See Utah's Zion National Park


Older Newsletters:
April 2006
December 2005
May 2005
March 2005

Search UntraveledRoad:

Kolob Canyons
Earlier this spring we had the opportunity to spend two weeks in southern Utah, photographing a large part of Zion National Park, with its stunning cliff-lined canyons, and highways stretching from there to Kanab and Panguitch. My assistant, Kenyon, and I began in the Kolob Canyons of Zion National Park, where we drove the length of Kolob Canyon Road and took a few short hikes. The Kolob Canyons are a series of small, cliff-lined canyons which cut into the sandstone cliffs of the Kolob Plateau. You can follow our path on the Timber Creek Overlook Trail, the La Verkin Creek Trail, and the Taylor Creek Trail.

La Verkin Overlook
Our next morning began early at the La Verkin Overlook. Perched atop this mesa, The towns of La Verkin and Hurricane, among the fastest growing cities in America, lie below your feet, with Toquerville off in the distance. The Virgin River gorge, with gray stony sides, divides the two towns with a deep gash in the ground. A variety of mesas, cliffs and mountains rim the horizon. Turning behind us we saw the opening of Zion Canyon. Following State Highway 9, we worked our way up the canyon flanked by mesas, amd contrasted by the ribbon of cottonwoods and willows bordering the riverbanks. The canyon, being very wide at its mouth, gradually narrows, as you pass through the towns of Virgin, Rockville and Springdale. After entering the park boundaries, immediately after Springdale, the canyon walls rise in great cliffs on either side of the valley.

Zion Canyon
At Canyon Junction, we abandoned State Highway 9 to follow the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. We also had to abandon our vehicle, as this road is only open to shuttle buses. This was a beautiful, although unusual hike, along this road through the heart of Zion Canyon, ending at the Temple of Sinawava, interrupted only occasionally by the tell-tale drone of the approaching shuttle bus. Take a moment now to travel this beautfitul stretch of highway, with stunning cliffs at every turn. Numerous trails lead to a variety of intriguing sights along the canyon floor.

Emerald Pools
Checkerboard mesa is the first landmark that greets visitors arriving through Zion's east entrance. From here Utah Highway 9 makes a torturous journey through a tumble of cliffs and gullies. A mile-long tunnel finally connects the road to Zion Canyon at Canyon Junction. Beginning at Checkerboard Mesa, our next day's journey led us through the forests and meadows of the mountains east of the park, down into Long Valley at Mt. Carmel Junction, and from there across the Sand Hills to Kanab.

Court of the Patriarchs
With continued sunny weather, we spent two days hiking trails in Zion Canyon, beginning in the Court of the Patriarchs and the Sand Bench Trail. The Emerald Pools trails access some of the most beautiful and popular spots in the park. The Riverside Walk leads into the "Narrows of the Virgin", where Zion Canyon becomes too narrow for a road, and the opposite cliff faces can be as close as 20 feet apart. The Weeping Rock Trail leads to a cliff face where water drips out of rock.

Copyright 2005 UntraveledRoad * Terms of Use * Contact Us
UntraveledRoad * P.O. Box 327 * Paris, ID 83261