Friday, March 9, 2012

Kolob Canyon

Yesterday, Wednesday,  a cold front came through Utah dumping snow in the higher elevations. We are in southern Utah but still received strong winds and temperatures just above freezing. We hunkered down inside our mobile home and waited it out. We never run our little heater during the day, but we did yesterday! By evening we were tired of dealing with the cold and went to the movies where it was toasty warm. Today the winds were still strong and I doubt that it even got up to 60 degrees. We headed out for Kolob Canyon, which is in the northwest part of Zion National Park. The road into the canyon, which heads upward to an elevation of 6,000 feet, is about 5 miles one-way. We had plenty of time to stop frequently and take in the view as well as to read the many interpretive signs which explain the features of the canyon. Kolob Canyon is noted for its fingerling canyons, a box canyon with cliffs rising to 1,500 feet. They are always in transition as the back of the canyon- the headwall- is retreating further into the Colorado Plateau.
The park ranger at the visitor's center discouraged us from taking any trails in the canyon because of snow and ice, but he did add that possibly the Timber Creek Overlook Trail may be doable. We took the chance and headed out on that trail. It was a very muddy trail, we slipped and sloshed on it practically all the way up. We saw pinyon pine, juniper, and prickly pear cacti along the trail, I am sure they appreciated the moisture! There was a small section of the trail, near the top, which had a southern exposure and the path was dry there. It was cold and windy at the top but we still enjoyed the vast panoramic view over the canyon and the valley below. It was worth having all that mud on our shoes and pant legs!  A trail sign indicated that looking south from this point it is possible to see the plateau of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

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