Hiking Clear Creek - Zion National Park, Get off the beaten path
Clear Creek is the main dry streambed that follows Route 9 throughout the east side of Zion. Although it may not be an actual named hike in Zion, it is excellent for some off the beaten path hiking and fun.
Filled with cave like tunnels, family friendly slot canyons and sandstone cliffs, you will find surprises around every corner.
Clear Creek does not have an actual starting point or end point. As you drive along Route 9 on the upper east side of Zion, you will see the dry creek bed down below. There are pull-offs all along the drive. Pick a spot to pull off and go exploring.
The best spots to pull over will start about 1/4 mile east of the Canyon Overlook parking lot. Click here to see a map of Clear Creek.
Another really great place to stop is at the Many Pools trail head. There is plenty of parking and 2 pit toilettes.
Once you make your way down into the dry stream bed, this is a hike that you can make as short or as long as you would like. Always make sure to keep track of where you came down so that you will know when to head back up to your car.
HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER IN ZION + SOUTHERN UTAH - CLICK TO LEARN MORE
The difficulty of Clear Creek depends on the spot you pick to head down to the dry-creek. If you pull over and it looks too hard and steep to get down then drive to another pull off and try again.
Once you are down in the creek bed, there will be little elevation gain. You will be walking on thick sand and over rocks. You may also have to do a bit of rock scrambling to get down to the creek bed.
No matter where you park and go down, you will be hiking along a sandy, pebble-filled dry stream bed that will take you along short slot canyons and red/black cliffs.
You may encounter some stagnant pools of water that have not dried up from the last rain fall that may restrict your hiking.
You may also run into a few tunnels that take you under Route 9. These are always so much fun to explore with kids. Scroll down for tips and additional info.
TIPS AND ADDITIONAL INFO
Make sure to stick to well-worn trails or slickrock to avoid trampling plant life or cryptobiotic soil. Please respect any "do not hike here" signposts. Please minimize your impact on the area.
Set aside at least an hour or two to explore along this fascinating section of East Zion.
This area gets a decent amount of shade but always make sure to bring plenty of water, good hiking shoes, sunscreen, and snacks.
There are many side-shoots to explore as you hike. Take the time to check them all out so that you don't miss something good right around the corner.
Be cautious in this area during a rain storm as this dry stream bed can get flash floods.
Do not ever write on the wall of the canyon or let your kids write on the walls......even it is something like dirt or rocks.