Clear Creek is located on the east side of Zion National Park near the east entrance to the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. It is a wash that runs along the side of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway. Although this drainage is usually dry, water can flow when the conditions are right in Zion.
At a Glance
Lower Clear Creek
The drainage runs both right and left. To the right is the Pine Creek drainage leading to a technical slot canyon that requires a permit and rappel equipment. To the left is Clear Creek. The walls will close in quickly as the sandy, pebbled path runs east. Follow the drainage through the slot canyon, returning after the wash flattens out. Clear Creek runs along the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway and even though the usually dry creek bed is about 50' below the road, cars and people are often heard along this route.Best Trail Features
It's always nice to access a hike without getting on the shuttle, so you have access to your own vehicle, your ice chest and other items of importance that you might keep in your car while exploring Zion National Park. This short slot adventure is charming, easy to get to and close to civilization. Few use this route so it is a path that is less traveled, however parking can be a problem because it's a busy parking area. The views of east side mountains, while hiking through the slot, are magnificent.
Clear Creek Options
Hidden Gardens is a wonderful excursion that can be explored from the section of Clear Creek near the small tunnel in Zion National Park.
The Gifford Canyon trailhead shares the same location as Lower Clear Creek. Take this option if looking for solitude.
Note: Using two cars is an option if large sections of Clear Creek are to be explored. Gifford Canyon has a flash flood danger. Be sure to check weather conditions at the Zion Canyon Visitors Center before entering any slot canyon.
Beta: Coordinates and other trail and canyoneering information by Zion Park search and rescue veteran team member Bo Beck and www.zionnational-park.com author Tanya Milligan. Bo and Tanya are also the authors of the Zion area guide: Favorite hikes in and around Zion National Park. The book includes Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon, Cedar Breaks, Cedar Mountain, Coyote Buttes, Slot Canyons and much more.
To post trip reports, offer corrections, updates, or for more information please visit the Zion National Park Forum
Suggested Gear: A sturdy pair of shoes are recommend to hike the trails in Zion National Park. Quality shoes will help grip the rocks and prevent injury and are important to wear whenever exploring anywhere outside the classic hikes in Zion National Park.
Zion National Park, Utah
History of the Thunderbird
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This is my new favorite quote:
"I don't know who Tanya Milligan is, but I mean www.zionnational-park.com
It's a better site than the NPS's anyway."
Written by the authors of the book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National Park