The 229 square-mile Zion National Park is a beautiful and unique protected wilderness in southwestern Utah. With forest, desert, and towering mountains, the park is home to countless animal and flora species. The area has been inhabited for 8,000 years, originally by the Anasazi tribes, and it was first established as a national monument in 1909 before becoming a national park in 1919.
Canyoneering is one of the most popular activities in Zion. In addition to the famous Narrows and Subway routes, there is an extensive network of technical canyons throughout the area. Unfortunately, most require gear and advanced reservations to enjoy. Clear Creek is not one of these. While it is not as magnificent and secluded as some of the larger canyons, it is an easy and beautiful hike that can be as long or short as you desire.
Clear Creek parallels Route 9 for many miles, meandering through the eastern area of Zion. There are many spots where you can get in and out of the canyon. A recommended entrance is located immediately after exiting the main tunnel. Park at the Canyon Overlook Trailhead. You will either walk or climb down into the canyon depending on where you enter. If you follow the canyon west, after a quarter mile you will encounter water. This is the start of the Pine Creek Canyon, a technical canyoneering adventure that is impassible without gear. Instead, head east. The canyon continues for quite a distance, so follow for as long as you wish. You will need to retrace your steps or walk along the road to return to your car.
Note: Desert flora is particularly fragile, so please remain on the trail or on rock.