Zion National Park: Double Arch Alcove

Get all the red rock magic without the crowds on a kid-friendly, 5.2-mile out-and-back in Zion’s off-the-radar Kolob Canyons area.
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Get all the red rock magic without the crowds on a kid-friendly, 5.2-mile out-and-back in Zion’s off-the-radar Kolob Canyons area.

Double Arch Alcove, along the Middle Fork Taylor Creek Trail, features mellow elevation change, creek-splashing opportunities, 1930s-era cabins, and colorful sandstone.

From the Taylor Creek trailhead, descend over packed red sand and reach the creek in .1 mile. Head right (east) along the meandering trickle, which you’ll cross periodically. The log Larson Cabin at mile 1.1 marks the confluence with North Fork Taylor Creek; stay on the main trail. Hillsides dotted with sagebrush give way to steep, iron-striped walls around mile 1.5. Fife Cabin, another historic building, sits at mile 2.1. The maintained trail ends .6 mile later at Double Arch Alcove, a Navajo sandstone atrium featuring hanging gardens, a black-, white- and green-streaked grotto, and two modest arches.

Photos & mapping by Andrew Lavigne, alavigne.net

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 8.4

Waypoints

DAA001

Location: 37.461918, -113.199464

Middle Fork Taylor Creek trailhead. Descend over packed red sand and reach
the creek in .1 mile.

DAA002

Location: 37.463889, -113.194762

Cross Taylor Creek, usually a meandering trickle. You'll cross it often during the hike.

DAA003

Location: 37.462055, -113.184749

As you approach the fingers of Kolob Canyon, the canyon narrows and tall cliffs appear.

DAA004

Location: 37.462471, -113.184229

Larson Cabin. This 1930s-era homesteader log cabin marks the confluence with North Fork Taylor Creek. There's no trail on the North Fork, but you can hike up there and explore if you like.

DAA005

Location: 37.459505, -113.169129

The second historic cabin along the Taylor Creek trail - the Fife Cabin - sites in an idyllic grove of trees deep in the heart of the Middle Fork Canyon.

DAA006

Location: 37.456978, -113.162465

Double Arch Alcove, a Navajo sandstone atrium featuring hanging gardens, a black-, white- and green-streaked grotto, and two modest arches.

DAA007

Location: 37.457348, -113.16043

Continue a little way beyond the end of the maintained trail in the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek to find a pretty waterfall in a crack.

Trailhead, Taylor Creek

Location: 37.461954, -113.199454

Start over packed sand towards cliffs

Location: 37.462913, -113.198803

The trail crosses Taylor Creek often

Location: 37.463887, -113.194886

Crossing Taylor Creek again

Location: 37.464205, -113.192318

Paria Point towers to the right

Location: 37.461961, -113.185016

Canyon closes in

Location: 37.462065, -113.184748

As you approach the fingers of Kolob Canyon, the canyon narrows and tall cliffs appear.

Larson Cabin

Location: 37.462444, -113.18425

Leafy section

Location: 37.461158, -113.180674

As you enter the Middle Fork canyon, the trail gets leafy for stretches

Middle Fork's canyon

Location: 37.461026, -113.178556

A good shot showing the long, straight topography of the finger canyons. This canyon is the canyon of the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek, which the Taylor Creek trail (visible on the right of the streambed) runs up.

Fife Cabin

Location: 37.459594, -113.169177

The second historic cabin along the Taylor Creek trail - the Fife Cabin - sites in an idyllic grove of trees deep in the heart of the Middle Fork Canyon.

Double Arch Alcove

Location: 37.457181, -113.162686

The grand architecture of double arch alcove.

Double Arch Alcove

Location: 37.457133, -113.162854

The lower part of Double Arch Alcove with it's green, white, and black streaked grotto.

View from Double Arch Alcove

Location: 37.457064, -113.16266

Tall canyon walls silhouette-frame the view of a section of the Middle Fork's canyon.

Waterfall

Location: 37.457472, -113.160558

A little way beyond the end of the maintained trail in the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek is this pretty waterfall in a crack.