Slot canyons in and around Zion National Park, formed by the Virgin River and its tributaries.
The Kolob Terrace
is a high forested area at the western edge of the Colorado Plateau into which the Virgin River
and many of its tributaries have carved a network of deep canyons, most of which fall within the boundary of Zion National Park
. These vary in character and include true slot canyons, steep V-sided ravines with narrow sections, and huge deep valleys like Zion Canyon, the central attraction of the park. In common with all the larger canyons this has year-round flowing water - the North Fork of the Virgin River in this case - which creates many beautiful pools, waterfalls and cascades but also makes exploration more difficult. The most famous narrows hike in the Southwest is along the upper part in Zion Canyon and is only passable for a few months each year due to flash flood danger.
From the Kolob region in the northwest to the far southeast entrance, there are dozens of deep, narrow canyons worth exploring in Zion - a topographical map of the park reveals a maze of densely-contoured branches and tributaries, and it is just as rewarding to select an unknown side canyon as one of the more well-known hikes. The narrower ravines tend to have sheer dryfalls and often require technical climbing with ropes - more so than the Lake Powell slot canyons further east.