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Hike of the week: Northgate Peaks Trail
Directions • This is a family-friendly hike with little elevation gain that nevertheless ends in a terrific view. It's located in the Kolob Terrace area, a generally less-traveled part of Zion National Park. To get there from Zion, exit the park and take State Road 9 west through Springdale to Virgin and turn right on Kolob Terrace Road. Take in the scenery as you follow it about 15 miles to the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead.
Northgate Peaks tracks the Wildcat Canyon Trail for about two miles until it splits off in a well-marked transition. The ponderosa forest terrain is shaded from the heat until the trees open up to a view the Northgate Peaks, a sweep of red rock and white sandstone dotted with green. Sit on the boulders at trail's end for a snack or lunch, then head back out again.