Wildcat Canyon to Northgate Peaks Lookout
May 24th, 2020
Length: 4.2 miles
Route Type: Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 249 ft
Dog Friendly: Yes
Restrooms at trailhead: Yes
We hiked this on our last full day in Zion. If you haven’t been to Zion, but plan to go just know it is a very busy park. All of the popular trails are inside of Zion Canyon. Such as The Narrows and Angels Landing. With the pandemic it has made it even more complicated to get to these trails because the shuttle isn’t running. In order to get into Zion Canyon you have to get there extremely early (6am). We did this for one of the days, but on our last day we decided we wanted to avoid the crowds. We debated on what to do. There isn’t a lot of trails to do outside of Zion Canyon. We already had hiked one of those trails on our first day in Zion. When I was researching Zion I did found some hard hikes to do outside of Zion Canyon, but some of them involved ropes and we aren’t there yet with our hiking skills.
Wildcat Canyon to North Gate Peaks Lookout isn’t actually inside the gates of Zion National Park. It is up Kolob Terrance Road. This is a less known area of Zion, but is still technically Zion National Park. There are no gates when you enter, so you don’t pay to enter this part of the park. This area completely different than Zion Canyon. It almost felt like we were in Flagstaff, AZ. From this point you are above Zion Canyon. So it is very green and has pine trees. We arrived at the trailhead at about 9:00am. There were a few cars there, but there isn’t wasn’t busy. When we were done hiking the parking lot was completely full and cars were parking on the sides. My suggestion is to always start hiking as early as possible!
This hike is very easy. There is barely any elevation gain so it is a very flat hike. As soon as we started the hike there were two deer on the trail. For some reason we were afraid of them. We waited until they ran away until we continued on the trail. This trail was a nice change of pace compared to Zion. They are both beautiful places, but completely different places. This trail is very well marked and there are signs along the way. You will even come across the sign for The Subway. Which we want to eventually come back and hike! Eventually you will be able to tell you are close to the viewpoint because you can start to see rock formations. You will first come across The North Guardian Angel, which will be very close to where you are. But if you look out from the viewpoint you will also be able to see The South Guardian Angel. This view is spectacular. You are way above Zion Canyon so you have a completely different view of what it looks like. I definitely recommend this trail if you want to avoid the crowds in Zion Canyon and want a nice easy hike. There are longer versions of this hike as well. You could actually take this trail all the way along The West Rim Trail and end up by Scouts Lookout. If you want something harder there are definitely many options! You can even hike down into the Guardian Angel’s. After we hiked this trail we researched a little more and found you can hike up onto The South Guardian Angel. It just requires a lot more skill and climbing.
Happy hiking! And as always pack it in and back it out!