Friday, May 18, 2012

Taylor Creek Trail - Kolob Canyons, Zion National Park

Hi all, Dianne here.  On our second full day here in the Zion National Park area, we traveled northwest of the main canyon area, about a 40-minute drive, to Kolob Canyons.  As part of Zion National Park, we knew the "kids" would not be allowed on the trails, so our first stop was at Doggie Dude Ranch in Rockville, only 10 minutes from our camp site at Zion River Resort.   

We knew Bandido and Tequila needed some serious running-and-playing time, and this was just the place for them.  The goal was to get them just as tired out as we knew we would be after hiking the Taylor Creek Trail.  

Here's a shot from the office area facing down into the extensive play yard.  I would highly recommend this place for any pampered pooches out there who don't want to be shut inside an RV all day while their humans are inside the national park.  Our "kids" will be spending several days and nights here in the upcoming weeks, especially when our daughters and granddaughter are here visiting us, for we have some very long days planned.  

Here's a link if you'd like more information. 

Doggie Dude Ranch Web Site

 In a few more days, they said there would be photos of Bandido and Tequila playing on their Facebook page!

Doggie Dude Ranch Facebook Page 

On to the hike....

Taylor Creek Trail follows the middle Fork of crystal-clear Taylor Creek past two homestead cabins to Double Arch Alcove.  It is a 5+ mile, 4-hour hike that has a 450-foot elevation change.  

It is an out-and-back trail, which meant that the long stretches of steps we started down on would be long stretches of steps we would climb up on at the end of the trail.  Other than that, it really wasn't a steep trail, and had only minor rock scrambling here and there.

The scenery was jaw-dropping gorgeous most of the hike.

The vast majority of the hike was spent criss-crossing the small creek.

In fact, we forded this creek so many times that

we decided to count the number of crossings when we reached the end of the trail and headed back the way we came.  I'll let you guess for a while, and the tally will be disclosed in a bit.

We passed some interesting flora and fauna on the trail.  Here is a mom and her kids sunning on the side of a rock:

  Dad wasn't far away....

Here's another frog we saw blending in with the rocks.

Further along the trail we saw two beautiful butterflies; unfortunately the first one had met an untimely end and was laying on the trail.  (It might be a moth; I don't know my butterflies very well yet). That's why I was able to get such a close-up of his beautiful wing:

The next one was a butterfly for sure, and he stayed still long enough for me to photo his colorful wings:

Warning:  If Nancy R. is reading this episode of the blog, she needs to STOP NOW....

First, here's a shot of a crystal-clear waterfall we passed by:

Roger was the first to spot this 5-foot snake near the trail.  I decided to follow the snake to try to get his portrait...

He kept slithering away from me, under bushes and into the scrub.  Finally  I was able to make him stop and pose:

I think it is a striped whipsnake, but I don't know for sure.  

Roger here...  Dianne literally plunged into the scrub and through the bushes, camera poised, chasing this poor, frightened snake.  (I waited down the trail at a safe distance, thinking... Snakes! Why did it have to be snakes!)   I continually wonder why my dear wife who is petrified (to the point of phobia) of roaches, ladders, and large buttons (yes, those things that most of us have on our clothing), thinks nothing of stalking a snake.  A puzzlement!

We also saw some Indian Paintbrushes...

and the ever-present firecracker plants...

Also lots of bamboo shoots...

On the way we passed by two homestead cabins dating back to circa 1930.  They were pretty similar, so I'll show the outside of one and a shot through the window of the inside of the other:

Fife cabin exterior....

Larkin cabin interior...

After two hours, we finally reached the end of the trail at lovely Kolob Arch.  Here are some photos; note the tiny blue dot in the first photo -- 

that is Roger posing to illustrate the size of the alcove.  Here are some more shots of Double Arch Alcove:

This group of pine trees growing on a rock ledge was intriguing:

It was time to turn around and head back down the trail.  It wasn't long before we came to our first creek crossing...

I had a pen in my hiking belt, so I started making a mark on my arm (no paper) every time we forded the stream.  Tally to come....

First, here are just a couple more of my favorite photos:


Roger here....  DIANNE GETS A TATOO.  Those of you who know her would not believe this.  Well, it really is not a tatoo.  Ink on the outside of skin comes off.  Right?

Finally, here's a shot of my final creek-fording tally:
48 creek fordings each way = 96 total!  We started out very carefully choosing each rock we'd step on; by the end, we just plunged ahead! 

Once again, there are even more photos of this hike that I've uploaded to Photobucket.  If you'd like to see the entire hike, here's a link:

Taylor Creek Trail - All Photos

The pet photo of the day shows two of the staff at Doggie Dude Ranch bringing Bandido and Tequila  to us after their day of play.  They were so tired that Tequila could hardly hold her head up on the way home.  The girls said they had a wonderful time running, chasing, wrestling with several of their "regulars."  The dogs are already begging to go back!!

1 comment:

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Great post and pictures. I would definitely not be chasing the snake:)