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Zion National Park Accommodations, Hotels, Vacation Rentals & Lodging

Taylor Creek Middle Fork Trail – Zion National Park

Taylor Creek Trail is located on the NE portion of Zion National Park. It’s a moderately traveled 2 mile out and back trail that ends in a huge alcove. The hike features two cabins and multiple stream crossings. If you have gone to Zion before, Taylor Creek and the Kolob Canyon area is fairly remote compared to the more popular attractions. It is easy to overlook which is good (lower traffic) and bad (people miss the scenic drive and the canyon itself). If you have spare time and want something different than the ‘standard’ hikes (Angel’s Landing, Canyon Overlook, Emerald Pools, etc.), take a drive up to Kolob Canyon and check out one (or all three) of the Taylor Creek trails.
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Zion National Park Accommodations, Hotels, Vacation Rentals & Lodging

On Day 3 of my 2016 trip to Zion National Park, I started out like so many other days in Zion…watching sunrise at the Towers of the Virgin. This is a very popular spot, and there are often many photographers there to capture the beautiful light. I don’t mind though. There is just something about watching the sun work its way down those massive sandstone peaks. It gets me excited about spending a day in the park!

This is a shot that I’ve taken in the past, but I wanted something a little different. Previously, I’ve taken the shot with the Towers in full sun. This time around, I wanted to take the shot a bit earlier when the light was a little more blue and subdued. I used a 2-stop hard edge grad ND filter to control the light and fired off a one second exposure on Velvia 50. I did not get to take my usual second shot, because clouds came in and killed off all light after my first exposure. I was nervous not having a backup, but thankfully the shot turned out really well.

From there, my parents and I grabbed some souvenirs and headed up to the Northwest corner of the park. This section is much less crowded but has spectacular scenery in its own right. We decided to make the 6 mile hike up the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek that ends at the Double Arch Alcove. On our way in, I took a shot of some pines against a reflected light wall. There was some interesting layering in effect, but the light wasn’t the strongest. I will say though, despite my initial misgivings about the shot, I am happy with how it turned out.

Finally, after 3 miles in, we reached the Double Arch Alcove. This alcove has, in my opinion, the most spectacular example of reflected light in the entire park. The orange colors simply must be seen to be believed! I had a difficult time composing though. For starters, I don’t quite have a wide enough lens to get the entire sandstone wall. It is massive! At the base of the wall is a mixture of maples and cottonwoods that were surprisingly still holding onto their leaves. I decided to take a shot incorporating this color and only a small portion of the wall. And the colors on Velvia are NUCLEAR!!! However, this is pretty close to reality as hard as that may be to believe. Like I said, the light in this area is really spectacular.

We finished up our day much as it started…watching sunlight traverse sandstone pillars. Just your typical magical day in Zion. Why haven’t I moved there yet???
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Zion National Park Accommodations, Hotels, Vacation Rentals & Lodging

The Taylor Creek Trail that heads up into the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek, which is located in the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park, gives the hiker a sampling of what Zion is all about, along with a unique half-created double arch, known as Double Arch Alcove at the trail’s end. Read the entire article at http://www.backroadswest.com/trips/2011/11/taylor-creek-hike-to-double-arch-alcove-in-zion-national-park/
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Zion National Park Accommodations, Hotels, Vacation Rentals & Lodging

This is our guide to Zion National Park, Utah with our favorite hikes there. We visited the park end of November 2017.

This video includes our hikes to Angels Landing (Zion Canyon), Weeping Rock and Hidden Canyon (Zion Canyon), Northgate Peaks (Kolob Terrace), Emerald Pool (Zion Canyon) and Taylor Creek (Kolob Canyons).

We did not have the time to hike the Narrows or the Subway so they are not included in this video.

#1 Angels Landing (Zion Canyon)
It is also one of Zion’s most popular hikes and one of the top hikes in North America. It starts at the Grotto trailhead. There a two segments with switchbacks that make really nice photos before you reach the difficult part of the hike. This trail has an elevation change of 1500 feet and has 1000 foot sheer drop offs on both sides. For a better look, check out this video: https://youtu.be/SQ2och3IUQ4

#2 Weeping Rock and Hidden Canyon (Zion Canyon)
Both trailheads start by the Weeping Rock shuttle stop. The first half of the Hidden Canyon hike is strenuous with switchbacks. The second part of the path is flatter and much more narrow, with a steep drop offs. There are chain railings to help hike that section. You can keep hiking into peaceful Hidden Canyon (after a little climb on a big rock) where you can see a beautiful Arch. For a better look, check out this video: https://youtu.be/f-4zm5B2Vp8

#3 Northgate Peaks (Kolob Terrace)
Park at the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead. The hike starts on the Wildcat Canyon Trail for almost a mile until the trail splits and you take the Northgate Peaks Trail. This trail is flat and easy to the dramatic view on the Northgate Peaks East, West and The North Guardian Angel. This trail offers a very different scenery of Zion and has much less traffic than Zion Canyon. No water at the trailhead.

#4 Emerald Pools (Zion Canyon)
The trailhead starts by the Zion Lodge shuttle stop. This is another popular trail in Zion and it is heavily trafficked. The walk to the Lower Pool is easy mostly flat. Getting to the Middle Pool requires gaining a bit of elevation and it is pretty close to Lower Pool. Be cautious when watching the Middle Pool as it can be slippery. Finally, the trail becomes rocky and steadily climbs to Upper Pool.

#5 Taylor Creek (Kolob Canyons)
This is a popular trail in the Kolob Canyons Section though it is lightly trafficked. It is also known as the “Middle Fork of Taylor Creek”. It requires crossing a river numerous times and gradually gains elevation. There are two historical cabins built in the 1930’s (Larson Cabin and Fife Cabin) along the trail. The trail ends at the Double Arch Alcove. No water or bathroom at the trailhead.

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