Kolob Terrace section of Zion National Park
The Kolob Terrace is in the middle of Zion between Zion Canyon and the Kolob Canyons which are located near Cedar City. The Kolob Terrace offers a 21-mile scenic drive to Lava Point, starting at the small town of Virgin. At first you will notice homes and farms as you travel in and out of Zion. The road transitions to gravel once you are beyond Lava Point and headed to the Kolob Reservoir. It can take you another 20-miles to SR-14 near Cedar City, ending about a-mile from a long standing restaurant - Milt’s Stage Stop. Keep in mind the Kolob Terrace is a primitive area and there are no services so be prepared with water, a spare and other items you might need if you break down.
Directions to the
Mileage from SR-9 & the Kolob Terrace Road
Virgin - Virgin is between Hurricane and Zion – 15 miles from Zion’s south entrance. This is a quaint community with around 600 people and less than 200 families. In 2000, a law was passed requiring every homeowner to keep and maintain a firearm. This interesting tidbit was in Michael Moore’s film “Bowling for Columbine.” The unique name of the town was from the Virgin River. Follow the Kolob Reservoir Road for 21 miles to remote and primitive Lava Point. Keep your speed down, the road is patrolled by Zion’s Rangers and they will ask for your park pass if you are pulled over.
Lava Point – There is a primitive campground and the trailheads for the West Rim and Wildcat Canyon trails. Lava Point is 7890 feet which is one of the highest points in Zion. The beauty of this is when hiking the West Rim Trail mostly get to hike downhill, making this a delightful backpack all the way into Zion Canyon. The campground has 6 fee-free sites are taken on a first use basis.
Left Fork of North Creek - Few know that you can hike into the Subway from the bottom and avoid the obstacles, cold water swimming and other uncomfortable parts of a technical slot canyon. You must still travel in small groups and a permit is still required. Those hiking from the bottom-up still count as part of the 80 allowed on the Subway route per-day.
Right Fork of North Creek - Plan to begin early in the day and be ready for a full day of hiking. The route leads to Double Falls and Barrier Falls. This is a very long hike through the creek leading to a photogenic waterfall.
Northgate Peaks Trail - This easy, family suited trail, follows the eastern edge of Pine Valley to a nice view point of the Guardian Angels of the Kolob. This easy trail is the start of the North Guardian Angel Trail.
North Guardian Angel - The North Guardian Angel is on the Sierra Clubs list of the" top one-hundred desert peaks to do." About 12-miles into the drive on the Kolob Terrace Road, there are some large “white Hershey kiss" shaped peaks. The sandstone mound to the right is Pine Valley Peak, (7428'). North Guardian Angel (7408') can be seen behind and to the right of Pine Valley Peak.
You cannot drive from the Kolob Terrace to Zion Canyon or to Kolob Canyons. You can however hike from Lava Point into Zion Canyon on the West Rim Trail and you can also hike on a trail to Kolob Canyons.
Zion National Park, Utah
History of the Thunderbird
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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