Hiking Southern Utah: Kolob Arch and Lee Pass Trail
Location: Kolob Canyon, Zion National Park
Difficulty: Moderate if done in two days, strenuous if done in one day
Distance: 14 miles round trip
Elevation: The trailhead is at 6,100 feet, and the trail ends at 5,400 feet; the lowest elevation reached is 5,000 feet.
Family-friendly: The trail is family-friendly if done at a moderate pace. I recommend an overnight trip for the family. A permit is required for campers.
Access: Take I-15 to exit 40 at Kolob Canyon. Check in at the office, then drive to the Lee Pass trailhead parking.
The trail to Kolob Arch
This trail will lead you to the second-largest free-standing arch in the world, Kolob Arch.
Start at the Lee Pass trailhead and descend down the ridge. After approximately two miles, the trail will guide you east around Shuntavi and Gregory Buttes. You will continue to descend into the La Verkin Creek drainage. The trail here is very sandy, so be patient. It will slow you down a bit.
The trail continues along the creek and will soon cross it. This is a good place to splash some cool water on your face, as most of the hike is in the direct sun. Notice the camp sites in this area. Some choose to do this hike and camp overnight, in which case a permit is required.
Continue down the beaten path of Lee Pass to the Kolob Arch Trail junction where you will turn left and head north. Follow the trail, and you will soon see the arch high up along the sandstone wall to the left. There is a nice place for a snack and a rest at the trail’s end where you can take in a lovely view of Kolob Arch.
To return to the trailhead, turn around and go back the way you hiked in.
As always, remember to bring plenty of water, snacks, a camera, and sunscreen.