Kolob Canyons Backpacking Trip
Lee Pass Trailhead to Hop Valley Trailhead, Zion NP
October 2-4, 2005
I had been down the first part of this trail before… Back in 2000 my best friend Andrew
and I completed a 14-mile dayhike to Kolob Arch and back – but we got a late start and
had to hike the last part by moonlight. But this time was nice because we took our time and
we stayed down there for a couple of days. I did this hike with 3 other gals that I'd met
through various hiking websites - Mtnmslady, Dyan, and Bobcat.  We stayed at Campsite #12
which was shady and next to La Verkin Creek. The next day Bobcat, Dyan, and I hiked up the
creek a mile or so until the trail disappeared; on the way we passed a beautiful emerald
green pool. Then we made our way back down to our campsite and then had to pack up and
leave as the next night's occupants had already arrived! We packed up, filtered water – a
lot of water as we weren't sure there would be any at our next campsite, then headed up
the Hop Valley Trail. We had learned by this time that filtering from silty La Verkin creek
clogged up filters real quick like so this time we filtered from a clearer side stream.
Hop Valley morning, Zion NP
The Hop Valley Trail is steep at first. The trail switchbacks up and is overgrown in many
areas. I have a feeling not many people go beyond Kolob Arch! This trail is also very sandy in
spots. Our campsite, B, was also not very protected from the wind and it was very windy
that night. We gathered rocks to hold down our tent stakes and I made a windscreen out of
some dead wood and we managed to cook dinner behind it and not eat too much sand. That
night I was grateful I had a wind-worthy tent and earplugs to help me sleep.

The next day's hike out of Hop Valley was interesting. First we met a bunch of ornery cows.
They were, I guess, being protective of their calves besides just being stubborn and not
wanting to budge from the trail. We renamed them the Hop Valley White Faced Bears, lol
The trail wasn't really obvious so we just followed the map and tried to find landmarks as
we went. The trail climbed steeply up out of the valley on what appeared to be an old road
that was littered with sharp lava rocks. Then it was a sandy slog the rest of the way. It got
quite chilly once we were up near the Kolob Terrace Road and dark clouds were moving in
behind us. When we finally made it up to Bobcat's car we were pooped! Since Bobcat and I
were ahead of theo ther two, she ran be back up to my truck and on the way we passed two
big beautiful bull elk. Then Bobcat ran back down to pick up Mtmnslady and Dyan. They then
drove to Kolob to retrieve Debra's truck. By the time they got back to Lava Point it was
late afternoon.
Seasonal Creek
Bobcat ahead of me on the trail
Dyan ahead of me on the sandy trail
Bobcat rock hopping across La Verkin Creek
Me, Bobcat, Mtmnslady, and DyanTX at the Lee Pass Trailhead
Dyan's Pictures!
Mtmnslady's Pictures!


The rest of this trip to Utah...
Main trip page
Red Canyon
Calf Creek and Escalante Natural Bridge
Aspen and the Hell's Backbone Road
Cedar Breaks National Monument, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park &
Pipe Spring NM
West Rim Backpack Trip, Zion NP


More info on this area
Back to Backpacking
Back to Tarol's Homepage
Dyan Crosses the creek in Hop Valley
The upper part of the Hop Valley Trail
Indian Paintbrush was in profusion up here...