If you’re driving north to St. George on I-15, you know you’re almost in Southern Utah once you hit the amazing stretch of beautiful road through the Virgin River Gorge.
The 500 million year old Virgin River Gorge is located in the far northwestern corner of Arizona, between Nevada and Utah.
If you’ve never driven this stretch of blacktop, you’re in for a wonderful experience.
The drive on I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge features some of the most stunning displays of both engineering and scenery. Some people say the Virgin River Gorge drive is among the most beautiful in the roughly 47,000 mile U.S. interstate highway system. Check-out the Virgin River Gorge Video below if you’ve never experienced the drive in person.
Despite the daunting terrain, federal authorities decided to create a direct path through the Virgin River Gorge. This decision shortened the route on I-15 between Las Vegas and St. George, Utah by 12 miles of driving distance over the older and more treacherous U.S. Highway 91.
The course of the Virgin River was re-channeled twelve different times during construction of the Gorge road. Construction finished in 1973 at a cost of over one million dollars per mile. You guessed it; the cost was the most per mile at the time of completion.
In 1988, the Arizona Magazine proclaimed that construction of I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge, “Somehow enhanced, rather than distracted from Nature’s handiwork.”
We agree. Skip Vegas Californians. Continue driving another 100 miles and stay at condo lodging. See what the desert landscape looks like at its best. See the link to the right for more info.