Northgate Peaks starts at the Wildcat Canyon trailhead.
Trail Type: Hiking
Length: 4.2 miles roundtrip
Elevation gain: about 1,400 ft
Approximate hiking time: 3-4 hours
Bathrooms: At the trailhead
Find the trailhead about 30 minutes up the paved Kolob Terrace Road, near Virgin. Pass the Hop Valley trailhead and look for the signs marking the Wildcat Canyon trailhead. There is a short dirt road on the right leading to a small parking lot that would hold about 10 cars. This is a remote section of the park and unless you’re in Zion on a holiday weekend during peak season, finding parking should not be an issue.
Head down the Wildcat Canyon trail for about a mile before you see a turnoff on the right for Northgate Peaks and The Subway. Follow the turnoff for about a mile, passing The Subway trailhead on the left until the trail ends at small hill of lava rock which you can scramble up 5-10 yards to a higher elevation viewpoint.
The final destination of this hike is particularly rewarding because there aren’t many hints of what’s to come before reaching the viewpoint. It’s a vast southern facing view towards the main section of Zion with twin peaks on either side of you — a unique perspective, especially for someone who’s only visited the main section of the park.