The La Verkin Creek Wilderness is an isolated BLM property in south-west Utah close to the state's borders with Nevada and Arizona. The wilderness is surrounded by private properties on three sides and by the Zion National Park on the fourth. The four-hundred and fifty acres of BLM land have a severe, but eye-catching landscape of steep-sided canyons, rugged peaks, and outstanding geological formations. The shallow and rocky-bedded La Verkin Creek meanders through the length of the wilderness from north to south over small rapids that develop into stunning waterfalls along its more southerly section. The terrains of the wilderness are dramatically scenic, but difficult to access BLM lands that guarantee any adventurer the ideal location for some exciting outdoor activities.
There are fantastic, but remote hiking trails running through the La Verkin Creek Wilderness, as well as in the adjacent Goose Creek Wilderness, where you can trek all day in the outback and not see another human being. The area's deep gorges and towering sandstone cliffs offer climbers and canyoneers endless challenging routes for scaling, rappelling and testing themselves against the adversities of nature. Wildlife is plentiful and so are photographic opportunities so don't leave your camera or binoculars in your RV when you set out to explore.
Motorized access to the wilderness is prohibited and camping is restricted to dispersed tent camping only, but there are several campgrounds in the Zion National Park where you can pitch up for a few days to make the most of your RV camping trip to one of the best wilderness areas in Utah.
The easiest point of access to the La Verkin Creek Wilderness is via the small town of Kanarraville on the I 15. From there you can join the Old US 91 that runs along the western side of the wilderness. The route takes you along Kanarra Mountain Road followed by the Lower Basin Road until you reach the wilderness boundary where you'll need to leave your vehicle behind.
Once you've left the Old US 91 be prepared for a difficult drive along narrow and winding mountain roads. If in doubt of your directions, head south from Kanarraville on the Old US 91 for about seven miles and you'll come across the Kolob Canyon Visitors Center where you can ask for information, pick up maps and acquire a wilderness permit if you haven't already obtained one.
If you're motoring down from somewhere like Provo in the north of the state, you'll be on the road for around three hours. Add another hour or two to that estimation if you decide to stop off for a leg stretch in the Fishlake National Forest. If you've been down in the south RV camping for a few days in the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, the trip north to the La Verkin Creek Wilderness will see you behind the wheel of your rig for less than two hours.
The Lava Point Campground is located along Kolob Canyon Road and one of the closest to the La Verkin Creek Wilderness. It's a small, primitive campground that is open from May through to the end of September depending on the weather. There are six campsites only, and a pitch must be reserved before arrival. Vehicle access is restricted to under twenty feet because of difficult road conditions. The only on-site amenities are vault toilets so you'll definitely be boondocking in the wilderness at this campground.
The South Campground in the Zion National Park is further away from the wilderness but offers RV campers easier access with a larger rig and more amenities. The campground is situated near the park's visitor center and is open from the beginning of March right through to the end of October. Reservations are required and can be made up to two weeks in advance. All of the campsites are furnished with a picnic table, grill and fire ring. There are no utility hook-ups but generators can be used during designated hours. Drinking water, flush toilets, and a dump station are provided.
If your rig is over fifty feet in length or more than thirteen feet in height, you will need to use the south entrance to the park which is close to the town of Springfield and obtain a tunnel pass for the Mount Carmel Tunnel. This carries a small fee plus there is a vehicle entrance fee on top of the usual park entrance fees for taking a rig inside.
Head out on the eighteen and a half-mile long, out and back, La Verkin Creek Trail, and you'll be trekking over hard dirt trails, through canyons, and over creeks until you reach a stunning stone arch in Kolob Canyon.
Hit the Kanarra Creek Trail and while you'll need to get wet to get there, you'll be rewarded with the sight of the Kanarraville Falls once you've waded through the knee-deep waters of the slot canyon. You need a permit to hike the Kanarra Creek Trail and access to the trail has a daily limit. Permits must be purchased in advance from the official Kanarraville Falls website.
If hiking through the rugged terrains of the La Verkin Creek Wilderness is beyond your physical capabilities, you can still enjoy its dramatic scenery by taking a drive along the Kolob Canyon Road.
The route covers around five miles with lots of viewpoints where you can pull off the highway to appreciate the grandiose red sandstone cliffs, the deep canyons, and craggy peaks. It's a breathtaking drive no matter what time of year you go, though the colors of fall do add a whole different dimension to the landscape.
While you're in the area of the La Verkin Creek Wilderness, don't miss stopping at the Zion Human History Museum located on the UT 9 near the entrance to Zion National Park. This fascinating museum has extensive exhibits on the Native Americans of the region and the pioneer settlement of the area which total thirty-thousand artifacts as well as an enormous collection of natural history items. There are both temporary and permanent exhibits, film presentations and rangers on-site to answer any questions you might have.
The La Verkin Creek Wilderness and many areas of the Zion National Park are perfect for outback bouldering, climbing, canyoneering, and rappelling. There are canyoneering opportunities for all levels, though with no top roping or sports routes, most of the climbing is for the experienced only.
There are strict rules in place for all of these types of activities to safeguard the environment and the participants so make sure you know what you're doing before you set out and go with someone else who knows what they're doing too.
The La Verkin Creek Wilderness offers enthusiasts of the camera a never-ending selection of superb shots to add to their latest digital album. Whether you snap photos of the incredible rock formations, the varied flora or fauna, the creek as it runs over the rocks, the canyons or the peaks, you'll have some fantastic subjects to record in either color or black and white.
No matter what the season, there could be spring flowers blossoming, an artist's palette of autumnal colors decking the trees, or a sprinkling of snow contrasting against the red rock. Either way, you'll end up with photos to be proud of.
Cycles are not allowed on these BLM lands, but if after you've explored the La Verkin Creek Wilderness on foot, you want to mount your mountain bike and go cycling, you'll find two amazing trails in the Zion National Park where you can do just that.
The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and the Pa'rus Trail are asphalted multi-use roadways running through the park's amazing landscapes where you can pedal to your heart's content.