Feds approve Waddy’s Parking Corral at Sand Mountain Recreation Area to improve public safety 

The staging area of Waddy's Corral at Sand Mountain will consist of a large open area with delineated parking and will be fenced in with round rail fencing. The staging area will also contain a single vault style restroom, undated | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Bureau of Land Management St. George Field Office hopes to improve public safety by approving the creation of parking and off-highway vehicle staging areas at Sand Mountain Recreation Management Area in Washington County.

Black and green dot indicates site of Waddy’s Corral Park | Map courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, St. George News

According to a news release from the bureau, upgrades include a five-acre parking corral for up to 50 vehicles and trailers with two retention basins, a vault toilet restroom and an information kiosk to be built, as soon as possible.

The surrounding 15 acres will be reserved for future expansion as funding allows. 

“This decision assists with the growing interest in the Sand Mountain Recreation Area, allowing outdoor enthusiasts and their families a safe place to park and gather,” BLM Color Country District Planning and Environmental Specialist Callie Goff said. “We appreciate the partnerships that make these types of improvements possible on BLM-managed public lands.” 

This area is experiencing a rapid rise in outdoor recreation and is increasingly popular with off-highway vehicle users who enjoy the dunes at Sand Mountain Recreation Area, according to the news release. In 2021, more than 375,000 people visited Sand Mountain.

The current parking and staging areas are simply not equipped to accommodate all users. Recreationists have turned to parking along State Route 7, the Southern Parkway that loops east of St. George, and other undesignated parking areas, causing backups, congestion and even accidents.

By building the new parking corral, visitors will not only have a designated place to park, but also a location to safely gather, orient themselves and review safety protocols before entering the sand dunes, the bureau said

Additionally, the Bureau of Land Management acknowledged the role of organizations in this improvement:

This project would not be possible without our continued partnership with Utah Public Lands Alliance and the Desert Roads and Trails Society. Both non-profit organizations are dedicated to supporting the use of public lands for outdoor recreation. These organizations will fully fund the project in order to enhance the overall recreation experience at Sand Mountain. The parking area will take 30 days to complete once construction begins. For more information, visit the project website 

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