Zion National Park is one of Utah’s busiest spots. Luckily, we have a tip for a hike to escape the crowds in the middle of Zion. Pine Creek Waterfall is located just past the Scenic Drive and before the tunnel, and is a beautiful little waterfall where you can find some solitude.
This hike starts right at a small parking area next to the bridge below the tunnel. If you come from the East through the tunnel, go all the way down the switchbacks. The bridge is right at the bottom. There is a small parking area on the east side of the road, and the trail starts there. If you are coming from the Visitor Center, look for the small parking area before the bridge that starts the switchbacks up to the tunnel.
The trail isn’t particularly well marked, but it basically follows along the stream. There are pretty pools and the trail is nice and sandy, and you can pick your way along the bottom of the canyon toward Zion Arch, carved high above. The trail is sandy because it lies next to the stream and our boys had fun throwing rocks and exploring along the way. We saw only a few other people, and none made it all the way to the waterfall.
There is a bit of scrambling and bushwhacking, but actually, the Pine Creek Waterfall trail is more path-picking than bushwhacking as you follow the stream. We climbed over a few boulders and found a small little waterfall and we dropped some big rocks into the stream for some big splashes. We also had to cross the creek twice, but we were able to do so with out getting wet using rocks in the stream.
Pine Creek Waterfall
After nearly a third of a mile, the trail gets a little more challenging. We had to help Mom and our youngest with some of the trickier climbs on rocks, so make sure to choose your path carefully and help young kids. There are some boulders to climb over, and a small crack to squeeze through. But when you squeeze through that crack, the most beautiful little alcove comes into view. We almost expected little fairies to be fluttering around the pools! Pine Creek Waterfall is easily our favorite place in Zion National Park.
The reason we liked this hike so much is that it was pleasant to walk along beside the stream, and we only saw one other couple along the route. There is no way that you can possibly miss the waterfall, as you would have to scale it to work your way farther up the canyon. If you have really small children, this trail might be a little challenging with all of the rock scrambling. Luckily, we have a post with all of our favorite Zion Kid Hikes to help you find which trails will work for your family.