Virtual Visitor Center

Located on the edge of one of the most beautiful places on earth, the monument’s expansive landscape encompasses a chronicle of science, geology, cultures, and history. The remote location and barriers created by topography and vegetation combine to provide outstanding opportunities for solitude.

Rugged and secluded, this area is surrounded by one of the largest stretches of sparsely developed lands in the contiguous United States. To experience an area this remote takes time—at least 2 hours on a rough dirt road just to get to the monument boundary. Lack of services, need for a high clearance vehicle, and the requisite time it takes to prepare for a safe trip limits visitation but provides excellent opportunities for hiking, primitive camping, hunting, and photographing unobstructed views of interesting landforms and sweeping vistas.

To properly plan our adventure out into the monument, let’s take a moment to gather some critical information at the visitor center. Learn more about the general facts of the monument and talk with a ranger about popular activities and how to prepare a success expedition.

 

General Facts

On January 11, 2000, an area of 1,050,963 acres was set aside by President Clinton to protect the array of scientific and historic objects, and the remote, scenic qualities of the area. It is a special land filled with canyons, mountains, and deserts.

The proclamation placed Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument under joint management by the National Park Service (NPS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). These two agencies are tasked with administering the monument cooperatively—consistent with applicable laws, and whatever resources are necessary to properly manage the land. The National Park Service continues to have primary management authority over 211,110 acres and the Bureau of Land Management continues to have primary management authority over 808,727 acres.

The monument is located on the Colorado Plateau in northwestern Arizona, within the drainage of the Colorado River. It borders Grand Canyon National Park to the south, the state of Nevada to the west, and encompasses a portion of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Arizona Strip and the National Park Service (NPS) Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Joint Management

Presidential Proclamation designated Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument on January 11, 2000. It borders encompasses a portion of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Arizona Strip and the National Park Service (NPS) Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Through the Department of the Interior, both agencies will manage the lands within the Monument. Management continues under existing authorities, but is subject to the overriding purpose of protecting the scientific and historic objects described in the proclamation. The NPS has primary management authority on lands within Lake Mead National Recreation Area (211,110 acres), and BLM has primary management authority on the remaining portion of the monument (808,727 acres). Management of designated wilderness areas in the monument will continue in accordance with the Wilderness Act of 1964. Joint management responsibility offers both agencies a highly visible opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities in resource stewardship and management effectiveness.

Purpose

To retain, for scientific inquiry, long-term preservation, and public use and enjoyment for present and future generations, well-preserved examples of scientific and historic objects of interest, to protect those objects from unauthorized location or settlement and from unauthorized appropriation, injury, destruction, or removal. Those objects include:

  1. The exposed Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary strata on the boundary between two major geologic provinces, the Basin and Range and the Colorado Plateau;
  2. The potential for an abundant fossil record;
  3. The ecological diversity resulting from the junction of two physiographic ecoregions: the Mojave Desert and Colorado Plateau; and three floristic provinces: the Mojave, Great Basin, and Colorado Plateau, including a diversity of wildlife;
  4. The undisturbed archaeological evidence, displaying the long and rich human history spanning more than 11,000 years;
  5. Areas of importance to existing Indian tribes;
  6. The colorful and engaging scenery, natural splendor and a setting that provides for rugged recreation opportunities;
  7. The historic resources, including evidence of early European exploration, Mormon settlements, historic ranches, sawmills, and old mining sites.
  8. Remote and unspoiled landscapes with limited travel corridors.

Mission

Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument is a model of land management that conserves the natural, scientific and historic resources and includes ecological restoration and protection in a broad ecosystem context, while honoring the history and living traditions of the people who came before us—“The Place Where the West Stays Wild.”

1. Natural and cultural resources and associated values of Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument are protected, restored, and maintained in good condition and managed within their broader ecosystem and cultural context. The protection of cultural, human values, biological and physical resources for which the monument was created receives the highest priority in planning and management.

