Distance (round-trip)

4.5 mi

Time

2.5 hrs

Elevation Gain

500 ft

Season

Spring
Summer
Fall

Weather

This moderate route to Double Arch Alcove follows the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek through pines and cottonwoods, past a pair of historic cabins, and finally into the deep crease separating Paria Point and Tucupit Point. Your goal on this pleasant ramble is to reach Double Arch Alcove, a cave-like sandstone formation where repeated flash flooding has undercut a shelf above, forming an alcove. As is common with porous Navajo Sandstone, water seeps through, nurturing lush vegetation and creating a colorful patina that streaks the sandstone in a variety of colors.

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From the trailhead, drop downhill on a short descent, crossing Taylor Creek and then striking out east along the banks of the creek. The trail hopscotches back and forth over the creek, favoring one side or the other whenever the terrain is more conducive for walking.

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Just before the confluence with the north fork of Taylor Creek, the trail passes the first of the two cabins along the route. The Larson Cabin lies on the north side of the creek, and the building originates from the 1930’s when homesteaders preceded the inclusion of the Kolob Canyons section into the park in 1956. Today, the cabin is distinctively ramshackle and casts an air of old west Utah upon the forest of pine, juniper, pinyon, and cottonwood.

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About half a mile upstream from the Larson Cabin, you will reach the Fife Cabin, which hails from the same era and looks similarly dilapidated in a fittingly rustic way. As you progress beyond the canyon, the towering walls leading to Paria Point and Tucupit Point swell in vertical walls of brilliant reds. Closer at hand, interesting pitted forms are on eroded sandstone walls.

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At 2.25 miles, the maintained trail comes to an end at the base of the alcove. The alcove is a great place to take a long, leisurely break and to explore the detail created by the streaks of patina.

Re-trace your steps to return to your car.

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Scott is an L.A. native and San Diego transplant who pulls every trick in the book to get out on the trail. His first book, a revision of Afoot and Afield San Diego County, is now out.

Historical Interest

Kid-Friendly

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