Camp Creek is a lost/forgotten canyon of Zion in the far northwestern corner of the Kolob Section -- more remote than any of the finger canyons due to its inaccessibility from the main Kolob Canyons road. Camp Creek is a pleasant, moderately-strenuous day hike that wanders up a fairly open box canyon. The route is accessible via exit 42 off of I-15 -- the New Harmony/Kanarraville exit (one exit north of the Zion Kolob exit). Follow the road to Kanarraville (north northeast) roughly 2 miles, then turn off east on a little dirt road that leads straight to the Hurricane Cliffs. Look for a water storage tank on the edge of the cliffs; you want to get fairly close to that spot. A nearby subdivision development currently borders the park and there are plenty of out-of-the-way places to park.
The mouth of Camp Creek is an impassible dry fall. To gain access to Camp Creek, hike north for less than half-a-mile on the dirt road that borders the Hurricane Cliffs, then take the old crumbling access road to the right that takes you to the water tank. Just past the tank is the entrance gate to Zion National Park and you are on your way! Note: This first part of the hike is on private property; landowners have traditionally granted access to hikers, but this may change in the future. So please be respectful and unobtrusive if you choose to do this route.
Once in the park, a faded old trail leads you southeast down into the valley and streambed of Camp Creek. Make note of any cairns or landmarks for your return trip. The first two miles of Camp Creek are pleasant but unremarkable bushwhacking in a thickly vegetated valley. You may get your boots wet once or twice crossing the small stream. You will reach a point where you can see two large stone pillars on each side of the canyon -- "the Two Portals" signal the more interesting part of this hike. The streambed turns dry and the walls close in and the hiking gets easier and more photogenic.
Keep an eye out for interesting rock formations and erosion patterns in the canyon walls -- the seep water solution holes are a distinct feature to this canyon. Once you get past the pothole obstacles, the going gets a lot more difficult, requiring constant scrambling/climbing over fallen trees and boulders. Hike up as far as you want to go then return the way you came. Lower Camp Creek: You can also take a short walk south into the park to see the Camp Creek dryfall from below.
|Camp Creek Map.
Note: While viewing the map, click on the map to return to this page.
This is a somewhat interesting remote hike, but it is not *amazing*. If you are looking for a breathtaking slot canyon, you will be disappointed. A good deal of bushwhacking is required to get to the goods. I would only recommend this one if you are obsessed with seeing every single corner of Zion; this is not a good hike for casual tourists.