Nature

Protect Your Public Lands

  • Leave arrowheads and other artifacts for others to enjoy.
  • Chalking or touching rock art (petroglyphs and pictographs) destroys them.
  • Climbing or sitting on the rocks can harm rock art.
  • Several historic cultural resource sites on the Arizona Strip have been developed with interpretive materials available for you to view and learn about our cultural heritage.
    • Dominguez-Escalante Expedition Site
    • Little Black Mountain Petroglyph Site
    • Old Spanish National Historic Trail
    • Sun Valley Mine

Please remember to leave only footprints, leave all artifacts in place and report any vandalism you witness to 1-800-637-9152. With all of us working together, we can save the Arizona Strip’s past before it vanishes.

Paria Canyon/Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness

Paria Canyon Permit Area – The Wilderness Experience
The spectacular scenic beauty of Paria Canyon is known nationwide. Hikers are drawn to its colorful, winding corridors of stone; its narrow, constricted gorges and its stunning display of seven major geologic formations exposed like the pages of a book.

Expect the wild! No designated trails, campsites, signs, or facilities will be found within the wilderness boundary. The canyon terrain is rugged and hikers should be in good physical condition.

Hiking conditions change in the canyon with the seasons. During the popular spring season, plan on hiking in ankle-to-knee deep water. During May and June, the Paria River can be dry for the first seven miles, with the remainder below the Buckskin Gulch confluence flowing year round. This hike can be extremely strenuous and hazardous during months prone to flash flooding. For several days after a flood, expect quicksand and mud to make hiking more difficult. Plan your trip using the Paria Canyon statistic charts for average monthly temperatures, precipitation, visitor numbers, and flood frequencies.

There are four trailheads that offer access to Paria Canyon. White House is the main entrance, and the one most commonly used. The Buckskin Gulch and Wire Pass trailheads offer more experienced hikers access to Buckskin Gulch, the main tributary of Paria Canyon. The Lee’s Ferry trailhead, located at the lower end of Paria Canyon is the normal exit point for hikers traveling the entire length of the canyon.

Numerous springs below the Buckskin Gulch confluence provide a reliable supply of drinking water. All water should be treated or filtered.

Are there visitor use limits in Paria Canyon and Buckskin Gulch?

Yes, but only for overnight use. No more than 20 persons total are allowed into the canyons per day. This is the total from all trailheads. There are no visitor limits on day use, but day-use permits are required. Permits for Coyote Buttes North and South are also available. Individual group size is limited to 10. If the group is larger than 10 people, the group will need to split into two groups of no more than 10 people and each group is required to enter the area on a separate day and is not permitted to travel with, enter or exit with, or camp with the other group.

Why does the BLM limit visitor use in these areas?

High visitor use, combined with the narrow nature of the canyons and small camping terraces, impacts the wilderness character of the canyon. Human waste and overcrowding can degrade an otherwise memorable backcountry trip. The visitor use limits are intended to meet resource management goals while preserving a pristine wilderness experience for visitors to this special place.

The Arizona Strip

The legacy of the Arizona Strip is found in the high concentration of archaeological and historical sites which remain. And yet, historic and prehistoric sites on the Arizona Strip are largely unknown because only 1% of the Strip has ever been surveyed. Rumors of Spanish gold and remnants of old stone cabins ask unanswerable questions. In many areas you can’t take a step without finding some indication of past human life.

The Arizona Strip has a rich, but little-documented history. Its record begins more than 12,000 years ago with prehistoric Native Americans called the PaleoIndians. Remnants of the once-extensive Puebloan (Anasazi) and Southern Paiute cultures are found throughout the Strip. Spanish and Mexican forays into the area occurred in 1776 and along the Old Spanish Trail during the 1820′s and 1830′s. Mining activities, timber cutting and settlement by farmers and ranchers began by the 1870′s. Later, the Civilian Conservation Corps created or improved many of the access roads and other structures. The communities of Mt. Trumbull, Wolf Hole and Little Tanks are now ghost towns. Names like Poverty Mountain, Hungry Valley, Last Chance Spring, Death Valley and Tombstone Canyon attest to the rough life of the pioneers. What little knowledge BLM has gathered comes from cultural surveys for projects or oral histories, stories and anecdotes related by older citizens of the area – a rapidly diminishing resource.

As more people discover the Strip, vandalism increases. More survey and research is necessary to record the information before these resources disappear completely. The Arizona Strip cultural resources program focuses on protection of cultural resources by working actively with Arizona Site Stewards and pro-active law enforcement; and by providing education about cultural resources to local amateur archaeological societies in Fredonia and St. George, school classes, the Natural Resources Camp and Sierra Club Service Groups.