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The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has acquired 41 acres at the mouth of a popular canyon in the Iron County town of Kanarraville.

In recent years, Kanarra Creek has becoming a busy hiking destination thanks to its stunning slot canyon and waterfalls. The town has developed a trailhead and parking lot, but private ownership of the canyon mouth constrained management options for the trail used by 40,000 hikers a year, according to the BLM's environmental analysis.

The BLM announced Tuesday it has tapped the Land and Water Conservation Fund to buy the land for $660,000 from the owner Blaine Webber and S.C. LLC.

"This land leads to an incredible slot canyon that is growing in popularity and a [wilderness study area] that is home to two major canyons, with ridges nearly 8,000 feet up," said Keith Rigtrup, BLM's acting Cedar City field office manger.

"We know there are many groups that have different interests in what this land has to offer, which is why the BLM's multiple use mission is uniquely qualified to help coordinate with organizations and local governments that have a vested interest in the area," Rigtrup said.

The 2-mile hike to Kanarraville Falls ascends a slot canyon and would be an ideal family hike but for some pour-overs that would be difficult for small children to negotiate.

The terrain is in the Spring Creek Canyon Wilderness Study Area, mostly BLM land except for a few sections of state trust lands.