Shady Pools.


This is a quick little stroll along lower Pine Creek's riparian corridor to a charming small waterfall and a couple of shallow pools. A fun, mellow, and enchanting hike for the whole family. The hike is on a flat social trail most of the way, then involves a little boulder hopping and possibly wading to get to the waterfall itself. The pool is not deep enough to swim in, though deeper pools can be found further up-canyon for inspired and able scramblers. Please take care to check the depth of any pool you decide to jump into, as the bottoms can be rocky and irregular.

This trail is a great example of the off-trail, unadvertised opportunities Zion offers, often just off the main road. This particular area has gained popularity in the past few years because of its easy access and the pleasant, shady swimming holes. Please minimize your impact by sticking to existing paths and packing out any litter you have or find.


HIKE Profile


A very mild hike.

1-2 Hours

Spring, summer, or fall


Bring some water.

Bring what you need, as drinking from Pine Creek is not safe.

Moderate - Stay out of drainages during heavy rains.

Starts and finishes at the Pine Creek Bridge.


The hike is sunny at midday, but shady in morning and late afternoon.

Spring - Look for beautiful spring flowers along creek beds.

Summer - Zion can be hot, and this is a popular swimming hole.

Fall - Great fall photography along the creek beds.

Winter - Possible snowpack and ice. Use caution and check current conditions at the Zion Wilderness Desk.


Getting there

The trail starts at the Pine Creek Bridge, a half mile east of the Canyon Junction shuttle stop. Park on the wide shoulder of the road before the bridge.

The Pine Creek Bridge was completed July 10, 1930, six days after the Zion-Mount Carmel tunnel and highway were dedicated. The intricate stonework includes blocks from all areas of Zion.

The Hike

Hike east on the obvious trail up the canyon. Please stay on the established path. Follow into the gorge of the canyon, then boulder-hop to get to the waterfall and pools.

Geologically, the gorge consists of the Springdale slice of the Moenave Formation. This 100-foot layer of hard sandstone can be seen in most of lower Zion canyon, and above the town of Springdale.

There are more waterfalls and pools up canyon, including some deep enough for swimming. To access the higher canyon, backtrack a hundred yards or so from the waterfall, and follow a climbing route up the layers on the right (north side) of the canyon to the bench. Follow a small trail along the edge of the gorge up canyon, then boulder-hop up the creek. A trail from the biggest swimming hole leads up to the second switchback on the Tunnel Road.

Return the way you came.



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