Distance: 5 miles (8 km) round trip
Hiking time: 4 hours
Best season: March–November
Hazards: The creek bed is fairly narrow, so be prepared to get wet at numerous stream crossings, and it can be chilly in early spring. Portions of the trail are sandy and may offer difficult traveling after rains.
Topo maps: USGS Kolob Arch; Trails Illustrated Zion National Park
Finding the trailhead: Follow I-15 to the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center. From the visitor center drive 2 miles east along the park road to a parking area on the left (north) side of the road. Look for the trailhead sign on the east side of the parking lot.
Trailhead GPS: 37.461837, -113.199801
Kolob Canyons is the less traveled northwest section of Zion National Park.The Kolob Canyons visitor center is about a 45-minute drive from the Springdale entrance to the park. This easy (although somewhat longer) hike leads up the canyon of the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek to two historic homestead cabins and Double Arch Alcove. An alcove is a “blind” arch formed in a rock face through which there are no gaps for daylight to pass.
After a mile the trail reaches the confluence of the North and Middle Forks. Look for a trail sign and the Larson homestead cabin in this area. Gustav Larson built the cabin in 1930 from white fir logs hauled in by wagon from Cedar City. He spent summers here from 1930 to 1933, homesteading the Kolob area and raising pigs.
A second homestead cabin can be found about three-quarters of the way up the canyon between Tucupit and Paria Points on a bench above the north bank of the creek. Arthur Fife built this cabin from white fir logs in 1930.
The trail ends at Double Arch Alcove, with its spectacular streaked overhang that encloses a shady pocket.