Hiking Northgate Peaks Trail On Kolob Terrace in Zion National Park
Want to get off the beaten path and visit areas of Zion National Park less traveled? This is how you do it! Northgate Peaks Trail is located in the stunning Kolob Terrace section of Zion National Park.
The trail takes you along a flat ponderosa pine forest for 2 miles and then rewards you with stunning views of Zion peaks and backcountry canyons. Located at almost 7,000 feet in the protected Zion Wilderness Area, this secluded trail is a refreshing break from the high summer temperatures found in most of the park.
The trail can be a little confusing so pay attention to the signs and look at the map of the trail at the trailhead before you start hiking.
This is the area of Zion that most people don’t see. It’s so worth it to get off the beaten path and explore all that Zion has to offer.
Northgate Peaks Trail starts at Wildcat Canyon Trailhead a little more than 15 miles up Kolob Terrace Road. (This is also the starting point for Wildcat Canyon Trail and The Subway top-down route.) The trailhead is a 40-minute drive from Hurricane, a 40-minute drive from Springdale, and a 75-minute drive from Cedar City.
This is a flat and easy trail with only about 100 feet of elevation gain. While not extremely strenuous, hikers should be prepared for slight elevation changes and uneven footing. As with any hike, it's a good idea to wear appropriate footwear, carry enough water, and be aware of weather conditions.
Northgate Peaks Trail is a 4.5 mile round trip- out and back hike. Average hike time is 1.5-2.5 hours.
Best Time To Hike Northgate Peaks Trail
Northgate Peaks Trail is best hiked in the spring, summer, and fall. August is one of the most beautiful times to hike on Kolob Terrace due to the many wildflowers in bloom along the trail.
Another great reason to take this hike during the summer months is because it is at a higher elevation (almost 7,000 feet) so it is a little cooler than many of the more popular Zion hikes. Please note that the trail is not accessible in the winter months from November - April because of snow.
The Northgate Peaks Trail is a beautiful hiking trail located in the almost 200- square mile protected Zion Wilderness Area of Zion National Park. This designated wilderness area, of which Kolob Terrace is a part, encompasses a diverse range of landscapes, including canyons, mesas, arches, and unique rock formations. This trail is perfect for people who enjoy exploring nature, want to see some amazing views, and are looking for an off the beaten path Zion experience.
When you start hiking the Northgate Peaks Trail, you'll find yourself surrounded by tall ponderosa pines, stunning wildflower filled meadows, and interesting rock formations. The trail is about 4.5 miles (7.2 kilometers) round-trip, so it's a good idea to wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring some water to stay hydrated.
After setting off at the trailhead, you will hike east approximately 1.2 miles along the Wildcat Canyon Trail. After passing the intersection with Connector Trail, you will turn right onto Northgate Peaks Trail. Hike along the trail for another mile and you’ll find yourself right between Northgate Peak West and Northgate Peak East. These are massive rock formations that sort of look like big towers made out of stone.
They're really impressive and provide an epic backdrop for photos. When you get to the peaks, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. After spending some time taking in the views and enjoying the peacefulness of the mountains, you can start making your way back down the trail to the starting point.
Overall, the Northgate Peaks Trail is a moderate-level hike that offers a great mix of nature, exercise, and stunning views. It's a chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the beauty of the outdoors. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just someone who loves to explore, this trail has something special to offer.
Always be respectful of the land. Leave no trace and pack in + out anything you bring with you. Leave nothing behind.
Good To Know
While there are pit toilets at the trailhead, there isn’t any water, so be sure to bring all the water you need for this hike with you.
No dogs are permitted on the trail. Please plan to leave your 4-legged friends at home.
There are no service stations along Kolob Terrace Road, so make sure you have plenty of fuel and a spare tire. Cell service is also spotty.
All guests are required to show your Park Pass or pay the Zion National Park entrance fee.
List Of Things To Bring With You
HIKING SHOES OR HIKING SANDALS - Hiking shoes or hiking sandals are a great option for this hike. Click here for my favorite hiking sandals on the planet.....I'm a Teva's girl!
HIKING CLOTHES - Wear comfortable, light and breathable clothes if visiting in the summer. If visiting in the spring/fall, bring a light jacket. Chances are it will warm up mid-day.
SUNSCREEN - Always take sunscreen with your wherever you go in the desert
HAT & SUNGLASSES - The sun is intense. Having a hat and sunglasses is a must.
SNACKS, AND LOTS OF WATER - Always hike with snacks and plenty of water
HIKING DAY PACK - You will want a small backpack to carry snacks, water, camera & phone.
Best Places To Stay When Visiting Kolob Terrace
I recommend staying a few days in the Hurricane Valley to explore all the different sections of Zion. There is so much to see and do.
The Hurricane Valley is located 30 minutes from the west entrance of Zion National park, 2 hours from Bryce Canyon, 2 hours from the north entrance of the Grand Canyon, and 40 minutes from Northgate Peaks Trail.
Top Lodging Recommendations Near Northgate Peaks Trail
So, you’re sold on an off the beaten path hike and you want to take that a step farther with a fun and unique lodging experience? We’ve compiled our favorite places to stay close to Northgate Peaks Trail.
Located only 20 minutes from the trailhead, Zion Under Canvas offers a unique glamping experience, providing luxury tents with modern amenities set against the backdrop of breathtaking red rock landscapes. It combines the adventure of camping with the comfort of upscale accommodations.
Zion Wildflower Resort is a charming retreat located only 30 minutes from Wildcat Canyon Trailhead. This brand-new glamping destination provides guests with many different types of cozy accommodations in a fun and relaxing setting.
Just 35 minutes from Northgate Peaks Trail sits The Dwellings, a modern tiny home property on the rim of the Virgin River, overlooking a beautiful 344-acre park below. The setting is incredible, with views of the emerald-colored river against the backdrop of lava rock cliffs and panoramic views of Pine Valley Mountain.
17 Hikes + Things To Do Close To Northgate Peaks Trail
2 - Hike Timber Creek Overlook Trail
6 - Hike Lambs Knoll
10 - Hike Watchman Trail
11 - E-bike The Canyon
13 - Hike Ashdown Gorge
15 - Canoe Navajo Lake
17. Hike The Subway
NorthGate Peaks trail is a Zion hike that will let you enjoy some solitude while getting out and into some areas that most people visiting Zion don't see, so get out and enjoy!