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Pine Creek Falls - Zion National Park

Summary: Not much of a hike, but the destination is a pleasant waterfall and pool, a nice place to spend some time on a hot summer day.
Directions: The main road in Zion NP is Highway 9. If you haven't spent much time in the park, and you're entering the park from the east, Highway 9 passes through the Mt Carmel Highway Tunnel before negotiating a series of switchbacks down into the park. Why do I mention this? Because your parking spot for this hike is the very last switchback (the lowest) if you're coming into the park from the east, or your first switchback if you're driving from within the park towards the east entrance. Make sense? The switchback is at the bridge that crosses Pine Creek and consists of a wide pull out (on the east side of the road) suitable for quite a few cars.
Road Conditions: Passenger Car - paved all the way
Navigation: Easy
Length: 1 mile each way (about an hours walk)
Date Hiked: September, 2003
Weather Conditions: Hot & sunny
Required Skills: None
Hike Description: From the parking area, simply pick up the use trail that leads across the sand and down to Pine Creek. As you walk up stream you will find a little bit of rock hopping (watch for sand on the rocks, which can be slippery) and you'll have to cross the stream a few times (this will be made easier if you don't mind getting your feet wet), but there are no major obstacles. After a half an hour or so, the walls of the canyon will become sheer and you'll enter a pleasant little grotto with a nice pool, cascading falls and sandy beach. Splash around, cool off, and when ready, return the way you came.
Rating (1-5 stars):
Many people seem to go up to the Emerald Pools to find a place with water, however, the Park Service has posted 'No Swimming' signs around these areas, so they are off limits. Pine Creek falls is much nicer and has no such restrictions. Since there are no signs which tip off the tourists to its existence,
you may even have it all to yourself.
Maps: Trails Illustrated - Zion National Park, Zion N.P. Park Map
Books: None
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.
Falls and swimming hole