Lower Pine Creek Waterfall Hike: Zion National Park’s Hidden Waterfall

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I’m finally making my way through my Zion trip posts, the last posts from my time out west. It’s sad but exciting and I’ll have plenty of lists coming still but only a few more hikes out there.

I think we did the Sand Bench Trail before this one and had a little time before it got dark. The Lower Pine Creek Waterfall trail was the perfect short hike for that.

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National Park Obsessed – This is the best national park planner.
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lower pine creek waterfall hike zion

I know this trail would be better in the summer so you can cool off in the creek but I wanted to do it anyway and hoped we might see it a little frozen.

I had driven past the trailhead so many times with no idea it even existed. It isn’t marked, it just leaves from a parking area on the Mount Carmel Highway switchbacks.

shoes on rock with pine tree and sand lower pine creek waterfall zion

There were a couple of other people at the trailhead but we only saw one or two people on the trail. One of them passed us then we never saw him again, not at the end or him leaving.

Most of the trail is sandy and straight forward through the canyon, along the creek but eventually we had to hop over the creek on some rocks and things got a little questionable but we managed.

lower pine creek waterfall hike zion

At one point, we had to decide if we should go to the left or right bank to the end and we settled on going to the right. We had to climb up a good sized boulder then along a steeply angled rock to a more slightly flat area.

The hard part was, there was ice right where we needed to go. We knew we needed to go here because I could see scratches on the rock from someones microspikes. Once we got up this, it was easier.

lower pine creek waterfall zion

We crawled through a big boulder hole and then BAM. Waterfall. There were some rocks in the water and a sandy area we could walk on for some different perspectives.

From there, you can see the waterfall and classic Zion cliffs above and behind it. It’s a really beautiful area and I’m so glad we decided to do this hike and push past the ice!

ice and rocks Lower pine creek waterfall trail zion

It was getting pretty chilly since it was January and late afternoon so after hanging around for a bit, we headed out but this time we went down the opposite side of the creek.

It looked easier from this direction and it definitely was. It was still a little steep but it was a lot easier to avoid the ice over here. I’ve marked our route on the pictures below.

lower pine creek waterfall zion

But if you’re doing this without ice, it may not be necessary. If it’s summer or fall, you can probably just walk through the water and won’t need to be as careful about staying dry. We weren’t so lucky, but that’s ok since we had it all to ourselves.

Overall, I would highly recommend this trail. It’s a great easy hike, it’s short, it has a waterfall, and it’s off the beaten path in Zion. Big fan.

lower pine creek waterfall zion
lower pine creek waterfall zion

National Park Goodies

Lower pine creek waterfall trail zion
Looking across the creek on our way out. This is the path we took up to the falls.

Where is the Lower Pine Creek Waterfall trailhead?

The Lower Pine Creek Waterfall trailhead isn’t marked, it’s just at one of the pullouts at the bottom of the switchbacks on Mount Carmel Highway. If you’re coming from the visitor center, you’ll pass the junction into the main canyon and it will be the small parking area right as you turn to go up the switchbacks.

There are usually cars here but I’ve seen it empty a couple of times in the winter. Here is the trailhead on Google Maps.

Lower pine creek waterfall trail zion
Another view just past the photo above. It looks hard to get over this but past the arrow it wasn’t as bad.

How long is the Lower Pine Creek Falls trail?

The Lower Pine Creek Waterfall Trail is just 0.7 miles round trip. Compared to other short trails in Zion like the Archaeology Trail or Grotto Trail, this is a million times better.

Lower pine creek waterfall trail zion
This is the way we came down on our way out of the falls.

Is the Lower Pine Creek waterfall hike in Zion hard?

No, unless you’re visiting in the winter and the trail has ice on it. And by that, I mean the very end part where you have to do some boulder scrambling since it’s too cold to go through the water.

Any other time of year it will be nice and easy peasy. This is a great hike for families and for getting off the beaten path in Zion.

lower pine creek waterfall hike zion
The boulder hole

Is the Lower Pine Creek Falls hike in Zion worth it?

Absolutely! This was a fun hike that was pretty easy (and would be easier without ice) and you get to see a waterfall! In Zion! I mean, how cool is that?

You shouldn’t need more than an hour for this hike so it’s a good one to squeeze in to any spare time you may have, even if you just have one day in Zion. But lets be real, spare time in here is hard to come by since there is so much to do there!

lower pine creek waterfall zion
The beginning of the trail is mostly like this

Best time to hike to Lower Pine Creek Falls in Zion

There is no bad time to do this hike, but it will be a little harder in the winter since you can’t walk in the water and thee may be ice on the rocks. Winter in Zion is beautiful though and this was no exception. It would probably be less busy too.

I think summer and fall would be the best because the water would be a nice temperature and iy would be a great way to cool off from the desert heat.

Lower Pine Creek Waterfall Zion photo gallery

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Have you done the Lower Pine Creek Waterfall hike in Zion? What did you think of it? Do you want to do it?

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