Can You Kayak the Virgin River in Utah?

The Virgin River in Utah is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, and many wonder if it is possible to kayak on this picturesque river. In this article, we will explore the possibilities and considerations of kayaking the Virgin River.

Is Kayaking Allowed?
Yes, kayaking is allowed on the Virgin River in Utah. However, there are some important factors to keep in mind before embarking on your kayaking adventure.

Water Level and Flow
The water level and flow of the Virgin River can vary greatly depending on the time of year and weather conditions. It is crucial to check the water level before planning your kayak trip. High water levels can make kayaking dangerous, while low water levels may require portages or cause your kayak to get stuck.

  • Check local weather forecasts and river conditions.
  • Contact local authorities or visitor centers for up-to-date information.
  • Consider kayaking during spring or early summer when water levels are typically higher.

Kayak Type
Choosing the right kayak for navigating the Virgin River is essential. The river has sections with rapids and shallow areas that require maneuverability and stability.


Some sections of the Virgin River have rapids that can pose challenges to kayakers. It is important to assess your skill level and choose a route that matches your abilities.

  • Research the different sections of the river and their difficulty levels.
  • Consider taking a guided tour if you are less experienced.
  • Wear appropriate safety gear such as a helmet and a personal flotation device (PFD).


The Virgin River is home to various wildlife species, including birds, fish, reptiles, and mammals. While kayaking, you may have the opportunity to observe these creatures in their natural habitat.

Note: Respect the wildlife and maintain a safe distance to avoid disturbing them or putting yourself at risk.

Permits and Regulations

Before kayaking the Virgin River, it is essential to familiarize yourself with any permits or regulations that may apply. Different sections of the river may have specific rules and restrictions.

Check if you need a permit to kayak on the Virgin River. Some areas may require permits for day-use or overnight trips.

Familiarize yourself with any regulations that apply to kayaking on the Virgin River. These regulations may include camping restrictions, fire regulations, and guidelines for waste disposal.

In conclusion,

Kayaking the Virgin River in Utah can be an exhilarating experience for outdoor enthusiasts. However, it is important to consider factors such as water levels, rapids, wildlife, and permits before embarking on your adventure.

Remember to always prioritize safety by wearing appropriate gear, checking weather conditions, and assessing your skill level. By following these guidelines and respecting the environment, you can enjoy a memorable kayaking trip on the beautiful Virgin River in Utah.

Photo of author

Lindsay Collins