Beartrap Canyon Wilderness
Guide

Introduction

Even though it’s a small wilderness, Beartrap Canyon Wilderness sits within an area that offers guests good opportunities to enjoy primitive recreation, nature viewing, sightseeing adventures, and refreshing solitude. This Bureau of Land Management area lies east of Kolob Arch, just east of Zion National Park, in an area that can only be accessed via a trail from the national park. As a result, you may not be able to get to the wilderness boundary in your vehicle.

In spite of the primitive nature of this wilderness area, you can enjoy a host of recreational activities such as hiking and backpacking along designated and undesignated trails; exploration of the Beartrap Canyon Wild and Scenic River; nature study and observation; and wildflower viewing. If your interest is wildlife watching, you’ll sight mountain lions, black bears and other fauna here. A visit to the Kolob Reservoir offers anglers the chance to go after some species of cutthroat. There are even more things to do like canyoneering, rock climbing, bicycling, and horseback riding at the nearby Zion National Park.

Primitive and developed camping options are provided in campsites within Zion National Park.

RV Rentals in Beartrap Canyon Wilderness

Transportation

Driving

Beartrap Canyon Wilderness is located east of Kolob Arch, two miles from Kolob Reservoir, Hurricane, Utah. This Bureau of Land Management wilderness can be accessed via the public only via LaVertin Creek Trail from Lees Pass in Kolob Fingers, Zion National Park. All the other three sides of the BLM property are bordered by private lands, so they are not readily accessible by the guests and visitors who wish to explore the wilderness.

Lees Pass to Kolob Arch is a total distance of seven miles, so gear up for the trip. You may not be able to access this area in your vehicle, so come along with your best hiking boots or your horse so you can make your way to the wilderness from here. Within the wilderness itself, the use of motorized vehicles and other mechanical equipment is not allowed. Wheelchairs are, however, allowed within the wilderness area.

Parking

There are no parking spaces around this BLM wilderness, so make use of the designated parking lots provided in Zion National Park. You’ll find plenty of parking spots for your vehicle, regardless of its type.

Public Transportation

No direct public transportation services are provided to Beartrap Canyon Wilderness. However, travel and camping equipment are available at Hurricane and Zion National Park.

Campgrounds and parking in Beartrap Canyon Wilderness

Campsites in Beartrap Canyon Wilderness

Reservations camping

Lava Point Campground

Lava Point Campground is a primitive campground located off Kolob Terrace Road, southeast of Beartrap Canyon Wilderness. This campground is open from May to September, weather permitting. You are welcome to bring your pets to the campground for your vacation. Just ensure you keep them on a leash and clean up after them.

Six campgrounds are available in this campground, all of which are available by reservations. Amenities provided here include trash cans and pit toilets.

Tents and RVs are accommodated here, but ensure your vehicle not longer than 19 feet.

Seasonal activities in Beartrap Canyon Wilderness

In-Season

Hiking

Hiking is a good exercise in the Beartrap Canyon Wilderness area. This is because the canyons of Kolob are particularly pristine and primitive, and also great to explore. If you choose to stroll through this area, you’ll get the opportunity to enjoy solitude and tranquility in a true and scenic desert setting. Timber Creek Overlook Trail is a popular hiking trail here used by individual and groups of less than 12 persons.

Hiking through Zion National Park will take you along more than 20 trails that pass through canyon streams, cascading falls, and Navajo sandstones.

Beartrap Canyon Wild and Scenic River

Beartrap Canyon Stream is a designated Wild and Scenic River that’s spectacular and offers good recreation opportunities for guests. This stream begins on private property south of the wilderness, and runs all the way to the western areas of the BLM property, flowing into Zion National Park.

Some unique features of the stream include its deep incision, high elevation canyon, vertical sandstone walls, and beautiful mixed conifer forest and vegetation. You’ll definitely appreciate why it’s a wild and scenic river.

Flora and Fauna

In this BLM area, you’ll find good stands of ponderosa pine, Utah juniper, and pinyon pine within a region dominated by a mix of sagebrush and chaparral. These flora communities are supported by the creeks that flow through the Beartrap Canyon from Kolob Terrace.

Around the Kolob Canyons, you’ll find wildlife such as mountain lions, black bears, and ringtailed cat, all wandering around. Birds such as eagles, hawks, falcons, and Mexican spotted owls are also popularly sighted by avid birdwatchers.

Off-Season

Geology

Beartrap Canyon Wilderness features geological elements that offer both interesting sights and fantastic learning opportunities for nature lovers. The cliffs in the area date to the Jurassic era and rise up to 2,000 feet above the creek bed.

The rock type on these cliffs is Navajo sandstone, which serves as an aquifer from which springs flow. Slots within the canyon were created from millions of years of undercutting and erosive action, forming the beautiful landscape that you’ll definitely want to see here.

Kolob Canyons

You definitely have to check out the Kolob Canyons when you visit Beartrap Canyon Wilderness to see for yourself the beauty and scenery that lies within this wonder of nature. The section of this canyon located in Zion National Park is accessible via maintained roads and you’ll get to enjoy a five-mile scenic drive that will take you through various scenic viewpoints and crimson canyons.

Note that you’ll need to first stop at the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center where you will get a pass and permits if you want to explore the backcountry sections of the canyon.

Kolob Reservoir

Kolob Reservoir lies within the intersection of the chiseled red sandstone and the mountain peaks of the Pine Valley Mountains. This small reservoir is surrounded by evergreen and aspen trees and offers very good opportunities to relax and fish. This reservoir offers a very good angling experience to visitors who fancy the sport. This reservoir has gained a blue ribbon status and is popular for its Colorado River cutthroat, Bear River cutthroat, and rainbow trout fish species.

You may choose to fish from the shore of the reservoir, on boats, or in float tubes. Utah fishing regulations are in effect.

Find the perfect campsite.