Lower Pine Creek Falls - Secret Waterfall Hike in Zion National Park
The Lower Pine Creek Falls Trail is one of those rare hikes in Zion National Park that is not advertised by the park. Because of this, your chances of having the place all to yourself on a Saturday morning in the middle of the summer are pretty good, or maybe that's just me.
The picturesque pond and 15-foot waterfall may take some stream hopping and boulder climbing to get to, but once you are there, you may never want to leave.
From the Zion Visitor Center drive 1.5 miles north on Route 9 (the main road going through Zion). Just before you start rounding to go up the series of switchbacks that take you up to the Carmel Tunnel, pull over to a small paved parking area to your left. If you go over a bridge, you have gone too far.
This hike is a short .70 miles round trip....but don't let that fool you. It takes some work to get to.
The difficulty of this trail lies in the stream hopping and boulder climbing that you have to do in order to get to the pool and waterfall at the end. I have done this hike with kids many times, but if you are more comfortable with a flat paved trail, this is not the hike for you.
This trail starts out as an easy to follow dirt trail. As you get further into the canyon, you will need to cross the stream a few times, and the trail becomes less defined. You may have to do some exploring to make sure you are on the right path. If you come to a dead end just turn back and try another path.
At the first small pool, the path gets a little tricky. We like to climb up the rock wall on the right-hand side. Look for stacked boulders to help you scale the rock. Follow the rock wall until you have to cross the stream again. You will then do a little more climbing up and through rocks.
At the pool at the end, there is a nice sandy beach that is perfect to sit and rest, enjoy the waterfall and eat some lunch....enjoy! Scroll down for tips and additional info.
TIPS AND ADDITIONAL INFO
The pools are permitted for swimming so if you go in the summer with kids make sure to bring suits, water shoes and plenty of snacks. Chances are you are going to spend a large chunk of time exploring and playing in the water.
The waterfall is flowing all year long. Always be cautious of weather conditions. This area does experience flash flooding. If it looks like it will rain or is raining up canyon do not go on this hike.
Tiny treefrogs and tadpoles can be found here in the summer so keep your eyes out and don't step on them.
This trail can be accessed without needing to use the shuttle so if the shuttle lines are longs this hike is a great option to take.
For the best chances of solitude go early in the morning or later in the day.
Always carry out your trash and leave this incredible spot the way you found it.