Zion National Park has three areas: the main canyon called Zion Canyon, a back country area called Kolob Terrace, and smaller area called Kolob Canyons. The Kolob area is the easiest to access because it has its own exit just north of St George on the I-15. We also think it may be the most beautiful. However, there is no road that connects it to either of the other two parts of Zion.
There is a small Visitor’s Center at Kolob Canyons. You’ll need to start there and pay the fee to drive up the canyon. The drive is only five miles, but it is absolutely stunning. The asphalt of the road is red because the crushed stone comes from the same rock as the surrounding cliffs, which tower hundreds of feet above you. There are slot canyons that disappear into blackness on almost every curve. And then there is an overlook that allows you to take in the solid walls of sandstone.
There are also two family hikes that are really nice. The longest is called Taylor Creek, and it is an out-and-back that reaches 2.6 miles (5.2 RT) into a canyon. You can read our full review of it soon. The other is a short hike to another viewpoint, which is definitely doable for just about anyone at just 1 mile roundtrip.
Kolob Canyons is small and underappreciated, but it is a nice break from the crowds in the more popular section of Zion. Unfortunately, the cost is $30 per vehicle, the same fee as at Zion Canyon if you don’t already have a pass, which deters many people from stopping on their way up I-15. But if you are heading to Zion, or have a National Parks pass, this is definitely a stop that you want to make.