October 2016 – Zion National Park in Utah is one of America’s most beautiful National Parks, and we were loving our RV trip to the main part of the park at Zion Canyon. A side trip to Kolob Canyons at Exit 40 on I-15 took us to a much less visited but equally dramatic area on the west side of the Park.
The stunning scenic drive through the Kolob Canyons region of the park is truly breathtaking.
We had been blown away by the fall foliage season on the San Juan Skyway in Colorado in late September where the aspen trees were cloaked in gold. Autumn comes four or five weeks later in Zion National Park, but the colors in the last days of October were wonderful.
As we followed Kolob Canyons Road, Taylor Creek accompanied us. Hardwood trees along the edges of this thin trickle of water were resplendent in their fall colors.
There is no shuttle bus on Kolob Canyons Road, and there is very little traffic, especially in the early morning. We stopped at several pullouts to take a deep breath and savor the incredible views.
Kolob Canyons Visitor Center at the beginning of the scenic drive is at about 5,000′ elevation, and Kolob Canyons Road climbs about 1,000 feet to the Kolob Viewpoint at the end, about 5 miles down the road.
In comparison, Zion Canyon is at 4,000′ elevation.
So, there was a delicious mix of evergreens and deciduous hardwood trees that stand out against the red rock backdrop.
Taylor Creek Trail was an easy hike that took us under lovely archways of colorful leaves.
We had the trail almost entirely to ourselves as we walked into a wonderland of fall color.
Because the elevation in Kolob Canyons is slightly higher than in Zion Canyon, late October was the ideal time to see the autumn colors along this creek.
Being there at the right time for beautiful colors was a nice surprise, because, over in Zion Canyon we had found we were just a little bit early. The best time for that part of the park is the first week of November.
The red rocks of the surrounding peaks of Kolob Canyons jutted into the brooding sky, adding a wonderful burnt orange to the brilliant shades of the trees around us.
We were just having too much fun with our cameras here!
As is always the way when we go on a gorgeous hike with our cameras, we soon got separated as we each scrambled off the trail here and there to explore inviting and hidden spots. Mark found himeself surrounded by maple trees and had fun with their bright red leaves.
Who knew there were maple leaves in the red rock desert canyons of Southern Utah?!
We spent many hours on Taylor Creek Trail and didn’t even make it to the end of the hike!
For RVers heading to Zion National Park, the one hour drive from Zion Canyon around to the west entrance at Kolob Canyons is really worthwhile. There is a campground on the west side of the park that is designed for tent camping and is suitable for truck campers and very short Class C’s.
There are links with more info and big rig RV parking ideas below.
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More info about Kolob Canyons in Zion National Park:
- Zion National Park Kolob Canyons Info – Official NPS Website
- Hiking in Zion National Park – NPS Maps and hiking notes
- RV Parks near Leeds, Utah – RV Park Reviews – Leeds is 17 miles south of Kolob Canyons on I-15
- RV Parks near Cedar City, Utah – RV Park Reviews – Cedar City is 20 miles north of Kolob Canyons on I-15
- RV Parks near Springdale, Utah – RV Park Reviews – Springdale is at Zion Canyon, 38 miles from Kolob Canyons
- Locations of Kolob Canyons, Taylor Creek Trail and Zion South Entrance – Interactive Google Maps
Other blog posts from our RV travels near Zion National Park in Utah:
- Zion National Park RV Trip – One AWESOME Canyon! 12/15/16
- The Burr Trail – A Fabulous Side Trip on Utah’s Scenic Byway 12 11/15/16
- Lower Calf Creek Falls Hike – Grand Staircase Escalante Nat’l Monument 11/11/16
- RV Trip on Utah Scenic Byway 12 – Driving An All American Road! 11/03/16
- Bryce Canyon’s Rainbow Point – Bristlecone Pines and Sweeping Vistas 11/01/16
- The Waterfall at Bryce Canyon National Park – “Mossy Cave” 10/18/16
- Red Canyon Utah and the Bryce Canyon Bike Trail! 10/13/16
- Bryce Canyon Gone Wild – Tempests, Rainbows & Wildlife 10/09/16
- Fairyland Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park – A Beautiful Hike! 10/02/16
- Bryce Canyon – Hiking The Rim & Navajo Loop + A Tourist Time-lapse! 09/29/16
- Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah – Inspiration Point – OMG! 09/27/16
- Cedar Breaks National Monument – A Hidden Jewel in Utah 09/23/16
- The Eagle Whisperer & “Healer of Angels” – Martin Tyner of Southwest Wildlife Foundation 09/18/16
- Fish Lake Utah – Wildlife and Aspen Groves 06/25/12
- Capitol Reef National Park Utah – Awe-inspiring! 06/25/12
- Red Canyon Utah – An Overlooked Treasure 09/02/11
- Dixie National Forest Utah – Caves and Hikes 08/31/11
- Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah – Better Than Bryce? 08/30/11
- Kanab & Alton, UT – Whoa!!! 09/29/08
- Parowan UT – Vermillion Castle and County Fair 09/25/08
- Utah Animal Sanctuaries – Best Friends & Southwest Wildlife 09/15/08
- Bryce Canyon, UT – Fairyland of Pink Turrets 08/25/08
- Zion NP, Kodachrome Basin & Snow Canyon, UT – Great Red Rocks! 10/31/07
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