Scenic USA - Arizona

Cedar Pocket

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Cedar Pocket - Virgin River Canyon Recreation Site, Arizona

Photos by Mark Nielsen
See Mark's "virtual tour" of the Oregon Trail

     Only a short section of Interstate Highway 15, perhaps 30 miles in length, nicks the Virgin River Canyon Sign - Virgin River Rec Area, Arizona northwest corner of Arizona. As drivers approach the area from the south, a mountainous wall lies ahead, making it difficult to decide which direction, either left or right, the highway will follow. It's not until the last moment that travelers discover the interstate heads straight into the mountains, following the Virgin River Canyon. Virgin River Canyon Approach - Interstate 15, Arizona Even before its completion, proponents suggested this route would be the most scenic interstate highway in Arizona. As the I-15 skirts the Virgin River it passes from Utah's Zion National Park region into Nevada's Lake Mead. Pictured here is the spectacular Virgin River Gorge near Exit 18, the Cedar Pocket exchange. Cedar Pocket Pavilion - Virgin River Canyon Rec Site, Arizona The canyon has widened here and access is available at the Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area. Picnic pavilions are scattered about, and short nature trails from the campground lead down to the riverbank.
     With the Beaver Dam Mountain Wilderness to the north and the Paiute Wilderness southward, this little corner of the state is indeed a very scenic route. But, U.S. taxpayers may wince after hearing the price tag of this section of the interstate. Completed in 1973, the Virgin River Gorge section of I-15 exceeded ten million dollars per mile.

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