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BLM > Arizona > What We Do > Recreation > Camping > Developed Campgrounds & Picnic Areas > Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area
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Virgin River Canyon Locality


The Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area is located off of Interstate 15 about 20 miles southwest of St. George Utah and about 20 miles northeast of Mesquite, Nevada. Take the Cedar Pockets exit, located halfway through the Virgin River and find yourself in the middle of a wilderness wonderland. Nestled in a pocket of the spectacular Virgin River Gorge, this recreation area is surrounded by colorful cliffs and rocky canyons. The Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area offers a developed campground, picnic/day use area, access to the Virgin River and two wilderness areas, and 2 hiking trails.

Whether you are having a picnic, or spending the night, don't neglect to hike the short trails leading to the Virgin River, and to a hilltop site where geology and history are explained. Keep a lookout for Bighorn Sheep who live on the rocky crags above the gorge.

Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area campground

The campground is open all year with 75 developed sites (many are pull-throughs), tables, charcoal grills, water, flush toilets, two handicapped-accessible sites and paved roads. The 33-site day use area offers picnic tables, charcoal grills, shade shelters and rest rooms. Three group sites are available. Fees are charged for overnight camping and group use. Campsites are $8.00 per night. Holders of an “America the Beautiful: The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass” series (Annual, Senior, and/or Access Passes) are entitled to a 50% discount. Your recreation fees are returned to the Recreation Area for continued operation and maintenance.

Supplemental Rules

Virgin River Gorge Nature Trail - 0.2 miles 

Enter the Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area and park at the top of the hill where the campground loop roads split.  This surfaced trail climbs 40 feet to the crest of a desert shrub-covered hill that commands an impressive view of the heart of the Virgin River Gorge.  Interpretive plaques at the summit display historic, geologic, and other information of interest. 

Sullivan Canyon Trail 

This is a non-motorized, 15-mile long route through the Paiute Wilderness Area. The route runs between the Virgin River Gorge Canyon and the ridgeline near Mount Bangs. It can be accessed from the Cedar Pockets exit or along the north-bound side of the Interstate at the mouth of Sullivan Canyon. The approach has no trail or markings, it is just a route up the Sullivan Canyon.

For additional information contact:

  Arizona Strip Field Office 
345 East Riverside Drive
St. George, UT 84790-6714
Phone: (435) 688-3200
Fax: (435) 688-3258
Field Manager:  Lorraine Christian 
Hours: 7:45 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Saturday