BLM announces improvements and temporary road closures for Haekel Road near Hot Well Dunes

Contributed Photo: The BLM will be improving access to the popular Hot Well Dunes recreation area.

Infrastructure project will improve public access at the popular recreation area

Contributed Article/Courtesy June Lowery-BLM

SAFFORD – The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Safford Field Office is planning a road improvement project this fall that will improve public access to the 2,000-acre BLM-managed Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area, an extremely popular off-road, utility vehicle riding area. The road work will begin as early as Sept.16 and continue through Nov. 12. The work will improve the condition of Haekel Road, the main route in and out of the Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area. 

“The upcoming work will make traveling Haekel Road a much better experience and will make it much easier for people with motor homes and utility vehicle trailers to get in and out of Hot Well Dunes at any time of the year,” said BLM Safford Field Manager Scott Cooke. “Work to correct flooding issues at the San Simon crossing and repair potholes near the crossing was completed in summer 2019.”  

Chip sealing the road will be performed in two stages, north and south of the recreation area, to minimize impact to public access to the area. The following temporary road closures are associated with this project. 

  • Sept. 16–24 — Haekel Road south of recreation area (toward Bowie and Interstate10) 
  • Sept. 17–Oct. 1 — recreation area 
  • Sept. 25–Nov. 12 — Haekel Road north of recreation area (toward Safford and U.S. Route 191) 

While work is performed on one end of Haekel Road the other end will be accessible. During the project, signs will be posted at the Bowie and Safford ends of the road and the public will be alerted through radio public service announcements. 

The sands at the Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area were a beach surrounding a lake approximately two million years ago. What remains today is one of the most unique recreation spots in Arizona. Hot Well Dunes provides the opportunity to ride 2,000 acres of sand dunes and set up a camp all in the same location.  

The Hot Well Dunes is a nationally-known recreation area.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in the 11 Western states and Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.  

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