Quick show of hands, who has ever been to Kolob Canyon? I didn’t think so. Even if you are a local you probably do not know it exists. I spent 19 years growing up in St George and I first went there this year.Kolob Canyon is part of Zion National Park, but the only entrance into this section is right off I-15 so it feels very far away from the main canyon of Zion.
This is one of the most beautiful places you will ever visit. Here are some pictures (make sure you click on the last one).
How to get there: To get to Kolob Canyon take exit 40 on I-15 which is just south of Cedar City. Like all national parks you need a pass to enter, but a park pass gives you access to all areas of Zion for 7-days.
After you stop at the ranger station, prepare yourself for the prettiest 5 1/2 mile drive of your life. You gain about 1000 feet of elevation and there are view points every mile or so. At 5 1/2 miles you hit the turn around and can park to get a really gorgeous panorama.
There are some trails at the top that range from easy to difficult. Here is a good guide to what you can expect from the hikes in the canyon and here is a link to the official NPS site regarding Kolob Canyon.
Even if you are not up for hiking, go out of your way to make this drive. It is one of the greatest hidden gems of Zion National Park.