Taylor Creek Trailhead – Zion

The Taylor Creek Trailhead is a delightful walk in the Kolob Canyons section of the Zion National Park in Utah. Access is straight foward from the I-15. Leave at junction 40 and call into the National Park Office to purchase your permit.
There are a number of options regarding payment, we bought a years pass for the National Parks, which cost $80, for the two of us. The idea of paying raises some issues for people in the UK, who are used to free access to the wild lands. Actually with the facilities, which were available, plus free parking I don’t really have an issue with the payment. I just hope I get 12 months use out of it.

Taylor Cree Trailhead
Nicky at the start of the trail. An early start meant that on the way up the trail we saw very few people, in fact only 3 people walking towards us

We arrived relatively early, you could imagine that the parking lot can become pretty crowded. The size of the parking lot clearly regulates the number of people on the trail at any one time. The information states that, the Taylor Creek Trailhead, is a round trip of 5 miles with 400 feet of ascent. In reality we walked 5.5 miles with 2,000 feet of ascent. I don’t think that they had taken into account all the small ups and downs. On the walks we did in the area, which we recorded on the GPS, we found that the quoted distance was generally under by about 10% whilst the height gain was always significantly more than stated. I used the excellent viewranger App, to record our walk.

Taylor Creek Trailhed
The trail is well maintained in the lower sections allowing easy walking. The scenery becoming more dramatic around each twist in the track.
Taylor Creek Trailhead
Built in around 1930, Larson’s Cabin is one of two that you encounter on the trail.

Gustive O. Larson built his cabin in 1930, at the heart of a 160 acres homestead. Looking at old photographs of the area it is amazing in the changes in the vegetation. The area had been grazed by livestock, resulting in far fewer trees. The Washington County Historical Society have a fascinating article on the history of the Larson and his cabin.
From here the scenery becomes more dramatic as you enter one of the “finger” canyons.

Taylor Creek Trailhead
Starting along the path into the “finger canyon”. Huge cliffs rise on either side as the valley narrows
Taylor Creek Trailhead
The canyon narrows dramatically. Due to our relatively early start we had this section of the trail to ourselves. Adding greatly to the enjoyment of the morning

The end of Taylor Creek Trailhead is Double Arch Alcove, a dramatic location, which is a fitting place to stop for a rest and to soak up the atmosphere. You are unlikely to have the area to yourself but an earlier start, will help reduce the crowds.

Taylor Creek Trailhead
The lower level of Double Arch Cove
Taylor Creek Trailhead
Looking up towards the higher levels of Double Arch Alcove.

On the walk out the views of the canyon walls, were if anything, more spectacular. The sun had moved around accentuating the contours on the rock faces. All too soon we had arrived back at the car, after an enjoyable morning and a perfect introduction to hiking in Utah.

Utah walking
On the walk out, the canyon has a new perspective, but is equally dramatic.

A bit of a change from the normal postings but one, which hopefully some people will find interesting and/or useful.