WASHINGTON COUNTY – Confluence Park, host to four trailheads, named the Hurricane, the SR-9, the Center Street and the LaVerkin trailheads,opens to the public on Monday with opening day activities and ribbon cutting.
Located near LaVerkin, Toquerville and Hurricane, the 344-acre nature park marks the point of confluence of Ash Creek, LaVerkin Creek and the Virgin River and also provides access into parts of the Red Cliffs Reserve. It is in an area touted for its natural beauty and historical significance.
The park will be opening to the public on Monday, Sept. 24, opening day activities and ribbon cutting. Points of access to each of the four trailheads and directions to the park’s main entrance at the LaVerkin Trailhead are given below.
Opening day activities will be held at the park from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 24, and will consist of guided trail tours, a tree-planting activity, food and a flute accompaniment. A brief ceremony will be held at 6 p.m.
To sign up for trail tours and the tree-planting activity, call LaVerkin City or the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve Office (phone numbers below).
Although the park is not fully developed yet, it has a large trailhead with restrooms, parking, a large map and other interpretive signage.
Park recreation activities include hiking, mountain biking, picnicking and equestrian use. There is no motorized use beyond the LaVerkin Creek Trailhead.
Park hours are restricted to daylight only.
About the area
Confluence Park is a unique property that displays an amazing variety of scenery and habitat. It also has distinctive cultural and historical values. The area was a natural location for early human inhabitants. The Anasazi once lived at this confluence. They were followed by the Southern Paiutes.
The Dominquez and Escalante Expedition passed through in 1776. Escalante wrote in his journal about the terrain and told of finding small fields of corn alongside the streams.
In the mid 1800s, Parley P. Pratt searched the area for possibilities of future Mormon settlement. Few, however, would take up residence within the canyon walls. For the pioneers it became a successful farming area, utilizing the land for growing vegetables for themselves and feed for their livestock, while they chose to live on the surrounding bluffs.
Geologically, the Park’s lava formations are impressive. The plant life is diverse, from the riparian corridor to the sandy uplands. The animal life is a wide assortment that includes deer, fox, raptors, porcupines, endangered fish and more. The property also is filled with memories of earlier times – an old dairy barn, a wood structure that held turkey feed, a pecan orchard, and open fields.
Multiple trails are old roads, and every turn reveals a new perspective and interest in what is next to come. Perhaps the greatest surprise is the lack of noise. It is a very quiet place. One hears the rustle of the wind, the sound of running water, and an occasional bark of a dog.
In the mid-1990s the land was purchased by caring individuals, agencies, and other organizations for preservation. Today, it rests in the hands of Washington County. It is under conservation easements held by the Division of Wildlife Resources, and the endangered fish and the riparian corridor are heavily monitored.
Event recap and contact Information
Opening day: 4 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 24, ceremony at 6 p.m.
For trail tours and tree planting activity sign up:
La Verkin City telephone: 435-635-2581, ext. 0.
Red Cliffs Desert Reserve telephone: 435-634-5759 ext. 4.
The main entrance to Confluence Park is at the LaVerkin trailhead. You can access the park through the other trailheads as well.
1. Hurricane trailhead
From Main Street in Hurricane, travel north until the road ends. At this point you will see a faint trail that leads down to the river below.
2. SR-9 trailhead
SR-9 has a large bridge which crosses the river. Just north of this bridge is a pullout to the west. At this pullout you will see a trail that winds its way down to the river below. This trail follows the river to the old power station then continues on to eventually connect with the LaVerkin trailhead.
3. Center Street trailhead
From State Street in LaVerkin turn west on Center Street. At the end of the road there will be a trail which leads down into Confluence Park.
4. LaVerkin trailhead
From State Street in LaVerkin turn west on 900 North into a subdivision called Riverwoods. The paved road turns into a dirt road. Follow this dirt road to the Confluence Park parking lot found on your left (south).