Wind and water worked together to form Zion's lesser known Kolob Canyon.
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An entrance right off an exit
Located just off Interstate 15, The Kolob Canyon section of Zion National Park is home to spectacular finger canyons with soaring cliffs of red Navajo sandstone and deep pocket canyons just waiting to be discovered. Kolob may be the little known portion of Zion National Park but that doesn't mean it is not as spectacular as the main canyons of Zion proper. Kolob is home to a unique geological history and diverse animal and plant life. The scenery is stunning and provides visitors with peaceful and serene surroundings unmatched by any other nation park in the southwest. Read more...
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Kolob Canyons is a beautiful place to tour throughout the year. In the winter, the red Navajo sandstone glimmers with a fresh dusting of snow and in the spring the waterfalls cascade down the rugged cliffs, streaking them black from the run-off. Wildflowers bloom in abundance during the summer, and with the coming of autumn, the yellow-gold leaves of the valley's scrub oak offers an interesting contrast to the vast scenery.
Hiking in Kolob
When hiking in Kolob Canyons always remember to bring sunscreen, plenty of water, maps, insect repellent and a camera. Good footwear is a must and always follow the "leave no trace" principles. See our Zion National Park hiking section for more information.
Timber Creek Trail
Trailhead is located approximately two miles from the Visitors Center along the Kolob Canyons Road. Distance is about one mile round-trip. Plan about a half hour. Trail follows the ridge top to a small peak. Timber Creek Trail offers views of the Timber Creek, the Kolob Terrace and Pine Valley Mountains.
Middle Fork of Taylor Creek
Trailhead is located approximately two miles from the Visitors Center along the Kolob Canyons Road. Distance is about five miles round-trip. Plan for about three hours. Moderate in difficulty. The trail follows the middle fork of Taylor Creek past two old homestead cabins to the Double Arch Alcove.
Trailhead is located approximately three and half miles from the Visitors Center at Lee's Pass. Distance is 14.4 miles round-trip. Plan on this being an all-day hike. The hike is considered to be strenuous and is not recommended during the month of July and August since the summer temperatures can reach over 100 degrees. The hike starts at Lee's Pass and follows the LaVerkin Creek into the Kolob wilderness to the world's largest free-standing arch.
Backcountry Hiking and Camping
La Verkin Creek, Willis Creek and Hop Valley trails offer excellent backpacking opportunities and connection to backcountry trails into some of the Zion main canyons. Permits are required for backcountry camping and are issued at the Kolob Canyons Visitors Center. Check for campfire restrictions and regulations. Always tell someone where you are going and your anticipated return.
Campground facilities are not available in Kolob. Tenting and RV sites are located north of Kolob in the towns of Kanarraville and Cedar City.
Most visitors access the Kolob Canyons via the scenic byway located off I-15 exit #40. Stop at the Visitor Center for more information about the park. Along the route there are interpretive signs and pullouts that mark points of interest. Be sure to stop at each one. As you drive through the Canyons you cross a major fault line which gives rise to the great plateau in which Zion was born. An enormous natural cutaway of the Markagunt Plateau, the spectacular "finger canyons" display the oldest and youngest rocks in Zion, as well as its tallest peak: the 8926 foot - Horse Ranch Mountain.
The route will traverse along a ridgeline, climbing over 1,000 feet in elevation until it ends at a turnabout known as the Timber Creek Overlook. Timber Creek features an absolutely breathtaking view of the Kolob Terrace. Keep your camera ready. The light in the afternoon to twilight can be the best time for photography and this area is one of the best places for panoramic shots.
Kolob Canyons is a favorite picnic spot for locals and visitors alike. The Timber Creek overlook features a picnic area with table and trees for shade. Access the picnic area by walking up the Timber Creeks Trail for just a few yards.
Kolob features diverse habitats for wildlife. Mule deer can be seen in winter grazing along the hillsides, rock squirrels and jack rabbits are commonly seen scampering the bushes in the summer. Ravens, blue scrub jay, red tail hawks, golden eagles and an occasional bald eagle can be seen soaring the skies over Kolob. Whiptail and fence lizards sun themselves on rocks along many trails. Coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, gray foxes, skunks and ring tail cat inhabit the canyons searching for food primarily at night.
Remember to observe wildlife without interfering with their activities. Feeding wildlife is prohibited because they can injure you and they are adapted to a natural diet, not human food. All wildlife is protected from hunting and disturbance in the national parks.
Ranger Led Activities
Summertime, check with the Kolob Visitor Center for the ranger led activities schedule, including guided hikes and nature walks. Most ranger activities are included in your entrance fee.
Kolob is open all year. It's advisable in the wintertime to call ahead to check road conditions. The visitor center is open everyday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM with extended hours in the summer. For more information contact the Kolob Canyon Visitor Center (435) 586-9548 or www.nps.gov/zion.
Kolob Canyons is part of Zion National Park. As of January 1, 2007 the entrance fee permit for Kolob is $25 per vehicle, good for 7 days. Your permit includes entrance into all of Zion National Park including the Main Canyon. Golden Eagle, Golden Age and America the Beautiful National Park passes are honored in Kolob Canyons.
The first inhabitants of the Kolob area were the Anasazi or "the ancient ones". Very little is known about the Anasazi or why they disappeared from the Southwest region about 1200 AD. The Paiutes were next to establish themselves in the area and still consider Kolob to be a sacred place to seek emotional and spiritual sustenance. The Spanish explorers Dominguez and Escalante first documented the Kolob Canyons as they tried to establish a trail from New Mexico to California. Mormon pioneers settled the Kolob area in 1852. They used the area for a variety of purposes including timber, raising livestock and prospecting minerals. Kolob Canyons was set aside for protection as a national monument in 1937 and added to the Zion National Park in 1956.
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