*** NOTICE ***

This guide is intended only to provide information and entertainment to experienced river runners and is not intended to be a complete description of any section of river. River Running is an inherently hazardous pastime. Boaters should always receive proper instruction in the use of their equipment from knowledgeable sources prior to putting on the river. Moving water is incredibly powerful. Hazards can change in minutes. Some hazards may not be listed. Boaters should always scout their runs and check with local sources for the latest information. You must be responsible for your own safety.

River Runner's Guide to the Virgin River



Section
Location
Class
Length miles
River Overview Length of the River
I-VI
~130
Temple of Sinewava Zion NP, head of road to Birch Creek
II
5.0
Satan's Staircase Zion NP, Birch Creek to Canyon bridge
IV to V
1.8
Watchman Zion NP, Canyon bridge to Springdale
III
3.8
Virgin Valley Springdale to Quail Creek diversion
II
17.5
Timpoweap Canyon Quail Creek diversion to La Verkin
VI
3.2
Hurricane Gorge La Verkin to Quail Creek Reservoir
III
12.8
Washington Fields Quail Creek Reservoir to Bloomington
II
17.8
Bloomington Gorge Bloomington to I -15 bridge
II+
13.2
Upper Virgin River Gorge I -15 bridge to Cedar Pockets Rest Area
III
6.5
Lower Virgin River Gorge Cedar Pockets Rest Area to Littlefield
IV
11
Lake Mead Littlefield to Lake Mead
I-II
~30

This guide uses the standard North American rating system for whitewater. It is inherently subjective. No accuracy in the above ratings should be implied or inferred. Changes in water level change the difficulty of a rapid. Debris can wash in without warning. It is the responsibility of the individual river runner to determine the actual difficulty of a particular section of river. For a more complete description of the North American system for rating whitewater, go to American Whitewater(bottom of web page).

The ratings are roughly determined as:

Class
Typical Section
I
Current and riffles, little maneuvering required.
II
Some rocks and maneuvering required, but wide, clear channels are the norm.
III
Large hydraulics and irregular waves present. Maneuvering skills required to miss obstacles and stop in eddies. Large holes on the sides of runs. Generally, Class III can be run by lining up at the top and following the current through the drop.
IV
Strong hydraulics, holes in the run. Precise maneuvering required.
V
Large, violent holes and hydraulics. The hole IS the run. Danger of a long swim present. Recovery from a swim difficult. Complex maneuvering and self-rescue skills required.
VI
Upper limit of runnable water. Continuous rapids, violent hydralics, sieves, pourovers, other river hazards. Risk of death if not on the correct line. Runnable only by experts at optimum water level after extensive scouting.