The Paiute Indians called the area Timpoweap, “Rock Canyon”. It is a deep gorge where the Virgin River emerges from the Hurricane Fault. The town of Hurricane lies below the fault to the south of the river and the community of La Verkin. Hot sulphur springs boil up from the bottom and sides of the river on the fault line. About one mile below the hot springs the conjoined streams of Ash Creek and La Verkin Creek make a common confluence with the Virgin River. It is a site of great historical significance.
Dominguez and Escalante in 1776 made the first historical reference to American irrigation as they observed it at this watercourse confluence: it was a Paiute Indian farm and remains a farm to this day. There are those who say that mountain men Jedediah Smith, George C. Yount, and William Wolfskill passed this way. For certain, the Parley P. Pratt southern expedition of 1849-50 and the John Steele–J.C.L. Smith exploration of 1852 along the Markagunt Plateau and Upper Virgin River used this river junction as a landmark. It was a place that could be forded.
The river has cut deep into the volcanic walls of Timpoweap Canyon, thus making it impossible to take water directly to the table-lands above. However, the soil was fertile and there was good forage, so the pioneer residents of Toquerville and Virgin town were able to use the benchland as range for their herds. These users always dreamed that some day they could get irrigation water onto the flat surface.