Hikers happy about Provo City’s purchase of Rock Canyon

Posted at 9:45 PM, Apr 29, 2014

PROVO, Utah -- It was big news Tuesday for anyone who hikes, climbs, picnics or does any other recreational activity at Rock Canyon in Provo.

City officials announced they have come to an agreement with the owners, the Davis Family, to purchase the 80 acres of land.

"I believe for many of us we'll look back at this as one of the most significant things that has happened in this decade to Provo City," said Mayor John Curtis.

Hiker Alan Horne has been exploring the trails of Rock Canyon since he was 10 years old.

"There's so much to do here -- climbing, mountain biking, you know, just hiking with the family," Horne said.

He said he's proud of the city for finally coming to an agreement to purchase the recreational ground that he's grown to enjoy so much.

"If you go down to where the Provo temple is and you look down to Rock Canyon it's almost a landmark in Provo so it would be a shame to have this place commercialized and have vehicles, big construction vehicles, up here back and forth,” Horne said.

The sale of the land concludes a 13-year legal battle between the city of Provo and the Davis Family.

The Davis Family had researched the possibility of building mining operations in the canyon.

"We never intended to mine it, we never worked toward that, we just wanted to show that the canyon has value and it's worth something," said Sparky Davis.

The exact terms of the sale are yet to be determined.

"There is a dollar amount agreed upon in the settlement, Provo City has 12 months to swap out some of that cash for land and so part of the deal is a land swap so going before the council is a $1.6 million appropriation but it may not be needed because of the land swap," Curtis said.

Provo residents applauded the sale during Tuesday's press conference. Those hiking the canyon said the news put an extra spring in their boots.

"We're glad to see them take over this piece of property and improve it," said David Mullaly.

"They're going to make sure you have a way in and not get closed out of here," said Marjorie Mullaly.

Horne said this is the kind of decision that will impact Provo's future forever.

"I'm just excited to have Rock Canyon officially as part of Provo City, it's probably here to stay, and I hope to enjoy it for years to come with hopefully myself and my family and kids, it's fantastic," Horne said.