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Wildcat Canyon Trail
Route

Wildcat Canyon Trail

 
Wildcat Canyon Trail

Page Type: Route

Location: Utah, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 37.33988°N / 113.0757°W

Object Title: Wildcat Canyon Trail

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Hike

Route Quality: 
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Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Jun 11, 2011 / Jan 27, 2014

Object ID: 721751

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Page Score: 81.84%  - 14 Votes 

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Overview

Wildcat Canyon Trail is located in the Kolob Terrace portion of Zion National Park. It is 5.8 miles long taking you through forested highlands connecting Wildcat Trailhead to West Rim Trailhead. While the highlands are beautiful, they are not the typical walls and canyons that you expect to see in Zion National Park. In two areas, however, the trail gives you views of Wildcat Canyon and Russell Gulch. The slicrock summit of Pine Valley Peak is well visible at Wildcat Trailhead.

Please note that the trail that goes from Hop Valley Trailhead to Wildcat Trailhead is not part of the Wildcat Canyon Trail. This trail is known as The Connector Trail and will not be discussed here.





Map
Map


Getting There

From the southern entrance of Zion National Park in Springdale, UT, drive 13.5 miles west on Route 9 to the town of Virgin. Turn north and follow the Kolob Terrace Road 16 miles to the Wildcat Trailhead

This is a narrow paved road. Parts of it are closed in winter, see link below:
Kolob Terrace Road Conditions November Through May.

Route Description





















Place
Elevation
Distance
Wildcat Trailhead
6960 ft
zero miles
Connector Trail Jct.
6900 ft
0.95 miles
Northgate Trail Jct.
6900 ft
0.15 miles
High Point
7300 ft
1.9 miles
Wildcat Creek Crossing
7050 ft
1.2 miles
West Rim Trail
7440 ft
1.5 miles
West Rim Trailhead
7460 ft
0.1 miles
Total
-
5.8 miles





At Wildcat Trailhead, you will have great views of the slickrock summit of Pine Valley Peak.




Pine Valley Peak
Pine Valley Peak


Follow the trail over Pine Valley Plateau, a grassy plateau that is covered by pine trees and sits at an elevation of 6800-6900 ft. From behind the trees, you might get views of The North Guardian Angel and Pocket Mesa.






Pocket Mesa
Pocket Mesa
Pine Valley Peak
Pine Valley Peak
The tip of North Guardian Angel
North Guardian Angel


After 0.95 miles, you will reach the junction of The Connector Trail. Turn left (continue on Wildcat Canyon Trail). After another 0.15 miles you will see the junction of the Northgate Peaks Trail on the right. Continue straight on Wildcat Canyon Trail. You will find yourself in a beautiful pine forest.






Pine Forest
Pine Forest
Pine Forest
Pine Forest
Pine Forest
Pine Forest


The trail slowly goes up in elevation. At a place where the trees do not get in the way, you will get some views of Russell Gulch. The jagged summits of The West Temple & Mt. Kinesava will be visible to the south. Northgate Peaks and South Guardian Angel can be seen to the southwest.






West Temple & Mt. Kinesava
West Temple & Mt. Kinesava
Russell Gulch
Russell Gulch
Russell Gulch
Russell Gulch
North Guardian Angel
South Guardian Angel & Northgate Peaks


You will then reach a grassy sloped plateau.






Grassy Sloped Plateau
Grassy Sloped Plateau
Grassy Sloped Plateau
Grassy Sloped Plateau
Grassy Sloped Plateau
Grassy Sloped Plateau


At the top of the sloped plateau you will reach the 7300 ft high point. A pond may be noted on the south side.




Pond at the High Point
Pond


The trail then slowly goes down into the drainage of Wildcat Canyon




Descending into the drainage of Wildcat Canyon
Descending


Where there is a break in the vegetation, you will get views of Wildcat Canyon.






Wildcat Canyon
Wildcat Canyon
Wildcat Canyon
Wildcat Canyon
Wildcat Canyon
Wildcat Canyon


There is supposedly a spring in the black talus fields around the trail. When I was in the area on April 22 snowmelt water ran down every slope making it difficult to identify the spring.




Where the Spring is
Where the Spring is


You will then reach the upper ends of Wildcat Canyon and will have to cross the Wildcat Creek (a.k.a. Blue Creek)




Wildcat Stream
Wildcat Creek


After crossing the creek, the trail slowly goes up a forested slope. You can still get some views of the upper walls of Wildcat Canyon.






Forested Slope/Walls of Wildcat Canyon
Wildcat Canyon Wall
Forested Slope
Forested Slope
Forested Slope/Walls of Wildcat Canyon
Wildcat Canyon Wall


You will soon reach the junction of the West Rim Trail. Turn left and go 0.1 miles to reach West Rim Trailhead. A high point known as Lava Point will be in view.




Lava Point
Lava Point


Red Tape

You must pay park entrance fee. Please be ware that there are no fee booths on Kolob Terrace Road. You must pay in Springdale or elsewhere.

No permits needed for day hikes. See link below for all rules and regulations:
http://www.nps.gov/zion/index.htm

Weather

See the forecast for Springdale, UT

External Links

Wildcat Canyon Trail.

Images