East Virgin River Canyon
Beautiful scenery and cool slot canyons

IMG_3474Horse and Hiking Trail

The Cottonwood trees and white cliffs along the east fork of the Virgin River make this a beautiful ride or hike.  The cool slot canyons that are in side canyons (Bay Bill and Merwin), are a must see.

Directions to Trailhead
From the stoplight at Center and Main, drive north 16.1 miles on Hwy 89.  Turn off the highway onto the unpaved road (1/2 mile South of Mt. Carmel Junction), that goes along the Virgin River.  The Historic Barracks Corrals are about 1/2 mile from the highway.  You can camp at the historic corrals with two smaller corrals for horses, water for horses from stream and plenty of places to park.  One mile further down the road there is large flat area above the river with adequate parking for several horse trailers.  This is a good place to begin your ride or hike as it is 1 mile closer to Bay Bill Canyon.

Description of Trail
The route follows a graveled road along the river west into the East Fork White Cliffs.  Follow the road for 1.4 miles.  A “private property” sign will instruct you to leave the main road and head for the river where you will follow and old jeep trail as it follows and crosses the little river numerous times.  This section of the canyon is quite open, with Cottonwoods along the river and great views of the surrounding White Cliff formations above.  You can ride or hike the road for about 2 miles, or get off and go along the river to Bay Bill, the 3rd major canyon on the left going downstream.   At Bay Bill, there are several poles with cables across the canyon’s mouth to prevent ATVs from entering, as it is a proposed Wilderness Study Area.

Merwin Canyon is a tributary on the left about ½ mile into Bay Bill and also has a most beautiful slot canyon entrance that incorporates a natural bridge into the entrance.  (It is too narrow for riding in on horseback.)  After riding into Bill Bay for about 30 to 40 minutes it becomes a cool slot canyon you can ride into with your horse.  Don’t enter the slot canyon if thunderstorms are threatening or predicted.  You and your horse can be killed in a flash flood.

Pack it in, pack it out!

Barracks Photo Gallery

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