I am in constant awe of all the amazing hidden gems in and around Southern Utah. For a while now my siblings have been telling me about a small natural spring pool located just 20 minutes south of Saint George. It has been on my bucket list to check out but not until just recently did I make it happen and man I am so glad that I did. Imagine waterfalls surrounded by ferns and lush vegetation, a pool of green-blue sparkling water, streams filled with small fish.....all in the middle of the desert. Seriously what more could you ask for?!? But don't get too excited just quite yet, there is a catch. Read on for all the juicy details.
I AM SO SORRY FRIENDS BUT THIS BEAUTIFUL SPOT IS NO MORE. THE SPRING WAS MOVED TO MAKE WAY FOR THE FREEWAY TO BE WIDEND. I KNOW, I AM Absolutely HEARTBROKEN ABOUT IT.
None! This is private property, and the owner is kind (or crazy) enough to let people enjoy for free. All the more reason to take extra good care of this place.....right!
Don't be fooled by Google Maps. Little Jamaica is much easier and quicker to get to than it says. Take Desert Spring exit on highway 15. If you are coming from the north take a right on a small road running parallel to I15. It will quickly turn into a bumpy dirt road. Don't worry, the road is short, and it opens into a dirt parking lot. You have arrived!
If you are coming from the south take Desert Springs exit on I15 and you will follow the road running parallel to the 15 until you come to an underpass. Go under the underpass and take a right. It will quickly turn into a bumpy dirt road. Don't worry, the road is short, and it opens into a dirt parking lot. You have arrived!
Click here to see location on a map but ignore the directions.
If you haven't gathered by now from reading the directions, Little Jamaica is located right next to/below the I15 freeway. I understand this will be a huge turn off for some and I completely understand, but trust me, you will totally forget about the noise when you are swimming in the cool water surrounded by waterfalls.
There are a few different ways to get to the swimming hole. You can take a dirt trail to the left of the parking lot. You can also go through the entrance gate and go to your right or the left. If you go to the right, it will take you along a short steep trail to the top of the waterfalls and pool. There is a rope that you can use to climb down to the pool. This is a hard way to go with kids, so I recommend taking one of the trails to the left. The trails to the left converge and take you down a steep and slick .15 mile dirt path to the river. Wear good shoes and go slow so that you don't slip. You will walk up the river to the waterfalls and climb up to the pool. There is a rope to help you climb up. The rocks have really good grip so wear good water shoes, and you will be able to climb easily around the waterfalls.
Besides the freeway overhead, there are a few more things to be aware of when visiting Little Jamaica. Read below for tips and additional information.
TIPS AND ADDITIONAL INFO
I do not recommend visiting this area in the evening. This spot has been known to attract partiers and sketchy people. Both times we went it was early in the morning, and we didn't come across anyone questionable, but we did see plenty of evidence of partying.
Unfortunately, on both of my visits, there was a lot of trash in the parking lot, along the river, and at the waterfalls and pool. It made me so sad. I brought a trash bag with me on my second visit and picked up all the trash I could fit into my bag. If you visit Little Jamaica, I recommend always bringing a trash bag with you. It is hard to enjoy the beauty when you are looking at trash.
For the lush green vegetation visit in the spring/early summer. I have heard that in the heat of the summer and the winter the area is much more yellow and dormant.
When we visited Little Jamaica in late April, the water was a bit cold. My girls didn't mind too much, but my two-year-old didn't last long. After swimming in the pool, we spent a couple of hours playing in the stream next to the Virgin River. There is a waterfall, fun rocks to climb, and small fish swimming in the water. We loved playing by the river just as much as swimming in the pool which is so great because if you do end up going on a day where there are crowds at the pool, you can still have great fun playing in and around the river.
PLAYING BY THE VIRGIN RIVER
Have you visited Little Jamaica? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.