Improvements scheduled to begin on Anasazi Valley trailhead south of Ivins; BLM releases details

This 2020 file photo shows the Anasazi Valley trailhead in Ivins, Utah, Feb. 20, 2020 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Bureau of Land Management Utah St. George Field Office announced Wednesday that construction improvements will begin at the Anasazi Valley trailhead, located south of Ivins, starting Monday.

According to a press release from BLM Utah, the improvements are intended to support growing visitation and diverse populations, as well as promote public safety and protect resources. The project will be “seamless,” the release stated, and allow the public to visit Washington County’s Santa Clara River Reserve without interruption. However, visitors should be aware that heavy equipment will be used.

The year-round trailhead allows access to recreation areas for mountain biking and hiking and for viewing cultural resources and archeological sites. The red sandstone cliffs of the Santa Clara Bench provide a scenic background for the area best known for trail access to ancient petroglyphs and as a gateway to the Land Hill plateau, which boasts approximately 40,000 visitors annually, with 32,000 entering from the Anasazi Valley trailhead.

“The Santa Clara River Reserve construction project at the Anasazi Valley Trailhead supports growing visitation in this popular location, as it enhances user experience, expands facilities, protects resources, and provides for diverse populations to explore and visit safely,” St. George Field Manager Keith Rigtrup said in the press release. “Importantly, we ask the public to please use caution when navigating the project area and trailhead, which will remain open and operational for use.”

Improvements engineered and to be completed by BLM employees include parking spots for up to 54 vehicles, a widened entrance to the trail, a new vault toilet restroom, wood and wire fencing, grading for pavilion installation and flood prevention, an information kiosk, bicycle repair station and a nonmotorized singletrack trail that features an accessible pathway for people with disabilities.

The new pathway will grant access to dozens more people, helping serve diverse populations. The expansion supports BLM Utah’s and the Department of the Interior’s commitment to improving access in keeping with Biden-Harris administration priorities.

“These trailhead improvements will help protect natural and cultural resources,” Color Country District Manager Gloria Tibbetts said. “When visiting any BLM Utah site, we ask visitors to please be aware of your surroundings, to recreate responsibly and to proceed with caution during the construction and after the project is completed.”

Recommendations for safety and resource protection include the following:

  • Park in designated spots.
  • Obey way-finding signage.
  • Stay on marked trails.
  • Recreate responsibly and pack out trash.
  • Practice “Leave no Trace” ethics when visiting public lands.

The weather-dependent construction project is expected to be completed by early to mid-February 2022.

National Environmental Policy Act environmental assessments were completed in 2020. Members of the public can view the plan and related area maps by visiting the ePlanning site.

For additional information, please contact Keith Rigtrup at 435-688-3200 and email [email protected]. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for the above individual. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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