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Middle Fork Taylor Creek

Zion National Park

Zion National Park Links:

May 16th, 1998

5.4 miles
670 vertical feet
Total Time: 4:11

Rating: 8/10

Directions:   View Driving Map

Ben, Jay, Weihaw, and I hiked the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek at Zion National Park.

A series of steps lead down to the trail, which soon reaches the creek itself. The temperature was in the 70's and the sky was clear as we started our hike. Strong gusts of wind would occasionally blow into the canyon and then disappear, but otherwise it was a perfect day for a hike.

The trail follows the creek for less than a mile before it starts criss-crossing the creek itself. We must have made at least two dozen creek crossings, if not more. I'd known this, and was prepared with my sandals, but the creek was shallow enough and had enough rocks that they were unnecessary. In fact, the hike basically turned into an intellectual exercise -- trying to cross the creek by stepping on rocks, getting as little water onto our boots as possible. That apparently was not the case for a couple kids who came trudging at us in the opposite direction, happily stepping straight through the middle of the creek. The creek was their trail!

Ben carefully crosses the creek

We ran into a fair number of day hikers on this trail. If you're looking for solitude, you won't find it on this trail. But it's not too bad. No mountain bikers or vehicles to contend with, and if you go late enough (like we did), you'll be at the turnaround point of the hike after everyone else has already left.

You can't see the water bugs in this picture, but you can see their big shadows under the water!

My best close-up of a lizard yet

Me, standing alongside Taylor Creek; Weihaw in the background

Along the way to Double Arch Alcove, which is at the end of the trail, we passed a small waterfall, a few lizards, strange little water bugs, all the while marveling at of the Finger Canyons of the Kolob -- high red rock walls towered above us on either side. The walls closed in slowly until we finally reached Double Arch Alcove -- and what a treat that is. After fighting through a narrow section of the trail which is overgrown with brush, we turned the corner and there it was -- a huge alcove with water seeping over the top high above us, dropping like rain onto the ground in front of us, occasionally spraying us with mist as if from nowhere.

Words and pictures don't do the alcove justice. I regret that I didn't have a wide enough lens to capture the entire alcove from either the inside or outside. Yes, you can go right inside...there's kind of a trail that leads up to the back wall of the alcove...just be careful not to slide down like Weihaw did.

Double Arch Alcove. That little dot close to the center is Weihaw. At bottom right, Jay and Ben look on.

After enjoying the alcove and having fun with echoes, we set back toward the trailhead along the same path we'd taken. I forgot to mention there are two supposedly historic cabins along the way. I didn't see any interpretive signs, however, and the cabins looked uninteresting.

As we neared the end, we ran into two hikers just starting the hike -- after 6pm! I doubted they could make the 5.4 mile trip before sundown, but they went on anyway. Without flashlights, of course. Some people just need to plan more. =)

Return to Zion/Bryce/Grand Canyon trip report.

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