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South Guardian Angel

Nestled in the heart of Zion National Park, this sandstone dome is visible from as distant as St. George, 30 miles away. Two domes stand out above the others in the central section of Zion National Park. North Guardian Angel towering to the south of the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead and just across the Left Fork of North Creek, and a bit further south lies the prominent sandstone mountain, South Guardian Angel. Visitors hiking the "Subway" route enjoy grand views of both . South Guardian Angel provides the adventurer with the sense of route-finding and the satisfaction of a true backcountry experience. This is a "desert classic peak", on the Sierra Clubs list of the top one-hundred desert peaks to do.

zion National Park CanyoneeringAt a Glance
Photo Album: South Guardian Angel Pictures
Map: South Guardian Angel Map
Day Hike: Yes, but you will need an early start for this one.
Trail Distance: 14 miles round trip with lots of elevation changes.
Average Hiking Time: 12 hours
Equipment: Sticky soled shoes, 100' rope, water purification, food, water, emergency supplies to include emergency bivy. Map; North Guardian Angel 7.5' USGS topo, sunscreen, appropriate clothing for season.
Trail Usage: Low
Difficulty: Steep,unprotected with exposure, 3rd and 4th class scrambling. Climbing skills are required.
Permits: Not required unless camping. The area past the basalt butte is an "open camping" designation. Camp away from the trail and any water source.
Trail Conditions: Unmaintained route with lost of bushwhacking. Gator's or long pants should be worn.
Trailhead: Wildcat Canyon Trailhead on the Kolob Terrace Road. Begin on the Northgate Peaks Trail.
Trailend: Same as trailhead
Best Season: April and May offer the longest days, cooler temps and less chance of snow on the route.
Trail Access: The Kolob Terrace Road is often closed in the winter due to snow. Check with the NPS on road conditions. This road is not plowed in the winter.
Off the Beaten Path: Yes, but the peak is on the Sierra Club's 100 top desert peaks list.
Classic Zion Hike: No
Elevation: 6000' accumulated
Restrooms: Wildcat Canyon Trailhead

Map: Zion National Park Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona - North Rim Map Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah Lodging: Zion National Park Cedar Breks National Monument, Utah Dixie National Forest: Cedar Mountain Zion National Park State Road 9 - Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway Southern Utah Scenic Byways Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona - North Rim Map Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah Lodging: Zion National Park Zion National Park Cedar Breks National Monument, Utah Dixie National Forest: Cedar Mountain Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona - North Rim Map Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah Lodging: Zion National Park Zion National Park Cedar Breks National Monument, Utah Dixie National Forest: Cedar Mountain Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona - North Rim Map Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah Lodging: Zion National Park Zion National Park Cedar Breks National Monument, Utah Dixie National Forest: Cedar Mountain Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona - North Rim Map Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah Lodging: Zion National Park Zion National Park Cedar Breks National Monument, Utah Dixie National Forest: Cedar Mountain Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona - North Rim Map Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah Lodging: Zion National Park Cedar Breks National Monument, Utah Dixie National Forest: Cedar Mountain Zion National Park State Road 9 - Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway Southern Utah Scenic Byways Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona - 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North Rim Map Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah Lodging: Zion National Park Zion National Park Cedar Breks National Monument, Utah Dixie National Forest: Cedar Mountain Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona - 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Water availability: Some years there is snow melt forming some small intermittent streams and you can also filter water from Left Fork of North Creek.


Wildcat Canyon Trailhead
- The trailhead for South Guardian Angel begins at the same trailhead as The Subway. From the town of Virgin, Utah which is located on Highway 9, about 12 miles from the southern main entrance to Zion, turn north to get on the Kolob Terrace Road. Travel the twisting road for almost 16 miles as it passes in and out and then again into the National Park as it ascends from the desert into the coniferous forest. After the last sharp switchback the road rises sharply, and soon on the right, a sign indicates the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead. This is the parking area and trailhead for South Guardian Angel.

Directions to Zion National Park

From the North: Travel I-15 south, past Beaver. exit on Hwy 20. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to Zion's east entrance.
From Arizona: Travel US-89A through Fredonia, Arizona and Kanab Utah. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to the east park entrance.
From the South: Travel I-15 north. Take exit 16 and travel through Hurricane to LaVerkin. Continue on SR-9 to the south entrance of the park. SR-9 through Zion National Park is always open and is also called the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway. See restrictions for RV's.

Zion National Park Maps

Zion Backcountry Map - Trail Interactive Zion National Park Map Zion National Park Road Map Zion Shuttle - Tunnel Information
 
Zion's South Guardian Angel

Bo Beck and Tanya Milligan on North Guardian Angel in the Kolob Terrace

 

Lodging Zion National Park
Lodging for Zion National ParkLodging and services are available on the gorgeous east side of Zion National Park, where guests are close to Zion National Park (12 miles), Bryce Canyon National Park (60 miles), Cedar Breaks National Monument (45 miles), Coral Pink Sand Dunes (12 miles), and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (85 miles). It's where city traffic is absent and the skies are bright and clean.

