Hiking in the Kolob sections of Zion National Park
Kolob Canyons and Kolob Terrace sections of Zion National Park are situated in the northwestern corner of Zion. These areas are less visited areas than the east side of Zion or Zion Canyon and set at a higher elevation so access is not always possible during the winter months.
Subway, a semi-technical slot canyon route, is found in the Kolob Terrace as well as the stunning Right Fork of North Creek. The popular West Rim Trailhead is found just off the Kolob Terrace Road at Lava Point. Hikers begin at the point and make their way into Zion Canyon, past the Angels Landing Trail and down to the Grotto picnic area in Zion Canyon. In the winter and spring call one of Zion's Visitor Centers before attempting to drive the roads. The road may be closed from November to May. There is camping in the area and the closest lodging would be in Hurricane or Springdale.
Mileage from SR-9 &
the Kolob Terrace Road
Right Fork Trailhead - 6.9 miles
Grapevine Trailhead - 7.3 miles Smith Mesa Road - 7.7 miles
Left Fork Trailhead 8.2 miles
Hop Valley Trailhead - 12.8 miles
Wildcat Canyon Trailhead 15.8 (Russell Gulch, Subway Trailhead)
Lava Point turnoff (to West Rim Trailhead) 20 miles
Lava Point and West Rim Trailhead 24 miles
The Kolob Canyons, sometimes called Kolob Fingers, part of Zion National Park is accessed offI-15, at exit 40 near Cedar City. Red Navajo canyons landscape the area. Kolob Arch, the world's second longest arch, is a landmark of this area. The trail to the Kolob Arch is a 14 hour round-trip hike, ending at a free standing arch. Kolob Arch measures 287.4 ', making it about three feet shorter than the world's longest arch, the fragile Landscape Arch. This could change however as Landscape Arch is near the end of its lifecycle and will crumble long before Kolob Arch. The hike to the arch can be done as a backpack or a long day hike. A charming Visitor Center is found at the entrance to the Kolob Canyons section of the park. There is no camping in Kolob Canyons but you can find a year-round campground in Kanarraville. The closest lodging is Cedar City.
Kolob Technical Canyons - Kolob Canyon, or often times called Kolob Creek so it is not confused with the section of Zion called Kolob Canyons, is one of Zion's greatest adventures. Canyoneers must wear heavy wet suits to survive the cold water in the canyon, as they navigate the narrow slot canyon.
Zion Photo: Bo Beck is seen rappelling down a waterfall in Kolob Canyon to the left and Tanya Milligan is seen above - both in heavy wetsuits. Kolob Canyon is one of the most outstanding technical slot canyons in Zion National Park.
Routes in and on the edge of Kolob, listed in order of difficulty
Routes are trails that are not maintained or are off the beaten path. Route finding skills are needed. Few people will be seen along this route. A moderate or strenuous route is far more difficult than a moderate or strenuous classic route.
Do not attempt routes beyond your skills.
Remember! Your safety is always YOUR responsibility!
Key: [Cliff-side: Exposed scramble or ledge]
[Slot: Slot or Narrows] [Boulders: Climbing over boulders or up steep slabs]
[Scrambling: Hiking/Climbing up or down steep slick rock] [Semi-Tech: Rope and climbing skills]
[Technical: Advanced climbing or canyoneering]
Hiking Equipment - The kind of gear you will need for your visit to the Kolob depends on which trails you plan to hike. Comfortable hiking shoes and quality socks are a must. Painful blisters and sore toes can ruin your plans. If hiking the Subway is on your vacation itinerary you might want to invest in a good pair of aquatic shoes and a dry bag for your gear. A day pack and hydration system are also essential. If you are heading into the canyons like the Subway, consider buying a draining backpack. Imlay Canyon Gear carries equipment that has been developed by Tom Jones, a well known canyoneer and engineer, to make adventures through slot canyons easier. If you have ever hiked out of the Subway with a backpack full of water you get the idea.