Kolob Canyon Road
One hour from Zion Canyon, Zion National Park's most popular place to visit, lies one of the park's best-kept secrets: the Kolob Canyons section of the park.
Kolob Access Restricted in 2018
Access to portions of the Kolob Canyons District of Zion National Park will be restricted due to a construction project beginning May 1, 2018. The project involves reconstructing sections of the road, repaving the entire road, and adding accessible parking, sidewalk, and toilet facilities. All of Kolob Canyons Road, the Visitor Center, and parking lot off of Interstate 15, will be closed to all traffic during the seven month project. The Taylor Creek Trail, the Timber Creek Overlook Trail, Lee Pass Trailhead and other areas served via the Kolob Canyons Road will not be available to the public.
Overnight permitted hikes will be drop off / pick up only, from April 15 through April 30, 2018. No vehicles or hiking will be permitted inside the closure beginning May 1, 2018.
Construction engineers and Park officials have determined that closing these areas during the project will be safest for visitors and workers, as well as expediting the work, so the area may open at the soonest possible date.
Visitors will be able to access the La Verkin Creek Trail and hike to the Kolob Arch via the Hop Valley Trail. Visitors may access the Hop Valley Trailhead from the Kolob Terrace Road. Overnight trips require a permit. There are many surrounding State Parks, Forest Service and public land scenic areas to consider as alternatives to Kolob Canyons during this closure.
How to Get to Kolob Canyons
Off the beaten path, it gets nowhere near the crowds its sister area does to the south. If you are looking for striking beauty and solitude, put the Kolob Canyons area on your itinerary.
It is located at Exit 40 on Interstate 15, 40 miles north of Zion Canyon and 17 miles south of Cedar City. A five-mile scenic drive along the Kolob Canyons Road allows visitors to view the crimson canyons and gain access to various trails and scenic viewpoints.
Here in the northwest corner of the park, narrow parallel box canyons are cut into the western edge of the Colorado Plateau, forming majestic peaks and 2,000 foot cliff walls.
All guests are required to stop at the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center to show an Interagency Park Pass or pay the Zion National Park entrance fee. After the Visitor Center, the drive climbs 1,000 feet in the 5-miles to the Kolob Canyon Viewpoint. This is one of the least visited sections of the park accessible by car.
Kolob Terrace Road
Running up steep inclines and switchbacks, this relatively untraveled road begins in Virgin, outside of park boundaries, and rises to elevations of 8,000 feet at Lava Point within the narrow neck of the park. For a longer trip, continue on north to Kolob Reservoir.
Kolob Terrace in Winter
The upper ends of the road are unplowed in winter and often covered with snow. Below 6,000 feet, the surface is typically snow free. The park service plows the road up to the base of Maloney Hill, just past the Hop Valley Trailhead, leaving large berms of snow that will prevent cars from traveling further. Snowmobiles may go beyond, but the trekking isn't ideal, with large bare patches and dirty berms.
The road through Black Canyon and Lava Point often has more snow. Even during the best of times, June through October, this stretch is best considered a backcountry road suited for high clearance vehicles. For those who can make it, however, the open vistas and relative isolation of the area make this a favorite for many, as it leads to Lava Point, the highest elevation in the park, where one can view the Cedar Breaks area, the Pink Cliffs and the Zion Narrows.