Camp Creek is a remote strenuous trail into the interior of Zion National Park on the north west side of the park. While it is near the finger canyons off the Kolob National Park Road it is more remote and inaccessible such that few hikers travel here.
There is a 75 foot high waterfall near the start of the trail which is easily accessible from below. We have travelled to this waterfall in both the winter when it was frozen and in the spring.
The route to the main canyon follows a gravel road leading to the community water tank. From there you enter Zion National Park and follow the main trail to the Camp Creek streambed. The most interesting part of the trail is above the “Two Portals” where the streambed turns dry and the walls close in and the hiking gets easier and more photogenic. Further along the canyon are several water filled potholes. The trail ends in a box canyon at the head of Camp Creek.
There are four waterfalls on the lower section of Camp Creek. Access to the upper falls is via the main trail to the creek and then going downstream to the top of this falls, about 50 feet high. There are 8 and 12 foot high falls between the two main falls. The 8 foot falls is part way between the two high falls; the 12 foot falls is just above the lower 75 foot falls. Access to the area between the two large falls is via a steep scramble down the canyon.
Overall rating = moderate (easy to the lower falls)
Distance: 3.3 miles to the potholes, 3.8 miles to the end – difficult
Elevation gain: about 1000 feet – difficult
Terrain: overgrown, rocky, stream crossings – moderate
Exposure: none to the lower falls but steep scramble to the other falls – moderate
To see the trail rating system used here see Trail Rating System
Take exit 42 off Interstate I15 and head east and then north along old highway SR91 towards Kanarraville. Drive 2.1 miles north along SR91 to Kanarraville Road 1925S on the right. This road travels about 500 feet to a tee where you turn left onto Wipishani Lane. Follow this street for about 0.4 miles, crossing Camp Creek, and follow this road to the end where you can park.
For a one page printout of the directions click Directions to Camp Creek Trail
To reach the bottom of Camp Creek falls, follow the trail a short distance south from the parking area through the Zion gate and to Camp Creek and follow the creek to the left a total distance of about 500 yards.
The main trail is reached from behind the water tank above the parking area. Take the level gravel road 500 yards north easterly along the base of the cliffs to the road leading to the water tank which turns sharply to the right and travels a further 500 yards up the face of the cliffs.
Once through the gate turn left and follow the rocky wash easterly along the Zion fence. There are some cairns marking the route. Travel up this rocky wash until you encounter the well worn trail to the creek. The distance from the Zion gate to the creek is about 750 yards for a total of 1 mile from the parking area. The top of the falls is about 400 yards west of this point. The total elevation gain from the parking area up to the water tank and over the ridge before dropping down into the creek is about 400 feet. Note that there are several trails heading south behind the Zion sign but these all lead to the cliffs overlooking Camp Creek below the falls and not to the creek above the falls.
The more interesting part of the hike starts at the “Two Portals”, 1.3 miles upstream from the entrance to the creek. These portals are two large stone pillars on each side of the canyon. At this point the streambed turns dry and the walls close in and the hiking gets easier and more photogenic.
A further 1 mile up the canyon are several water filled potholes. Once you get past these the going gets a lot more difficult with fallen trees and boulders obstructing the trail and only the hardiest and most determined will go beyond them.
The box end of the canyon is another 0.5 miles and 600 feet elevation gain.
To reach the area between the two high falls and above the lower falls there are two entry points as shown on the topographical map below. Both of these are steep scrambles down from the main Camp Creek trail. To reach the top of the upper falls travel down the wash that crosses the main trail to Camp Creek.