The Virgin River is a nearly 160 mile (322 km) long tributary of the Colorado River in the southwestern United States.
The river is home to the Virgin spinedace, Lepidomeda mollispinus, a type of minnow, and the Virgin River desert sucker, Catostomus clarkii utahensis.
Water in the river’s lower valley provides irrigation for the cultivation of cotton, pomegranates, and figs.
It begins in Southwestern Utah, at the Navajo Reservoir in the Dixie National Forest, north of Zion National Park near Springdale, and is formed by the confluence of the East Fork Virgin, that flows through Mount Carmel Junction on the east side of Zion National Park and Parunaweap Canyon, with the North Fork Virgin River, that flows from Navajo Lake through Zion National Park. The river flows in a southwesterly direction, passing south of the old townsite of St. George where the Santa Clara River joins the Virgin at a place the Paiutes called Tonaquint. The river then flows across the northwestern corner of Arizona through the Virgin River Gorge and past the towns of Beaver Dam and Littlefield. It enters southern Nevada near the town of Mesquite and empties into the Colorado at the Lake Mead reservoir, approximately 40 miles (64 km) east of Las Vegas. The last 30 miles (48 km) of the Virgin River forms the north arm of Lake Mead.
Virgin River Gorge
The scenic Virgin River Gorge is in northwest Arizona just south of the Utah state line. It is a popular winter rock climbing area noted for its steep and overhanging limestone walls. Interstate 15 follows the Virgin River for several miles through the Virgin River Gorge.