in the day.
 

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I didn't know that bailing wire plants grew in this area! I should've "harvested" some wire and put it in my tool kit as we all know that bailing wire can cure a lot of evils, and is becoming a scarce commodity.







Working my way to the east to complete the loop. Lots of sand in the area.







Looking east. Smith's Mesa on the left, Gooseberry Mesa on the right. Both the subject of earlier ride reports.







Back to civilization! That's the big city of Toquerville in the background. The hill behind looks kind of bald since it burned last summer.











Ash Creek. There's a nice modern bridge about 30 yards to the right, but what's the fun in that? It was only about a foot deep, and no I didn't slip and fall in!
The water probably would've been pretty cold, though!







The rest of the trip home was on the slab, so no pictures. I hope you enjoyed the ride!





 

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I dream of having a place like that to go riding. What a really neat area you live in.



This spring and summer and fall I am getting out and going somewhere.
 

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This spring and summer and fall I am getting out and going somewhere.


Thanks, and that sounds like a great New Year's resolution for all of us!



Beautiful area to ride, I'm jealous! Thanks for posting this.


You're welcome, I'm glad you enjoyed it.
 

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too cool b-Dub. Awesome pics.
 

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Always nice to experience your rides through pictures. It's such a beautiful desert area, with such rich history, and fortunately for us, you're willing to share with us. Viewing this photo, I just imagine the clicky clack of horse hooves from a bygone era. Thanks for sharing.
 

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I agree... beautiful and i wished i had areas to ride like that....



Just a few more days until hunting season is over and then the dirt back roads through the woods will be safer to ride and explore.
 

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Nice ride! thanks for the pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks guys! Yes Admiral, now that you mention it with the road disappearing in the distance it does kind of make you imagine a cowboy riding off into the sunset.
 
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