The Right Fork
Description: A long day hike that takes you up the canyon of The Right Fork stream to Barrier Falls.
Length: 5.9 Miles
Difficulty: Somewhat Strenuous
Highest Elevation: 5,090 Feet Above Sea Level
Hazards: Possible Flash Flooding
Recommended: Bring a staff for walking in the stream.
Jursidiction: Zion National Park
The trailhead for The Right Fork is found by following these directions:
From the small Utah town of Virgin, drive up Kolob Terrace Road 6.5 Miles to get to The Zion National Park boundary.
0.4 Miles past the Zion National Park Boundary, a small parking area may be found, which is the trailhead of The Right Fork.
The Right Fork hike is a lesser used trail that takes you into Zion’s backcountry, with steep cliffs, buttes, and canyons all around. Towards the end of this hike are some beautiful waterfalls.
Beginning at the trailhead, you will head down a well-worn path to a rim of lava rock that forms a cliff, and follow a steep, rather slippery path downwards to the floor of the canyon. At the bottom, you will follow up North Creek until you arrive at the place where the two streams, The Left Fork and The Right Fork, meet. You will see just ahead of you The South Guardian Angel and you will follow The Right Fork upstream, passing low sandstone walls.
At the end of this small canyon you will be presented with a wide valley containing large buttes on either side. Trail Canyon, a dry wash trail, enters this valley near the middle and just above the area where the dry wash meets Right Fork, there are some old corrals.
Once the valley narrows again, you will find a canyon that enters from your left. Follow this canyon in the stream upward until you again meet a confluence where two similarly-sized streams converge. Follow the stream to your left between two walls that almost form a ceiling above you and wade through a deep pool to continue upstream.
Once you get above this area, you will find many miniature waterfalls with high walls of sandstone on either side of you. From here you will have an easy walk all the way to a double waterfall that is sometimes referred to as Twin Falls. You will be able to walk behind the waterfall at this point, since there is a rather large overhang that makes for a beautiful place to see the waterfall from behind it. After this, however, you will need to do some scrambling over brush and steep slopes and fallen rocks and many small waterfalls and boulders until you reach Barrier Falls. You will know Barrier Falls by its natural amphitheater which lies betwixt two large cliffs. Without a high level of experience and plenty of good climbing gear, you will not be able to proceed beyond Barrier Falls.