La Verkin Creek |

Kolob Canyon Area

Hiking La Verkin Creek - Kolob Canyon Area Hiking La Verkin Creek
Kolob Canyon Area

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments


RATING: Long Dayhike / Easy Backpack
MAPS: Kolob Arch, UT


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View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Spring, Summer, Fall (Hot in summer)
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: Filterable from about 4 miles in.
NOTES: Backpacking requires a permit. See the Zion National Park page for more information and to make a reservation.


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69 | 43


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View Full Weather Details
Kolob Arch

Kolob Arch

Cascade above Kolob Arch Viewpoint

Cascade above Kolob Arch Viewpoint

The La Verkin Creek trail offers a stunning, and long day hike to the Kolob Arch viewpoint. Until the early 21st century, Kolob Arch was believed to be the worlds largest free standing arch. At 287.4 feet, the arch is now considered the second longest spanning arch in the world, behind Landscape Arch in Arches National Park. Reaching the viewpoint is a long hike, about 14 miles and 1000' of gain, and not a day hike to take lightly. Much of the hike will be in full sun, bring at least 3 quarts and start early in hot times of the year. The views of the arch and La Verkin Creek along the way are well worth it.

Unfortunately for day hikers, La Verkin Creek begins getting more and more stunning just when the view point junction is reached and most day hikers will want to turn around! Those more interested in backpacking can make a higly recommended 2-3 day trip and see most of the area. An itinerary I would recommend would be to hike down to about the junction on the first day, leave packs, explore up La Verkin Creek as far as desired, then visit the arch and hike out on day 2. Those with 3 days could easily spend an entire day exploring up La Verkin Creek to Bear Trap and Willis canyons, then hike out on the third day before it gets hot.

Note: Backpacking requires a permit, which can be hard to get in prime seasons. Some permits are available online in advance, while some are held back for walk-ins to be gotten one day in advance. I have had good luck with getting one a day in advance, however it requires some flexibility in case you show up and can't get one. In my opinion, the best campsites are 10-12, which offer more seclusion than the other campsites that are on the busier trail, and are within a good distance of the viewpoint junction.

The early campsites, 1-3, may not have water if Timber Creek is not flowing. Be sure to ask at the Ranger Desk if you reserve one of those campsites.
Dawn in La Verkin Creek

Dawn in La Verkin Creek

Towering Walls around La Verkin Creek

Towering Walls around La Verkin Creek

Getting There

This canyon is in the Kolob Canyons area of Zion National Park, which is just off of exit 40 on I-15. This is about 20 miles south of Cedar City Utah. If coming from the main part of the park, go west on highway 9 about 17 miles to the town of La Verkin, then go north on UT-17 about 5 miles to I-15. Follow I-15 north for 12 miles to exit 40.

From the visitor center just off the highway, go into the park on the scenic drive for 3.7 miles to Lees Pass. The trailhead and parking area are on the left.

Upper La Verkin Creek

Upper La Verkin Creek

Falls above Kolob Arch Viewpoint

Falls above Kolob Arch Viewpoint


To Arch Viewpoint Junction (6 miles)
From the trailhead, follow the trail as it descends the ridge to the bottom of Timber Creek. Most seasons the creek is not flowing. Follow it down, with the trail leaving Timber Creek and crossing the wooded shoulder to La Verkin Creek after a few miles. La Verkin Creek should always be flowing. A small falls right near where the trail joins the creek is a nice break spot.

It is a couple of miles up La Verkin Creek to the signed junction to Kolob Arch. The better campsites begin in here, with several clustered near the junction.

To Arch Viewpoint (0.5 miles each way)
From the junction it is 0.5 miles and a few hundred feet of elevation gain up the trail to the viewpoint for Kolob Arch. Motivated hikers can continue up the canyon bottom an additional 0.5 miles one way from the arch viewpoint to a series of picturesque cascades, though the going is rougher and requires scrambling and route finding around boulders. Day hikers will likely want to return the same way.

To Bear Trap / Willis Creek (2.5-3 miles)
Backpacking? Or a very motivated day hiker? Continuing up La Verkin Creek is a treat. The trail crosses shortly above Arch View junction, and reaches the junction that goes south to Hop Valley. Stay left here, and continue up along the creek. The trail crosses many times, with generally easy stone hops needed to stay dry. The higher reaches close in, and become very colorful.

Bear Trap Canyon is the first major side canyon on the right you will encounter several miles above the Hop Valley junction, and will likely be flowing. There is a waterfall a short distance up canyon that makes a good turn around spot.

If continuing up La Verkin Creek from Bear Trap, it isn't far to Willis Creek, where the trail bends to the right, ascends Willis, and ends at the National Park Boundary.


Route / 12.99 miles / Elevation Range 5,039 - 6,084 ft.
Printable Maps:

12S 306136mE 4147179mN

N37° 27' 04" W113° 11' 30"

Kolob Arch View

12S 309552mE 4143938mN

N37° 25' 22" W113° 09' 08"

Arch Junction

12S 309649mE 4143173mN

N37° 24' 57" W113° 09' 04"

Hop Valley Junction

12S 310069mE 4143286mN

N37° 25' 01" W113° 08' 47"


12S 305704mE 4144008mN

N37° 25' 21" W113° 11' 45"


12S 305838mE 4143085mN

N37° 24' 51" W113° 11' 38"


12S 305583mE 4142329mN

N37° 24' 27" W113° 11' 48"


12S 307437mE 4142256mN

N37° 24' 26" W113° 10' 33"


12S 307945mE 4142596mN

N37° 24' 37" W113° 10' 12"


12S 308186mE 4142689mN

N37° 24' 40" W113° 10' 03"


12S 309361mE 4143151mN

N37° 24' 56" W113° 09' 15"

#9 / #8

12S 309578mE 4143154mN

N37° 24' 56" W113° 09' 06"


12S 309730mE 4143217mN

N37° 24' 58" W113° 09' 00"


12S 310355mE 4143299mN

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12S 310669mE 4143620mN

N37° 25' 12" W113° 08' 22"


12S 311709mE 4144855mN

N37° 25' 53" W113° 07' 41"

Bear Trap

12S 311859mE 4144867mN

N37° 25' 54" W113° 07' 35"

Willis Creek

12S 312686mE 4145981mN

N37° 26' 30" W113° 07' 03"


12S 309613mE 4144751mN

N37° 25' 48" W113° 09' 06"


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