August 30, 2023

Visiting Kolob Canyon From Our Zion Lodge

It’s no secret that Zion’s stunning Lower Canyon draws a large number of visitors each year. Many of those visitors make their way to the park during the summer months, particularly around holiday weekends like Labor Day, Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July. 

During these weekends, crowds can form at some points throughout the park. This includes the Lower Canyon’s most popular hiking trails, like The Narrows, Riverside Walk, and Emerald Pools. The new lottery and permit system for hiking Angels Landing means that trail no longer experiences long lines and crowds on busy days. But it does make getting a permit to hike it even more challenging.

If you’re planning a visit to our Zion lodge during a busy holiday weekend, or any weekend from the late spring to late fall that might see a bit higher crowds, it’s still possible to make the most of your stay. Staying at Cliffrose Lodge makes it easy to get to the park early in the day so that you can hit the trails before most visitors get there. It also means that you can leave your car parked at our Springdale resort while you walk to the park’s entrance or hop in the Springdale Shuttle.

But what if you want to hike a trail or enjoy the park’s stunning views with as few crowds as possible? As it turns out, you’re in luck. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about Kolob Canyons.

What is Kolob Canyons?

Many first-time visitors to Zion National Park think that the park’s Upper and Lower Canyon sections, located adjacent to Springdale, are the entire park. But this isn’t the case.

There is actually a lesser-known section of the park called Kolob Canyons. It’s often overlooked because it isn’t connected to the Lower or Upper Canyons by a road within the park. But because of this, it sees far fewer crowds, and is an excellent spot to visit on busy days.

This section of the park may see fewer crowds, but it’s no less stunning than the rest of Zion. This section of the park is home to narrow box canyons, majestic peaks with 2,000 foot cliff walls, and panoramic views. There are a number of hiking trails and picnic areas for visitors to enjoy, including some that rival popular trails like Angels Landing and Canyon Overlook.

One popular option is Taylor Creek Trail. This five mile trail has just 450 feet of elevation change, compared to Angels Landing’s nearly 1,500 feet of change. This trail leads hikers deep into a narrow box canyon, and offers views of Double Arch Alcove. You’ll even pass two historic homestead cabins built in the 1930s before the area became a national park.

Other popular trails in Kolob Canyon are La Verkin Creek, a 14 mile challenging trek through some of ZIon’s most primitive wilderness, and Timber Creek Overlook Trail, a short, one-mile trail that follows a ridgeline with stunning views of Kolob Canyon. However, it’s important to note that both trails are temporarily closed because of damage to a roadway in the park caused by a storm. Before visiting Kolob Canyon, check the NPS website to learn about any current closures.

Getting to Kolob Canyons

One of the reasons that many Zion lodge visitors don’t visit Kolob Canyons is that it’s located about 40 miles north of Zion Canyon. Getting there from our Springdale resort is easy, though. You’ll travel out of town on UT-9 for 38 miles, then turn on E Kolob Canyon Rd. The drive takes just 45 minutes.

This section of the park has its own visitors center. This is a great spot to stop to talk to a park ranger about trail conditions and to learn about any current closures. There is an entrance fee for this section of the park, which is the same as the entrance fee for the rest of Zion. If you’ve already paid to enter Zion in the past seven days, you can show your receipt to enter Kolob Canyons as well. You can also present a valid national park annual pass to enter for no charge.

Planning Your Stay at Our Zion Lodge

While the summer season may be over, there’s still plenty of time to plan a visit to our Zion lodge before the end of 2023. In fact, fall and winter might just be the best times of year to visit Cliffrose Lodge and Zion National Park.

The start of the fall season brings cooler temperatures, fewer crowds, and the chance to experience the park as the leaves of the trees turn vibrant shades of orange, yellow, and red. This display is even more stunning with a backdrop of Zion’s red rock canyons.

If you’re thinking about planning a visit to our Springdale resort this fall, book your stay at Cliffrose Lodge today!

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