Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Zion NP~~Hop Valley, Wildcat


This is a less traveled trail in Zion NP, more suitable to horse back riding than hiking. We have hiked from Lee's Pass Trailhead to Hop Valley Trailhead in one day. (We didn't know any better.)  We christened Hop Valley as "Sucky Sand Valley."   A good portion of it is privately owned acreage surrounded by National Park.  Thus, there are usually cattle in this area and 2 cattle gates/fences must be traversed.  Thus, the other name of "Plop Valley".
 Just before connecting with LaVerkin Creek, there is a designated horse campground for "horse packing".  It must be reserved and a fee paid before hand.  Day rides do not require fees or permits. I believe a park fee receipt or park pass must be displayed on the parked vehicle at the trailheads on the Kolob Terrace access road.  
There is a contact number on this website to contact for information on how this is to be handled.



In talking to those who have ridden this trail, they recommend parking at the Hop Valley Trailhead.  This is on the Kolob Terrace Road, which goes north out of Virgin, Utah.   (I 15 S, Exit 27, head East follow 9 and turn left at the 9 sign toward Zion. Go through Virgin and at turn off for Kolob Reservoir.  Go 12 miles (past 5 cattle guards) and turn left at Hop. If parking full, go on up 1/4 mile (approx) to big turn out and ride back to get to Hop Trailhead or ride Wildcat trail.)


Jon Tanner states: "Parking is tight. Room for maybe 3 or 4 rigs if everybody parks just right. It's just a tight loop that turns off the hiway. Bumper pull 3H or 4 H trailer make the loop very easy, My large 4H Gooseneck was tight. The paved road up the Kolob Terrace is windy and twisty, But my truck and trailer handled it just fine."



This is a link to "Joe's Guide to Zion NP" with some good information on this trail:

Here is another link to a good website on both Hop Valley and Kolob Arch:

(Click on any photo for an enlarged image.)

Photo courtesy Janet Carver


Here is a link to a video showing climbing out of LaVerkin Creek back to the Hop Valley Trail.


Aerial shot of the parking area




Photo courtesy of Jon Tanner
Photo courtesy of Janet Carver

Photo courtesy of Janet Carver

Photo courtesy of Janet Carver

Photo courtesy of Janet Carver

Photo courtesy of Janet Carver


Photo courtesy of Jon Tanner

Photo courtesy of Jon Tanner

Photo courtesy of Jon Tanner

Photo courtesy of Jon Tanner

Photo courtesy of Jon Tanner

Photo courtesy of Jon Tanner

Photo courtesy of Jon Tanner

Photo courtesy of Jon Tanner

Photo courtesy of Jon Tanner

Photo courtesy of Jon Tanner

Wild Cat Canyon Trail~~This is accessed from the same Kolob Terrace Road, but the trailhead is further up.  I have not personally ridden this trail, so I don't have trail conditions. Here are some links to more information and photos on this trail.

http://www.protrails.com/trail/299/zion-national-park-wildcat-canyon-trail

http://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/wildcat-canyon-northgate-peaks-trails.htm

http://www.citrusmilo.com/zionguide/wildcattrail.cfm



Showing Trailhead Parking

GPS track map courtesy of Janet Carver
Map courtesy of Joe's Guide to Zion NP
Photo courtesy of Janet Carver

Photo courtesy of Janet Carver

Photo courtesy of Janet Carver

Photo courtesy of Janet Carver

Photo courtesy of Janet Carver

Photo courtesy of Janet Carver

Photo courtesy of Janet Carver


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