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Camping at Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area

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The Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area is a picturesque site located in the Arizona Strip, just off Interstate 15. The recreation area is situated in a beautiful and rugged portion of the Virgin River Gorge, which provides a stunning backdrop for a variety of outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, fishing, and picnicking.

Camping Information

Reservations and Fees:

  • Reservations: Camping spots are often available on a first-come, first-serve basis, but it's best to check if there is an option to reserve a spot in advance, as policies can change.
  • Fees: There is usually a nightly fee for camping which typically provides access to a campsite and basic facilities.

Campground Amenities:

  • Campsites: The campground typically offers developed sites that may include picnic tables, fire pits, and grills.
  • Facilities: Restrooms and potable water are commonly provided, but it's wise to verify the availability of these services before arrival.

General Rules and Regulations:

  • Stay Limits: Most areas enforce a maximum stay limit, which can range from a few days to a couple of weeks.
  • Campfires: Check local fire regulations as they change frequently with weather conditions and seasons. Fire restrictions or bans may be in place.
  • Pets: Pets are usually allowed but must be kept on a leash and under control at all times.


Hiking: The area offers various hiking trails that range in difficulty from easy strolls to more challenging treks through the Virgin River Gorge.

Fishing: The Virgin River can provide opportunities for fishing, although the area might require a valid fishing license, and adherence to state regulations is necessary.

Wildlife Viewing: The scenic region is home to a variety of wildlife, and observing these animals can be a rewarding experience for nature lovers.

Photography and Scenery: The dramatic landscapes offer ample opportunities for photography enthusiasts to capture stunning shots of the natural beauty.

Access and Directions

The recreation area is located off Interstate 15, which is a major highway running through the region. The closest towns for supplies are St. George, Utah, and Mesquite, Nevada.

Weather and Best Time to Visit

The climate in the Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area is typical of the desert, with hot summers and mild winters. The best times to visit are spring and fall when temperatures are more hospitable for outdoor activities.

Preparation and Safety

Pack in/Pack out: Like many outdoor areas, it's required that you pack out all your trash and leave no trace of your visit.

Water: Always bring plenty of water especially in the summer months, as the heat in the canyon can be extreme.

Weather Awareness: Monitor weather forecasts for sudden changes, such as flash floods or thunderstorms, which can be particularly dangerous in canyon environments.

Emergency Preparedness: Ensure you have a first-aid kit, know the location of the nearest hospital, and have a plan for emergency communication since cell service may be unreliable.

Wildlife Precautions: Be aware of the local wildlife and take precautions to avoid encounters with potentially dangerous animals such as snakes.

Additional Tips

  • Check with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or local ranger stations for the latest information regarding conditions and regulations.
  • Be respectful of the natural environment and the other visitors.
  • Always tell someone your itinerary and expected return time when embarking on backcountry activities.

Before planning your trip to the Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area, it is crucial to check the most current information regarding campground availability, fees, and regulations, as these details can change seasonally and with evolving land management policies.

Map of Campgrounds in Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area
Campgrounds in Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area
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