Between Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park and the town of Kanab, the Moquith Mountain Wilderness Study Area, is an ecologically diverse extension of the Vermillion Cliffs along the Utah, Arizona border. Moquith Mountain is a plateau reaching about 7,000' and covered with thick stands of ponderosa pine mixed with Gambel oak and isolated stands of aspen. Off its lower eastern slopes you will find Cottonwood Canyon, a deep perennial stream with a lush riparian zone and myriad finger side canyons. This is a transitional ecozone, rich in interest for enthusiasts of plant and animal diversity, exhibiting parts of the Upper Sonoran and parts of the Colorado Plateau. Magical hanging gardens and ancient puebloan ruins are tucked into the protected alcoves of the side canyons.
Our service project is assisting the Kanab Bureau of Land Management protect an archaeological site that has seen increased visitation. The site has a large pictograph panel in an alcove and other signs of ancient Basketmaker-era artifacts at risk from increased visitor use and potential theft. If we finish this project early, we may move to other nearby sites to protect these priceless resources.
Our trip begins with a 3-mile backpack into Cottonwood Canyon where we will set up a basecamp approximately a mile from the work site. BLM will transport our commissary, group food and water to basecamp. Participants must be in good physical shape to move dirt around the site.
Check out more photos of last year's Kanab BLM project in our gallery.