Spry Canyon Hike

For those that enjoy hiking up steep slickrock, this trail is a joy. The route is away from the mainstream of the park and the scenery is outstanding. The route begins by meandering through Upper Pine Creek. If you are lucky there will be a nice waterfall flowing.  From the top of the slickrock saddle there are magnificent landmarks all around.  To top off the hike there is a stream toppling over the mountain side at the end of the route.  Canyoneers continue past this point by rappelling down the waterfall.

Zion Book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National ParkAt a Glance
Photo Album:
Spry Canyon Pictures
Topo Map:
Spry Canyon Topo Map
Day Hike:
Average Hiking Time: 6 hours round trip
Difficulty: Slickrock climbing, stressful steep hiking.
Sun Exposure: Full sun in most places. Bring lots of water!
Permits: Not needed
Trail Conditions: Not a trail, but an un-maintained route. The vegetation on the rock makes the mountain slippery in the winter. This is a steep slickrock climb. Keep in mind when climbing on Navajo sandstone it breaks easily when wet. Take care with hand and foot holds.
Trailhead: Upper Pine Creek
Trailend: Same as trailhead
Trail Access: There is often parking at the trailhead at Canyon Overlook Trail or one of the pull-outs east of the tunnel.
Off the Beaten Path: Yes
Classic Zion Hike: No
Starting Elevation: 5787'
Restrooms: Canyon Overlook parking lot
Water Availability: There is water in Pine Creek and Spry Canyon but its easier to bring your own.

Zion National Park Map Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map History: Looking on a map, Spry Canyon is seen between the Twin Brothers and the huge East Temple and is visible from the Zion Switchbacks and the Pine Creek route.  Mount Spry was named after the English man, William Spry who served as a Utah governor between 1908-1916. Governor Spry fought against opposition to make changes which enhanced the quality of life for his people.

Best Season: This is a year-round route, but it is hot in the middle of summer and should only be accessed when the slick rock entrance is free of moisture, ice and snow. Avoid stepping on the black moss in the winter because when the moss fills with water, in the cold, it's as slippery as ice.

Petroglyphs: This route takes the hike to some remote rock art. Do not ever touch the art or the area around it.

Directions to Zion National Park

From the North: Travel I-15 south, past Beaver. exit on Hwy 20. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to Zion's east entrance.
From Arizona: Travel US-89A through Fredonia, Arizona and Kanab Utah. Follow US-89 to Mount Carmel Junction. Take SR-9 to the east park entrance.
From the South: Travel I-15 north. Take exit 16 and travel through Hurricane to LaVerkin. Continue on SR-9 to the south entrance of the park. SR-9 through Zion National Park is always open and is also called the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway. See restrictions for RV's.

Zion National Park Maps

Zion Backcountry Map - Trail Interactive Zion National Park Map Zion National Park Road Map Zion Shuttle - Tunnel Information
Zion's Spry Canyon

Spry Canyon on a cold November day. The stream is frozen, but a trickle of water bubbles beneath.


Lodging Zion National Park
Lodging Zion National ParkLodging and services are available on the gorgeous east side of Zion National Park, where guests are close to Zion National Park (12 miles), Bryce Canyon National Park (60 miles), Cedar Breaks National Monument (45 miles), Coral Pink Sand Dunes (12 miles), and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (85 miles). It's where city traffic is absent and the skies are bright and clean.


Locate the east side of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. There is a parking lot by the ranger booth and a couple of pull-outs along the road that are closer to the trailhead. Walking east from the tunnel, the first drainage to the left is Shelf Canyon. Continue up the road to the next drainage, located .4 miles from the tunnel. This is Upper Pine Creek. Drop down into the sandy bottom of the drainage and hike north for about .5 miles to the waterfall. Just past the waterfall is the best location to climb up (west) the slickrock. Note how the rock curves down, just to the left of the waterfall. The waterfall and the curve are your landmarks for the return climb down. Water runs through Pine Creek so prepare to get your feet wet.

Make your way up the slickrock, staying to the (west) right and heading for the slickrock bowl that lies beneath Deer Trap Mountain. Again, staying to the right, climb up the bowl. Toward the top of the bowl is a a tall, flat reddish slab of rock. Climb up the slickrock near the slab. The trail will flatten out on top of this section. Keep climbing up to the saddle. From here the scenery is magnificent. Note the East Temple (7709') to your left, the Twin Brothers (7709') and Deer Trap Mountain on your right, Mount Spry and the West Temple are straight ahead. See if you can make out the horse head in the West Temple.

If you have not had enough you can descend to a beautiful downhill stream. Hike down hill, headed north, locating the water flow between the East Temple and the Twin Brothers. Follow the stream to where it flows steeply downhill. The water empties into Pine Creek below.

zion National Park CanyoneeringGPS Coordinates WGS84 Datum

Trailhead at Pine Creek

Scramble up and Left
out of Pine Creek

Deertrap Petroglyphs

GPS coordinates are only references and may or may not be accurate. Do not rely on GPS coordinates as the sole method of navigation. Always have an accurate, detailed map at hand and have the proper map reading and navigation skills before setting out on any hike. Many of the hikes listed in this guide travel into canyons where a GPS has limited capabilities. Always check your position with a detailed map before dropping into a canyon.

Beta: Coordinates and other trail and canyoneering information by Zion Park search and rescue veteran team member Bo Beck and author Tanya Milligan.

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. Many quality shoes will help grip the rocks and prevent injury.


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Written by the authors of the book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National Park

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