Taylor Creek Trail

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Middle Fork of Taylor Creek Trail

The Middle Fork of Taylor Creek Trail is a short hike in the Kolob Canyon area of Zion National Park. The trailhead for this hike is just 2 miles from I15, and it a good place to stop and stretch the legs on a cross country trek.

The trail is a moderate 5.4 mile round trip up one of the finger canyons of the Kolob area. The trail crosses the creek multiple times. You might get your feet wet if you do the hike in the Spring. The trail ends at Double Arch Alcove. Double alcove is quite spectacular. This landmark has two alcoves, one slightly off center above the first. Photographers would need a good wide angle lens to get both alcoves in the same frame (online camera stores).

The steepest part of the trail is the drop to Taylor Creek in the first half mile of the hike. This section has a series of log stairs. After dropping into t he canyon, the trail simply follows the slope of the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek.

The geology of the area is quite interesting. The cliffs are composed of Navajo Sandstone which was deposited from sand dunes. The layer below the Navajo (The Kayenta Formation) was deposited by streams with distinctive mud and sand layers. The surface of the Kayenta layer is actually a bit stronger than the Navajo. Because it was deposited in layers, it tends erode in large blocks. What happens in this area is that when water breaks through the temple rock formation on the top of the ridge, streams will quickly erode a slit canyon through the Navajo Sandstone. When it reaches the Kayenta Formation, the erosion slows a little bit. Since Kayenta erodes in blocks, it is common for the the rock to erode out from under the Navajo sandstone. With no rock to support, large sections of the Navajo sandstone would sheer off the cliff face, fall to the earth and quickly erodes away. The result of this process is Kolob's unique combination of finger canyons.

Due to rock falls, Zion National Park discourages people from hiking beyond Double Arch Alcove.

Context: Hiking