Red Cliffs National Conservation Area
The approximately 45,000 acres of public land in the Red Cliffs NCA are located in south-central Washington County. The towering Pine Valley Mountains and Dixie National Forest lie to the north, while the communities of Ivins, Santa Clara, St. George, Washington, and Leeds ring the National Conservation Area (NCA). The NCA is an important component of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, a multi-jurisdictional land base that has been collaboratively managed by BLM, the State of Utah, Washington County, and local municipalities since 1996 to protect populations and habitat of the threatened Mojave Desert tortoise and other at-risk native plant and animal species.
The conservation area's 130 miles of non-motorized trails provide world-class recreational opportunities while protecting crucial habitat. It encompasses two wilderness areas, the Red Cliffs Recreation Area, the Red Cliffs Campground, over a hundred miles of non-motorized trails, as well as heritage public use sites.
Despite its location on the urban interface, the NCA lands are rugged and provide few amenities. Many visitors have underestimated this desert environment making errors in estimated travel times, water needs, and various other factors that affect their safety and well-being. Always take the time to adequately prepare for your outing.
Recreation uses are guided by the biological sensitivity, ecological durability, and resiliency of the habitats found within the NCA. Generally, the area described as the Upland Zone is less biologically sensitive and more ecologically durable, whereas the Lowland Zone is more biologically sensitive and less durable. Consequently, the Upland Zone has fewer recreation use restrictions and offers the greatest freedom for recreational users. Conversely, the Lowland Zone has many recreation use restrictions in order to protect sensitive species and their habitats. The recreation uses prescribed below are intended to balance resource protection with recreational access.