Our Sunday Drive this week features the Santa Clara River Reserve. Located along the Santa Clara River and the surrounding mesas south of Ivins and west of Santa Clara, the reserve is well worth the drive.
The reserve is managed by the BLM and features some amazing hiking opportunities. There are also quality mountain biking trails that are also spectacular trail runs this time of year when the weather is a bit cooler. There are petroglyphs to be found, and wildlife in abundance along the riparian corridor of the Santa Clara River.
If you’re lucky you may spot a golden eagle or a red-tailed hawk in the skies above but keep your eyes peeled on the ground for rattlesnakes as well.
The views from the tops of some of the higher-elevation trails are gorgeous. The Red Mountain in Ivins, snow-capped Pine Valley Mountain, portions of Snow Canyon State Park, and the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve above St. George can all be seen.
Located in southern Utah’s desert environment. The Santa Clara River Reserve is comprised of 6,500 acres of public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The reserve protects open space, archaeological and natural resources, and recreational opportunities important to local communities.
Contained within the reserve is the Land Hill Heritage Site, part of the 1,645-acre Santa Clara/Land Hill Area of Critical Environment Concern, which contains numerous prehistoric sites and vital riparian habitats. The reserve is also home to many plant and animal species unique to the Mojave Desert.
The Bureau of Land Management, together with the cities of Ivins and Santa Clara, developed strategies that allow for visitor experiences while protecting these valuable resources. Numerous trails in the reserve take visitors to evidence of prehistoric Ancestral Puebloan and Southern Paiute cultures, rich riparian areas, and scenic vistas.
Please respect and appreciate this special public use area. Please remember that taking artifacts is illegal. Observe, sketch, or photograph objects of interest, but leave them undisturbed.
You’ll also often find people getting in a little target practice in the surrounding hills on weekends so be careful when you're driving in and out, but the reserve itself prohibits this activity along with any motorized vehicles.
You can find more information on the BLM’s website at https://www.blm.gov/visit/santa-clara-river-reserve and the BLM has s a handy PDF brochure that includes directions for the reserve online at https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/documents/files/SCRR_brochure.pdf