Hualapai Mountain Park upgrades planned, funded

JC AMBERLYN/Miner <br>
Improvements may be made soon at Hualapai Mountain Park due to grant funds received by the county.

JC AMBERLYN/Miner <br> Improvements may be made soon at Hualapai Mountain Park due to grant funds received by the county.

KINGMAN - Off-highway user parking, campgrounds and facilities are getting an upgrade at Hualapai Mountain Park thanks to a $100,000 grant from Arizona State Parks.

State Parks Recreational Trails Grants Coordinator Robert Baldwin notified Mohave County Parks Administrator Shawn Blackburn on May 27 that the Off-Highway Vehicle Advisory Group gave a thumbs-up to all "Sticker Fund Project Selection Program" applications, including Mohave County's.

"These grant funds come from the purchase of off-highway vehicle stickers purchased from the Motor Vehicle Division," Blackburn said. "The stickers allow the use of all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes and other off-highway vehicles on public lands. A portion of the funds collected through the purchase of the stickers go to this grant program."

Blackburn applied for the grant in late February.

The $100,000 grant will enable the county to "expand the existing campground to include 18 additional sites with electricity, water and septic service; resurface existing access roads and parking areas with gravel; and install additional route directional signage and rules as well as a rally point ramada," Blackburn said. "Our off-road trails have become really popular. We have people using the trails every day of the week. And, a lot of the people are bringing larger rigs than what we anticipated. This new campground and parking area will have more room for trucks, trailers and toy haulers. We are looking at constructing 50-foot-long

campsites with adjoining space for people to enjoy the area."

The next step in the process will be for Mohave County Parks to rework the inter-governmental agreement with Arizona State Parks, he said. "As soon as we get that hashed out through the legal process, we will get it before the Board of Supervisors for approval. Once it is approved by the Board, the state can disburse the funds and we can break ground, possibly as early as next month.

"A lot of Mohave County residents own ATVs and purchase the state stickers," Blackburn said. "It's good to see some of that money coming back to this area."

Other improvements to Hualapai Mountain Park are also under construction.

"We recently completed some roadway improvements in the Deer Canyon area," he said. "We have widened Deer Canyon Road and filled in some rutted areas. And we are now working on the Snow Play area."

Hualapai Mountain Park and Davis Camp are Mohave County's regional parks.

"People are still coming to Davis Camp and launching boats," he said. "Even with the current economic downturn, Mohave County's regional parks are doing well. Our parks are not funded through property taxes. They are funded through grants and fees for service."

Day passes to the two regional parks are $5 and annual passes are $40. Starting July 1, annual passes will go down to $20 each to cover the remainder of the year.

Mohave County also has four community parks - Mt. Tipton Community Park in Dolan Springs, Veteran's Community Park in Golden Valley, Neal Butler Community Park in the Kingman area and Chloride Community Park.

"We are in the process of constructing a dog park at Neal Butler Community Park on the corner of Bank and Jagerson," Blackburn said. "We are hoping to wrap that up by the end of this month. We had a problem with people taking their dogs out on our ballfields. We took a look at it and were able to designate some funds to separate a dog park. The area will be sectioned off with half fenced for dogs that weigh more than 30 pounds and half for dogs that are less than 30 pounds. We have stations where people can get bags with which to clean up after their own dogs."

Blackburn spent 10 years working for Arizona State Parks before coming to Mohave County as Hualapai Mountain Park superintendent in 1998. He has been Mohave County Parks administrator since 2002.