This past summer we went down to Zion National Park during the busiest time of the year where we dealt with long lines and crazy crowds. While we loved our time down there and the sights were beautiful, we were a little discouraged by the amount of people that accompanied us along the trails. Back then we promised each other that we would return in the fall in hopes of smaller crowds and cooler weather to really be able to explore. This past weekend we fulfilled our promise and took off!  We wanted to see a different side of the park so we avoided the main canyon and headed up Kolob Terrace Road.

Kolob Terrace Road travels along the west side of Zion National Park and can be accessed from the town of Virgin. This road meanders in and out of the park and starts you out in low desert terrain, and takes you up to the high mountain valleys where you will reach the highest point in Zion. If you have never been to the park before you definitely need to see Kolob Terrace Road because it gives you a different feeling and experience from the hustle and bustle of the main canyon.

Another reason we decided to check out this side of the park was because we wanted to get in some hiking and explore the back country. There are many hikes that take off from Kolob Terrace Road, one being the Subway which is a popular hike in Zion. Since we didn’t get a permit to hike into the Subway this trip we headed into the Valley of Caves to search for the elusive pictographs. We heard that these pictographs are hard to find because there is no trail marker and if you were to ask a park ranger they may not tell you where they are located.  The fact that we didn’t know exactly where these were at and if we would find them just added to the adventure.

We were so excited when we finally found them! Each cave had something different and unique inside and we imagined the Native Americans that once lived in them and left their mark for us to find.  These truly are a piece of history and a work of art and need to  be treated with respect and left untouched.

After finding the pictographs we continued on with our hike and went deep into the back country for the rest of the day. Seeing Zion this way was perfect for us because we like the freedom to roam and wander to make our own path. There is so much to see and endless places to search and explore so we are already planning a return trip. Like always the weekend went by way too fast!

34 thoughts on “Kolob

  1. This sounds like a great day! I’ve never been to any of the National State Parks, but I love living vicariously through posts like these. Great photos too!

  2. This looks like a really fun place to visit and the fall foliage must have made it all the more picturesque. Where is this located?

    1. It was down in Zion National Park, but part of the back country you access from Kolob Terrace Road. It was so pretty this time of year! Fall leaves add something special to everything!

    1. It’s about four hours south of Salt Lake City. It’s closer to the St George area. It is gorgeous down there though so if you get a chance to see it you should take it!!

  3. Beautiful captures! With so many places for us to see in so many directions this summer, Zion got nixed on our trip, but not permanently. Someday we’ll be back in Utah for this NP for sure and that corner of Utah! Gorgeous!

  4. Kolob Terrace and Kolob Canyons are a must see and the place to be to get away from the crowds and you did it right by driving there. We spent two weeks in Virgin so we can hike at the main canyon and outside, we had a blast.
    Thanks for leaving a comment and checking us out.

    1. Wow that sounds amazing to be there for two weeks! There is so much to see and so many places to hike and explore you definitely need a lot of time there! I already can’t wait to go back!

  5. This is definitely a great area to explore and be alone. We’ve had some of our best hikes wandering this area. We spent the month of March exploring Zion a few years ago. We hike 27 of the 30 days! Of course, this was before Utah had their huge Visit Utah campaign and the parks all became too popular. March was a slow time until the last week (Easter). We actually hiked to the Emerald Pools and we were all alone if you can believe it! Love that you found the pictographs! Very cool!!

    1. I bet that was so nice to be able to do without a ton of other people on the trails with you!! I’m the summer these parks can be crazy! When we did the narrows hike in august you could barely walk there were so many other people! I’m a little jealous you had it all to yourselves! Thanks for reading!

  6. Really love your pictures of Zion! When we went, we rode the trolley that dropped us off at strategic spots. But what I see from your pictures is lots of great hiking and unique finds. Zion remains one of our favorite national parks. I felt “lost” in the hugeness of it!!!

    1. We have done the Park that way and it’s great because you can see the monumental sites that are the must sees. Since we have done that before We wanted to hike in and find the spots that aren’t very popular. We were so excited because we found some amazing hikes and valleys you can’t get to from the main canyon! Thanks for reading!!

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