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Kolob Canyons Kolob Canyons Map

There are two Kolob sections in Zion National Park; Kolob Canyons located 18-miles south of Cedar City and Kolob Terrace accessed from the town of Virgin, 12-miles from the south entrance of the main section of the park. Both Kolob sections can proudly boast of their magnificent mountains of red sandstone, however the two are as different from each other as they are from Zion Canyon or Zion’s east side.  Kolob Canyons is a remote 30,000 acre block of the park which is located northwest of Zion Canyon.  Its set at a higher elevation than the main park, in fact, it boasts of having the parks highest peak - Horse Ranch Mountain at 8726 feet and some of Zion’s youngest strata.  

Directions - To get to it from Cedar City, travel south on I-15 and take exit 40.  From Zion’s main section, exit the park from Zion’s south entrance.  Drive on SR-9 through the small towns of Springdale, Rockville and Virgin.  Turn right at the stop light in La Verkin and travel through Toquerville to I-15.  Take I-15 north and exit at the signed exit for Kolob Canyons.  It will take about 90-minutes (40-miles) to travel from Zion’s south entrance to Kolob Canyons. Kolob Canyons is open year-round however the road can close due to snow.

The 7-day Zion pass is good for all sections of Zion.
Kolob Canyons Visitor Center:  435.586.9548 Open daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Kolob Hiking: A hiking guide to hiking in the Kolob sections of Zion National Park.zion National Park Canyoneering

Zion National Park Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Grand Canyon North Rim Map Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Kolob Canyons
Scenic Drive

A portion of the 5-mile twisting road runs along the Hurricane Fault, a fracture in the earth's crust stretching over 150-miles reaching from near the Grand Canyon to Cedar City, marking the western edge of the Markagunt Plateau, a plateau in southern Utah and running between I-15 and US-89.  Erosion along the Hurricane Fault has served to change the landscape of Zion. The short scenic drive ascends 1100 feet, showcasing deep reddish-orange cliffs, protruding abruptly from the ground as it follows portions of Taylor Creek, the headwaters for Kolob Canyons.  The road terminates at Timber Creek Overlook. Stop at the Visitor Center and pick up a brochure that explains the 14 numbered stops along the drive.  In the winter the scenic drive through Kolob Canyons can close due to snow.                

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.

Zion National Park Maps
 
Kolob Arch at Kolob Canyons

Zion Photo: Kolob Arch in Kolob Canyons looms ahead of the hiker,
Bo Beck. Kolob Canyons is the part of Zion National Park located on Interstate I-15 near Cedar City.

 

Zion National Park Lodging

Lodging Zion National Park Lodging and services are available in East Zion. The main road through Zion, the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway (SR-9) is open year-round, and is not a route the Zion Canyon Shuttle takes. Zion Canyon is deep inside the park. Towering 3000' walls form a slot canyon, forged by the violent rush of torrent water over millions of years. From late March to late October access through the six mile stretch of road is via the Zion Canyon Shuttle, the rest of the year the canyon is accessed in private vehicles.

 

Kolob CanyonFinger Canyons - There are five narrow valleys called "finger canyons" and as a result the area is often called Kolob Fingers by the locals rather than Kolob Canyons, the official name.  The end of the scenic drive is an ideal place to stop and have a picnic, since there is no place to eat at the park, but there are picnic tables.  The nearest services are in Cedar City which although small when compared to most cities it is one of the largest cities in the area.  It is a charming college town where I went to college long ago when it was Southern Utah State College.  Today it is Southern Utah University.  There are a variety of environments in Kolob Canyons including some incredible technical slot canyons such as Kolob Creek (sometimes called Kolob Canyon which does confuse people) and Ice Box Canyon, but this section of Zion is best known for having one of the world’s longest arches - Kolob Arch.

World's Longest Arches - Once Kolob Arch was considered to be the longest natural arch in the world, but the newest method of measurement now has it listed as the second longest.  Kolob Arch however will be standing long after, the world’s longest arch, the fragile Landscape Arch in Arches National Park falls.  Landscape Arch was measured in 2004 by laser measurement and found to be 290 feet long.  Kolob Arch was measure later, in 2006 and found to be 287 feet long.  China has a couple of long arches which might actually be longer, but have yet to be measured by the newest methods.

Wildlife - The wildlife in Kolob Canyons seems to be an exaggerated version of what you see in Zion Canyon. Rattlesnakes are surprisingly common along the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek, but as far as I know, no human has ever been bit along the trail. When I hiked it with my kids we saw several rattlers, but unless you are looking you will probably never notice them.  In all my years of hiking in Zion Canyon I have only seen one rattlesnake at that was on the Riverside Walk Trail.  It was a fat, sleepy one, curled up under a bench.  Tourists were all around it taking photos.  A ranger came and bagged it and took it to a new location before I got to the end of the path and returned to the same location. 

Pico Rosado Arch along the North Fork of Taylor Creek in Kolob CanyonsKolob Canyons Trails:

Timber Creek - Start this easy one-mile, round-trip hike, at the Kolob Canyons picnic area. It is a 100 foot ascent, following a ridge to a small peak. From the point you can see Timber Creek, Kolob Terrace and the Pine Valley mountains beyond Saint George.  Plan on 30-minutes for the round-trip.

Middle Fork of Taylor Creek - The popular Middle Fork of Taylor Creek Trail is a 5.4-mile round-trip hike, past two homestead cabins and ending at a beautiful double arch water-streaked alcove with hanging gardens. There are a couple of historic cabins along the way and a host of wildlife.  This is an easy to moderate hike without much elevation change, but there is some shallow stream crossing.  It should take about 3-hours to complete the trail.

North Fork of Taylor Creek - The North Fork of Taylor Creek is an un-maintained trail that begins at the heavily traveled Middle Fork of Taylor Creek Trailhead. It leaves the popular trail at the Larsen Cabin and goes to Pico Rosado, (Pink Spire, in Portuguese) a freestanding arch seen high on a cliff and then terminates between Horse Ranch Mountain and Tucupit Point.

 

South Fork of Taylor Creek - The 2-mile round-trip to the South Fork of Taylor Creek, is an un-maintained trail that begins about 3-miles past the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center, on an unmarked path. The path leads into the canyon between Paria Point and Beatty Point.

La Verkin Creek Trail – Kolob Arch – Begin at Lee’s Pass, following the La Verkin Creek Trail then take the spur to Kolob Arch.  This can be done as a long day hike or as an overnight backpack.

Campgrounds – Other than backpacking, there is no camping in the Kolob Canyons.  Kanarraville has a nice campground that is nearby however.


 

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Zion National Park 12
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Stay in the heart of the parks, Mount Carmel Junction, and visit the treasures of the Southwest and Utah.

In these pages you will find insiders information on Zion National Park lodging & camping. This guide includes maps, pictures and even information on Zion's hidden treasures.

 

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Kolob Hiking

Kolob Terrace

 

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