Dixie National Forest


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The Ultimate Southwest Vacation includes Dixie National Forest!

Experience the Spectacular Canyon  Country Tour

Stay in Mt. Carmel Jct., the heart of the parks, and visit the treasures of the Southwest.

Mileage: Mt. Carmel Jct.
Cedar Breaks 45 miles
Dixie Forest 22 miles
Zion National Park 12 miles
Bryce Canyon 60 miles
Grand Staircase 9 miles
Red Canyon 47 miles
Sand Dunes 11 miles
North Rim 85 miles
Toroweap 90 miles
South Canyon 75 miles

Plan your Dixie National
Forest Vacation with our
Utah Maps and Information

In these pages you will find insiders information on Dixie National Forest. This detailed guide includes road maps, park maps, pictures, trail beta, backpacking, history, fees, geology, flora, fauna, campgrounds and things for kids to do.

Making summer memories in the Utah national parks and Utah national monuments.


Dixie National Forest Map Zion National Park Road Map North Rim Grand Canyon Road Map Zion National Park Lodging Grand Staircase Road Map Bryce Canyon Road Map Cedar Breaks and Dixie Forest Road Map

Dixie National Forest Road Map
Dixie National Forest Map

Directions to Dixie National Forest

From Salt lake City: Take I-15 south, exit at Parowan. Take U-143 south
to Dixie National Forest.
From Las Vegas: Take I-15 north to Cedar City. Take U-14 to Dixie National Forest.
From Mount Carmel Junction: Take US-89 north to U-14 and into Dixie National Forest.
From Arizona: Take US-89 north thru Mount Carmel Junction to U-14 and turn west to Dixie National Forest.

U-14 is also called the Markaguant High Plateau Scenic Byway.

Virgin River Rim Trail

The Cat's Den is one of the amazing amphitheaters of hoodoos, fins and windows found along this section of the Virgin River Rim Trail.

Beta: Coordinates and other trail and canyoneering information by Zion Park search and rescue veteran team member Bo Beck and www.zionnational-park.com author Tanya Milligan.

To post trip reports, offer corrections, updates, or for more information please visit the Southern Utah Hiking Forum




Virgin River Rim Trail
Cascade Falls Trailhead to Strawberry Ridge

This long bike/hike/horse trail is broken
down into three shorter hiking trails
Cascade Falls Trailhead to Strawberry Ridge
Cascade Falls Trailhead to Te-ah Trailhead
Te-ah Trailhead to Webster Flat Road

This section of the Virgin River Rim Trail is from Dry Valley (Cow Lake) to Strawberry Ridge (Strawberry Point). Along the trail enjoy a variety of evergreen trees including the earths oldest living thing - the Bristlecone pine tree and Cedar Breaks-like amphitheaters. This moderately difficult route is done as a one way hike with a shuttle setup. A section of the trail may be done as an out and back thus eliminating the need of a shuttle vehicle. The trail follows the Virgin River Rim in Dixie National Forest and affords views to the south of the expansive Zion National Park. The headwaters of the Virgin River are formed by Cascade Falls (Navajo Lake) and watershed of the southern slopes on this ridge. The trail generally travels in an west to easterly direction. At an average elevation of 8800', and traveling as high as 9200', the temperatures are a welcome reprieve in the summertime from the lower elevation hikes in the Southwest desert. As a one way hike, the distance is 8.25 miles, but some of the more interesting landmarks can be arrived at in about 3.5 miles, then by turning back to the trailhead, a total distance of 7 miles is covered and eliminates a car shuttle setup.

Virgin River Rim Trail at a Glance
Photo Album:
Virgin River Rim Photos
Trail Maps: Virgin River Rim Map
Day Hike
: Yes.
Distance: 8.25 Miles
Average Hiking Time: 6 hours
Equipment: The best map to purchase for this hike is the "Cedar Mountain/ Pine Valley Mountain" National Geographic-Trails Illustrated.
Difficulty: Moderate hiking, but the last section back to your vehicle is steep after hiking all day.
: Cascade Falls Trailhead near Navajo Lake
Strawberry Ridge
Trail Access: Dirt roads can be impassable if wet.
Elevation at Trailhead: 9000'
Elevation at Trailend: 9000'
Off the Beaten Path: Yes
Best Season:  Spring, Fall and Summer.

Virgin River Rim Trail

Shuttle Setup - First Car Trailend

To station a car shuttle at the trailend (Strawberry Ridge) travel 7.75 miles west on Highway 14 from the Highway 89 junction or 14.75 miles east from the junction of Highway 14 and Highway 148 (Road to Cedar Breaks). Arriving at Strawberry Creek (valley with homes to the south) turn to the south, traveling the dirt (very dusty) road for the next 8.5 miles to the Virgin River Rim Trail which is located on Strawberry Ridge. Park one vehicle at the trailend. To avoid hiking the last uphill section which could be considered strenuous after hiking all day, park at the first Virgin Rim Trail sign seen. However there is not much parking in this area.

Second Car - Trailhead

Travel back to Highway 14 and turn left (west) and travel 5 miles passing Duck Creek Village to a ranger station and visitor center on the left . Turn left and pass the ranger station and follow the dirt road 1.75 miles to the west edge of Dry Valley. Turn left on the gravel road and travel another 1.5 miles to the parking area and trailheads for Cascade Falls and the Virgin River Rim Trail.

Virgin Rim Trail - Cascade Falls Trailhead to Strawberry Ridge

The trailhead for the Virgin River Rim Trail traveling east back to Strawberry Point is on the south side of the parking lot. Initially the trail switchbacks up the hillside through a forest of Fir and Aspen to arrive at the rim in just a half mile. Soon the rim overlooks the multitudes of drainages that make up the watershed for the North Fork of the Virgin River. Continual water flow coming from Cascade Falls and Navajo Lake to the north and west are the main source feeding the Virgin River. This hike also affords close up views of Bristlecone pines intermittently rising from the forest floor alongside the trail. At 1.6 miles the trail veers from the rim for a short time and once again winds into the forest. The hiking thus far has been fairly level except for the gain of the rim in the beginning. At mile 1.8 the trail crosses a service road and signs keep the trail evident. 2.75 miles brings more road crossings and at 3 miles is Lars Fork. Just another half mile farther brings the trail back to the rim and to a amphitheater with interesting hoodoos. Locals call the amphitheater the "Cats Den. One prominent hoodoo at the bottom looks like a cat. By looking further down into the alcove a window also becomes apparent. This area is definitely one of, if not the highlight of the hike. This is a good place to stop and have a snack and soak in the beauty of the limestone formations and the grand views to the south of Zion National Park.

The next 3.75 miles on the well groomed trail meanders back and forth through the delightful forest and sporadically touches the rim until it finally dives into and follows a drainage to the development below in Strawberry Creek. Crossing the road and tiptoeing across a marshy area of Strawberry Creek soon finds the trail underfoot again and the uphill 1 mile through the woods. If you stationed a vehicle here you are done. If you parked at the upper sign, hoof up the hill to get in that last bit of exercise. Crossing the road at the top of the ridge means that the shuttle vehicle and cold drinks await just around the next corner.


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Dixie National Forest

The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.

-- John Muir

Photo: Dixie National Forest
Photography by Tanya

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