You probably have heard about Zion, but have you heard about Kolob? 

Kolob Reservoir and Kolob Terrace area is about an hour away from Zion National Park and doesn’t get as many visitors as its beauty deserves, which is probably a good thing as you get a chance to explore wilderness and enjoy amazing view all by yourself. If you’re looking to find a a spot away from the crowds at Zion, this is the spot for you.

Getting There

Bryce to Zion National Park
On the way to Kolob Terrace

There are two options to explore this area.

First one is a drive to Kolob Canyons area through UT-15, which is a 40 mile drive to the Visitor center. We opted out for route number two through Kolob Terrace Road, which starts 15 miles out from Zion Visitor center at Virgin, UT and then runs for about 25 miles through spectacular landscapes.

Drive to Kolob Reservoir from Zion
Drive to Kolob Reservoir from Zion

We drove through beautiful fields, canyons, peaks, rock formations, forests, overlooks, remote ranches and ran into almost no cars. There are plenty of turnouts to pull over and take amazing photos (ever wanted to take that perfect empty road picture? this is the drive for that!).

Or you can opt for some active pastime and go for one of the not crowded trails along the drive – Right and Left Forks, Wildcat Canyon. We also saw a few cyclists and a couple of RV’s and campervans boondocking along the way.

Kolob Terrace, Zion National Park
Who wouldn’t want to drive on this road?
Kolob Terrace, Zion National Park
The color of the landscape is extra ordinary this time of the year (July-Aug)
Kolob Terrace, Zion National Park
Zion Canyon as seen from the east side
Kolob Terrace, Zion National Park
Zion Canyon can be seen far in the background here
Kolob Terrace, Zion National Park
Another aerial view of Kolob Terrace

The Crown Jewel

The bonus point at the end of the drive is Kolob Reservoir. It is a beautiful remote lake with some space for camping and picnicking. Perfect place to spend a few hours away from it all, maybe go for a short walk around the lake or rent kayaks (more details about kayak rentals are available at the general store near the reservoir). It does require a few miles drive on the unpaved road to get to the lake, but no 4×4 required.

Kolob Reservoir
Aerial view of Kolob Reservoir
Kolob Terrace, Zion National Park
Kolob Terrace, Zion National Park

Note that the lake is at over 8,000 ft elevation, so it does get colder there (which is a good change from scorching hot Zion in summer). Overall, if you want fantastic views and prefer not to run into crowds of tourists, Kolob Terrace Road is a good half a day to a day option when visiting Zion.

Kolob Reservoir, Zion National Park
Picnicking at Kolob Reservoir
Kolob Reservoir, Zion National Park
Kolob Reservoir, Zion National Park
Kolob Reservoir, Zion National Park
Farm houses and a rainbow on the way!
Kolob Reservoir, Zion National Park

If you have already been to Zion or Kolob Reservoir, let us know in comments what was your experience like, we would love to hear from you! If you haven’t been to Zion but are planning to, check out our list of top things to do in Zion National Park

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