Pine Creek Canyon

| December 15, 2013 | Reply

A few years ago my uncle and his friends took me on my first real canyoneering experience; sure I had been rappelling and rock climbing in scouts but I had never done an actual canyon. They told me it was called Pine Creek Canyon. Growing up in St. George I spent lots of time in Zion but I hadn’t heard of it, I stuck to the traditional Zion trails.

A lot has changed since my first visit to Pine Creek, now I spend most of my time in obscure canyons throughout Zion. This past October for my birthday Rob Parsons, Matt Rogers, and I decided we would do an ultimate canyoneering weekend. We would do Englestead, Pine Creek, Lower Refrigerator, and Mystery Canyon in 3 days. We had all of our permits and were ready to go. The only thing that could stop us was the weather.

We planned on doing Pine Creek and Refrigerator Canyon on the same day. We figured Pine Creek

would take us 3-5 hours and Lower Refrigerator would take us another 3 hours.

Pine Creek Canyon is one of the easier canyoneering adventures in Zion. Pine Creek is extremely popular and heavily traveled. Make sure you have permits before hand, you will also need a vehicle shuttle at the east tunnel entrance and near the bottom of the car switchbacks in the main canyon.

You will need complete technical gear and a rope long enough for a 100 foot rappel (200 + feet of rope), make sure to always have extra

webbing, rapid links, and a dry bag.

You start Pine Creek right after the tunnel exit on the east side of Zion. Park in the parking lot next to the bathrooms, change into your wet suit if you have one and get all your gear ready.

Walk down to the river (1 min away) and you are ready to rock and roll.


The first rappel is roughly 60 feet off of bolts on the right (north). Make sure to stay on the rope around the corner until you reach the bottom pool.

Pine-Creek-C anyon-1st-Rappel

Continue down through the canyon and swim/down climb until you reach the second rappel which is about 10 feet.


Continue to the third rappel which is about 60 feet into “the Cathedral”. This is an amazing section and make sure to look up, it is stunning. Depending on the time of the year you may have no water or you my be swimming. Put your ropes away here because you wont need them for quite a while.


Take time to look at this fantastic section of commander cialis 5 mg the canyon with amazing rock formations and notice there is barely any light.

Michael-Sproul-pine-creek Pine-Creek-Zion-National-Park

The fourth rappel (65 feet) is after the canyon has opened up immensely and is on a slick rock section. There are 2 bolts on the right side of the canyon. Make sure to be careful with your rope pull here.

Continue down canyon to the next rappel. The fifth rappel (100 feet) is often everyones favorite because it is almost all a free rappel. There are a few different anchor locations that people have put up. We carefully scrambled to the left and used the anchor over there.  Final-Rappel-in-Pine-Creek-Canyon

After you reach the bottom you can put all your gear away, and enjoy your walk to your dropped car at the bottom. There are a few different exits depending on where you

parked your car.

For more photos check out our Pine Creek Photo Gallery and watch our Pine Creek Video.



You will need a car shuttle to complete this canyon. Leave one car at one of the parking spots (a couple of different locations throughout the car switch backs) on the way up to the Zion tunnel, take one car to the east side of Zion just after you exit the tunnel and park. From the parking lot head down a few feet to the river.

Quick Stats:

Time: 3-5 hours
1.5 miles
Difficulty: 3BII

Authors Note:

While canyoneering is a safe activity when done right, there are inherent risks associated with participating. It is NOT recommended that you participate without the required skills and equipment. If you don’t have the skills or equipment needed, it is recommended that you hire a guide, participate in classes, or find other people who do have the skills and equipment that will take you and teach you the proper way to complete these types of activities. It is not recommended that you buy equipment, watch a YouTube video and then head out to the canyons. Many people have been seriously injured or died as a result of improperly descending a canyon.


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Category: Hikes

About the Author ()

Michael Sproul currently lives in Utah. He grew up in St. George, Utah only moments from Zion National Park. He loves sharing his experiences and helping others enjoy Zion as much as he does. He currently writes for The Carefree Traveler and My Life Outdoors.

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