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The Path Less Traveled: Discover Zion’s Kolob Canyons

Zion National Park is one of America’s favorite destinations — and it’s a well-deserved honor with its massive sandstone cliffs, iconic hikes, incomparable wild landscapes, and more. Thousands of tourists pack the park each season, which means that many trails and more popular routes will be filled with other groups.

But Zion is filled with adventure opportunities, and one of those is the Kolob Canyons. Soaring parallel red-rock box canyons – part of the Colorado Plateau – reach 2,000 feet into the sky. Over 20 miles of hiking trails wind through and around the canyon, including:

  • Timber Creek Overlook Trail – The 1-mile trail takes about a half-hour and follows a small ridge that includes views of the Kolob Canyons, the Kolob Terrace, and the Pine Valley Mountains. A small picnic area is located near the trailhead.
  • 60f59b3967Taylor Creek Trail – This 5-mile trip takes about 4 hours to hike and ventures deep into a narrow box canyon toward Double Arch Alcove. Navajo sandstone walls surround hikers as they venture into Zion Wilderness and cross Taylor Creek. Two historic homestead cabins, built in the 1930s, still stand along this trail. This is the day-hikers’ favorite trail!
  • La Verkin Creek Trail – The longest of the three trails — La Verkin Creek Trail takes about 8 hours round trip and logs 14 miles with 1,037 feet in elevation change. The trail is a spectacular experience through the primitive area of Zion Wilderness. 7 miles into the path, hikers can access a viewpoint to see the Kolob Arch, which spans 287 feet and a thickness of 75 feet. It is one of the world’s largest natural arches.

The canyons are designated as wilderness and protected by the NPS to help preserve their pristine and primitive environments. Groups larger than 12 people are not allowed on any trail except Timber Creek Overlook Trail; overnight stays in the canyons require a wilderness permit from NPS. The park also encourages Leave No Trace principles to help keep the space wild and waste-free. 

Kolob Canyons’ visitor season is March through November; because of its higher elevation than Zion Canyon, winter leads to frequent snow closures.

If you’d rather view the canyons from the comfort of your vehicle, you can travel the Kolob Fingers Road Scenic Byway.

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