Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

Pine Creek Slot

Looking down at Pine Creek slot canyon, Zion NP

Looking down at Pine Creek slot canyon, Zion NP

This is one of those places I’d like to explore but most likely never will.  It’s the upper end of Pine Creek Canyon and is probably the most popular “technical slot” in Zion NP.  This image is a view from another popular trail (The Overlook Trail) that runs along the rim of the canyon and eventually takes you to some spectacular views of the lower part of Zion.

In case you didn’t know, it’s a technical slot because it requires rappelling gear to get from one end to the other.  Some of the rappels are as long as 60 feet.  Since I’ve never done that, and since my wife would probably kill me if I announced that I wanted to learn how to do it, it ain’t going to happen.

For anyone who is learning, though, this is a great place to do it.  The narrows that you see here are relatively short in length and it’s an easy canyon to get into.  

East end of Zion Tunnel

East end of Zion Tunnel

All you have to do is park near the east end of the Zion Tunnel and then walk down a short sandy bank and under the bridge that leads into the tunnel (shown here).  Soon after, hikers will reach a point where rappelling is required.

Oh, you’ll also need a permit from one of the two Visitor Centers.  The permit fee depends on the size of the party.




8 Responses to “Pine Creek Slot”

  1. E. Brooks

    Not one I’ll probably ever visit either, Paul. Sometimes heights bother me and I’m not sure even if they didn’t it’s something I’d want to do…maybe ten years ago. 🙂

    Found out the other day that with our dually truck, and it’s wide hips, we’d need to have an escort for the Zion Tunnel, which is an additional fee, and we’d only be able to travel through it only during certain hours. It’s kinda a pisser but these days the big national parks are about moving people, a lot of people. It comes with traveling the way we are…pluses and minuses.

    • Paul Maxim

      I know what you mean about heights, Brooks. It bothers me, too. But there’s nothing like the mystery of a narrow slot canyon……

      I’d wondered if your truck would exceed the width limit for the tunnel (something like 8 ft. if I remember correctly?). I knew there was an extra fee (is it still $15?), but I don’t think you’d have to worry about the escort thing. I’ve been through that tunnel a zillion times and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone being “escorted”. All they do is stop traffic from the other direction whenever a truck or bus or an RV needs to go through. And you’re certainly much narrower than some of those vehicles. And you can drive through during most of the daylight hours. I’m not trying to push you to go up there, but it is, in my opinion, one of the very best spots in the entire southwest. You just have to get there relatively early in the day, especially in the spring and summer.


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