We’ve been living in Ivins, Utah for about a year now. Ivins started off as a, uh, reservoir. In the early 1900’s, the farmers in Santa Clara wanted some more water so a group of them set about on building an irrigation canal from near the Gunnison area to what was called the Santa Clara Bench (Ivins’ current location). With the availability of new water more settlers came into the area and it was incorporated into a town in 1935. Today most of the farmland that came from that venture was sold to developers after the recession of 2009 and in a short time it has been transformed into a residential suburb of St. George.
If you hang out in Ivins long enough you might be surprised by some really cool clouds now and then.
Palm Trees, Snowy Mountains, Red Cliffs and Cookie Cutter Houses are the integral components of the town.
Sunset over Red Mountain in a farmer’s field surrounded by bamboo stalks.
I only moved into Ivins by chance. It was the only place i could find a house to rent when i moved into the area. Since then i’ve grown fond of it, although it’s quickly going downhill. Just in the year i’ve lived in the area enough land has gone into the development phase to grow the population by 30%! Ivin’s seems to be under full control of developers now (as does Snow Canyon State Park), and it’s clear there has not been any good planning to make it a well thought out little town.
Ivins sits along Old Utah Highway 91. That would be a great place for new businesses and homes, especially south of there where a broad plate of rock rises about 1,000 feet over a few miles of nearly barren Mojave landscape. It’s the ideal place to build terraced neighborhoods all the way from here to the Interstate that would offer great views of the Red Cliffs and Pine Mountain. Yet, the entire area along the highway is largely ignored while developers instead race to build as many structures and tall buildings along the base of Red Mountain as they can fit into the city limits. Development is restricted to the west by the Shivwits Band of Paiutes Reservation. The Shivwits lived in Ivins since about 1,100 B.C. They will once again have the most scenic land after Ivins tilts beyond the overdevelopment line in the next few years.
The Tempi’po’op Trail will lead you to the old part of town.
I’m frankly amazed the glyphs are in as good a condition as they are, being so close to town. If this is due to vigilant volunteers they are doing a commendable job.
Some of the glyphs are several thousand years old. The cliffs where you find them provide an excellent scout lookout in every direction.
For a few more years there are still a lot of options for getting away from people. Snow Canyon is right next to town. A small patch of not-yet-sold SITLA land in the middle of town is nice for walking the dog in the evening and maybe spotting a coyote. The Toe Trail at the bottom of Red Mountain is also a very nice evening walk, until the 5-Star Sentierre Resort being built at the end of it sends every one of it’s guests out on it, crowding out the locals. Gunlock Lake State Park is just past the Reservation and to the South of town is a lot of empty BLM land, the Beaver Dam Mountains and the Mojave.
We were fortunate enough last spring to have hummingbirds born in our back yard. A baby hummingbird is very tiny! The mother uses spider web to build her nest. They grew up and flew off in what seemed like only two or three weeks.
This was another bird born in our backyard. I don’t know the variety but the parents were very pretty yellow birds. Unfortunately this one was killed by a neighbor’s cat the night after i took this, which really irritated me.
The mother hummingbird.
Another place to go near town is a redrock wildland south of Gunlock Lake.
There are lots of neat little discoveries to be made in the area if you can find areas that haven’t been overrun with ATV tracks.
Sunset over the Beaver Dams
One of the less attractive places (but interesting for it’s weirdness) is this salty stream that seems to flow all year long.
Walking along the salty stream you may hear frequent gunfire as you will be downrange from this target on the stream banks behind someone’s house.