Kolob Terrace Road—Hikes & Sites
The Kolob Terrace Road runs right up through the middle of the park from the south out of Virgin up to Lava Point. This is an excellent scenic drive with breathtaking views of a portion of the park that is rarely visited. There are also several trailheads that leave from this road into Zion National Park’s backcountry. Please be aware of the Parks rules and regulations regarding hiking and camping in this area.
Kolob Terrace Scenic Drive
The Kolob Terrace Road climbs steeply up from the town of Virgin unto the wide and forested expanse of the Kolob Terrace. Kolob is a word from the Book of Mormon used to describe the star nearest the throne of God, signifying a high and exalted place, a good name for a high plateau towering above the burning desert below. It is a paved county road that skirts back and forth through sections of central Zion National Park leading to backcountry trailheads and an overlook located at Lava Point. It eventually becomes a dirt road that continues northward all the way to the outskirts of Cedar City. The Kolob Reservoir is located 30 miles from Virgin and is a popular fishing and camping destination.
Hop Valley Trailhead
This backcountry trail leads through the red rock canyon splendor of Hop Valley and then on to the LaVerkin Creek drainages where the Kolob Arch is located. At 310 feet across it is the longest freestanding arch in the world. From this trailhead it is a 15 mile round trip hike to the arch, a great day hike in the spring or fall when the sand of the trail is less hot and more compacted for easier walking. There are some springs near the Kolob Arch trail junction andwater is available in LaVerkin Creek year-round.
Northgate Peaks Trail
From the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead you hike two miles across flat open meadows and beautiful stands of Ponderosa pine to a spectacular overlook revealing deep canyons and awesome naked sandstone. One of the easiest and most rewarding four-mile roundtrip hikes you’ll ever take. Bring water, as this route is bone dry.
Lava Point has a primitive six-site campground (no water) and is a trailhead for both the West Rim and Wildcat Canyon Trails. There is also a scenic overlook located a short distance from the campground. From here panoramic views of the Horse Pasture Plateau, Wildcat Canyon and the distant Markagunt Plateau will take your breath away. A great place to have a picnic lunch or a barbeque, especially in summer when the heat in Zion Canyon can top 100 degrees. At 7900 feet above sea level, cool and forested Lava Point offers a pleasant quiet alternative to the hustle and bustle of the main part of the park.