The 87,900-acre Paiute Wilderness, several miles southwest of St. George, Utah, dominates the northwest portion of the Arizona Strip. It is separated from the Beaver Dam Mountains Wilderness to the north by Interstate 15. The Virgin Mountains form the backbone of this area rising over 5,600 feet from the desert floor. Mt. Bangs, the highest peak in the area at 8,012 feet, provides a commanding view of the area and the Basin and Range country to the west.

The area's vegetation varies, ranging from ponderosa on top of Mt. Bangs, through pinyon forests, to scrub oak and sagebrush, and at the area's perimeter, Joshua trees, yucca, and barrel cactus. These ecotypes host over 250 animal species including mule deer, mountain lion, desert bighorn sheep, and desert tortoise. The deep canyons have several beautiful and secret places with water which attract campers and backpackers.


From St. George, Utah, travel Interstate 15 toward Mesquite, Nevada to Cedar Pockets rest area/Virgin River Gorge Campground (about 15 miles southwest from St. George) the wilderness lies south of Interstate 15 and the Virgin River. Alternatively, take Interstate 15 to the Black Rock Junction (about six miles southwest of St. George) turn off the freeway, and head south on BLM Road 1009 to its junction with BLM Road 1004 (about 20 miles). The wilderness is adjacent to road 1004 for about 10 miles especially to the west of the 1009/1004 junction. The Arizona Strip has a visitor map that shows wilderness areas and roads in detail.

Nonfederal Lands

Some lands around and within the wilderness are not federally administered. Please respect the property of the owners and do not cross or use these lands without their permission.

Topographic Maps

7.5-minute: Littlefield, Mountain Sheep Spring, Elbow Canyon, Mount Bangs, Jacobs Well, Cane Springs, Purgatory Canyon, Wolf Hole Mtn. W., Mustang Knoll;

also, Arizona Strip District Visitor Map