Taylor Creek Trail to Double Arch Alcove, Taylor Creek Trailhead, Zion National Park, Utah

Taylor Creek Trail to Double Arch Alcove - 5.4 miles

Taylor Creek Trailhead

The 'Grotto' on the Taylor Creek Trail

The 'Grotto' on the Taylor Creek Trail

Round-Trip Length: 5.4 miles
Start-End Elevation: 5,505' - 5,975' (5,995' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +470' net elevation gain (+675' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Moderate
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Taylor Creek Trail to Double Arch Alcove - 5.4 Miles Round-Trip

Double Arch Alcove is located 2.6 miles from Taylor Creek Trailhead in the Kolob Canyon section of Zion National Park. The Taylor Creek Trail follows Middle Fork through a narrow, high-walled canyon to a large grotto topped by a sandstone arch.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

The Taylor Creek Trail features a lush riparian corridor framed by colorful rock formations all along its path. This lightly used trail is best in late May and early October when spring blooms and autumn colors peak.

Perennial water and higher elevations make Taylor Creek a good choice during busy summer months when temperatures soar and crowds swell in Zion Canyon:

The trail winds down from the parking area into the stream bed and turns right (east) up the south bank. Cottonwood, maple, oak, pinyon, juniper and ponderosa form a loose canopy over the trail. In .2 miles you'll be led over the creek, the first of many crossings up to the Larsen Cabin and North Fork - Middle Fork confluence (1.1 miles : 5,626'). Continue east along the Middle Fork.

In 1.5 miles the crimson walls of Tucupit Point (north - 7,698') and Paria Point (south - 7802') rise dramatically over the trail. The peak behind Tucupit is Horse Ranch Mountain (8,726'), the highest point in Zion National Park.

Travel intensifies through heavier brush, a good place to find signs of deer, turkey, skunk, coyote and mountain lion. Be particularly mindful of rattlesnakes in these cluttered sections.

Just past Fife Cabin (2.1 miles : 5,810') the trail drops into the creek and travels upstream a short distance. Entry-exit points to the creek are subtly marked but intuitively found.

Once back on the trail it soon fades and spills into a wide berth confined by tall canyon walls and boulders at the base of Double Arch Alcove (2.7 miles : 5,975').

While the alcove is immediately obvious, the arch above it is not; scramble back north in this atrium-like setting for a better look at both features.

The grotto is coated with striking colors drawn from minerals in the rock. Snow melt and seeping waters from above trickle over the grotto's ledge, forming mist and conditions that support hanging gardens.

Honor the Park's request not to enter the grotto; there's plenty of space to explore at its base. The upper canyon is heavily obstructed, and further travel is ill-advised.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N37 27.718 W113 11.967 — 0.0 miles : Taylor Creek Trailhead
  • N37 27.851 W113 11.533 — .5 mile mark
  • N37 27.714 W113 11.126 — 1.0 mile mark
  • N37 27.656 W113 10.708 — 1.5 miles : Undulating climb through narrowing canyon
  • N37 27.584 W113 10.266 — 2.0 mile mark
  • N37 27.623 W113 09.746 — 2.7 miles : Base of Double Arch Alcove

Worth Noting

  • Anticipate getting wet along the trail's many stream crossings. Fringe season hikers can expect snow in the upper canyon and cold water.
  • Be mindful of rattlesnakes along the trail during summer months. Never place your hands or feet where you cannot see them.
  • Taylor Creek is susceptible to flash floods. Be mindful of changing weather conditions, and seek higher ground immediately if water levels rise.

Camping and Backpacking Information

Due to the fragile nature of this area, camping is not permitted on the Taylor Creek Trail. Backcountry camping is permitted elsewhere in Zion.

Permits are required for all overnight backpacking trips in Zion National Park. Permits are available at both Visitor Centers the day of or day before your trip. Permits are limited.

  • $15: 1-2 people
  • $20: 3-7 people
  • $25: 8-12 people

Permits may also be reserved up to 3 months in advance through the online reservation system. A $5 non-refundable fee + an additional fee determined by the size of your group is required when using the online reservation system. Click here to reserve

  • Camp only in designated sites.
  • Fires are not permitted at backcountry campsites or within the backcountry in Zion National Park.
  • Desert water sources are scarce and fragile. Do not bathe or wash dishes in creeks or pools.

Rules and Regulations

  • There's a $30 fee per vehicle to enter Zion National Park (defined as private passenger cars with 15 people or less). Passes are good for 7 consecutive days.
  • $25 per motorcycle.
  • $15 per person (walk or bike).
  • Dogs are not permitted on trails in Zion National Park.
  • Camping, fires and smoking are not permitted on the Taylor Creek Trail.
  • Stock is not permitted on the Taylor Creek Trail.
  • Group size limit of 12 people.

Directions to Trailhead

The Taylor Creek Trail is accessed from the Taylor Creek Trailhead in the Kolob Canyons District of Zion National Park. Travel 2 miles east of the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center on Kolob Canyons Road to the Taylor Creek Trailhead and designated parking area on the left.

Contact Information

Zion Canyon Visitor Center
Open: Daily
Closed: December 25
Spring: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Summer: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Fall: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Winter: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Kolob Canyon Visitor Center
Open: Daily
Closed: December 25
Spring: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Summer: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Fall: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Winter: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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