Right Fork of North Creek
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.
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.
Hiking: 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.
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
GPS Coordinates WGS84 Datum
Parking At Right Fork Trailhead
Right Fork Trailhead Entry
and Exit at North Creek
Trail Canyon Intersection
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.
Mt. Carmel Jct.
Zion National Park 12
Bryce Canyon 60
Grand Canyon 85
Cedar Breaks 45
Grand Staircase 9
Dixie Forest 22
Sand Dunes 11
Coyote Butte 57
Red Canyon 47
Stay in the heart of the parks, Mount Carmel Junction, and visit the treasures of the Southwest and Utah.