The Hop Valley Trail is a 6.5-mile stretch of trail that connects the Hop Valley Trailhead (in the Kolob Terrace section of the park) with the La Verkin Creek Trail (in the Kolob Canyons section) and is part of the "Trans-Zion Hike" that allows backpackers to hike from the Kolob section all the way down to the main canyon. While the scenery in Hop Valley is actually quite sublime, this section of park is part of a private inset of land where cattle still graze freely. Numerous stream crossings and the omnipresent cow droppings probably make the "Plop Valley Trail" less than appealing to the general public--but great for birding! The habitat here varies as you can pass through a variety of habitats if you hike the entire trail. Near the trailhead where most birding is done the primary habitat is mixed oak and juniper woodlands. But the actual hike goes through shrubsteppe, ponderosa forest, as well as dry desert, and of course riparian.
Your not going to build a huge bird list here but you could put together a nice list if you did the entire hike. Since most birders tend to just bird the area around the trailhead will concentrate on that. birding is most popular in the last spring and early summer and species typical of mixed oak woodlands dominate the landscape. WARBLING VIREO, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, SPOTTED TOWHEE, CHIPPING SPARROW, LAZULI BUNTING, and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK should all be encountered. VIRGINIA'S and BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER can be tracked down with a little work, while the general area has turned up BLACK-CHINNED SPARROW in the past. If you are headed to Kolob Terrace or Lava Point stop here for a few minutes to take in the view and see what birds you can find.
All Zion National Park hot spots directions in Zion Canyon, or to the east will originate from the visitor center parking lot for consistency. Anything in the north and west sides of the park will come from the nearest major intersection. From the U.S. Post Office in Virgin, go east on SR-9 for .2 miles. Turn left onto Kolob Terrace Road and continue north for 12.8 miles. The trailhead parking will be on your left.