When most people think about visiting Zion National Park, they think of iconic trails like Angels Landing or the Narrows. They might know that they’ll need to ride the Zion Canyon Shuttle to get around the Lower Canyon, or that they’d like to stop by the Zion Lodge for lunch or the Zion Canyon Visitor Center for souvenirs or to talk to a park ranger. But what many visitors, and especially first-time visitors to our Zion National Park bungalows don’t know is that the park is actually divided into two distinct halves. No, we’re not talking about the Upper and Lower Canyons. Instead, the lesser-known second half of Zion is called Kolob Canyons.
Kolob Canyons offers incredible views that rival that of Zion Canyon. Tucked away in the Northwest corner of Zion National Park, this section of the park is a hidden gem that sees a fraction of the number of visitors that Zion Canyon receives.
If you’re looking for a way to get away from the crowds on a busy day in Zion or simply want to explore a new section of the park, keep reading. We’re breaking down what you need to know to visit Kolob Canyon during your stay at Zion Wildflower Resort.
How to Get to Kolob Canyon
If you’re already staying in hotels near Zion National Park, you’ll enjoy easy access to Kolob Canyon. But finding it for the first time can be a little tricky.
You won’t find a sign pointing the way to Kolob Canyon in Zion Canyon. That’s because you can’t get to this section of the park from within Zion’s Upper or Lower Canyon. You also can’t ride the Zion Canyon Shuttle to get there.
Kolob Canyon is located just off Interstate 15. If you were to travel to Kolob Canyon from Springdale, you’d be looking at around a 50-minute drive. But our Zion National Park bungalows are actually located on the route between the two sections of the national park. This means that you’re just 30 minutes from the entrance to Kolob Canyon. This means that you can easily spend the morning in the park, and still make it back to the resort for a late afternoon dip in our Zion pool!
Planning Your Visit to Kolob Canyon
Visiting Kolob Canyon during your stay in our Zion National Park bungalows is easy. As a section of Zion, you’ll pay the same entrance fee as you would to enter the Lower Canyon. In fact, if you’ve already paid the $35 entrance fee at the South Entrance to the park in the last seven days, you can use the same ticket to enter Kolob Canyon. You can also present a valid national park annual pass to enter this section of the park.
You’ll want to bring many of the same things that are on your list of what to pack for Zion. If you’re planning to do some hiking in this section of the park, you’ll want to carry a day pack with plenty of water, sunscreen, trail snacks, and a map.
What to Do in Kolob Canyon
There are a variety of activities to enjoy in Kolob Canyon, including many of the same that you can enjoy in the rest of Zion National Park.
One of the best ways to explore this section of the park is by hiking. Kolob Canyon offers a variety of trails suitable for all skill levels, ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes. One of the most popular options is Taylor Creek Trail. This five-mile trail takes hikers deep into a narrow box canyon, with views of Double Arch Alcove, one of Kolob Canyon’s most iconic rock formations. You’ll even pass two historic homestead cabins that were built in the early 1930s.
If you’re up for a more challenging trek, Kolob Arch Trail is one of Zion’s most scenic and difficult trails. The trail is 14 miles roundtrip and leads to one of the world’s largest freestanding arches, Kolob Arch.
If you’re not up for a hike, a scenic drive of Kolob Canyon is a great way to enjoy the incredible views. The Kolob Canyons Scenic Drive is a five-mile road that winds through the canyon and offers stunning views of the section’s peaks and cliffs. There are several spots where you can pull off the road to enjoy the view and take some pictures.
Planning Your Next Stay at Our Zion National Park Bungalows
A visit to Kolob Canyon is a great addition to your stay in our Zion National Park bungalows. Located just a short drive from Zion Wildflower Resort, this section of the park is a great spot to get away from the crowds on a busy day in the Lower Canyon, or to enjoy some unique views and incredible hiking trails.
We’ve included Kolob Canyon in our ultimate seven-day itinerary for visiting Zion National Park. Check out that itinerary here, then, book your stay at Zion Wildflower Resort to start planning your own adventure!