Kolob Arch via La Verkin Creek Trail

Kolob Canyon - Zion Canyon National Park, Ut

Hike and Red Rock and Elephant Arch. Oh My!

Difficulty: Easy

Length: 15.1 mi
Elevation Gain: 1037 ft
Approximate Hiking Time: 8+ hr
Features: Geographic Features
Nearest Town: Cedar City, Ut

Kolob Arch is the third longest arch and 6th longest natural bridge or arch in the world spanning 287ft long and 75ft wide.  According to the Natural Bridge and Arch society it is just 3ft shorter than Landscape Arch located in Arches national Park.  A viewpoint provides a beautiful view of Kolob Arch, although, the arch is not accessible by the developed trail and signs ask hikers to remain in the developed area.

Hiking to Kolob Arch is not for the faint of heart.  The trail is 15.1 miles round trip traveling through some sandy and primitive areas.  It can be done as a long day hike or pre-planned overnight trip.

  • Trail Condition 80% 80%
  • Usage 80% 80%
  • Trail Head Easy to Find 85% 85%
  • Kid Friendly 80% 80%

Hike Highlights

1. Visit Elephant Arch

A short hike takes you to the amazing Elephant Arch and yes the arch really does look like an elephant.  So cool!

2. Scramble for a Closer Look

If you are up for a challenge you can scramble up the red rock to get a view of the arch from above. 

3. Bone Wash

Check out the beautiful red rock and cool rock formations on the hike.  If you’re up for a longer hike head all the way up Bone Wash to the box canyon after checking out Elephant Arch.

landscapearcharchesnationalpark
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Hike Overview

Trailhead Directions

Kolob Arch is located in the Kolob Canyon area of Zion National Park.  Kolob Canyon is located 17miles south of Cedar City, off of exit 40 on the I15.

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After checking in at the Visitor Center continue to the Lee Pass trailhead about 3.7 miles up Kolob Canyons drive.

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Hike Details

Starting at the Lee Pass trailhead, the trail drops into the valley about 500 feet below.  The first mile of the trail is the steepest, descending around 400ft while crisscrossing through a series of switchbacks.  It is also exposed with little to no shade, but offers incredible views of the valley and surrounding area. 

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Once you’ve reached the valley continue to follow the trail for another 2.5 miles as it rolls through the forest along Timber Creek.  The trail crosses the creek several times through this area.  Trees throughout the valley floor provide some shade and relief from the sun.

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After about 3.5 miles from the trailhead you’ll reach the trail to Campsite 3, at this point the trail begins to descend another 400ft towards La Verkin Creek. 

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Continue to follow the well-developed trail as it runs beside La Verkin Creek for another 3 miles past Campsites 8 and 9.  Parts of the trail are quite sandy and tiring to walk in, especially for little legs if you are traveling with kids.  Some areas are shady through this section, but much is exposed as you walk along the creek.

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Shortly after passing Campsite 9, you’ll reach the turn to Kolob Arch and a tie up area for horses.  Turn left and follow the sign towards Kolob Arch. 

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This part of the trail is primitive and requires ducking under and climbing over branches that have fallen over, as well as, traveling up and down steeper slopes.

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After about 0.5 miles you’ll reach a sign that says “Further Travel Not Recommended”.  Look up!  You can actually see the arch in the picture below.

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Kolob Arch is located a couple hundred feet above you on the side of the cliff.

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Follow the trail back to the trailhead once you’ve soaked in the view of the world’s 6th largest arch and bridge. 

For an extra special experience book a campsite along the route and spend a night under the stars before returning!  Below is a picture of one of the campsites.

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Why is this hike rated easy to moderate?

The trail is 15.1 miles with long, sandy sections along La Verkin Creek which make hiking long and tiring.  Even though the elevation gain is only 1037ft the climb out is steep and after already walking 14 miles pretty tiring.

More to Choose From: Hike-Utah!

Check out this and more hikes in and around Zion Canyon National Park and Cedar City.

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