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Right Fork of North Creek
Double Falls - Barrier Falls

The mention of Zion National Park conjures up images of vertical sandstone walls enclosing a magnificent desertscape dusted with a scattering of trails leading to water within the arid land of the park. One of those trails is the Right Fork of North Creek where wide welcoming walls enfold the meandering stream; and cattails, moss and ferns provide nutrients for abundant wildlife thriving in the riparian habitat. Cliff Swallows and Canyon Tree Frogs harmonize in melody and cascades of cool water spill over slabs of layered sandstone. The destination is a pair of delicate waterfalls tucked deep in the canyon. Hikers can make their way behind picturesque Double Falls and gaze through streaming sheets of water to the calm pool below. Visitors who partake in the challenging and exhilarating trek will find a magical beauty in this quiet corner of Zion.

Zion Book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National ParkAt a Glance
Photo Album:
Right Fork North Creek Pictures
Trail Maps: Right Fork North Creek Topo Map
Day Hike:
Yes
Distance: 11.6 miles
Average Hiking Time: 11 hours
Equipment: Neoprene socks, sticky sole shoes, dry clothing, hat, 3 liters of water per person and/or a water filter, energy food, map, compass and emergency bivouac gear.
Difficulty: Boulder hopping, steep slickrock scrambles, wet slippery stream crossings and bushwhacking will all be required. Be careful to avoid the poison ivy along the creek. Route finding skills are required.
Permits: A permit is not required for this route but do call the Zion Canyon Visitor Center for weather conditions prior to the hike: 435- 772-3256. Hiking in slot canyons presents a real danger from flash flooding. Do not hike this trail if it is raining. Remember a storm far off can trigger a flash flood. Check the weather report before hiking this trail.

Remember slot canyons can change dramatically in a short time due to flash floods and water levels in this canyon change. These directions are only a general reference. Be prepared for variations in the canyon.

Zion National Park 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 Trailhead: Lower Right Fork Trailhead located off the Kolob Terrace Road. This route can also begin at the Grapevine Trailhead.
Trailend: Same as the trailhead.
Trail Access: Kolob Terrace Road. The road is often closed in the winter. Cold river temperatures and heavy current can deter most hikers in the winter months.
Off the Beaten Path: Yes
Classic Zion Park Hike: No
Best Season: Summer or fall. Cold river temperatures and heavy current can deter most hikers in the winter months. Spring run-off in both the Left Fork and Right Fork often results in swollen stream flow and may make stream crossings difficult or impossible.


Southern Utah Flash Flood info.
North Fork Virgin River - Flash Flood Info

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 Right Fork of North Creek - Double Falls

Double Falls near the end of Right Fork of North Creek

 

Lodging Zion National Park
Lodging 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.

 

Driving Instructions from Virgin: Set your odometer and turn onto the signed Kolob Reservoir Road. Drive for 6.9 miles to the Lower Right Fork parking lot.

zion National Park CanyoneeringHiking: Begin the route by traveling through junipers and cacti for the first quarter of a mile until you arrive at a basalt bluff overlooking North Creek. The trail becomes steep the next quarter of a mile as it winds through the basalt cliff band, requiring some short down climbs. Soon the terrain eases, leading to the bottom and arriving at North Creek. Once at North Creek, head upstream for roughly 200 yards, passing a waterfall carved through a slickrock slab. Upstream the Right Fork of North Creek confluences with the Left Fork. Cross the stream to the east side, then stay on the beaten path as it criss-crosses the gently flowing stream many times during the trek east toward Barrier Falls. Stay in the watercourse when possible or on the well beaten paths to minimize impact to the fragile environment.

After about 2.5 miles of hiking, you will pass Trail Canyon on your right. There are some wonderful cascades about a third of a mile past Trail Canyon. At 3.75 miles the first 5' waterfall slices through the slickrock and creates a beautiful pool. Just beyond 4.25 miles the canyon narrows forming pools and waterfalls. Lush hanging gardens, cattail and horsetail adorn a short section of narrows. Double Falls is found a mile past the narrows. This is a wonderful place to stop and shoot pictures, absorb the desert oasis and regenerate for the last .35 miles of up climbing, bouldering, and bushwhacking to finally arrive at the end, Barrier Falls. Although not as photogenic as Double Falls, the trip wouldn't be complete without a glimpse of the "barrier". To get to Barrier Falls, head up the steep embankment on the right side, navigating the 4' rock ledge, then traverse upstream above and on the right side of Double Falls.

On top of Double Falls the route becomes more difficult. Scramble up the slabs in the stream to eventually come to another waterfall which can be bypassed on the left side. Barrier Falls is now just a short distance through the boulders and up the ledge on the left. The mileage at this point is 5.8 miles. You will know you are at Barrier Falls when you can go no farther. Don't attempt to scale up this steep slippery rock. A fall here could result in serious injury. Exit at least 5 hours before the sun goes down, retracing your path.

Access the Lower Right Fork Trailhead by driving north on the Kolob Reservoir Road for 6.9 miles from the junction in the Town of Virgin.

Trail Mileage
Total Distance from Parking Lot to Barrier Falls: 5.82 miles
.7 miles from Parking Lot to the bottom of Bluff and North Creek
2 Miles to Trail Canyon
5.5 miles to Double Falls
5.8 Miles to Barrier Falls

zion National Park CanyoneeringGPS Coordinates WGS84 Datum

Parking At Right Fork Trailhead
37°16.247 N
113°06.185 W

Right Fork Trailhead Entry
and Exit at North Creek
37°16.056 N
113°05.720 W

Trail Canyon Intersection
37°16.464 N
113°04.507 W

Double Falls
37°16.872 N
113°01.438 W

Barrier Falls
37°16.996 N
113°01.222 W

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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