Deep Creek North Wilderness
Guide

Introduction

Deep Creek North Wilderness is a Bureau of Land Management wilderness area contiguous with the Deep Creek Wilderness in the southwest corner of Utah. The two wilderness areas contain about 7500 acres of public land, with the Deep Creek North Wilderness containing 4,478 acres of preserved wilderness area for recreational activities and wildlife habitat.

Zion National Park is located to the south and borders the southern Deep Creek Wilderness area, and Cedar Breaks National Monument is located a short distance to the north. Although motor vehicles are not permitted in Deep Creek North Wilderness, RV camping is popular in the surrounding regions. Want to explore this vast wilderness area with an RV? Check out Cedar Breaks, Utah, RV Rentals.

Elevations in Deep Creek North Wilderness vary between 6200 and 6800 feet above sea level, and the high ground contains dense areas of trees and shrubs. The southern wilderness area contains creeks and tributaries that are designated as wild rivers, and the North Wilderness area contains several drainages that feed the lower streams. Wilderness regions outside Deep Creek North Wilderness contain many natural springs that provide water supplies to wildlife and create a densely vegetated landscape providing wildlife forage and shelter. Animal species common in the area include deer, elk, cougars, bobcats, and smaller mammals and numerous bird species.
Hiking, wildlife spotting, and backcountry camping provide recreational opportunities in the area. The region is fairly remote and has rough terrain with weather extremes. These conditions, coupled with restrictions on motor vehicles which not permitted in the wilderness areas, result in the BLM lands being secluded and not heavily used by recreational users. Visitors that do explore this region will enjoy solitude in this pristine natural region.

RV Rentals in Deep Creek North Wilderness

Transportation

Driving

The Deep Creek North Wilderness area is located in the southwest corner of Utah, about 60 miles north of Virgin, UT, and 35 miles northwest of Mt. Carmel Junction. You can reach the wilderness areas using North Fort County Road. Deep Creek North Wilderness is separated from Deep Creek Wilderness to the south by a road corridor. Dirt access roads provide access to the wilderness region. You will need permission from the private landowner to enter.


Head east over Kolob Terrace from the Kolob Reservoir Road, or you can hike north from the Zion National Park along Deep Creek to access the wilderness areas of Deep Creek and Deep Creek North Wilderness. Dirt surfaced roads can be difficult to traverse for two-wheel-drive vehicles, RVs, and tow vehicles. RVers can park their rigs at campgrounds in Zion National Park to the south, and hike or use dirt roads with four-wheel-drive vehicles to reach the Deep Creek North Wilderness areas.


The climate in this region creates harsh conditions for traveling on foot or in a vehicle. Summers are extremely hot with temperatures routinely over 100 F, and drop off rapidly at night. Winters are cold and wet, and temperatures drop below freezing, creating slippery conditions. Winter rated tires provide better traction on icy roads. When operating an RV or tow vehicle, leave extra room for stopping, and execute turns cautiously on slick roadways. During the summer, travel with extra water, ensure all fluid levels are topped off, and that you have a full-size spare tire, especially on back roads that are rough and remote from services.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Deep Creek North Wilderness

Campsites in Deep Creek North Wilderness

Reservations camping

Zion National Park Reservations Camping

Nearby camping opportunities for RVs can be found at Zion National Park, located south of the Deep Creek North Wilderness. Watchman Campground has 176 sites for tents and RVs, six group sites, and two wheelchair-accessible sites. The sites peak season is between March and November and reservations are recommended as it is a busy campground that is frequently full. Amenities include flush toilets, drinking water, dump stations, and water supplies. Some sites have 30 amp electric hookups.

South Campground also takes reservations. This campground has 116 sites with three ADA accessible sites. Amenities include a dump station, visitor center, nature center, and water supply. However, there are no hookups at individual campsites. Both campgrounds have picnic tables and fire rings.

Hiking trails are accessible from Zion Park Campgrounds and allow visitors to trek the beautiful natural wilderness in the park. Pets are allowed at both campgrounds and on trails but must be kept leashed.

