JOE’S GUIDE TO ZION NATIONAL PARKCitrusMilo.com
DEATH POINT and SMITH CABIN REMAINS

HISTORICAL ROUTE INFORMATION

IMPORTANT:
This is NOT a route description; the information on this page is provided to help save intrepid explorers from wasting time on a disappointing quest. At this time, Death Point and the Smith Cabin remains are inaccessible due to private property issues. Do not attempt these routes. The information below is for historical purposes only.

DEATH POINT:
In 1964, the Zion Natural History Association published a wonderful little pamphlet entitled "A Guide to the Trails." (Second and third editions were published in 1975 and 1979.) In the "Additional Exploring" section was a juicy description of a route to Death Point -- a remote peninsula-like mountain accessible only via dirt road behind the Kolob Finger Canyons. The trail to Death Point provided great views of Icebox Canyon and a unique view of the Kolob Arch.

From the 1964 and 1975 editions:
DEATH POINT offers one of the most beautiful and impressive views found in Zion National Park. The panorama of the Finger Canyons and the high Kolob terrace is reached by a jeep road, off Highway 91 near Kanarraville, Utah, that climbs the Hurricane Fault to Horse Ranch Mountain. A 2-mile trail exists between the end of the jeep road and the Death Point overlook.
 
From the 1979 edition:
DEATH POINT offers one of the most beautiful and impressive views found in Zion National Park. The panorama of the Finger Canyons and the high Kolob Terrace is reached by dirt road off I-15 near Kanarraville, Utah, that climbs the Hurrican Fault to Horse Ranch Mountain. You will pass through several gates and must park at the locked gate on the Iron/Washington County line. Inquire at the Visitor Center about the route from here to Death Point.

Currently, all of the land along the east border of the Kolob Finger Canyons is private property and landowners are quite serious about keeping out tresspassers. The access road from north of Kanarraville is well-graded and heads south behind the Finger Canyons. The further you drive, however, the more the road starts feeling more like a private driveway. Near the Iron County/Washington County border, a definitive "no tresspassing" gate blocks the "road." Further travel is not recommended.

Personal note: It saddens me that several great areas in Zion National Park are now closed due to access issues along the border. If anybody who reads this was lucky enough to hike this route back in the 1960's or 1970's, please drop me a line and tell me what you remember; I'd love to hear about it. I hope that one day access will be restored for future visitors to enjoy!

Death Point photo from A Guide to the Trails, circa 1964
Photo from "A Guide to the Trails:" View of Kolob Arch from Death Point.

SMITH CABIN REMAINS:
The 2005 edition of National Geographic's "Trails Illustrated" map was a great improvement over the previous revision, showing more access roads and BLM territory. Unfortunately, the map shows a landmark labeled "Smith Cabin Remains" at the head of the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek, along with the same dirt road that supposedly leads to the Death Point trail. Do not let the National Geographic map sucker you into thinking you can drive all the way to the Taylor Creek Canyon WSA -- you will be denied by the "no tresspassing" gates on private property. There are better things to do with your time.

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