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A Secret Way to See Zion National Park: Kolob Canyons

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Shhh…it’s a secret! The Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park is quiet. Seriously quiet.

The experience here is far different from the shuttle buses at the main visitor center of Zion 40 miles to the south. 

Kolob Canyons Zion National Park
Kolob Canyons Section & Timber Creek Overlook Trail (Utah)

If you have time for only a quick stop at Zion, stay on I-15 north and head straight to Kolob Canyons. Stop at the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center where you’ll have the place nearly to yourself and get your bearings with a map from the friendly rangers. Then take the five-mile scenic drive all the way to the top parking lot.

Timber Creek Overlook Trail at Kolob Canyons

Timber Creek Overlook Trail is quick and easy with towering views. If like me, you only have an hour or so on a larger road trip, this is the perfect way to see Zion quickly. If you have a bit more time, stop just shy of the Overlook at the Taylor Creek Trail for a more strenuous five-mile hike.

While this was a great stop on my road trip along the Utah/Arizona border, it should be noted that I returned a year later to Zion National Park to explore the main part of the park by way of the shuttle. (Post about Angel’s Landing coming soon!)

The latest on Youtube:

I got a quick taste of the more than 230 square miles of plateaus and canyons that dip and dive across a 5,000-foot elevation span, but more time is needed to see the geologic folds and prehistoric layers of this massive park. Stay tuned for a trip back here to explore Bryce Canyon and the Pink Cliffs of what’s known as the Grand Staircase.

Pssst…no matter how easy the hike, please go prepared! This essential survival kit is lightweight and a handy thing to carry in your backpack (always).

Essential Hiking Survival Kit Sign-In
Get your hiking survival kit here!

Timber Creek Overlook Trail Quick Stats:

Zion's Kolob Canyons
View from Timber Creek Overlook Trail

Location of Kolob Canyons

Off I-15 N & 40 miles north of the main visitor center at Zion

Length of Timber Creek Overlook Trail

1-mile roundtrip

Time Necessary to Hike Timber Creek Overlook Trail

I spent one hour and that included a long meditation at the top.

Difficulty Level of Timber Creek Overlook Trail

Easy. But remember there are more strenuous hikes up there at Kolob Canyons if that’s what you’re looking for!

Fun Fact about Kolob Canyons at Zion National Park

You can see the north rim of the Grand Canyon from here!

Grand Canyon North Rim
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Thanks for reading the post about Kolob Canyons. Stay tuned for posts on Utah! I recently returned from a second road trip through the state and all five national parks! In the meantime, my friend Shannon at Adventuring with Shannon wrote this Ultimate Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary. It is a must-read guide!

About the Author

Hi! I’m Jen!

I’m a freelance writer and travel blogger who quit my nine-to-five after my fiancé, Jeff, died of cancer at the age of 40. When he died, I realized that life is just too short to delay our dreams. Since my dream was to travel and write, I now travel and write full-time. Today I wear hiking boots instead of heels and collect experiences instead of things.

Kolob Canyons Zion National Park
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