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Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River

Red Cliffs National Conservation Area

Zion + Bryce Canyon Area, Utah

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Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River

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  • Sand Cove Trailhead and parking lot.- Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • The hike is pretty right from the start with several protruding sandstone fins greeting you at the trailhead. - Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • Hiking the Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River.- Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • Sand Cove Primitive Camping Area.- Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • What a gorgeous place to pitch a tent. - Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • Hiking the Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River.- Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • Beautiful layers of strata.- Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • Hiking the Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River.- Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • Nice juniper specimen. - Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • Running down the steep and deep sandy hill on the way to the river. - Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • At the bottom of the steep hill is the small Babylon Arch.- Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • Babylon Arch.- Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • Hiking the Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River.- Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • Quintessential desert landscapes here.- Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • The Virgin River feeds Quail Creek Reservoir south of here.- Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • The Virgin River.- Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • On the banks of the Virgin River.- Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
  • The right sections are deep enough to get fully submerged. - Babylon Arch Trail to the Virgin River
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Virgin River access. Beautiful desert landscapes. Dogs allowed. Primitive camping available.
Cons: 
Can get dangerously hot in summer.
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Region:
Zion + Bryce Canyon Area, UT
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Highest point: 
3,162.00 ft (963.78 m)
Net Elevation Gain: 
-320.00 ft (-97.54 m)
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
None
Permit required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.80 mi (4.51 km)
Total elevation gain: 
320.00 ft (97.54 m)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,162.00 ft (963.78 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

When it comes to short desert hikes, the Babylon Arch Trail has it all. A small sandstone arch, great desert geology, backcountry campsites, access to the Virgin River, and you can bring your dogs! Located just north of St George in the small town of Leeds, Utah, this hike is not very well known, but is still very close to the freeway and the rest of town. The fact you can get in the river at the end of the trail is such a great treat on a hot day. You start out from the Sand Cove Trailhead, which is down a long dirt/rock/sand road, but you won't need a four-wheel drive vehicle unless it's wet. A third of the way into the trail is the beautiful Sand Cove Primitive Camping Area and its 12 backcountry sites. Smack in the middle of a bowl of sandstone rocks, this looks like a great place to camp once the hiking crowds subside in the evening. Click here for booking instructions. Keep in mind there are lots of routes to get down to the beach. If you reach a fork in the path, heading right is usually pretty helpful, but most everything leads to the same general place. There are some sign markers and cairns along the way, but as long as you stay within the general heading you will reach a similar destination.

At the end of the trail and not too far after Babylon Arch you'll find the sandy shores of the Virgin River. There are a few spots that are deep enough to get fully into the water, and there are some great little alcoves in the red rocks. The trail has some pretty steep sections, and during the summer it gets very hot. Make sure you cover up and bring lots of water for you and your pets. Not far from here is Historic Babylon, which has native petroglyphs and pioneer ruins. The greater area sits within the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, which has a ton of great trails that are worth checking out.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(5 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(57 within a 30 mile radius)

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Adventure Community

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Who's Done It
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