Overview - Date/Time: March 28, 2017/ 6:30 p.m - Weather Conditions: Clear skies, very windy - Time Duration: n/a - Distance: n/a Difficulty: n/a
This particular post is not something related to hiking trails; this is to showcase a nice scenic view of the Kolob Canyons, which lies north of the main Zion Canyon and takes only half an hour to reach. If you wish to take a nice sunset picture within Zion and finish off your day relaxing and admiring the canyon formations, Kolob Canyon is that destination for you.
Getting to the Kolob Canyon entrance is not difficult and easy to find. From the South Entrance Station in the main Zion National Park section, travel down UT-9 to merge onto UT-17N and then to I-15N, then you find the exit for Kolob Canyon Visitor Center (if you use Google Maps itll point you towards the right direction, you should be able to get reception at Springdale so you can prepare ahead of time.)
The Visitor Center is active from 8am to 5pm, so you can get more information about the trails and key points in Kolob Canyon. Supposedly, you are required to proceed with the $30 10 day pass that you can also get from the Zion Canyon entrance station, but when we got to Kolob, the Visitor Center was already closed and there were no signs of any checkpoints that see if you have a pass or not. So at the moment, we can say that you can enter Kolob without a pass after 5 p.m., but we still recommend you buying one and leaving it on your dashboard if you come during the middle of the day to avoid getting into trouble with the park rangers.
There are lots of curves and tight turns as you drive up to the summit so drive carefully and watch for any incoming vehicles and deer that just happens to jump onto the road right in front of you (don’t worry, we didn’t hit the deer :P). On the way to the top, there will be large parking spots on the downhill side of the road, where you can get nice pictures of Kolob Canyon early on. There are also various hiking trail entrances that you will encounter too, but we didn’t take those as it was near the end of the day. Let us know if you do end up going down one of these trails and how they are!
At the top of the hill you drive up, you will encounter a large parking lot, a restroom, and a small entrance to a .5 mile trail that you can leisurely take to get to the view point is perfect to go to for a sunset picture. We would have gotten those nice sunset pictures if only we weren’t pelted with 40-50 mph winds that decided to grace their presence that day. It prevented us from going through the .5 mile trail, as it was too ridiculously strong and cold that we couldn’t endure walking for that long and back. Be sure to double check the weather folks!
As hilariously terrifying as it was, Kolob Viewpoint still presented a breathtaking view of the canyon that you can really feel satisfied with as your last stop in Zion National Park. In my opinion, the most wonderful view that we witnessed while we were there was how the shadows slowly covered the vibrant orange hue on the mountain side like a blanket as the sun began to set. While we weren’t able to witness the sunset at an optimal location, the view of the entire Kolob Canyon being engulfed by a dark veil was a great send off for us as we left Zion National Park for good.