Zion National Park, located in Southern Utah, is one of the most beautiful hiking spots I have ever explored. The winding canyons of red hued sandstone, the trickling streams, the towering cliffs, and the breathtaking views make Zion a true hikers paradise. With trails designed for the novice hiker to the advanced, you can find a hike that will fit everybody in your party. For those who enjoy a hike with some difficulty and variety, Pine Creek is a perfect day hike.
Many of the canyons and trails in Zion require a hiking permit in order to limit the amount of traffic in the area. Pine Creek is one of these trails. You can often apply online, enter a lottery, or try your luck at the visitor center office. If your party is large, I suggest securing a permit far in advance. If you want to try your luck, get in line outside the office around five or six in the morning.
Pine Creek is a great hike for those who love variety. This hike does require ropes and repelling gear. The last drop is about 100 feet, so you need to be prepared with enough rope. There are also sections where you must swim. Depending on the time of year, you may have more or less swimming to do. The water in slot canyons is almost always cold, even when it is near 100 degrees outside. If you are sensitive to cold water it is a good idea to bring a wet suit, however, it can be done without one.
Pine Creek is a day hike, and while you will want to get an early start, don’t rush through the beautiful canyon. Enjoy the mystery and adventure of exploring a slot canyon, carved out of the rock by centuries of patient water. Look for signs of local wildlife and take a break in the shade of an overhang for some lunch. Pine Creek is an exhilarating hike and highly recommended for anyone who enjoys canyoneering.