Hike to Zion's Kolob Arch

Lee Pass Trailhead

Kolob Arch makes for a great day hike or overnight in Zion. HIke along sandstone streams to this scenic sandstone arch. This is also a great trail for fall colors. 

In the lesser traveled area of Zion National Park sits Kolob Arch, a sandstone arch high up on a cliff tucked back in the canyon.

To get to Kolob Arch take exit 40 on I-15 in Utah. You'll see a Zion National Park Visitor's Center. Here you can fill up on water, use the bathroom, and get a map to the arch.

From the visitor's center head up the only road in the canyon and follow it for a few miles until you reach the Lee's Pass trail head. The parking lot is a decent size but it's popular with Zion Traverse hikers and runners so parking can be limited here.

There's a pretty good map at the trail head and if you follow the La Verkin Creek trail you'll run in to a sign 6 miles in taking you up a side canyon and leading to Kolob Arch.

The hike is full of rolling hills, stream crossings, and sand so a good pair of hiking or running shoes is a must. The hike to Kolob Arch makes a great day hike but there's a few backcountry sites on the trail, permit required, that are just amazing and break the hike up. Permits can be obtained through the Zion Backcountry Office and should be asked for in advance or you may not get a spot.

Kolob Canyon gets extremely hot and very cold in the winter so be prepared for this. While it's a desert the trail head sits at 6,000 feet so the area gets cold and will receive some snow which makes for dramatic photos of white capped sandstone peaks.

Kolob Arch is a great hike that is definitely one of the underrated trails in Zion.

Pack List

  • Water or water filter
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Tent
  • Overnight camping permit
Show More
RT Distance 14 Miles
Activities Camping, Photography, Running, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Don't miss this photo opportunity

If you have the strength to make it further, I highly recommend continuing south to an incredible viewpoint sitting on a table that overlooks all of Kolob Canyon. Follow the main trail past the Arch until you reach an intersection with Beatty Spring (an awesome year-round water source). Turn right for a short quarter mile up until you reach a plateau clearing marked with a large boulder, and soak up the red-rimmed sandstone views! This will add .75 miles both ways to your trip, making it a 15.5 mile day.

Kolob Canyon Arch

Great hike with amazing views of Navajo sandstone cliffs along most of the trail. Trail is for intermediate day hikers (14 miles round trip) the initial trails is along a few ridges that descend to the valley with an overall elev change of 1000ft (climb back was strenuous). Plan on at least 5-6 liters of water for a day hike or bring portable filter, there are plenty of streams along the trail to the river. Overall some of the best views I have found so far here in Utah and some of the most satisfying (but tiring) hiking I've found near Cedar.

Great way to Avoid the Crowds

This hike is on the north western side of the park away from all the hustle and bustle of the south side. We camped in the primitive campsites only a mile from the Arch so the hike to the arch was fairly easy. We hiked to the arch once at night but it is pretty difficult to see or get any night shots because of the angle.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Backpack the Trans-Zion Trek, Zion NP

72 Saves

Backpack Kolob Canyons, Zion NP

92 Saves

Backpack the Zion National Park Traverse

168 Saves