The Taylor Creek Trail is a moderately difficult, 5-mile hike located within the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park about 30 minutes south of Cedar City. The hike offers intimate views of this less-visited section of the park and features a magnificent “double arch alcove” at its end.
The trail begins by descending 100 wooden steps to Taylor Creek where hikers will meander through cottonwoods trees and ponderosa pines as the fire-red sandstone spires of Kolob’s “finger canyons” loom above.
Hikers will then enter one of these finger canyons following “Middle Fork” as Taylor Creek splits into three paths and is swallowed each way by towering rock.
Two derelict cabins can be visited along the hike: the “Larson Cabin” and the “Fife Cabin.” Named after their constructors, Cedar City residents Gustive Larson and Arthur Fife respectively, the cabins were constructed as homesteading projects in 1930 and have since been preserved and restored by the National Park Service as pieces of cultural heritage.
The Larson Cabin can be viewed along Taylor Creek about a mile from the trailhead while the Fife Cabin stands further along in Middle Fork. Hikers are encouraged to examine but not touch the structures.
Stored in the heart of Middle Fork Canyon where the trail officially ends is a massive, colorful grotto carved into the valley walls — revealing the rich mineral history of the Navajo sandstone. Hovering high above the cave is an equally spectacular arch protruding from the wall.
Hikers should know that winter conditions do exist within the Kolob Canyons during the associated months and should prepare accordingly. Dressing warm and wearing adequate footwear is essential and micro-spikes are highly recommended. Packing water and extra food is always important when hiking as well as first aid supplies for emergencies.
It is worth noting that the Taylor Creek Trail enters the Zion Wilderness Area and is thus subject to pertinent wilderness regulations. The Kolob Canyons are also at risk of hazardous weather events such as flash floods so hikers should always monitor the weather before beginning their journey.
Hikers should also be aware that this trail is within a mountain lion habitat and hiking alone is discouraged. Maintain close contact when hiking with children and never approach nor run from a mountain lion.
Article and Photos by: Jared Clawson