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BLM > Arizona > What We Do > National Conservation Lands > National Monuments > Vermilion Cliffs > Cultural & Historic Sites
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Vermilion Cliffs Nat'l Monument
Cultural & Historic Sites

pictographThe 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.

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. 

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.

 Vermilion Cliffs National Monument 
Monument Manager:  Wayne Monger, Acting
345 E. Riverside Drive
St. George, UT 84790-6714
(435) 688-3200 
Hours: 7:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday 
10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Saturday 
Closed Sunday

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