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Kolob Arch

posted Nov 9, 2017, 4:46 PM by Justin P   [ updated Dec 9, 2017, 2:28 PM ]
Monday, we headed to the Kolob section of Zion National Park.  Heading west from Springdale, we took I15 north to the Kolob entrance and parked at the Lee Pass Trailhead.  The views looking down the Timber Creek canyon were really nice right from the parking lot.

We walked a short ways up the road to pick up La Verkin Creek Trail, which headed rather steeply down, following Timber Creek downstream.  Up near the headwaters, there was really no creek to speak of and this area was a lot drier than Zion Canyon.  We saw a lot of cacti along the trail.

The views of the mountains and canyons were great from the trail but we knew it would be a steep climb back up at the end of our hike.

In about three miles, we reached campsite 3, where the trail turns left to begin following La Verkin Creek upstream and there was a bit more water in this one than Timber Creek.  This section of trail had more amazing mountain views.

And we found some nice cascades along the creek.

In about 6.5 miles from the trailhead, there was a split where left led to Kolob Arch.  Heading up this trail, we followed a small tributary upstream between some really high canyon walls.  In about a half-mile, the trail basically ended where three small tributaries came together.  Looking to the left, we could see Kolob Arch high above.

It's really huge - I almost missed it because it was much bigger than I expected.  The view wasn't great here, so I found some rocks to climb up on for a better view.  The arch was just amazing.  I guess it's withstood the test of time, because it's so tucked away in this little canyon.

The topo map shows an intermittent stream (the western tributary of the three) flowing down through the arch, though it was completely dry today.  I suspect if you came during a good rain, there might be a waterfall through the arch!  Besides the arch, the views all around of this little canyon were great.

I was glad we had climbed up on the rocks so we could see all around.

We had lunch up here and then started making our way back.  Following Kolob Arch Trail back, we turned right to backtrack on La Verkin Creek Trail.

Hiking in the opposite direction, it seemed almost like hiking another trail.  Heading downstream along La Verkin Creek, we had nice views of Gregory Butte towering above us to the right.

When we got back to campsite 3, we were about half way back and took a short break here.  I spotted some purple prickly pear cacti growing here.

After our break, we started heading back up the last 3.5 miles or so of trail.  There were nice views of Shuntavi Butte high above.

Although it was all uphill, the trail was very scenic and the climb was gradual, so not too bad.  Altogether, the hike was over 14 miles, so it was a long day.

The very last half-mile or so was probably the steepest.  Back at the car, we made the drive back to Springdale.  When we were almost there, I called Zion Adventure Company and we were able to pick up our gear for the Narrows tomorrow.  After getting that squared away, we made the short walk to Bamboo and had Chinese for dinner.