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Dixie National Forest, Utah

Dixie National Forest, Utah

The following text is quoted from United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service

The Dixie National Forest, with headquarters in Cedar City, Utah, occupies almost two million acres and stretches for about 170 miles across southern Utah. The largest National Forest in Utah, it straddles the divide between the Great Basin and the Colorado River. The southern rim of the Great Basin, near the Colorado River, provides spectacular scenery.

Dixie National Forest, Utah

Elevations vary from 2,800 feet near St. George, Utah to 11,322 feet at Blue Bell Knoll on Boulder Mountain.
Colorado River canyons are made up of many-colored cliffs and steep-walled gorges.

The Forest is characterized by four distinctive geographic areas.
High altitude forests in gently rolling hills characterize the Markagunt, Pansaugunt, and Aquarius Plateaus.
Boulder Mountain, one of the largest high-elevation plateaus in the United States,
is dotted with hundreds of small lakes 10,000 to 11,000 feet above sea level.

The Forest enjoys many climatic extremes. Lower elevations receive 10 annual inches while
Brian Head Peack receives more than 40 inches. At the higher elevations, most of the annual precipitation falls as snow. Thunderstorms are common during July and August and produce heavy rains.
In some areas, August is the wettest month of the year.

Dixie National Forest, Utah
Temperatures can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit near St. George to winter lows
exceeding -30 degrees Fahrenheit on the plateau tops.

The vegetation of the Forest grades from sparse, desert-type plants at the lower elevations,
low-growing pinyon pine and juniper at the mid-elevations
while at the higher elevations, aspen, pine, spruce, and fir predominate.

RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES

Three National Parks and two National Monuments border the Forest. The scenic beauty for which these areas were set aside prevails over much of the Forest. Red sandstone formations of Red Canyon, Hell's Backbone Bridge and the view into Death Hollow are breathtaking. See for miles into three different states from the top of Powell Point. Boulder Mountain and the many different lakes provide opportunities for hiking, fishing, and viewing outstanding scenery.

Dixie National Forest, Utah
Recreational opportunities are almost limitless. Enjoy camping, hunting, viewing scenery, hiking, horseback riding, and fishing. Other tastes may enjoy picnicking, resort lodging, sledding, skiing, hunting, gathering forest products, viewing scenery, driving for pleasure, as well as snowmobiling, biking, canoeing, sailing, swimming, & water skiing.

Wilderness: The Forest has 83,000 acres of wilderness in three areas: Pine Valley, Box-Death Hollow, and Ashdown Gorge. Pine Valley and Ashdown Gorge offer opportunities for solitude, horseback riding, and hiking. Though Box-Death Hollow is too rough for horses, it too offers opportunities for nature-appreciation and hiking.

Dixie National Forest, Utah
Nature Appreciation: The Dixie National Forest supports a wide variety of wildlife species and terrain.
Gentle plateaus and rocky cliffs provide habitat for cougar, bobcat, blue grouse, golden eagle, cottontail rabbit,
wild turkey, antelope, and the Utah prairie dog.

Hunting: Big game hunting has long been a major wildlife attraction though recently there has been an increased interest in wildlife for its viewing and photographing enjoyment. Mule deer and elk abound.

Fishing: Good fishing is found in the many lakes, reservoirs, and streams throughout the Forest. Gamefish include brook, rainbow, cutthroat, brown trout. Many interesting birds and mammals provide interest in areas adjacent to bodies of water.

Dixie National Forest, Utah
Camping: There are 26 campgrounds and 5 picnic sites on the Forest as well as several group camping areas and group picnic areas for those who enjoy camping or picnicking as a group some of which are located near lakes and reservoirs (Panguitch Lake, Navajo Lake, Enterprise Reservoir). These areas have boating and fishing opportunities available.

Dixie National Forest
Winter Sports: Opportunities for winter sports, such as cross skiing and snowmobiling are available in many of the areas. There are also over a thousand miles of timber roads that can be used for these sports.
There is also downhill skiing at Brian Head which can accommodate 3,200 skiers at one time.



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