Eliot on High flames Drifter
There are two camps when it comes to the VRG: Those who scoff at the idea of ever climbing there and the die-hard few who swear it is the best climbing in the country. The truth is the VRG has some of the worst scenery of any climbing area, but some of the best rock. If you can get past not being able to hear yourself think (or your partner for that matter), ugly road cuts, graffiti, and sometimes inhospitable temperature extremes, you will be rewarded with difficult, sustained lines, fantastic movement, and plenty of hard climbing.
Grades pretty much start at 5.12 here, and the best lines are in the hard 12 and up range. Climbing exists on both the sunny, north side of the gorge (Sun Cave, Sun Wall, and Fossil Cave) and the shady south side (Mentor Cave, Planet Earth Wall, Blasphemy Wall). Bring draws and a 60 or 70m rope. Generally, climbing season is from October to April. Summer months are hot.
From the North: Take I-15 South from Saint George. After mile marker 14 cross a bridge over the Virgin River. Park immediately after this at a pullout on the right by an immense embankment/dirt mound. From the South, continue past the VRG to exit 18, turn around and follow above directions. There is camping amongst the used syringes and condoms in a gravel pit just north of the highway at exit 18.
15 Total Routes
['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Virgin River Gorge
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Virgin River Gorge:
Featured Route For Virgin River Gorge
Mentor 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b AZ
: Northern Arizona
: ... : Mentor Cave
Super classic! If you can stand the road noise and the guys breaking into your car, this is the route you want to be doing while you are here. Climbs out the Mentor cave (just right of the Blasphemy wall) on great pockets, edges, sidepulls... the whole kitchen sink. Very Steep!Somewhere toward the middle you even get a leg thread to cop a rest. Once you pull out of the cave onto the headwall, you lose sight of your belayer - and the road noise ensures you can't communicate verbally. Just a he...[more] Browse More Classics in AZ
Local Information for Virgin River Gorge
Latest Regional Forum Messages
Parking area as viewed from Mentor Cave.
By Spencer Weiler
From: SLC, UT
Oct 22, 2012
If coming from south, there is a huge dirt road pullout right after mile marker 13 on the right side that you can park at rather than doing the loop around if you prefer.
By skinny legs and all
From: Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Feb 14, 2014
It is not recommended to leave any valuables in your car while climbing at the VRG. The meth heads who patrol this highway corridor will smash your window and nick your stuff without haste.