2. Management decisions about resources and visitors are based on scientific information. The monument is a model of research, investigative studies, and scientifically based management that guide the restoration of ecological processes, functions, and structures, and cultural landscapes.

3. Natural and social settings are managed to preserve the remote and unspoiled landscape character while providing opportunities for visitors to experience adventure, beautiful vistas, and a sense of discovery through a variety of appropriate and sustainable backcountry activities. The public receives the information they need to have a safe and enjoyable experience.

4. New planning direction (developed through a collaborative process) and an accumulation of valid existing decisions provide clear direction for the management of the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument.

5. The infrastructure footprint is the minimum necessary and is of consistent quality to provide for visual enjoyment, public safety, and protection of Monument values.

6. Traditional ranching operations and associated interpretive activities showcase the Monument's historical lifestyles, and enhance visitor experience.

7. Conservation and restoration of habitats that support sustainable populations of a full range of native species, including predators, are emphasized. Recovery and protection of special status species are a primary focus.

8. A variety of backcountry driving experiences are provided to key destinations and features via a system of designated roads while protecting natural and cultural resource values.

9. The preservation of natural quiet is emphasized in wilderness areas and in ROS primitive and semi-primitive non-motorized areas.

10. The public understands and appreciates the purposes and significance of the Monument and its resources for this and future generations.

11. The Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service at Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument use contemporary management practices, systems, and technologies to accomplish its mission.

12. The Monument serves as a model of efficient interagency coordination, incorporating the strengths of each agency. The Monument increases its managerial resources through initiatives and support from other agencies, organizations, and individuals.

 

Rules for Popular Activities

Camping and hiking are two ways people enjoy the beauty and solitude of the monument’s backcountry. Public lands throughout the monument are open for camping, just follow these simple rules:

Before you begin exploring, take time to plan your trip; make sure you have the proper equipment. All hiking is on unmarked routes. The terrain is rugged and requires bushwacking through dense brush in some areas.

 

Safety Training

Before venturing into the monument, be sure you are well prepared to deal with the adverse and isolated conditions you will encounter.

Driving in the Monument

Do not drive into the monument without purchasing the Arizona Strip Visitor Map. The map, road and safety information, and resource materials are available at the Arizona Strip Bureau of Land Management office located at 345 East Riverside Drive in St. George, UT; (435) 688-3200. Information is also available at Pipe Springs National Monument.

There is no paved road access into the monument. During dry periods grated dirt roads, are passable by 2-wheel drive vehicles, but may become impassable when wet. Use only well equipped four-wheel drive vehicles in good mechanical condition with full-sized spare tires to travel alternative routes.

Hazards

There are many hazards out in the wilds of Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument. Wildlife carries disease such as rabies, hantavirus, and plague, which can be transmitted to humans. For more information, contact your local health department.

Proper equipment

When visiting the remote area of Grand-Canyon-Parashant National Monument, be sure you are prepared. You can help properly prepare yourself by bringing along the right equipment.

_____ Map and compass (be sure you know how to use both)
_____ Proper clothing
_____ Extra Clothing (plan for bad or cold weather)
_____ Water (1 gallon / person / day)
_____ Water Purifier (filter or tablets)
_____ Food
_____ First Aid Kit
_____ Required medication
_____ Sunglasses & Sunscreen
_____ Pocketknife
_____ Matches
_____ Light source (flashlight, headlamp, or candle)
_____ Enough gasoline to get into and out of the monument

With proper planning, you can make sure you trip is a safe and enjoyable one. Have you planned out your trip? Have you left your itinerary with a family member or friend? Have you collected all the proper equipment? If you’ve answered “yes” to all of these, then let’s head on out! The Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service invite you to experience Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, a remote and awe-inspiring area in the Northwest corner of Arizona.

 

Links

Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument Index

Introduction

Virtual Visitor Center

The Colorado Plateau

Journey Through Time

Ecology of the Monument

Teacher Resource Center

 

Help and Information Center

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