 

Northgate Peaks Trail - The hike begins by following the Wildcat Canyon Trail for about 1 mile as it bears eastward through the pine forest. The hiking is quite pleasant and level. The Hop Valley Connector Trail is bypassed on the right after about a half-mile. Continue past this intersection to meet the Subway and Northgate Peaks Trail intersection entering from the right at about 1 mile into the hike. Turn right and follow the path for about a mile, through the trees bypassing the left turn to the Subway.

North Guardian Angel - The trail ends on a basalt buttress overlooking the valley below encompassed by the Northgate Peaks and North Guardian Angel. There is a trail leading southeast through the basalt field that will eventually arrive at the valley below and a sandy bottom wash. Follow the wash southward for a quarter-mile and soon a trail becomes evident on the left side. Pick up the trail as it contours the wash and then steers into the manzanitas to the east. The goal is to arrive at the eastern shoulder of the North Guardian Angel.

Guardian Arch - From the eastern shoulder a slickrock bowl falls away to the east. Drop into the bowl and contour around its head onto the ridge of slickrock to the east of the wash forming below. Once on top of the ridge, travel southward and look for cairns that will indicate the steep path to follow into the Left Fork of North Creek. Be sure to glance to the right occasionally and look for the freestanding arch, Guardian Arch, where the slot canyon deepens to the west.

Left Fork of North Creek - The descent is over a half-mile with nearly 1200' of elevation, and it can be quite steep in sections. No rope will be necessary, but careful travel is a must as the path leads from slickrock, through thick vegetation, and short down-climbs. Arriving at the Subway, is refreshing and is a good place to take on water (purify) for the beginning of the long ascent to South Guardian Angel.

Left Fork Arch - Look directly across from where the trail entered Left Fork and identify the slope and Left Fork Arch, 30' up from the bottom of the drainage. There is a short 15' 4th class boulder problem that leads above the arch and to easier travel. Some may prefer to use a rope belay for those less experienced or unsure here.

Summit of South Guardian Angel- Continue up the steep draw, and follow the wash to the left and over a boulder to arrive at a trail that will switchback and eventually arrive at a ridge top. From the ridge, drop down into the wash below, cross the streambed and ascend the hillside to the southeast. Go up and over the ridge and drop into the wash below on the other side. Now travel southerly (easiest manner possible) following the wash for nearly .75 miles until the end. Don't be lured into a false wash entering from the right at about a half-mile on the way. Now the sandy bottom wash becomes an array of slickrock bowls that need to be negotiated as the route bears west-south-westerly. Keep eyes open as at one point the route will travel up to a small vertical sandstone wall on the right. Follow the ramp to its high point and do a tricky 3rd class up-climb onto the next layer above. From here set sights to the hoodoos above as the terrain will soon begin to ease and the white sandstone of South Guardian Angel will present itself. From the level area around the first hoodoos the ascent is mild until arriving at a second set of hoodoos near the eastern base of the ever steepening sandstone monolith. From a group of ponderosas perched at the eastern base of the slabs the climb becomes steady 3rd ,and low grade 4th class scrambling as the eastern ridge is followed to the summit. Look for the register on the tallest peak, it is buried under some rocks. Be sure to sign it.

Trail History
North and South Guardian Angels were named as guardians of the Kolob section of the park. The Northgate trail leading to the peaks is a new addition to the park trail system.

GPS Coordinates WGS84 Datum

zion National Park CanyoneeringWildcat Canyon/ Northgate Peaks
Trail Junction:
37°20.394 N
113° 03.574 W

Guardian Arch
37°18.945 N
113°02.945 W

Bottom of Left Fork of  North Creek
and Ascent/Descent Points
37°18.766 N
113°02.832 W

Top of South Guardian Angel
37°17.731 N
113°03.595 W

Highest Elevation
South Guardian Angel
7140'

Lowest Elevation
Left Fork of North Creek
5550'

Kolob is the name of the star nearest to where "God" lives.

please link to meBeta: Coordinates and other trail and canyoneering information by Zion Park search and rescue veteran team member Bo Beck and www.zionnational-park.com author Tanya Milligan.

To post trip reports, offer corrections, updates, or for more information please visit the Zion National Park Forum

Suggested Gear: A sturdy pair of shoes are recommend to hike the trails in Zion National Park. Many quality shoes will help grip the rocks and prevent injury.


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Hiking to Water

Backpacking in Zion

Greater Zion Area

Hiking List

Hiking along SR-9

This is my new favorite quote:
"I don't know who Tanya Milligan is, but I mean www.zionnational-park.com
It's a better site than the NPS's anyway."
Written by the authors of the book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National Park
 
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Zion History
Zion Landmarks
Zion Geology
Zion Geology II
Zion Geology III
Zion Fauna

Zion Rock Art

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