ST. GEORGE — Like the landscape itself, the facilities at Snow Canyon State Park are ever-changing, with trails being rerouted and pavilions being installed. Now, the park staff is proposing a new restroom.
The 378-square-foot restroom — including a custodial sidewalk — was proposed at the Nov. 28 Washington County Habitat Conservation Advisory Committee meeting. The committee oversees the Habitat Conservation Plan.
The facility would be on the park’s south end near the Johnson Canyon Arch trailhead, east of the Scout Cave parking lot. Because the restroom will have running water, it would require a septic tank and leach field. The project would temporarily disturb about 1,600 square feet of land near and on the Johnson Canyon Arch trail.
The project would take about a year to complete, bringing the number of restrooms in the park’s main canyon to seven — a necessity as visitation increases, Kristen Comella, Snow Canyon State Park manager, told St. George News.
“We want to make certain that we are providing the amenities and infrastructure needed by the public (clean and easily accessible restrooms are typically a highly sought after feature for visitors),” she wrote via email. “We are reinvesting money generated from the collection of entrance fees and campground fees to provide these public features and take care of guests.”
Because the project is “straightforward,” as described by Red Cliffs Administrator Cameron Rognan, the committee approved internal processing and evaluation of the proposal.
The park also recently reorganized several campgrounds and rerouted the part of the Lava Flow trail and the upper portion of the Cinder Cone trail with Friends of Snow Canyon volunteers’ assistance, Comella said.
The projects’ goals include maintaining quality experiences, increasing recreational opportunities and balancing recreation with protecting Mojave desert tortoise habitat, Comella said.
“The Lava Flow project was undertaken to reroute a steep and unsustainable portion of the trail which was never properly designed,” she wrote. “The existing trail had very steep grades and, in some portions, was very difficult for visitors to follow. The new section of trail is much easier to follow, more user-friendly, and should hold up better over time due to properly constructed grades and switchbacks.”
In late January and early February, the park also plans to install a partial shade pavilion at Paradise Canyon adjacent to the Chuckwalla parking lot and trailhead, Comella said.
“This will provide a shaded area for visitors to gather before or after their outings, seating, and picnic opportunities with scenic views of Paradise Canyon,” she said. “We will also be giving the existing vault toilets a facelift.”
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