Zion National Park – Kolob Area, Middle Fork Taylor Creek Trail


What? :

Kolob Canyon is in the northwest corner of Zion National Park.

Middle Fork Taylor Creek Trail is probably the most popular trail in the Kolob Canyons area of Zion National Park.

The trail is leading you into a box canyon within the red Navajo sandstone formation following the creek and at the end you can find the impressive double alcove.

This hike is 5 miles out and back and it is not challenging (elevation change of only 450ht) and it is a family friendly hike.

It should take you 3 to 5 hours to complete.


Kolob Canyon area located on the western edge of the Colorado Plateau you can find narrow box canyons cut into the red rocks and majestic panoramic landscape of 2,000-foot cliff walls and mountain peak.

You can have a short visit by driving the 5 miles scenic drive and stopping in the viewing point or by doing hikes, short or multi-days backpacking hikes into the Zion Wilderness.




Where? :

The entrance to Colob Canyon section of Zion National Park is located just off I-15 between Cedar City or St. George area (approximately 45 minutes north of St. George).

Take exit 40 on I-15 and head to the park entrance and the small visitor center.

Kolob Canyons is about 50 minutes’ drive from Zion Canyon section of the park.


Taylor Creek Trail start from a large parking lot on the left side of the road, 2 miles away from the visitor center and park entrance.


Google Map Link



When? :

The Kolob park section is open year-round, but it often closes during the winter months due to snow and ice, check in advance by the park website or call 435-772-3256.

Because it is at a higher elevation than Zion Canyon or St. George area it usually less hot during the summer months and seasonal winter snow can close the road leading into Kolob section.



Due note 1: This is a national park, so your America the Great year pass is in effect here. The park $35 per vehicle entrance fee is good for 7 days.


Due note 2: There are restrooms near the visitor center and in several large parking lot along the park single road. You can fill up water at the visitor center.


Due note 3: When hiking always remember to bring plenty of water, sunscreen & hat, maps, insect repellent and good footwear.


Due note 4: The Timber Creek overlook features a picnic area with table and trees for shade.


Due note 5: Pets are not permitted on trails.


Due note 6: Kolob Canyons does not have a shuttle system so you can drive your car up the road.


Due note 7: There are no campgrounds in Kolob Canyons section of the park. The only option to stay the night here is by backcountry camping.


Due note 8: Backcountry camping must have a wilderness permit that can be reserve online at recreation.gov or in-person at the Zion visitor centers.


Due note 9: The Kolob Canyons Visitor Center, open daily (from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), has a small bookstore, some interpretive exhibits, and an information desk.


Due note 10: There are no services at the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center, so Cedar City (20 miles north) or St. George (31 miles south) are the best place to start your trip, gas, lodging and restaurant, grocery stores and more.




My thoughts:

If you want to experience the lesser-visited corner of Zion National Park but still enjoy the picturesque panoramic view of the red cliff mountains and have good hike than Kolob section of the park should be high on your to-do list.

We started this hike mid-day in April, and it was already hot. When we came the parking lot was almost full.

The hike itself was relatively easy without any climbs. It follow the creek that had running water, but you can hope from rock to rocks whenever the trail crosses the creek.

We enjoy this hike and the view of the double alcove at the end of the trail is impressive.




The visit:


When driving up the road from highway I-15 exit 40 you will reach the small visitor center. Here you need to stop to pay the Zion National Park entrance fee or to show your annual pass.

It is also a good place to get park information or trail conditions.


The only road entering Kolob Canyons is the five-mile Kolob Fingers Road Scenic Byway.

The road climb up the ridge and offer few trailheads and several viewing points that offers sweeping panorama of the red cliff walls, canyon, and mountains.

The road ends at the Kolob Canyons Viewpoint parking lot.

This end of the road parking lot is also the trailhead for the Timber Creek Overlook Trail. A half-mile each way to the overlook.




The Middle Taylor Creek Trail:


Taylor Creek is probably the most popular trail in the Kolob Canyons area, parking may be full mid-day.

You can find here a restroom and the trailhead is located on the upper side of the parking.


From the trailhead the trail start with a short but steep descent into the creek below.

Here the trail start to follow the middle Taylor creek where you will find a growing forest of pines and other large trees.

At start the landscape is relatively open and not so much impressive.


The trail cross the creek streambed countless times and when we visit here the water level was not hike and you can hike without getting your shoes wet, just hop from rock to rock and cross the water. Although the hike is considered as “flat”, there are many spots where you will be hiking down and up the creek banks.


As the creek progress upstream and the view start to narrow in between 2 Navajo red sandstone formation towering walls which rise to 1,700 feet above the trail.


At about 1 mile from the hike starting point you will reach to Larson Cabin that is located where the north fork join the middle fork. 

This homestead cabin was built in the 1930s and were use by local settlements.


Hike for another mile and you will reach Fife cabins.

From here it is additional short walk to the end of the trail and the impressive Double Arch Alcove on the canyon side wall.


Here you can rest and enjoy the view and the shade.

This is your hike turning point, hike back on the same trail you hike here.


Depending on your group and how fast you walk this 5-mile hike will take you 3 to 5 hours to complete.








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