On Tuesday we took a ride north to visit Kolob Canyons. This area is part of Zion National Park but is only accessible by it’s own entrance up I-15 about fifteen miles. The canyon is viewed in a car by a five mile scenic road rising to an altitude of about 6,000 feet.
Our objective was the trailhead for the Taylor Creek Trail, a three mile hike one way ending at the Double Arch Alcove. It was about 60 degrees as we began hiking on a nice hard packed sand trail.
As we hiked, the rock formations of the canyons began to appear.
The trail followed a stream bed, crossing it forty-eight times each way! Fortunately, the water level was fairly low so the crossings were pretty easy.
As we hiked further into the canyon the temperature began to drop and, in spots, the stream was completely frozen over.
So most of the crossings were simply walking on the ice.
As we continued, the temperature continued to drop and the snow increased.
The hiking was pretty slow as the trail was muddy in many spots and icy in other. But after about two hours we arrive at the end to see the Double Arch Cove.
The cove was nice, but after seeing so many outstanding sights lately, we were not very impressed.
After enjoying a quick lunch, the cold temperature encouraged us to head back down the trail. It felt too much like winter up there as the temperature was at least twenty degrees lower than at the trailhead.
At many of the stream crossings care was needed as the ice was beginning to weaken. In the picture below Pam had gone ahead a bit and crossed before John got there. Just a mere second after Pam snapped the picture the ice under John broke. Good thing he still has the reflexes of a gazelle, as he quickly jumped to the other side. Pam remarked that she knew the ice was going to break as she heard it crack when she crossed. John questioned why she didn’t share that information with him before he stepped on the ice, instead of after.
In shaded areas, the trail was quite muddy.
After returning to the Jeep, we continued to the end of the scenic road and hiked up another half mile for a great view of the canyon.
This is certainly a great time to visit this park. The temperatures during the day are in the sixties, the sun has been out every day. and there are few people in the park. That’s just the way we like it!