Next time you find yourself at Zion National Park and you don’t really want to deal with crowds or keeping your kids on the marked path or out the water I have the perfect hike for you!! We were looking for a place where our 5 kids ages 2-9 could just run wild and explore and get wet if they wanted to. The Pine Creek Waterfall is all that and so much more.
After you enter the park you’ll stay on route 9 as you pass the junction and you’ll start to head into the U-Curve area. At the very first curve you’ll see a little pull out on the the left side of the road, right before the bridge. That’s the spot!! It’s not well marked (which is kinda the best part ). There is this little no pets and no bicycle sign so you’ll know you’re in the right parking area. Don’t worry if your kiddos are super annoyed and grumpy about the drive to get here! They will perk right up when they see why you’re here. I promise!!
There is a pretty clear worn path from the parking area and you can just start on your way.
After about a quarter of mile following the creek, you will notice boulders along and in the trail.
Just climb up and over staying along the creek. You should cross the creek a few times. After about a ½ mile hike you’ll find yourself at the lower waterfall.
This is a fun place to pull out some lunch or just play in the warm sand.
There is also a spot here where the water runs down some boulders making a perfect little waterslide in the summer. Since we did it in February we didn’t brave the waterslide. Although my husband did offer anyone who dared to cliff jump in $5. Four of my five kids including my 4 year old did it. (I didn’t because the water was frigid but $5 is $5!!)
If you keep climbing up the rocks and boulders you get to the upper waterfall which is also beautiful and slightly warmer.
This upper waterfall also has slippery rocks that would be fun to slide down in the summer. We spent another couple hours just climbing around and exploring.
I took my 2 year old out of the backpack and just let her climb around with the rest of us - totally do-able with little kids like mine.
The very best part of Pine Creek Waterfall is: If you go in the summertime this entire swimming hole is full of tadpoles! You can take a couple plastic bags and the kids will have the best time catching and releasing the tadpoles. Also, all over these boulders you’ll see frogs hopping in and out of the water. It’s just a magical kind of place away from the bustle and crowds you usually find at Zions.
After everyone is back in dry clothes and warmed up you just have to take a trip through the famous Zions tunnel. It’s just right up the road from the Pine Creek Waterfall. Roll down your windows and let the kids scream and echo. If you’re really daring and the tunnel is pretty empty turn your headlights off for a second. That’s REALLY crazy! And yes, we totally did that.
Pine Creek Waterfall Hike
Location: Zion National Park
Cost: $30/vehicle valid for 7 days from purchase