The "Kolob Canyons" of Zion National Park is the lesser-visited northwestern section of the park accessible via Exit 40 off of I-15. If you're looking to escape the crowds of the main canyon and see something different, the Kolob Canyons Road is a wonderfully scenic drive that gives wonderful views into several of the Kolob "finger canyons." The road ends high up on a ridge at a great viewpoint known as the "Kolob Canyons Viewpoint." The Timber Creek Overlook Trail is a short stroll that heads south from the main parking lot to offer more pleasant views from the top of the ridgeline.
The Timber Creek Overlook Trail is an easy trail to follow. Look for the trailhead sign at the west end of the Kolob Canyons Viewpoint parking lot; the trail loops around the parking lot past a small picnic area with several picnic tables and continues south to the overlook. The trail is sandy with loose rocks, but it is easy to follow with a gradual ascent. Sooner than you know it, you are at the end of the trail standing at the Timber Creek Overlook. (Timber Creek is the drainage far below between the trail and the finger canyons.
|Rating:||Quick easy stroll|
|Access:||The end of the Kolob Canyons Road (in the Kolob Section of Zion National Park)|
|Time Required:||20 minutes-1 hour|
|Length:||1 mile round-trip|
|Elevation Change:||150-ft gradual ascent to the overlook|
|Seasons:||Year-round, including winter unless recent snowfall blocks access|
From the viewpoint, you can look directly across at Shuntavi Butte and you get a clearer view of the valleys and peaks to the south, including Red Butte standing by itself in the distance. The viewpoint is a great spot to enjoy the late afternoon light and take in the sunset, but be sure to make it back to your car before it becomes completely dark.
This isn't the most thrilling hike in the park, but it is a nice little stroll with some good views. If you have spent the earlier part of the day hiking the popular Taylor Creek Trail and you have some time to kill in the late afternoon, a stroll along the Timber Creek Overlook Trail is a fun way to take in the sunset as you will see the Finger Canyons get the last direct sunlight of the day. This hike should be doable by most people, including young children.