Fees may increase under business plan for Red Cliffs area

Published: Friday, Jan. 11 2013 4:50 p.m. MST

The Red Cliffs Recreation Area is situated 14 miles northeast of St. George and nestled against red sandstone cliffs, straddling Quail Creek and featuring picnic areas under large canopies of cottonwood trees.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

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ST. GEORGE — Replete with red rock wonders, a popularpopular but off-the-beaten-trail recreation area may see its entrance fees increased as federal officials craft ways to improve the visitor experience.

The Red Cliffs Recreation Area is situated 14 miles northeast of St. George and nestled against red sandstone cliffs, straddling Quail Creek and featuring picnic areas under large canopies of cottonwood trees.

Last year, it saw 37,000 visitors who took advantage of popular hikes or tried to get a glimpse at ancient Anasazi archaeological sites.

Under a business plan proposed by the Bureau of Land Management, the recreation area would see fee increases for the first time since 1997. The fee for day-use would increase from $2 a carload to $5 a carload. The overnight camping free would go from $8 per night to $15 per night.

The BLM said even with the proposed increases, fees for the Red Cliffs Recreation Area would remain below the fees charged by other federal and state recreation facilities with similar amenities in the region. 

A draft business plan for the recreation area also includes information on how collected fees were used in the past and how future revenues would be used to operate, maintain, and upgrade recreation area facilities, according to the BLM.

The public can provide written comments on the plan during a public comment period that runs until Feb. 8.

Written comments should be mailed to the BLM, St. George Field Office, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, attention Kyle Voyles at 345 E. Riverside Drive, St. George, UT, 84790.

Written comments may also be submitted via email.  Please include “Red Cliffs Recreation Area” in the subject line and send comments to: kvoyles@blm.gov.

E-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com

Twitter: amyjoi16

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