Arizona, RV Parks, Travel

Virgin River Gorge Boondocking

If your RV travels ever have you driving down the 15 out of Vegas on your way into (or out of) Utah (don’t miss Zion), you could very easily drive right by this small campground in the Virgin River Gorge nestled in the Arizona Strip. That’s not to say you should drive right by this little campground – because at $8 — it’s a very scenic and tranquil place to park yourself for a night or two before hitting the crowds that go along with Zion or detoxing afterwards.

Take the “Cedar Pocket” exit – #18, which happens to be the only exit in the gorge. There’s nothing to indicate that there’s a campground, so you just have to know it’s there. Drive a little ways down a small paved road and you’re there – Virgin River Canyon Campground. No frills. No hook ups. No dump station. Even the sign that greets you could use a little sprucing up. There is fresh water but that’s about it. For a couple of nights of solitude, what else do you need? There are two or three restrooms on site that were clean and well stocked (no showers – best to be self contained or not care). Dumps located up the road a bit in St. George are plentiful. They only take cash, so have your $8, or increments thereof, ready.

Our Aspire is 43′ in length, and there were a few spots that could accommodate us. Our parking space of choice (#62) was gravel and surprisingly level. Each campsite had a picnic table and fire pit, and some even have covered picnic areas. As stated, no hookups, but there aren’t any stated rules on generator use, other than common sense and being courteous to your neighbors. The night we were there, no one ran their generators after dark (believe this is standard camping/glamping etiquette), and despite the highway being only a few hundred yards from the campground, it was very quiet when the sun went down. The campground did fill up as the day went on, so like anywhere, best to get there early and stake your claim.

And the stars! It was a new moon so there were lots and lots of stars.

Verizon worked okay – not great. Another reason to unplug and relax. The town of Beaver is about 10 minutes (limited resources) to the West and Mesquite NV is about another 10 minutes past that (supermarkets, etc). The town of St. George (much larger) is about 20 minutes to the East. Note – if you’re on a wine hunt, go West into Nevada. Or just come well prepared and don’t go anywhere until you have to.

We spent one night in the Virgin River Gorge and it didn’t disappoint. Tested out some things on the new coach to make sure they are in working order before our big Summer Roadtrip commences, which will be here before we know it. Read a book. Sipped wine while the sun went down (then it got chilly). Walked around the campground a few times and said hello to the other folks who were either passing through, or who liked it so much they extended their stay ($90/month).

Only thing we didn’t do was make a campfire. Ran out of time. It’s just an excuse to go back again.

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