The Dye Clan
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  • TR: Oct 2011
  • TR: Sep 2016
  • TR: Jun 2017

Pine Creek

Jeremy in one of the swims in Pine Creek canyon.

Pine Creek Canyon in Zion National Park is the quintessential canyoneering experience. It has a quick entrance, a quick exit, several swims, and some awesome rappels.

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Waypoints

Waypoint Latitude Longitude Description
Trailhead -112.940656543194 37.21322189599032  
R1 -112.9415796691885 37.21306573160285 1147 Rappel #1 - 70 ft from a two-bolt anchor. Rappel 50 ft into a pothole then another 20 ft to the ground.
R2 -112.941992194651 37.21315610476841 Rappel #2 - 15 ft from a two-bolt anchor past a chockstone.
R3 -112.9421887523532 37.21317076803268 1155 Rappel #3 - 10 ft off a log into a pothole.
R4 -112.9432059742293 37.2130573464247 1203 Rappel #4 - Great Cathedral Rappel. 50 ft off a two-bolt anchor past 2 arches.
R5 -112.9430163746659 37.21208160596449 1227/1243 Rappel #5 - 15 ft off a single bolt into a pool.
R6 -112.9440066699303 37.21176560966978 1305 Rappel #6 - 65 ft off a bolt down a corner into a pool.
R7.1 -112.9451204128209 37.21137689690683 Rappel #7 - 100 ft off a bolt.
R7.2 -112.9453053051408 37.21126614027643 1318 Rappel #7 - 90 ft rappel off a two-bolt anchor.
BOT -112.9455208841613 37.21125666587346 Bottom of Canyon
Shuttle Parking -112.9579918374876 37.21443839842386  

Trip Report: October 21, 2011

We did Pine Creek Canyon on October 21, 2011. We had 5 people in our group: Kevin Booth, Arianne Booth, Anthony Dye, Jeremy Dye, and Tara Dye. Three members of our group had done Pine Creek earlier in the summer. All five of us were experienced with ropework. The weather was warm for October, with a high in the low 70s. It had not rained for at least a week prior to our canyoneering trip. We took two ropes: the first was 150 feet long and the other was 50 feet long. This helped us go faster because one person could rig rappel #2 with the short rope while another person was putting away the long rope that was used for rappel #1. For the last rappel, we had to tie the two ropes together to make one long rope.

Pine Creek Canyon is located in Zion National Park parallel to the tunnel. If you have two vehicles, leave one car at the second switchback then drive through the tunnel and park in the parking lot right by the east entrance of the tunnel. If you don't have a shuttle vehicle, you'll want to park at the second switchback and hitch-hike to the trailhead.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park

The trailhead to Pine Creek is the parking lot on the east end of the tunnel. Coordinates are 37°12'47.66"N 112°56'25.49"W. The trail runs right next to the bridge for about 100 ft until you're on the canyon floor.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park

You'll pass under the road (see the bridge pier in the top right corner of the next picture).

Pine Creek in Zion National Park

After about 5 minutes, you'll come to a pool of water, and right past that is the first rappel. The depth of water in this first pool is about typical of what is to come.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park

Rappel #1 is about 70 feet total, done in two parts. The first segment is about 40 feet. Walk through the water then continue another 20 feet into a deep pool. You'll have to unclip while treading water.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park

The next obstacle is a small downclimb under a boulder.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park

Then a small jump (or drop) into a shallow pool.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park

Rappel #2 is about 10 feet into a pothole. This is where a member of our group accidentally forgot to untie the knot in the end of the rope before pulling the rope through. Needless to say, the knot got stuck in the anchor. After I tried unsuccessfully to climb the rope a couple of times, Kevin ended up boosting me up high enough that I could grab the tree and climb the rest of the way to retrieve the rope. This experience reminded us how important it is not to make mistakes. Something as easy as climbing 10 feet of rope becomes almost impossible when your hands are numb.

Rappel #3 - the Great Cathedral Rappel - is probably the prettiest rappel in Pine Creek Canyon. Our pictures don't do it justice.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park

The rappel is about 65 feet tall and ends in a pool of water. There are two arches in this section of the canyon.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park

After the Great Cathedral Rappel, the canyon opens up slightly to allow a little bit of sun.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park

Downclimb around the right side of a log jam into a pool of water. At this point, some people decide to "follow the rim on the right up and over to a bolt anchor and short rappel (20 feet), avoiding the deepest part of the swim." (http://canyoneeringusa.com/utah/zion/pine.htm)

Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park

The next section of canyon was extremely narrow and full of water. The water was shallow enough that we could walk through most of it, with only periodic swims.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park

I tried to take a panorama of this section of the slot canyon, but it was too dark to really work.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park

The next swim is the longest in Pine Creek Canyon. I'm not sure how long it is exactly, but it's probably about 100 feet.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park

Rappel #4 is located on the right side of the canyon and is about 65 feet tall. We had to wait for the group ahead of us, so this is where we ate lunch.

From the top of Rappel #4, you can kind of see the anchor for Rappel #5.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park

Rappel #4 is kind of annoying because of the multiple ledges and the nature of the corner you're going down.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park

The ledge offers a nice view of the canyon floor below and of one of the tunnel windows.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park

Rappel #5 is the longest rappel in Pine Creek at 97 feet. It's a bit sketchy at the first because when you start rappelling, you have to swing out over the 100-foot void. Most of the drop is a free rappel.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park

Because we had two shorter ropes tied together, we only rappeled down one strand.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park

Here's the 360° panorama I took of the last rappel in Pine Creek.

At the bottom of the cliff is a spring and a small pond.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park

The rest of the hike is boulder hopping down the canyon.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park

You exit the slot canyon portion Pine Creek underneith the Great Arch of Zion.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park

The exit is a short scramble up the hill to the second switchback parking area.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park
Pine Creek in Zion National Park

Just past the exit is a large swimming hole.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park

Anthony and I had fun jumping off the rocks.

Pine Creek in Zion National Park

Trip Report: September 24, 2016

Trip Members

Jeremy Dye, Anthony Dye, Randy Riddle, Barb Riddle

Trip Time

11:15: Trailhead

1:15: Last Rappel

2:30: Car at second switchback

Description

We picked up our permits at the backcountry desk (the line took FOREVER) then did Keyhole Canyon. After Keyhole, we got forced through the tunnel a couple times because the parking lot was full. That also took FOREVER. That's alright though. We had plenty of daylight.

We dropped into Pine Creek around 11:15, just a couple minutes behind another group. They also had four people, so we weren't able to pass them. Instead we ended up basically just merging the two groups and sharing ropes. Pine Creek was full of water. There was tons of swimming. Everyone had a great time.

Trip Report: June 6, 2017

Highlight reel of trip down Pine Creek Canyon.

Trip Members

Jeremy, Anthony, Ondylyn, Jaren, Lawson, Kelly, Landon, Broox, Dixon

Trip Time

5 hours

Description

We took the family through Pine Creek as part of the 2017 Burnett family reunion.