Respect The Trail
We’ve gone back and forth about whether or not to share the location of this trail. It’s not because we are selfish and want to keep those spots to ourselves. Rather, we desperately do not want them to get trashed.
We’ve decided that since the whereabouts of this trail is already floating around on the web, we might as well share them along with some trail etiquette with hopes that they will continue to be taken care of. We’ll also share some safety tips that were missing in a lot of the articles that we read online.
How you can help keep this trail incredible-
- Pack in what you pack out. See trash that’s not yours, you can totally pack that out too 🙂
- Keep it clean. Avoid spilling your drinks/food while swimming. Also, important to note that these are not baths…leave the bar of soap at home.
- Do some good and pick up garbage if you see it. We like to bring a bag with us in case we encounter trash left behind from others.
- “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.” Although Aretha Franklin probably wasn’t referring to hikers, the same rings true. Be respectful of those around you.
How To Find The Trailhead
The trailhead is found on the first bend of the Zion Mountain Carmel Highway (see the gray pin on the image below). There is parking along the street here. I recommend parking on the left side of the road (if you’re driving east) because there is a small dirt area that can hold several cars.
Parking can be tricky during the busy months. Come early or late. We visited on memorial day weekend and arrived at 6:30pm when most people were leaving for the day.
Get ready for an adventure on this lower pine creek trail! Although this .75 mile trail starts out as an easy to follow dirt path, the tricky part is yet to come! As you continue on this short path, you’ll notice several different paths that fork off from the original trail. My recommendation is to just stay on the largest path instead of taking smaller side trails. That’s what we did and we never ended up getting turned around.
After walking for about 10 minutes, you’ll get to a small pool that is great for the kids to splash around in. If you are not comfortable with doing a little bit of “bouldering”, I would stop here.
At this point on the trail, you’ll encounter large boulders on either side of the river. You’ll need to make a decision at this point, either get in the river and continue the hike in the water or do a little bit of scrambling over stacked boulders. We decided to stay dry as long as possible and stayed on the right side going up and tried the left side boulders heading back home. Personally, I think the left side of the trail was so much easier!
After continuing up the trail for about .45, you’ll finally reach this incredible waterfall with the swimming hole! Victory!
How difficult is this hike?
I hiked this trail 5 months pregnant and I found this hike to be challenging. There were many parts of the trail that I needed a hand either pulling myself up a boulder (I’m quite short) or helping me keep my center of balance.
I personally would not say this hike is easy at all. You will need to have some confidence climbing rocks, great shoes, and definitely a hiking buddy! Be very careful if you decide to bring children as falling off the stacked boulders alongside the river could be quite painful.
I hope my personal opinion doesn’t scare you off, but just understand that this is not simply an easy dirt path to a scenic waterfall.
Can I go swimming?
Yes! You are allowed to swim in the pools so bring your swimsuit! Also, bring water shoes as there are rocks you may step on in the swimming hole. You could totally make an entire afternoon by swimming and relaxing on the small, sandy beach. Just remember if you do bring food, pack it all out 🙂
- Check the weather report before you go. Flash flooding is a real thing and if it has been raining or will rain, don’t go!
- The combination or sand on rock results in some slippery circumstances. Be very cautious of where you’re stepping, especially if you are traveling along the stacked boulders. There are some drop-offs that could really hurt if you slipped and fell.
- Wear good shoes & bring water shoes if you plan on getting in the water.
- Always hike with a buddy!