In The Desert
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There is a section of rolling hills like this. To the east you'll be able to see the Western edge of Zion. This area next to the road is famous for Indian caves with petroglyphs. You have to ask permission to enter as this is private land. This is the way to get to Kolob Reservoir from the south. See below.
Going farther up into the mountains you'll enter Zion National Park's Western boundry. No fee required here. But the scenery is outstanding here in the desert. As far as day trips go this one is more scenic than most.
Here we are at Kolob Reservoir. The elevation at the lake is 8,118 ft. This will remind you of an alpine lake, with a lot of big conifers, and all the wildlife that goes with it. Also a great place to fish for Cuthroat Trout! This is just a short drive up from the desert.
A common site here are these birds of prey that are fishing in the reservoir. Also next to the reservoir you may run into a few Turkey Vultures. Keeping the high desert clean. These birds are big!
Off the main road to Kolob Reservoir to the east are some less traveled roads (dirt, gravel) that you can explore. One goes back to a neat overlook and a antenna on cliff. But on the trip into this area keep an eye out for wildlife - like this squirrel we spotted on the way in.
Here's a view from the overlook. This is looking toward Zion National Park, way off in the distance. There are many canyons to be explored here by the avid hiker.
Depending on the time of the year you visit Kolob Reservoir, Utah; you may see the cactus blooming like we did. All along the road on the way back we stopped and photographed dozens of them. Even though it's at a higher elevation you'd think you were in the desert at really low elevations. Very healthy looking specimans too. And all this is only about one and half hours drive from St. George, Utah.
On the way up Kolob Road you'll see a lot of great scenery in the desert and go through a short section of the Zion National Park. The road up to the reservoir is a nice paved road out of Virgin, Utah.
This is an inter-active Maps.google Street Map. You can zoom in / out and change the formats to Satellite or Terrain; drag the map to scroll. Try it! Shown here -- Kolob Reservior and the Town of Virgin.
Cedar City, Utah
Even the scenery to the west looking out of Zion Nat. Park is spectacular. Red sandstone mountains and green lush valley's.
Here is a couple different views of the reservoir. The trout fishing here is great and you can camp and just wonder around. There's a lot of wildlife to be found here also.
There is a lot of ranches that herd their cattle and sheep (as shown here) up onto the mountains in the spring and keep them there till the fall.
The road up over the mountains is all pretty much as seen here. In some places it's a little worst but on average it's a nice 2 wheel drive road. They do close this road in the winter, and it gets a lot of snow and is not maintained.
Instead of doubling back to Virgin, Utah, you might want to keep going to the north over the mountains and end up on top of Cedar Mountain and just above Cedar City, Utah. This is a really nice trip, but this road is closed in the winter.
There are a few places with some weird rock formations sticking up out of the sides of the mountains, as seen here. Thee were quite a few more than what we're showing here.
We're not sure if this was an old homestead or a few ranch cabins for the herders. It sure looked neat to see them here on top of one of the mountains.
When you get to Cedar Mountain you'll be in the Aspen trees and at this spot you're just about to the overlook where you can see all of Cedar City and the valley where it rests.
As you can tell here there is quite a few different rock formations on top of these mountains. And an awful lot of side roads too. If only we had to time to visit them all.
No matter which way you approach Kolob reservoir you'll enjoy the trip. Both ways have some different scenery. Or you could just start at one end, Say Cedar City and go through to Virgin, Utah. Nice drive.
This trip was updated on 02 / 20 / 13
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