Little Jamaica Overview
Below is our article on Little Jamaica, the popular swimming hole enjoyed by many locals in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.
Is Little Jamaica Closed
As of May 2022, the popular swimming hole, “Little Jamaica,” near Littlefield, Arizona is no more. The ADOT has closed-off access to the area below where the man-made swimming hole was located and it appears the swimming hole has been dismantled based on our view across the river.
A “little” unknown swimming hole to many, Little Jamaica aka Desert Spring aka Littlefield Springs is a fun place to hang out for a few hours of water play and a picnic along the Virgin River.
If you are looking for more water fun, check out these Nevada Swimming Holes.
Named after a nearby mountain with the nickname Little Jamaica, the Little Jamaica “swimming hole” is a man-made pool created alongside the Virgin River that is fed by a mountain spring.
Unfortunately, when you first arrive at the parking lot, you will see a lot of trash that has been left behind by visitors. Be sure to wear closed shoes as there was broken glass when I was there and who knows how far down the trail it goes.
You will go through a small fence to begin your descent down to the swimming hole and the Virgin River. After you start your quarter of a mile “hike” down the hill, it is approximately 10-minutes until you reach the pool and Virgin River. PLEASE NOTE: Keep up to date with possible toxins in the water here: Virgin River Toxic Cyanobacteria
Watch your footing on the way down as I had on grippy water shoes and was still sliding in some areas due to the wet growth on the rocks.
Click here to view all of our articles on “Things to do in Arizona” for additional family fun.
Little Jamaica is not closed…YET. We visited April 4, 2021, and the man-made swimming hole has NOT been dismantled to date but reportedly it will be dismantled soon. There is a sign at the trailhead that says it is closed.
The announcement from the St. George Utah news site about dismantling Little Jamaica.
The following was announced at the end of 2018:
The Arizona Department of Transportation.
“In the interest of public health and safety and to address the maintenance burden and increased liability it creates for ADOT, we are removing the manmade pool nicknamed ‘Little Jamaica’ within the I-15 right of way,” Ryan Harding, an ADOT representative, said in an email to St. George News.
Little Jamaica sits beneath a bridge that is a part of the Arizona stretch of Interstate 15, and that puts it on ADOT property.
The agency has begun prepping the area for the reconstruction work it will be doing on the bridge in the fiscal year 2020. This work is a continuation of reconstructive work done on other bridges in the Virgin River Gorge in recent years.
Is Little Jamaica Manmade
Yes, sandbags and other materials were used to build an enclosure to capture the running water into pools under the “waterfalls” that fed the area.
Why is Little Jamaica Closed
Citing public health and safety concerns, ADOT also announced the complete dismantling of the human-made pool known as “Little Jamaica.” [St.GeorgeUtah]
How to Get to Little Jamaica
You don’t need a high clearance vehicle or four-wheel drive, but we did see a car having issues on a day that we went when it was sprinkling and the road was a bit muddy.
2021 UPDATE: I have “heard” in several Facebook groups that the “back way” in is closed due to construction.
How Far is Little Jamaica From Las Vegas
Located in Littlefield, Arizona, Little Jamaica is about half an hour from St. George and almost two hours from Las Vegas. The directions using Google maps is what we used and had no issues finding the place.
Little Jamaica Permits and Fees
There is no fee to visit and use the swimming hole at Little Jamaica in Arizona.
Best Time of Day to Visit
The earlier in the day is better so that there are fewer visitors.
Also, rumor has it that later in the day and nighttime has a “party” crowd who build fires, drink, and have loud music. If you are visiting with the kiddos, probably not the best time to visit.
Parking at Little Jamaica
There is a moderate size area for parking but be careful to navigate around broken bottles.
The trail to the River
There is a short .25 “hike” down the hill to reach the manmade pools and the river.
There no trash receptacles in the parking lot so the area gets cluttered fast with the remains of visitors.
The trash is picked up occasionally by a local group and was cleaner our last visit but others have reported that it is trashed again.
Click here to read about Leave No Trace.
Restrooms at Little Jamaica
There are no restrooms at Little Jamaica so plan accordingly.
The kids will love Little Jamaica but once again, be careful of the trash in the parking lot and on the trail to keep the kiddos safe from cuts.
We are not aware of restrictions for dogs to visit Little Jamaica.
Each time I have been there I have not seen visitors with dogs.
Little Jamaica is the perfect place for a picnic!
Pack your favorite snacks and a cooler and hit the river (and don’t forget your shade!).
Here are two of my personal favorite items for a picnic, the lightweight BEARZ Outdoor Blanket, and a Waterproof Beach Blanket.
Unfortunately, this area is rough and not accessible by wheelchairs.
What to Take to Little Jamaica
You for sure want to wear closed-toed shoes, e.g, no flip-flops, as the amount of broken glass on the ground could end up cutting some exposed foot parts.
Below is what I recommend taking to Little Jamaica:
- Water shoes (closed sides and toes)
- Neoprene socks (possibly, for extra protection for the little piggies)
- Small Cooler
- Snacks and lunch
- Picnic blanket
- Floats for the river
- Dry bag
Drones at Little Jamaica
According to our drone mapping software, drones are okay to fly in this area but be sure to check your own drone software before you fly.
Note, there are normally a lot of people in the area so if you do decide to fly, be careful of others in areas you may not be able to see them.
Little Jamaica Photos
Waterfall from the mountain spring fills the man-made swimming hole.
Watch out for areas like this as the rocks are SLICK and easy to fall on if you are not careful.
Another view of the mountain spring water running down the rocks into the manmade barrier that makes the swimming hole.
More litter down the trail, which is very unfortunate.
Look at how slick those rocks look. Be careful out there while you are having fun.
Little Jamaica Resources
- Hey Mon Try Little Jamaica
- Little Jamaica from Dixie Sun News
- Unfiltered and Filthy: Southern Utah’s Little Jamaica
- Yelp – Little Jamaica