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Virgin River Overlook Roads
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte Region
Virgin River Valley Overlook Campsite
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Gold Butte Road (view W to Virgin River Overlook Road)

Overview

The Virgin River Overlook roads lead to a series of fairly popular undeveloped campsites on desert flats overlooking the Virgin River Valley. Farther out, one road provides access to a working corral and the Virgin River, while another runs out to a nice place atop cliffs with views out over the river and floodplain.

These roads are suitable for 2WD medium-clearance vehicles, but without 4WD, drivers should not venture down the 2-track roads to the edge of the river because it can be sandy and muddy.

The campsite nearest the pavement is suitable for several large trailers and RVs, but only for one party. The other campsites are smaller and the road is a bit rough getting there. Note, however, that while these sites are on public lands, they are not inside Gold Butte National Monument.

Link to map.

Virgin River Valley Overlook Campsite
Campsite #1 (view NW from VR Overlook Road)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about driving in the desert, ... these roads are safe, but this is a wild and remote area without services of any kind (no restrooms, no water, no gas, no food). Bring what you need to survive. Be prepared and be self-reliant. Cell phones might work along higher parts of this road.

While out, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, this is a remote area, so be sure to bring the 10 Essentials, even if you leave them in the car.

Be sure to bring trash bags to clean up after people who care less about wild places than you do.

Virgin River Valley Overlook Road

Getting to the Virgin River Overlook Roads

The Virgin River Overlook roads are located out near Gold Butte National Monument at the northeast end of Lake Mead, most of 2 hours northeast of Las Vegas in a wild, remote, and scenic area.

From town, drive out towards Gold Butte National Monument. Drive east on Interstate-15 to Highway 170. Take Exit 112 towards Riverside and Bunkerville. Drive south and cross the Virgin River, then quickly turn right onto the paved Gold Butte Road.

Follow the pavement for 7.6 miles to an unmarked side road (Table 1, Site 1772) to the right (this is 0.3 miles past a washed out section of asphalt). This is Virgin River Overlook Road.

Virgin River Valley Overlook Campsite
Campsite #2 (view N from VR Overlook Road)

Virgin River Overlook Roads

There is one long road here with two or three spur roads, depending on how they are counted and how the river is flowing. The longer road runs out to the river, while shorter spur roads run out to overlooks.

From the pavement, Virgin River Overlook Road heads west. In only about 150 ft, the road passes the first of several campsites, this one on the right is a ways off from the road. The road continues, dips into a wash where the road can be washed out, and bends right to head northwest on higher ground.

The road quickly passes another campsite on the right, and just before the road bends left, a third campsite sits off to the right. The road drops to a lower level, then passes a fourth campsite on the left. This one is on the edge of a cliff overlooking the wash below.

Virgin River Valley Overlook Road

Immediately beyond that campsite, at 0.3 miles out, the road forks. The main road stays right and heads northwest, while the road to the left continues straight west to a high overlook. This old two-track runs 0.6 miles to the overlook, which would also be suitable for a campsite.

Staying right at the fork, the main road heads northwest and descends the gently sloping bajada. At about 0.5 miles out, the road exits BLM land and enters lands managed by Overton State Wildlife Management Area. Still heading northwest, at 0.7 miles out, the road exits the WMA back onto lands managed by the BLM.

The road bends gently left a couple of times to run southwest and at at 1.2 miles out, passes a spur road right that runs to a lower river overlook. The main road keeps bending left to run south and a corral comes into view in the distance.

Virgin River Valley Overlook Campsite
Campsite #3 (view N from near VR Overlook Road)

The main road runs down into areas that are somewhat sandy. The road bed seems firm, but be careful in a 2WD vehicle. The road winds left and right, but continues south towards the corral.

Shortly before the corral, at 1.6 miles out, the road bends hard to the right and runs west towards the river. About 125 yards beyond the bend, as bushes start pressing in on both sides of the roadway, the road re-enters Overton State Wildlife Management Area. At 2.0 miles out, the road reaches the edge of the Virgin River. Depending on water levels and mud conditions, drivers might be able to drive out and turn around on the mudflats, otherwise it is a bit of a backup to find a place to turn around.

Back at the bend, a spur road continues 0.1 miles to the corral and ends. This is a working corral, so it probably isn't a good place to camp.

Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Descending to the next lower level of desert flats (view NW)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
c
Virgin River Valley Overlook Campsite
Campsite #4 (view W from VR Overlook Road)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
The main road bends right to descend the bajada (view NW)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Descending the bajada (view NW)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
The Virgin River and Mormon Mesa in the distance (view NW)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Spur right to a river overlook (view W)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Descending towards the river, the corral comes into view (view SW)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
To this point, the road bed is hard
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Getting to soils with some sand (view S)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Approaching the corral (view S)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Road to the river turns right before the corral (view SW)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
The road runs out to the river (view W from the intersection)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Traversing dry mud (view W)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Entering brush along the river (view W)
Virgin River Valley Overlook RoadExpect some desert pin-striping on this road (view W)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Approaching the river edge (view W)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
River edge (view S)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
River edge (view W)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
River edge (view N)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Virgin River (view N; upstream)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Virgin River (view S; downstream)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Test the mud before driving down to turn around (view E)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Virgin River (view S; downstream)

Spur Road to Corral

Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Approaching the corral (view S)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Road passes bend to the river and continues to corral (view S)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Corral (view E)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Corral (view NE)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Corral (view NE)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Corral (view N)

Spur Road to Overlook

Virgin River Valley Overlook Roads
The road passes a campsite, then forks (view W)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Staying left (straight) onto the Overlook Spur road (view W)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
About 250 yards out, road enters Overton WMA lands
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Descending the gentle bajada (view W)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Road runs along cliff edge overlooking a wash (view W)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Road runs along cliff edge overlooking a wash (view W)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Approaching end of road atop cliff (view W)
Virgin River Valley Overlook Road
Camp on overlook at end of road (view W to corral and river)

Table 1. Highway Coordinates Based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Highway GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Site Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft)
1772 Gold Butte Road at Virgin River Overlook Road 742738 4060150 36.65784 114.28436 1,661
VRO-camp#1 Virgin River Overlook Camp #1 742666 4060163 742666 4060163 1,584
VRO-camp#2 Virgin River Overlook Camp #2 742551 4060223 742551 4060223 1,575
VRO-camp#3 Virgin River Overlook Camp #3 742445 4060302 742445 4060302 1,570
VRO-camp#4 Virgin River Overlook Camp #4 742274 4060242 742274 4060242 1,546

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170903

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