Kolob Arch – 14mi / 22.5km
Zion National Park is home to one of the largest free-standing arches in the world, Kolob Arch. This arch is reached via a long day hike. Starting out at Lee Pass in the Kolob Canyons area, you pass through juniper and oak brush with the incredible backdrop of the red mountains and cliffs of Kolob Canyons.
The first part of the trail is fairly steep as it drops down into the canyon along Timber Creek. Once at the bottom, you walk among cottonwoods and cross the usually dry creek bed of Timber Creek. The trail wraps closely around the impressive Shuntavi Butte, a spire off a ridge of Timbertop Mountain.
You continue along the creek bottom and pass backcountry campsites 1 and 2, then climb to camp 3. From here you drop down into the La Verkin Creek drainage. Red rock walls surround you as La Verkin Creek bubbles below. Follow the creek upstream on a trail that alternates between hard pack ground and soft sand. The valley walls begin to close in bringing the red rock nearer and making them seem even taller.
At 6.4 miles from Lee Pass, and after passing backcountry sites 4 through 9, you’ll come to the 0.6 mile spur trail to the Kolob Arch viewpoint. The trail is a bit tricky to navigate as you cross and follow a little stream with some spots that involve more scrambling than hiking. You’ll finally get to a signpost indicating the end of the trail and you can look up and admire this impressive arch.
Trailhead: Take exit 40 between Cedar City and St. George on I-15. Head east past the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center up the Kolob Canyons Road. Look for the parking lot at Lee Pass with picnic tables. The trail starts on the east side of the road by the interpretive sign and map.
Elevation Gain: 1,500ft / 450m – Elevation Loss: 1,500ft / 450m