Pine Creek begins in the high country 1.5 miles north of SR9 on the eastern section of Zion National Park, continues down and under SR9, then along the south side of SR9, goes back north under SR9, and then drops down through a long slot canyon eventually emptying into the Virgin River.
Lower Pine Creek continues from Upper Pine Creek through a drainage tunnel under SR9 a short distance to where Clear Creek empties into Pine Creek from the east. Lower Pine Creek then continues downhill and west through a long section of slot canyon. This section becomes narrower and wetter before opening out into a wider section just below the parking lot at the Main Zion Tunnel entrance.
Pine Creek then turns north under SR9 at the entrance to the Main Zion Tunnel. From here, Pine Creek continues a few hundred yards to a section of technical slot canyon leading to the valley floor.
Overall rating = moderate
Distance: 0.5 miles one way – easy
Elevation gain: Terrain: Sandy rocky wash with the lower end very wet – moderate
Exposure: Danger of flash flood – easy
To see the trail rating system used here see Trail Rating System
If coming from the west take SR9 through Springdale, Utah, into Zion National Park. Turn right on SR9 at the Canyon Junction and take the switchbacks up and through the Main Zion Tunnel. From the Main Tunnel exit travel 0.4 miles to Pine Creek and park on the north side of SR9.
If coming from the east turn onto SR9 at the Mount Carmel Junction and drive into Zion National Park. From the entrance gate drive 5.2 miles to Pine Creek and park on the north side of SR9. This location is ~0.8 miles after you exit the small tunnel on SR9.
Scramble down the path on the north side of SR9 into the Pine Creek watercourse. Cross under SR9 through the drainage tunnel and enter the lower section of Pine Creek. After travelling a few hundred yards you will enter the slot section. Initially this slot canyon is not too deep but deepens as you travel down. We did not make it through to the end of the slot due to large piles of vegetation and pools of water which got deeper as we went.
We returned back up the slot section and then climbed out onto SR9.
One week later we accessed the remainder of the Lower Pine Creek Canyon, above the technical portion, from the parking lot at the east end of the Main Zion Tunnel. Here are some of the pictures we took in this area.