: exploring sustainable fashion, the great outdoors, and an eco-friendly lifestyle :

Hiking Kolob Canyons...

Monday, September 25, 2017

Last week, a Facebook friend posted this handy fall foliage predictor map, and because I'm obsessed with fall and live in the desert where only about 5 leaves change colours all season, I freaked.  I called SB to come over and look at it and, based on the map, we determined that we HAD to get to Utah over the weekend.  

We were back and forth on where to go, but finally decided to return to Zion National Park to hike the Narrows one more time (in clear water that isn't up to our waists... see our summer adventure in the Narrows HERE).  With our destination in mind, we packed up the car early on Saturday morning and headed to Utah where we promptly saw ZERO changed leaves (though the map said that leaf change-age would be at its peak).  We continued into Zion around 10 AM where we quickly discovered that there were NO campsites available and even in town, there was no parking.  

Having driven over 3 hours to get to the park, we needed to make a plan.  We debated heading another 2 hours north to Bryce Canyon, heading 2 more hours east to Escalante National Monument, or being lazy and making a quick trip to Kolob Canyons, which is what we finally settled on and it turned out to be the perfect solution to our travel conundrum! 

Kolob Canyon is something of a satellite park to Zion NP.  It is at the north end of the park and, I think, can be accessed by hiking within the park, but if you are driving, you need to completely exit from Zion NP, get back onto the highway and enter Kolob Canyon at it's own entrance.  We had to stop in at the visitor's center to show our annual pass and get some info and we were good to go from there.  

Kolob Canyons offers a short 5-mile paved road with several scenic pull-off points that are conveniently located at trail heads.  SB and I drove straight to the end, got some epic views of the canyon and then headed back to the Taylor Creek Trailhead (which was the first trailhead upon entering the park).  This was a great 5-mile hike that included man-made stairs, some rocky paths, and a bit of bouldering up to a double-arch formation that was so red, I didn't even attempt to filter the photos of it here.  

Along the trail are two cabins that were from around the 1930s and are still standing.  While I only got fall foliage in a few sparse spots, the cabins were just spooky enough (and the air was just chilly enough) to put me in the fall spirit.  This trail also had us crossing a very shallow creek in about 40 different places, but rocks have been strategically placed so that you can step on them and not get your feet too wet, but there were several small waterfalls to stop and admire.  The only facilities that I saw in this park were at the visitor's center and at the pull-off at the end of the paved road.  It is possible to request wilderness and canyoneering permits for this park, but we just needed something to keep us occupied until our next attempt at Zion on Sunday and it was absolutely perfect! 

If you should happen to make a last-minute trip to Zion and find it overrun with tourists, never fear!  Kolob Canyons, to the rescue! 

2 comments on "Hiking Kolob Canyons... "