Alternate camping

Backcountry Camping

Backcountry primitive camping is permitted at Bureau of Land Management public lands in Deep Creek North Wilderness. Experience with wilderness camping is recommended as this is rough terrain with wildlife, including large predators and climate extremes.
It can be very hot in the daytime during the summer, and temperatures can drop by up to 30 degrees at night. You will need appropriate gear to stay cool while hiking in the day and to stay warm on chilly evenings. Stargazing in this remote area is excellent for backcountry visitors as little light noise from nearby civilizations interferes with dark sky viewing.
Campers are encouraged to use previously used sites to minimize impact on wildlife habitats and should adhere to “Leave No Trace” principles, including burying human waste and packing out trash. Don't leave fires unattended in the region and observe any local fire restrictions in the region. It is advised that you let someone off-site know of your plans and expected time of return.

Seasonal activities in Deep Creek North Wilderness

In-Season

Hiking

Deep Creek North Wilderness is an ideal place for backcountry hikers and campers to plan wilderness hikes. The area is remote and has very challenging terrain, so only a limited number of hikers plan trips in the region. Also, the tails are not maintained, nor are they well signed, and hiking trail apps do not reliably show trail locations.


There is a trailhead to the Virginia River Rim Trail at the same spot as the Cascade Falls access. Ensure you have an accurate map of the region before venturing out and that you let someone know of your plans. Topographical maps and information on hiking in the wilderness region can be found at Publiclands.org Deep Creek Wilderness. You will need to be well supplied for your venture and experience with backcountry hiking and camping in wilderness terrain is recommended.

Wildlife Watching

There are many water sources in the Deep Creek North Wilderness area that support vegetation and trees, which in turn support local wildlife with shelter and forage. The region is heavily vegetated with juniper, pinyon, Ponderosa pine, mountain mahogany, and other shrubs.


Mammal species in the area include mule deer, elk, black bears, bobcats, marmots, ring-tailed cat, badger, and mountain lion. Birders will get a chance to spot species such as golden eagle, screech owls, chukar partridge, wild turkey, and the rare Mexican spotted owl. Have a camera ready to “capture” your quarry!

Shuttle Tours Zion National Park

Nearby Zion National Park has ranger shuttle tours available between Memorial Day and Labor Day. These guided tours start at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center and are about 90 minutes in duration. The tours are reservable and are very popular, so it is recommended that you book ahead in person up to three days before your planned trip. The Human History Museum is the first stop on the shuttle tour. It features displays of the park and surrounding areas with exhibits that illustrate pioneer settlements and American Indian culture in the region.

Off-Season

Scenic Drives

During the off-season, when temperatures are too cool for outdoor activities, or too hot during summer months, discover the Deep Creek North Wilderness from climate controlled comfort in a vehicle.

Access roads in and around the Deep Creek North Wilderness may require a four wheel drive capable vehicle to navigate, especially when the weather is wet in the spring or in the fall when road surfaces can be icy with sub freezing temperatures.

Another option in the region for scenic drives is The Mount Carmel-Zion Highway which runs through Zion National Park. The drive has spectacular scenery and a unique narrow tunnel. RVers need to pay a fee to pass through the tunnel.

Skiing

Cross country skiing in the adjacent Zion National Park can be enjoyed in the winter season. Cross country ski routes are available at Kolob Canyon, Wildcat Canyon, Eagle Point, Brian Head area and on the West Rim Trail. You can also arrange guided tours with local outfitters.

You will need to bring your own equipment, as none is available at the park, local outfitters can also arrange this. Dress in layers and bring plenty of water. There are elevation changes in some areas and if trails have not been recently set after snowfalls, cross country skiing in the area can be strenuous.

Snowshoe Tours

Cedar Breaks National Park, located just north of Deep Creek North Wilderness, also has cross country skiing opportunities, as well as snowshoeing, and snowmobiling trails. You can arrange for guided snowshoe hikes between January and March with a local outfitter in the wilderness area who can provide equipment.
Discover the rugged wilderness during the offseason when it becomes a winter wonderland. Be sure to bundle up with appropriate gear to ward off sub-freezing temperatures.