Timber Creek Overlook Trail Zion National Park Kolob Canyon

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Kolob Canyons at Zion National Park is the best kept secret in Utah. This northwest corner of Zion National Park is about 20 miles south of Cedar City and 40 miles from Zion Canyon – near Springdale Utah – the busy side of the park where tourists cram onto shuttle buses. In Kolob Canyons you get to drive a 5-mile winding scenic road to visit the Timber Creek Overlook and hike the trail to panoramic views.

Timber Creek Overlook trail is a short easy hike that is suitable for all ages and offers stunning canyon views. Keep reading to learn more about hiking the Timber Creek Overlook at Kolob Canyon in north Zion.

Kolob Canyons was added to Zion National Park in 1956

 

Scenic landscape at Zion National Park Utah

Beautiful scenic view at Zion Naional Park

 

Timber Creek Overlook Trail Info

Distance: 1 mile (1.6 km) round-trip

Elevation gain: 100 ft (30 m)

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: Allow 30 minutes

 

Timber Creek Overlook trailhead sign

Timber Creek Overlook trailhead

 

Getting to Kolob Canyons Zion National Park

From I-15 take exit 40
Turn onto Kolob Canyon Road and follow it to the visitor center

You must enter the visitor center to pay the entrance fee or show your National Parks pass and ID.

 

Kolob Canyons Zion National Park entrance sign

Kolob Canyons Zion National Park entrance

 

Entrance Fees to Kolob Canyon

$35 private vehicle – valid for 7 days

$30 motorcycle – valid for 7 days

$20 per person for walk-in or bicyclist – under age 15 free admittance – valid for 7 days

$80 annual America the Beautiful pass (National Parks pass)

Visit the national parks website for more info on passes and details free admission passes for active military, permanently disabled US citizens, and the 4th graders free national parks pass.

 

Kolob Canyon Zion National Park Utah

Kolob Canyon Zion National Park Utah

 

Kolob Canyon landscape Utah

Kolob Canyon landscape Utah

 

Kolob Canyons visitor center hours: 8 am to 4:30 pm daily.

Kolob Canyons at Zion National Park is open year round.

After you leave the visitor center and turn right to enter Kolob Canyons there is only one road – Kolob Canyon Road – to the scenic Timber Creek Overlook. While there are scenic overlooks along Kolob Canyon Road I suggest you drive straight to the turn-around at Timber Creek Overlook.

Do the hike and then on the way back down stop at the pullouts, as they are all on the right-hand side of the road. Watch for wildlife crossing the road in Kolob Canyons.

 

View of canyon from Timber Creek Overlook trail Zion Utah

Kolob Canyons at Zion National Park offers stunning scenic views

 

Wildlife at Kolob Canyons

In summer you may see squirrels, jack rabbits, lizards, and snakes. Mule deer are more common in winter. Birders should be on the lookout for ravens, blue scrub jay, red tail hawks, golden eagles and sometimes bald eagles. Nocturnal wildlife includes bobcats, coyotes, gray foxes, mountain lions, ring tail cat, and skunks. Although when I visited one morning, someone told me they saw a couple of young bobcats and an adult bobcat cross the road only moments before I arrived.

 

Kolob Canyon Road scenic drive in Zion National Park

Kolob Canyon Road is a beautiful scenic drive in Zion National Park

 

Other Hikes at Kolob Canyons

For a more strenuous hiking adventure at Zion, you can do the Kolob Arch via La Verkin Creek – watch for signs for Lees Pass trailhead.

And if you would like something in-between the all day hike to Kolob Arch and the easy-peasy Timber Creek Overlook hike, then Taylor Creek Trail is the one for you. I loved this hike!

 

Beautiful red rock at Kolob Canyons Zion National Park

Beautiful red rock at Kolob Canyons Zion National Park

 

Utah Juniper Trees

When you go hiking in Utah you will likely see Utah Juniper trees.

The Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) can survive under extremely harsh conditions, such as drought, intense sunlight, fierce winds, and soil erosion. While hiking in Utah, I noticed how much character these trees possess – like wise old men and women.

Because of the trees have adapted so well to varied conditions, Utah Juniper trees can live 350 – 700 years and older.

 

Utah Juniper tree with shaggy bark

Utah Juniper tree with shaggy bark

 

The secret to the juniper’s success in surviving this environment is that it can grow a long central root, called a tap root, over 40 ft straight down. Utah Juniper also have lateral roots up to 100 ft long. These trees are well anchored to survive harsh winds.

You may notice trees that look partially dead, this is a survival method used by the Utah Juniper, closing off nutrients to some branches so that it can survive.

The green to bluish colored juniper berries have a coating to protect them from the drying winds and droughts. Many animals eat the juniper berries, including birds, foxes, rabbits, and coyotes. Although it’s usually called a berry, the fruit is really a tiny pinecone. Each cone contains one or two tiny seeds.

Utah Juniper bark has a shaggy dog appearance, hanging in stringy strips on the trunk and branches. Birds use the bark for nesting material.

 

Cactus at Kolob Canyon Timber Creek trail

Cactus at Kolob Canyon Timber Creek trail

 

Cacti are also common in Utah – be mindful and watch your step along the hiking trails.

Enjoy visiting Kolob Canyons – the quieter side of Zion National Park.

 

Timber Creek Overlook hike Zion

Drive the 5-mile scenic road to the top for panoramic views of Kolob Canyons

 

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 4 of living a nomadic life, roadtripping around the USA and Canada and writing about her experiences with a focus on hiking and cultural encounters. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

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