Cottonwood Trail reopens following trailhead improvements

Cottonwood trailhead after the rain, Hurricane, Utah, March 11, 2020 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —The Bureau of Land Management has reopened the Cottonwood Trailhead in the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area for public.

Smoke builds above the Cottonwood Trail Fire between Hurricane and Leeds, Utah, July 19, 2020 | Photo courtesy Travis Phillips, St. George News

The Cottonwood Trail was closed due to damage from the July 2020 Cottonwood Trail Fire and was reopened Jan. 16 to the public, according to a press release issued by the BLM.

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area Manager Dawna Ferris-Rowley said that while the reconstruction work took a little longer than they had hoped, the trailhead is now safe and usable.

“We have also made improvements, like a new restroom and a better layout for vehicle parking,” she said.

“We still ask that visitors stay on designated trails only,” she added, “so that there is no further damage to the areas adjacent to the trailhead that we are working to rehabilitate.”

Reconstruction was able to begin shortly after the fire since the BLM already had plans and funding to renovate and improve the trailhead.

In a previous St. George News article, BLM Public Information Officer Christian Venhuizen said that the fire did not impair the work at the trailhead but rather accelerated the timetable to repair the damage to the site.

Improvements to the trailhead include more visitor parking and an improved traffic circulation design, a new vault toilet, a bike repair station and a new interpretive panel to educate visitors about the threatened Mojave Desert tortoise.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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