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
Blog posts from our RV trips to Zion National Park:
- Zion National Park’s Hidden Jewels – Off the Beaten Path in an RV! 12/06/17
- Zion National Park RV Trip – One AWESOME Canyon! 12/15/16
- Zion NP, Kodachrome Basin & Snow Canyon, UT – Great Red Rocks! 10/31/07
Blog posts from the area near Zion National Park:
- Best Friends Animal Sanctuary & Southwest Wildlife Foundation in Utah 09/15/08
- Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park – Shape Shifting in the Sand! 11/08/17
- Johnson Canyon Movie Set – A Spooky Ghost Town – Happy Halloween! 10/27/17
- Kanab – Hub for the National Parks + Gorgeous Canyons Nearby! 11/12/17
- Kanab & Alton, UT – Whoa!!! 09/29/08
- Sand Hollow State Park, Utah – An Oasis in the Desert! 11/21/17
Our most recent posts:
- Black Hills Back Country Byway – Spring Flowers in Arizona! 04/12/19
- Mexican Hat, Utah – A Special Hoodoo in the Red Rocks 04/05/19
- Traces of Antiquity and the Not-So-Ancient in Utah! 03/29/19
- SE Utah – A Mars Colony, Wide-Angle Photography & Snowy Mountains! 03/22/19
- Monument Valley & Hite Scenic Overlook – Stone Towers from Below & Above! 03/15/19