Overview: Driving along the Kolob Terrace section of Zion National Park I am reminded, the vast majority of scenery, canyons and peaks reside... more »
Driving along the Kolob Terrace section of Zion National Park I am reminded, the vast majority of scenery, canyons and peaks reside... more » outside of the main Zion canyon. North and South Guardian Angels, The Subway, and others offer a more primitive recreation to those seeking a road less traveled.
Red Butte is located just outside of Zion National Park on BLM managed lands. Crossing over the cattle guard, the asphalt turns the typical gray, from the reddish color used in the park. Look to the left and the very prominent point of Red Butte can be seen. It is 12.5 miles from the Kolob Reservoir sign just outside of Virgin, UT to the dirt road leading to Red Butte. A high clearance vehicle and 4x4 wheel drive is recommended. A green gate marks the boundary of Red Butte Wilderness area and no motor vehicles of any kind are allowed.
GPS track can be downloaded from Other Resources under "Trip Report". less «
Backcountry Route! Safely hiking backcountry routes depend on your own good judgment, adequate preparation, and constant attention to ... more »your surroundings. Your safety is your responsibility.
Technical section! This route includes 3, 4 & 5th class sections. "Take the proper equipment, have the right skills and use sound judgment. Be prepared to take care of yourself and your group by resolving any problems that may arise. Rescue is not a certainty. If rescue is possible, it will take hours or days to remove an injured hiker from the backcountry". ** Zion National Park Backcountry Guide.
Challenging route finding required.
Equipment: 150' rope, harness, rappel device, 25' webbing, good shoes for slickrock scrambling.
Water: 2-3 liters, full sun,
Altitude: 6100 - 7400 feet.
Permit: NOT required. Outside of Zion National Park.
Take plenty of energy snacks!
Camera! less «
Heading toward Zion National park on Hwy-9, turn north on the Kolob Reservoir road, located on the east side of Virgin, Utah. Travel 12.5 miles, turn left onto a dirt road. The triangle shaped peak to the west is Red Butte. One gate exists that must be closed after passing through. High clearance vehicle and 4x4 wheel drive is recommended. ... More Follow the loose sandy road, making turns that keep you headed toward Red Butte. When you reach Lamareaux Tank, turn back left and drive toward the green gate which marks the trail head and entrance into Red Butte Wilderness Area.Less
Follow the well marked path toward a large Ponderosa Pine tree located next to a wash. At the tree head directly up hill following the edge of the wash until locating an animal trail through the scrub oak. Turn north and begin to bushwack your way through the scrub oak.
Located behind the Box Arch (north) is a wash that ascends up a chute to a saddle, this is the direction of travel. Located just below the saddle to the east is a dead log and a fantastic view of Zion National Park. The West Temple can easily be spotted from this vantage point. Directly west is a large Ponderosa Pine tree and marks the next... More obstacle.Less
Behind the large Ponderosa Pine tree is a small pine tree and a buttress approximately 8 feet high. It is possible to scramble to the right of the small tree, but I found it easy to toss a 25' foot piece of webbing around the small pine and pendulum swing over to the obvious weakness located on the left. This allows for easy access around the... More obstacle. Begin the 3rd class scramble up the loose sand and rock to the next saddle.Less
Reaching the saddle, take the time to shed your pack, grab your camera and walk around on the various buttress to gaze at the panorama before your eyes. Breathtaking views exist at all points on the compass. Turn north again and follow the ridge to the next saddle. This saddle is rising from the opposite direction and the ridge line connects... More the two.Less
Reaching the second saddle is easy along the ridge line and there appears to be a faint trail leading to the next ridge line. Avoid the temptation to scramble to the top! Although the views are great it is a dead end! Travel north and escape by rappelling down a large dead Ponderosa pine tree. Back at the saddle turn left and head down the... More chute to a large pine tree at the end of a cliff band. There should be a carin to mark the direction of travel. Scramble around the pine tree and onto the ridge line of the cliffs.Less
Travel along the cliff band ridge line approx 50 feet. Watching the west side for a weakness consisting of a ledge system and large pine tree growing from the wash next to the cliff band. There should be a carin to mark the path. Scramble along the ledge until you can step onto the pine needle covered ground (caution slippery) continue to head ... Morewest, skirting the wash and heading for a slickrock chute two cliff bands to the west. You want to be on the west side of the cliff band that ends at a box top. Again a pine tree marks the end of the chute. Note: you will be climbing up the chute not the cliff band ridge line this time.Less
The slickrock chute is steep and seems like the wrong direction, but use the abundant ledge system and weakness to make your ascent. About 80' feet up the slickrock chute is a difficult step (class 4). On the right is weakness and small but firm steps to climb up and over. A bush can help with balance. At the top is a large bush with webbing... More attached to allow for a rappel assisted decent. Turn left and proceed up the small embankment to the dead "hanging tree", on top of yet another cliff band.Less
From the hanging tree, continue north by dropping into the chute. The final saddle is reached in about 50' feet of 3rd class scramble around more slickrock and sand. This saddle is punctuated with a large rock in the middle of the band. At this juncture, the chute drops abruptly down a steep boulder strewn wash. The cliff band to your right ... More(facing north) contains Red Window Arch (out of sight). Drop down the north side of the wash about 10' and work to your left. The chimney becomes obvious and the 5th class part of the ascent begins.Less
The chimney is a beautiful 5th class climb with ample hand holds and good feet positions. Protection is a little tricky, but the climb itself is straight forward and very enjoyable. Once through the chimney, look to the left at the beautiful mini-arch before proceeding higher to the belay point and bolt.
Carry your stone the last few steps and move the large flat stone to find the registration bottle with paper and pen. The views are spectacular in every direction. North is the vertical red cliffs of Kolob. Looking down and to the right is the only view of Red Window Arch I could find. East is the easily identifiable peaks of West Temple and the... More rest of Zion National Park. South is the impressive Smiths mesa and West is the Pine Valley mountain range.Less