This trail leads hikers northeastward through Pine Valley, across Wildcat Canyon to the West Rim Trail. The track crosses several drainages along the route although none are reliable water sources. (Check with rangers about current water conditions before hiking.) The western portions of this trail lead through forest then the terrain opens to slickrock canyons with panoramic views of the Left Fork North Creek drainage.
This description follows the Wildcat Canyon Trail from west to east, although it can be used to reach Hop Valley from the West Rim Trail. Begin this hike from a trailhead on Kolob Terrace Road sixteen miles from the community of Virgin. The elevation of the trailhead is 7,010 feet. From this point the track leads eastward, descending into Pine Valley. One mile from the trailhead the Connector Trail meets the Wildcat Canyon Trail. Approximately one quarter mile east of the Connector Trail, Northgate Peaks Trail forks to the right.
Beyond Northgate Trail Wildcat Canyon Trail parallels a tributary of Little Creek for a half mile before beginning a short climb into Russell Gulch. The tread climbs 150 feet after leaving the Little Creek tributary then contours the western wall of Russell Gulch for a half mile. The track then follows Russell Gulch to its head before ascending out of the drainage.
The track crosses a bench between Russell and Wildcat Canyons before descending 120 feet into the latter. The track contours the western wall of the drainage, passing a spring before descending to Blue Creek. The Wildcat Canyon Trail then crosses Blue Creek then ascends a ridge and drops into the next drainage. Paralleling this waterway for three-quarters of a mile the track then crosses it to meet the West Rim Trail. At this junction turn right to follow Horse Pasture Plateau into Zion Canyon. Turn left to reach the Lava Point Campground.
Directions: From Virgin, Drive northward on Kolob Terrace Road, toward Kolob Reservoir, approximately 16 miles. Look for a trailhead on the right side of the road immediately west of Pocket Mesa. Follow the Wildcat Canyon Trail 1.5 miles eastward to Northgate Peaks Trail.
Elevation: 7,010 feet
Ending Elevation: 7,460 feet
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Zion National Park, Utah
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