“Camp out among the grass and gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of Nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but Nature’s sources never fail. Like a generous host, she offers here brimming cups in endless variety, served in a grand hall, the sky its ceiling, the mountains its walls, decorated with glorious paintings and enlivened with bands of music ever playing.” — John Muir
Kolob Gate Gardens is the garden gateway to Sunset Canyon and Zion’s Kolob Terraces, one of the most varied and dramatic landscapes in America. It is evolving to be an arts garden with galleries, a gourmet cafe, and upscale camping, both with luxury tents and private gardens for campers. The arts garden will include an alleé as the garden core scaled for al fresco dining, a garden court for events with a stage, and an orchard that will double as a sculpture display grove. A bridge will marry the cliffs to the creek by incorporating water features into a terraced setting. Cabins and a spa house will complete the scene. In keeping with the spirit and majesty of the landscape, the plans are focused on blending art, nature, and thoughtful design to offer visitors a distinctive experience to enjoy and celebrate this special place.
The design for Kolob Gate Gardens is inspired by the hexagonal designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s most famous architect and known for the Fallingwater House, and principally his 1935 Hanna Honeycomb House in Palo Alto. I’ve picked the honeycomb mainly because of its pleasing sculptural shape that best mimics the cliffs of Sunset Canyon. It also fits in with the Mormon’s heritage, with Utah being the beehive state. The stonework of the gardens is inspired to match the rainbow striped cliffs, creating an innovative visual synthesis that makes this garden one of the most stunning and unique garden settings in the world. The design of the structures is reflective of the very open, flowing spaces of the Hanna Honeycomb House, which also slowly descends its sloping site. All the buildings are meant to be as invisible, or transparent as possible. I want as little separation from the surrounding canyons as possible. In keeping with Frank Lloyd Wright’s philosophy of organic architecture, the entire assemblage is not just IN the canyon but OF the canyon.
Kolob (KO lob) is a Mormon name of a planet that Mormons believe is closest to God in the heavens and means “nigh to the throne of God.”
This is an apt description for the Kolob Terraces and the Kolob Canyons. The art promoted in this garden will be reflective of the beauty and spirituality found in the surrounding canyons, being about midway between Zion’s East Entrance and the Kolob Canyons.
Both its natural beauty and design features will reflect the spirituality that abounds here. That is why the motto for Kolob Gate Gardens is: “Showcasing the art of nature nigh to the masterpiece of Zion.”