Easy

Double Arch Alcove

Distance 4.5 mi
Time 2.5 hrs
Elevation Gain 500 ft
Season Spring, Summer, Fall
Weather

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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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Trail Conditions

The trail is in good condition and easy to follow. There are a couple of creek crossings, but unless there's a flash flood, they should not pose much of a challenge

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Camping Info

Your best camping options are at Zion Canyon Campground and the Watchman Campground near the entrance to Zion National Park. This is about an hour's drive away from the Kolob Canyons section, but the lack of nearby camping plus access to other Zion highlights make these your best bets.

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How to Get There

Drive 31 miles north from St. George, Utah on I-15. Exit at Kolob Canyons Road, and continue on Kolob Canyons road for 3.2 miles to the Middle Fork Taylor Creek trailhead.

Driving Directions

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