PANGUITCH — The Powell Ranger District of Dixie National Forest will open the Red Canyon Visitor Center for the 2012 season on April 6.

The center will initially be open Friday through Monday during April, and then expand operations to seven days a week starting May 1. Hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The center has a bookstore, art gallery and interpretive displays highlighting the area’s resources, along with current events and activities taking place in the Red Canyon area.    

This coming season, interpretive programs in geology, solar observation and night sky programs will be presented at the visitors center and Red Canyon Campground. The Red Canyon Visitor Center will again partner with Bryce Canyon National Park to provide the solar scoping and night sky programs, which were very popular during the 2011 season.    

The Art Gallery at the visitors center will have three painting exhibits this season featuring local southern Utah artists. The opening art exhibit will be Panguitch artist Virginia Valcourt, a painter who will feature oil paintings along with pen and ink drawings of the Red Canyon area. The exhibit will run April 6 through June 6 and will be open during regular visitor center hours.