Taylor Creek sits in the Kolob Canyons district of Zion National Park. The Middle Fork of Taylor Creek has a well-established 2.5 mile long trail that goes up a red walled canyon to reach a formation known as Double Arch Alcove. You will not see an actual arch here but will find yourself at the base of a large alcove where you can look up a wall to find another large alcove far above the lower one.
North Fork of Taylor Creek branches off of the Middle Fork and goes into a parallel canyon. North Fork does not have an established trail but you can follow the creek. Some degree of bushwhacking is required.
Left our vacation rental home in Cedar City, Utah at 7:10 a.m. Went south on I-15 to Exit 40, Kolob Canyons District of Zion National Park. Trailhead was on the main park road 2 miles after park entrance.
The HikeSaturday September 7, 2013
To my surprise, no one was at the trailhead. It was cloudy and I had to head east so I thought I better leave the picture taking for when I come back. The elevation at trailhead was around 5500 ft. A sign said:
Larson Cabin 1.2 miles
Fife Cabin 1.88 miles
Double Arch Alcove 2.55 miles
Left at 7:40 a.m. The trail went down a series of steps around 100 vertical feet to reach Taylor Creek and then followed it east. I could see impressive red colored walls and horns to the east. The valley was lush with beautiful bushes and trees. At 8:10 a.m. I reached the historic Larson Cabin.
At the cabin, the valley branched. The North Fork of Taylor Creek split to the left. The trail continued straight into the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek. A canyon with big red walls formed around the trail.
I went by the abandoned Fife Cabin and later reached the end of the trail at Double Arch Alcove at 8:50 a.m. The elevation was roughly 6000 ft. Tall red colored walls went up 1600 vertical feet or more all around me. To the south, there was a large alcove that sat at the base of a wall. Far above it, another large alcove could be seen half way up the wall.
I sat there and ate my sandwich. The area was very lush and I could hear crickets/frogs singing.
It then began to slowly rain. I went under the alcove to shelter myself from the rain but the bottom of the alcove was covered by wet slippery slickrock. Despite being careful, I slipped and fell once but then found a dry log to sit on. I could now look up to see the lower and upper alcoves in one shot.
The rain stopped and I began to hike back at 9:20 a.m. Saw one couple hiking up the valley.
Bottom of the valley.
It then began to rain again. I stopped under a big pine tree but soon it became apparent that it was going to rain hard and long so I put on my rain coat and the rain cover for my backpack. I also had to put the camera away inside my backpack. I had rain pants with me but to put them on, I had to take off my boots so I did not bother to do that. My pants became soaking wet. I began to hike in the rain and soon reached Larson Cabin where the North Fork of Taylor Creek branched. I then headed up the North Fork. There were traces of a beaten path here and there but there was no trail. The volume of water in the creek was low so in most places, I just walked in the creek. Dense growths of bushes or boulders sometimes created obstacles. Everything was soaking wet. My eye glasses got wet and foggy. Had to put them in my raincoat’s pocket and was worried that they may break. The wet bushwhacking eventually became too much for me so at some point I stopped. Was worried that the camera was going to get wet but did eventually take it out and took a couple of blurred foggy pictures before heading back. Under the raincoat, I was wet with sweat.
I then began to walk back following the bottom of the creek.
The rain slowed down and eventually stopped.
As I approached Larson Cabin again, the distinctive horns that rose above it came to view again.
I then got on the main trail and began to walk back toward the trailhead.
Was back at the trailhead by 12:15 p.m.