Deep Into Kolob.
This is an unusual Zion hike, as it starts by travelling downhill, and ends by hiking uphill. The usual objective is to get to the Kolob Arch viewpoint, although for some, Kolob Arch is only a waypoint enroute to Hop Valley or Beartrap Canyon. The canyon north of Kolob Arch, known as Waterfalls Canyon, has some cool waterfalls not far past Kolob Arch.
Camping is allowed along LaVerkin Creek at designated campsites (permit required). A three-day trip allows exploring up LaVerkin Creek and to the waterfall in Beartrap Canyon. Campsites above the intersection with Waterfalls Canyon afford more privacy, if you care for it.
Since most of the hike is in the sun, this makes for a good spring trip.
Moderately strenuous hike.
6 to 10 hours
Spring, summer, fall
4.4 miles (7 km) each way to the first campsites. 6.7 miles (11 km) each way to the Kolob Arch viewpoint.
Descends 1070 feet (330 m) to La Verkin Creek, then climbs 320 feet (100 m) to Kolob Arch viewpoint. So keep in mind, you hike UPHILL from La Verkin Creek at the end of the day.
Starts and finishes at Lee Pass Trailhead, in the Kolob Canyons section of the Park.
Most of the hike is in the full sun, making Spring and Fall the best seasons for this trail.
Sturdy hiking shoes, ample water, and food for a full day hike.
Water is available to purify, but it is usually easier to pack sufficient water in the first place.
Only if you are camping overnight along LaVerkin Creek.
A long hike that ends in a steep climb at the end of the day.
Spring - Expect higher and colder water flowing due to springtime runoff. Crossings may be deeper. Neoprene socks are nice if getting feet wet.
Summer - HOT! Leave early to avoid the heat and be aware the hike out is in full sun.
Fall - Generally a great time to hike this trail. Great fall photography along the creek.
Winter - When there is no snow, this can make for prime hiking conditions, as the sand gets firm and easy to walk on. When there is snow on the trial, however, its best to have skis or snowshoes... or find another hike.
LaVerkin Creek is located in the Kolob Canyons section of Zion, about 60 minutes from Springdale. From Springdale, drive 19 miles south and west on Route 9 to LaVerkin. Turn Right, and proceed 6 miles north on Highway 17, through Toquerville, to Interstate 15. Head north on I-15 13 miles to the Kolob Canyons exit. Check in at the Kolob Visitor Center, then drive 3.6 miles to the well-marked Lee Pass Trailhead on the left. (Drive another 1.5 miles to the end of the road to get a good view of Timbertop Mountain).
Campsites are found along LaVerkin Creek for several miles, from where the trail meets the creek to a few miles past where Waterfalls Canyon comes in on the left. The prettiest campsites are the furthest in.
To visit the Kolob Arch viewpoint, turn left at the signed junction and follow the trail for half a mile to where Kolob Arch can be seen to the west through the trees. For additional fun, continue up the canyon on the right (northwest) past the Kolob Arch Viewpoint. A half-mile of slow, rough hiking takes the intrepid adventurer to the base of an un-named triple waterfall. A trail to the right may be used to reach the top of the 400-foot (120 m) waterfall system.
Hike alongside LaVerkin Creek east for a couple miles to a stream coming in on the left. This is Waterfalls Canyon, where you can explore to find... waterfalls! Past Waterfalls Canyon, LaVerkin Creek and Beartrap Canyon offer further delights.
Return the way you came.