Zion National Park – Kolob Area


What? :

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

Here 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.


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.



Additional Blogs covering nearby locations:


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.

It does not offer the amazing hikes that you can find along the Vergin River Canyon like Angel Lending or The Narrows or see the famous canyon drive views, but it has its share of the park beauty and few good hikes.




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.





There are only few official trails in this section of the park.



Timber Creek Overlook Trail:

A short half-mile trail from the parking lot at the end of the road to the overlook.

This out and back relatively easy trail that follows the ridgeling with minimal elevation gain, making it fun quick walk to a stunning viewpoint.

This is a fun hike but not so much different view of the Kolob mountains as from the parking lot.



The Middle Fork Taylor Creek Trail:

Taylor Creek is probably the most popular trail in the Kolob Canyons area taking 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.


For more information see my blog on this hike.



Backcountry hiking deep into the canyons:

You can find one of the longest natural arches in the world in Kolob Canyons area of Zion National Park.

Kolob Arch with it 287 feet long span is second only to Arches National Park’s Landscape Arch.

The hike to Kolob Arch is about 16 miles out and back with a lot of elevation gain back to the trailhead.

If you are in good hiking shape it can be done in one long day hike, but I do recommend doing this as overnight backpacking trip.

You must have wilderness permit reservation for overnight stay in one of the 17 disperse campsites along La Verkin Creek or at Beatty Spring.


We did this hike 27 years ago, haling on our back all our backpacking gear as well as our 2 years old child.

We went down to the canyon campground and camp for the night. The day after we hike into the narrow and secluded canyons, stay one more night in the campsite and at our last day we hiked back up to the roadside trailhead.

I do remember this hike as one of the fun secluded hikes we did back then and the amazing red rocks and box canyons.







Additional Pictures: