The Crawford Canal was built by Mormon settlers in Zion whose community of farms in the Oak Creek Canyon was sometimes referred to as Crawfordville. Water was originally diverted from the west bank of the Virgin River (approximately one mile north of the present-day Virgin River Bridge) by moans of a pioneer-built wooden headgate. In 1931, the Oak Creek Canyon farms were purchased the National Park Service which took possession of the water delivery system. In 1933, CCC personnel of Camp N.P.2 widened the Crawford Canal to eighteen inches for a distance of 5,178 feet. A concrete cyclopean-type diversion dam was installed at the head of the canal on December 23, 1941 by the Park Maintenance Dept.
Although the canal is no longer functional, its course is clearly visible. The canal and its system of laterals provided water for livestock and irrigated fields of alfalfa and sorghum.