Kolob Canyons   |  Andrew Burr

Kolob Canyons

Visitors to Kolob Canyons in Zion National Park delight in its remote, road-less-traveled feel. Stroll the 2.2-mile Taylor Creek Trail to Double Arch Alcove or reserve an overnight wilderness permit for backcountry camping near Kolob Arch, one of the largest freestanding arches in the world. Kolob Fingers Road Scenic Byway alone showcases narrow parallel box canyons and trailheads leading to 2,000-foot cliff walls.

Kolob Canyons is easily accessed off Interstate 15. Drive 40 miles northwest from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center or 20 miles south from Cedar City. 

Note: There is no road connecting Kolob Canyons to the main Zion Canyon within Zion National Park. However, overnight backpackers with a permit can hike between these sections using the Trans-Zion Trek.

Zion National Park

When to Visit

Kolob Canyons is open year-round, but sees most its visitors March through November. Kolob Canyons offers a respite from the crowds in the better-known areas of Zion National Park. For even more solitude, an off-season visit is the best bet. 

Average highs in the area hover around mid-60° F in October, and, as a bonus, fall colors are in full swing. Depending on the year, visitors can hike well into November and get an early start in the spring. Kolob is at a higher elevation than Zion Canyon so winter snowfall frequently leads to road closures. 

Of course, with the privilege of solitude, comes some responsibility: Visitors to the park should follow Leave No Trace principles to help keep Kolob Canyons beautiful.

Current Conditions

Camping, Backpacking and Canyoneering

There are no campgrounds in Kolob Canyons. Only permitted backcountry camping at designated sites exists.

Visitors interested in backcountry camping or canyoneering require a wilderness permit. Reserve online at recreation.gov or in-person at a Zion Visitor Center. Reserved permits must be picked up in-person, where rangers will review your itinerary as well as current park conditions to manage safety. 

The Kolob Canyons Visitor Center issues permits seasonally, and the Zion Wilderness Desk in the Zion Canyon Visitor Center issues them year-round. Before beginning your trip, check facility and wilderness permitting hours to confirm when and where you can pick up your printed permit.

Get a Wilderness Permit

Kolob Canyons Area

Getting to Kolob Canyons

From Springdale, follow S.R. 9 to S.R. 17 and take I-15 north. From Cedar City, head south on I-15 for 25 miles. From either direction, you'll want to take exit 40 on I-15 toward Kolob Canyons.

Kolob Canyons Visitor Center

The Kolob Canyons Visitor Center, open daily, has a small bookstore, some interpretive exhibits and an information desk, where a ranger is stationed to answer questions. Please note that the Kolob Canyons Wilderness Desk opens seasonally to issue permits. 

There are no services at the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center, but Cedar City is the closest town for lodging, groceries stores and outdoor gear retailers.

Entrance Fees

Stop at the visitor center to pay the Zion National Park entrance fee. The entrance fee is charged per vehicle and is good for seven days of access. The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is also accepted. 

What to Pack: Plenty of Water

Day hikers should bring all the water they need, but those heading out a bit farther can find water at one of the 17 backcountry campsites along La Verkin Creek or at Beatty Spring. Plan to treat water from the creek, as the sites are downstream from the agricultural zone higher on the plateau.

The NPS website regularly updates the condition of various water sources in the park, so be sure to check whether your intended source is flowing before heading into the desert, especially for a multi-day trip.

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