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Phillip Rhoades in Kolob Canyon

Kolob Canyon
With both the MIA and Narrows Exits

Zion National Park
Technical Canyoneering

          Kolob Canyon is a unique and picturesque technical slot canyon, which gained a lethal reputation in 1993 after a local scout troop was trapped in the canyon and two of their leaders were killed. This reputation has raised Kolob to mystic proportions in the canyoneering community and placed a black mark on the canyon where the National Park Service concerned.

          It has now been many years since the Kolob Canyon Disaster but the canyon is still strewn with the scout troops technical, personal and camping gear. Please use caution in this canyon and use the scout troops unfortunate experience to your benefit.

          Kolob Canyon is a radiant and exciting slot canyon and certainly worth the effort to visit. As with all technical canyons it must be respected.

Circle of Friends:
          Kolob Canyon is part of the "Circle of Friends" program. Members of the "Circle of Friends" have access to more specific information, explicit route information, GPS waypoints, trailhead location and detailed maps.  If you would like more information on joining the "Circle of Friends" visit the sign up page.

"Circle of Friends"

Bucky just noticed we were hiking through snow on the approach. It's going to be cold. Charlie Oliver swimming through ice water

General Information:
Kolob Canyon is a technical canyoneering adventure which will require a long day to complete using the MIA Exit. The MIA Exit turns this canyon into a loop adventure and a car shuttle is not required. You will need complete technical gear. Kolob Canyon with the MIA Exit is rated 3B R IV using the Canyon Rating System.

          Kolob Canyon requires lot's of swimming through very cold water. Full wet suits are required and drysuits are recommended. Kolob Canyon is unique in that an irrigation dam above the canyon controls the stream flow into Kolob Canyon. Washington County Water Conservancy District controls the release of water that flows through Kolob Creek and into the Virgin River. They release a dribble of water most of the summer, when the canyon would otherwise be dry.  The potholes and plunge pools are always full of clean, clear and very cold water. If you intend to canyoneer Kolob Canyon you must check the water flow and obtain a Zion backcountry permit. The Washington County Water Conservancy District controls Kolob Creek. Any flow above 3cfs is dangerous. Zion National Park will not issue a backcountry permit when flow is above 5cfs. You can call 435-673-3617 beforehand to verify the release schedule. If you reach the stream and more than a trickle of water is flowing turn around immediately. Kolob Canyon is deadly with high stream flows.

          Kolob Canyon has a moderate flash flood danger because of the already mentioned dam above the slot, check the weather report at the Visitor Center when you pick up your permit.

Peek-a-boo, I see you What a great canyon

Trailhead Information:
The trailhead for Kolob Canyon is located near the town of Virgin, Utah. It's worthy to note that Virgin is 100 miles south of Beaver....hehehe. Any vehicle can easily reach the trailhead in dry conditions. A very pleasant campground is located near the trailhead.

Hank Moon doing the dog paddle Outstanding 400' waterfall. No you don't get to rappel down it, you just walk under it.

Optional Narrows Route Information:
          The Traditional route for Kolob Canyon is to spend two days and hike out the Zion Narrows to the Temple of Sinawava. A shuttle vehicle is required to complete this optional route. Kolob Canyon with the Temple of Sinawava Exit is rated 3B R V using the Canyon Rating System.

          This short canyoneering video of Kolob Canyon was taken in September of 2011 and is compliments of Nick Como.


Related Link:
          Kolob Canyon Disaster - The complete story of the local boy scout trooped trapped in Kolob Canyon during high water.

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