Eliot on High flames Drifter
There are two camps when it comes to the VRG: Those who scoff at the idea of ever climbing there and the die-hard few who swear it is the best climbing in the country. The truth is the VRG has some of the worst scenery of any climbing area, but some of the best rock. If you can get past not being able to hear yourself think (or your partner for that matter), ugly road cuts, graffiti, and sometimes inhospitable temperature extremes, you will be rewarded with difficult, sustained lines, fantastic movement, and plenty of hard climbing.
Grades pretty much start at 5.12 here, and the best lines are in the hard 12 and up range. Climbing exists on both the sunny, north side of the gorge (Sun Cave, Sun Wall, and Fossil Cave) and the shady south side (Mentor Cave, Planet Earth Wall, Blasphemy Wall). Bring draws and a 60 or 70m rope. Generally, climbing season is from October to April. Summer months are hot.
From the North: Take I-15 South from Saint George. After mile marker 14 cross a bridge over the Virgin River. Park immediately after this at a pullout on the right by an immense embankment/dirt mound. From the South, continue past the VRG to exit 18, turn around and follow above directions. There is camping amongst the used syringes and condoms in a gravel pit just north of the highway at exit 18.
Weather station 5.0 miles from here
37 Total Routes
['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',9],['1 Star',8],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Virgin River Gorge
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Virgin River Gorge:
Featured Route For Virgin River Gorge
Captain Fantastic 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a AZ
: Northern Arizona
: ... : Planet Earth Wall
This right trending extension off of Dirt Cowboy is not to be missed. At the anchors of Dirt Cowboy, continue past long moves and head right at the second bolt to the mono thread. Reachy pulls between edges, pockets, flakes, and mini tufa pinches gains a small "jug" rail at the last bolt. Deliberate 5.12 climbing through the engaging runout to the anchors concludes this absolutely brilliant climb....[more] Browse More Classics in AZ
Local Information for Virgin River Gorge
Latest Regional Forum Messages
Parking area as viewed from Mentor Cave.
Mike Doyle on Necessary Evil
By Spencer Weiler
From: Salt Lake city
Oct 22, 2012
If coming from south, there is a huge dirt road pullout right after mile marker 13 on the right side that you can park at rather than doing the loop around if you prefer.
By skinny legs and all
From: Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Feb 14, 2014
It is not recommended to leave any valuables in your car while climbing at the VRG. The meth heads who patrol this highway corridor will smash your window and nick your stuff without haste.