Kolob Canyons: Middle Fork Taylor Creek
Kolob Canyons is accessed off I15 (exit 40), about 90 minutes from the south entrance of the main section of Zion National Park. The Kolob Canyons section of the park is also known as the finger Canyons. The fingers are tall, orange colored rock formations with narrow canyons between them. The Finger Canyons of the Kolob were formed by the north, middle and south forks of Taylor Creek.The route begins at the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek Trailhead. This is a 5.4 mile, easy to moderate hike, leading to a double arch alcove. The ascent is 450'. There are a couple of charming historic cabins along the way. This hike has one very rattling problem. Rattlesnakes are very common along the trail. We experienced two rattlesnakes in different sections of the hike that were on the trail during our May hike. It was scary enough to the adults, but the children in our group were terrified. The two children that led this hike were face to face with a coiled snake rattling its tail. The next snake seen was when several of us walked right past it without knowing, but the last two kids in the group saw it. It was resting under a log. Later we read on the brochure that rattlers are common on the hike.
At a Glance
Trail Beta: Follow the well marked Middle Fork of Taylor Creek Trail, crossing the stream numerous times. Paria Point is to the right and Tucupit Point is the left.
Larsen Cabin: The Larsen Cabin is located among a grove of Pines and of Juniper trees 1.2 miles up the trail, a little off the trail on the left. The 1930s cabin marks the confluence of the two forks. Tucupit Point towers above the cabin. To the left of this point is the North Fork of Taylor Creek. The limestone capped mountain behind Tucupit is, Horse Ranch Mountain, the highest point in Zion National Park at 8726'.
Middle Fork Taylor Creek: Follow the beaten path along the creek. The path does crisscross back and forth from side to side.
Fife Cabin: Southern Utah State College (now SUU) instructor, Arthur Fife also built his cabin in 1930. When not at the college in Cedar City he live in the cabin and raised goats. This cabins rests in a grove of maple, oak and fir trees. The trail bends to the right after the Fife cabin.
Double Arch Alcove: Continue following the creek bed to where the canyon ends at two blind arches in one rock face.
Note: Kolob Canyons and Kolob Terrace are different sections of Zion National Park.
The Trail: Rattlesnakes are common along this trail during the hotter months of the year. The Larsen homestead cabin was built in 1930 and was lived in by Gustav Larson until 1933.
Best Trail Features: If it were not for the snakes this would be an ideal family hike.The orange-red color of the cliffs is from hematitem, an iron oxide. If you love the wildest of nature then this trail is for you. We also ran into a tarantula on the trail and cougar tracks. There is a lot of vegetation along the path. The red flowers were abundant such as the bright red penstemon, indian paintbrush and the skyrocket that are common in Zion Canyon.
Options: The North Fork of Taylor Creek and the South Fork of Taylor Creek.
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.
Zion National Park, Utah
History of the Thunderbird
More Kolob Hiking
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