PHOENIX – In 2019, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and Bureau of Land Management signed a lease agreement allowing the Parks and Recreation Department to enter into a Recreation and Public Purposes (R&PP) lease with the BLM Hassayampa Field Office. Under the lease, the parks department manages approximately 1,046 acres of public lands within a much larger BLM designated recreation area near Wickenburg, Arizona.
"The lease allows for the construction and operation of recreation facilities, including a park entry station, parking, picnic and campground facilities, nature-themed playground, restrooms, trailheads and trails, a nature center, and an Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) staging area in the Vulture Mountains Recreation Area," said Maricopa County Board of Supervisor Clint Hickman, District 4. "However, before we can begin construction on the recreational phase of the project, several other improvements must occur in the area."
Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) will begin Phase I of the multiphase project. Over the next year and a half, MCDOT will construct park roadways, realign Vulture Mine Road and help to bring limited utilities to the area. Much of the work will be done adjacent to the roadway and will have minimal impact on vehicles traveling through the area.
“We are excited to be part of this collaboration that will connect residents and visitors to this recreational area,” said Maricopa County Department of Transportation Director Jennifer Toth. “Please know, safety is our number one priority. As we begin construction, drive safely and be aware of workers, trucks and equipment on Vulture Mine Road.”
"Once MCDOT has completed Phase I, we will move into Phase II and III, which focuses on day-use and camping facilities," added R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department director. "This project has been in the works for nearly two decades with several government agencies, the town, chamber, various stakeholders, and local community members providing guidance. While we have begun moving forward on Phase I, we are also focused on securing funding for additional phases."
“Because of the growth in Maricopa County communities, there is an increased demand for outdoor recreation in the area,” said Phoenix District Manager Leon Thomas. “An R&PP lease allows the county to expand recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike.”
To learn more about the roadway project, please visit the Maricopa County Department of Transportation’s roadway website at www.maricopa.gov/5807/Vulture-Mountains-Recreation-Area. Updates on facilities and recreational services being developed by Maricopa County's Parks and Recreation Department can be found at Vulture Mountains Recreation Area Park Projects. And information on the Vulture Peaks area is available at EplanningUi.