Scenic USA - Utah

Kolob Canyons

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Kolob Canyons - Zion National Park, Utah

Photo by Marty Staub
Marty Staub Photography
Kolob Arch inset photo courtesy NPS

   During the late 1990s, visitation to Zion Canyon approached 2.5 million visitors a year, prompting the National Parks Service to establish a shuttle bus system in the magnificent, narrow canyon. With the number of annual visitors now approaching four million, it's easy to see that Zion Canyon is one of the most popular stops on the Grand Circle of national parks. Drawing attention to popularity of America's national parks, several articles have recently appeared on the question, Are we loving our National Parks to Death? So, for those willing to drive another hour, the west side of Zion National Park sees little visitation compared to Zion Canyon. With its own exit from Interstate 15 (Exit 40), Kolob Canyon Road follows Taylor and Timber creeks into this remote section of the park, highlighting more dramatic canyons of Zion.
   Bordered by the Hurricane Cliffs to the west, the park road ushers visitors through Kolob's finger canyons, and steadily climbs to elevations over 11,000 feet and onward to the road's end at the Timber Creek Overlook. Kolob Arch - Zion National Park, Utah Here at the end of Kolob Canyon Road, magnificent views of Kolob Terrace lie ahead, with twilight offering some of the most outstanding views.
   Hiking trails are woven throughout this section of the park's 30,000 acres. The Middle Fork of Taylor Creek Trail is about a five mile round trip, with views of two old cabins and the highlight, Double Arch Alcove. Kolob Arch Trailhead is about 3.5 miles from the visitor center. This 14.5 mile round trip hike leads to one of the largest, freestanding arches in the world.
   There's a lot said about enjoying America's parks, but for some nothings is more fulfilling than having a site all to yourself.

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