Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness in Utah

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Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness

A mountain in the middle of the desert, Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness is a popular place for southern Utah residents to escape the summer heat on a picnic or hike.

  • Hiking Signal Mountain is one of the most scenic summits in all of Utah.
  • Fishing is popular in the nearby Pine Valley Reservoir as well as the mountain streams and rivers.
  • There are multiple campgrounds to accommodate visitors during summer and winter.
  • The area is located north of St. George and east of I-15.

Overview

The unusual rock outcropping that formed the Pine Valley Mountains also created interesting hikes for visitors to this southern Utah gem. From the top of Signal Peak at 10,365 ft., there are views of Zion Canyon and other prominent landmarks on a clear day.

Location & Information

Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness lies off UT-18, about an hour north of St. George near the town of Pine Valley.

For more information, contact the ranger district directly at (435) 688-3246.

Activities

Camping
In 2010, major renovations and repairs were completed on the campgrounds, shifting and improving some facilities, while consolidating others.

  • Oak Grove Campground - The only major campground on the eastern side of the ridge, Oak Grove has 9 tent sites available to access the Oak Grove Trail, which connects to the Summit Trail. Access is near Leeds, taking I-15 to Forest Road 032.
  • Dean Gardner Campground (formerly Blue Springs) - Significantly renovated during the 2010 season, this campground offers access to Browns Point Trail and fishing on the Santa Clara River. Access is through Pine Valley, just 3 miles east of town.
  • Juniper Campgrounds - This campground is split into the walk-in North Campground and the RV-accessible South Campground. The area has access to Whipple Trail and stream fishing in the Wilderness Area. Located 3.5 miles east of Pine Valley.

Hiking
Most hiking in the area connects to the Summit Trail, which follows the ridge-line of the Pine Valley Mountain formation. There are options to create great loops or out-and-backs, depending on time and energy.

  • Signal Peak from Oak Grove Trailhead - This strenuous, 7.5 mile hike heads through the lower elevation oaks and sagebrush, rising through the pines, then coming out at the summit for the incredible vista at the end.
  • Signal Peak from Browns Point Trailhead - 11 miles total, this full-day trek starts from outside Pine Valley and heads up to the highest point in the Pine Valley Mountains, winding through Nay Canyon before meeting with the Summit Trail.
  • Signal Peak via Whipple Trail - This trail starts from the Juniper Campgrounds and continues to Signal Peak after climbing Hop Canyon and meeting with both the North Valley and Summit Trails.

Fishing
While fishing is popular in the Pine Valley Reservoir, there is only river and stream fishing in the Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness Area. Walk-in fishing is available in Leeds Creek by Oak Grove Campground and the Santa Clara Creek by the Dean Gardner Campground.

Fun Facts

Pine Valley Mountain is technically a laccolith, or a magma intrusion between layers of rock. In fact, Pine Valley Mountain is the largest laccolith in the country.

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