discovering God's creation

Clear Creek, Zion

Clear Creek flows from beyond the eastern entrance of Zion National Park down past Checkerboard Mesa and along the south side of SR9 until it enters Pine Creek about 0.4 miles east of the upper end of the Main Zion Tunnel on SR9. This creek bed is a wash that is usually dry and easy walking.

There are several access points to Clear Creek from SR9.

The lower end of Clear Creek is entered from the parking lot at the east end of the Main Zion Tunnel. Scramble down the hill near the bathroom and enter Pine Creek wash. To the right, Pine Creek flows north under SR9 to a technical slot canyon that requires a permit and rappel equipment. To the left, Pine Creek flows through a section of narrow wet slot canyon south of SR9 for about 0.4 miles to the point where Clear Creek enters.

An easier access to Clear Creek is from a small parking area just before the entrance to the second tunnel on SR9. This is where we entered on our visit in November. We scrambled down the south side of SR9 a short distance to an unnamed creek wash and then about 650 feet to where this unnamed creek enters Clear Creek. We turned left (east) to follow Clear Creek upstream for about 1 mile. Along the way we travelled through a section of high canyon, past a waterfall on the right (dry at this time), past a large section of slickrock to the right where there was a herd of bighorn sheep, and then a further several hundred feet before retracing our steps to the junction of the unnamed creek. We then travelled further down Clear Creek on the left (going west) for 1/4 mile before returning to the parking area. This section continues about 3/4 mile to where Clear Creek flows into Pine Creek.

Overall rating = easy

Distance: 2.5 miles – easy
Elevation gain: <100 feet - easy Terrain: Sandy wash - easy Exposure: None - easy To see the trail rating system used here see Trail Rating System

Getting There

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 1.2 miles and park on the south side of SR9 just before entering the small SR9 tunnel.

If coming from the east turn onto SR9 at the Mount Carmel Junction and drive into Zion National Park. From the entrance gate drive 4.4 miles to Clear Creek just past the small tunnel on SR9.

Here are some of the pictures we took.