Kolob Terrace - Cave Valley


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Published: July 27th 2011
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Kolob Terrace The Kolob Terrace is in the middle of Zion between Zion Canyon and the Kolob Canyons which are located near Cedar City. The Kolob Terrace offers a 21-mile scenic drive to Lava Point, starting at the small town of Virgin. At first you will notice homes and farms as you travel in and out of Zion. The road transitions to gravel once you are beyond Lava Point and headed to the Kolob Reservoir. It can take you another 20-miles to SR-14 near Cedar City, ending about a-mile from a long standing restaurant - Milt’s Stage Stop. Keep in mind the Kolob Terrace is a primitive area and there are no services so be prepared with water, a spare and other items you might need if you break down.

Directions to the Kolob Terrace - Take the signed turn-off located on SR-9 in the small town of Virgin. Coming from Zion’s south entrance, leave the park and drive on SR-9 to Virgin. On the right, just after entering the town of Virgin you will see a road sign for the Kolob Terrace Road. Turn there and follow the scenic drive up the hill.

Mileage from SR-9 & the Kolob Terrace Road
Right Fork Trailhead - 6.9 miles
Grapevine Trailhead - 7.3 miles Smith Mesa Road - 7.7 miles
Left Fork Trailhead 8.2 miles
Hop Valley Trailhead - 12.8 miles
Wildcat Canyon Trailhead 15.8
(Russell Gulch, Subway Trailhead)
Lava Point turnoff (to West Rim Trailhead) 20 miles
Lava Point and West Rim Trailhead 24 miles


Due to snow fall the road is usually closed in November
and does not open back up until June.

Cave Valley Pictographs - There are two sites along the Kolob Terrace with rock art. Visitors use to be allowed to visit, but because some did not respect the site and take care of it, this rock art is now protected. You must ask at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center for directions, but it’s unlikely they will give them to this site anymore, since it is a remote area and the vandalism is recent.
Ancient Rock Art -Pre-Columbians, better known as ancestral Puebloans (Anasazi Indians) living in Zion long ago, left behind petroglyphs and cliff dwellings giving us insight into how they lived. Later Paiutes added to the prehistoric artifacts and art recording previous life here. There are two basic types of ancient rock art: petroglyphs and pictographs. Petroglyphs were carved into rock, often in soft sandstone and pictographs were painted using natural pigments. Due to the delicate nature of ancient paintings they are usually only found in caves or other areas where the art has been protected from the elements. There are a few pictographs in Zion that have been discovered. Included among the odd doodle-like designs are human figures (anthropomorphs) and animals figures (Zoomorphs). Evidence shows that the ancestral Puebloans had been in the area for about two-thousand years and the Paiutes had been around for about 800 years

To arrive at Cave Valley turn up the Kolob Reservoir road in Virgin, Utah. Drive roughly 1/2 hour up the road. You will enter Zion National Park (you can tell because the road is red) eventually you will stop ascending the mountain and it will level off in one of the most beautiful areas of the park. To find the cave art, park your car after the cattle guard, and simply walk towards Zion's red cliffs following the footprints in the sand. The cave is not hard to find, but isn't easy either. Once you arrive at the cliffs go towards the side facing across the valley. Like many things in this world, what is difficult and dangerous to find is often worth it and the views of Zion National Park and what


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