Hike of the week: Taylor Creek, Middle Fork
Taylor Creek offers a leisurely hike over rolling hills through a lush, wooded section of the Kolob Canyons area of Zion National Park, ending with a tremendous red rock alcove. Much of the trail is shaded and cool, and it's far less busy than hikes in Zion Canyon, making it a nice respite on a hot day during high tourism season.
Directions » From the trailhead, go north to a flight of stairs winding down to the level of the creek, about 0.1 mile. The trail bends northeast here and then east. The trail follows the creek closely. There are some crossings, but it is not hard to find the trail. After about a half-mile, the trail begins to climb slightly. At about 1.1 mile, the trail climbs east along the north side of a slope and heads north into a grove. You'll see an old cabin on your left, known as the Larson Cabin. Not far ahead is another cabin, the Fife Cabin. The trail ascends slightly more steeply through a long, shaded stretch with occasional views of increasingly dramatic red rock walls. At the end of the hike, the trail emerges from the woods to an enormous red rock dome, known as Double Arch Alcove.
Getting There » Take Interstate 15 exit 40 to the Kolob Canyons Visitors Center, just east of the highway. Take Kolob Canyon Road north, then east. The trailhead is 2 miles from the visitors center, on the north side of the road right before a broad southward turn. The parking lot is well established with painted lines. There is a turn-off just west of the parking lot.
— Erin Alberty