Pine Creek Canyon

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Activity: Hiking

Location: Red Rock  NCA

Time on Trail: 3 hours 45 minutes

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 4.5 miles

Elevation: +/- 750 feet

Highlights

Did the north fork of the Pine Creek again with Brian. It leads to Fern Canyon and I went deeper into it this time. The first section is defined by a clear trail over relatively flat land and then drops into the creek/wash. The final section is a mix of bouldering and bushwacking through a boulder field. There were a lot of pools and a few places where we had to take high ground to get past obstacles. I had a great time on this trail today.

Trail Description

Pine Creek Canyon is an awesome day hike in Red Rock. It starts off with a short downhill to the wash and then across the open desert. You will pass the Fire Ecology Trail and then reach the Wilson Homestead from the 1920s. The foundation is all that is left, but you can image what a great view Horace Wilson must have had looking out on the canyon every morning.

After you pass the Wilson Homestead, you will come to the base of the Mescalito that separates the north and south fork of Pine Creek. We took the north fork (right) and followed it up canyon. There is a variety of plants in the canyon and pools of water jump out around every bend in spring.

The path in the north fork is more challenging than it is in the south fork. It requires more scrambling and even some basic climbing skills in sections. Most of the problems you encounter will be large boulders that can be climbed or even skirted by bushwacking around them.

We made it in about 2.5 miles and saw numerous pools and falls. Lots of photos opps! When you reach the point that you’ve had enough, just tun around and retrace your steps. The canyon narrows quite a bit so it’s difficult to get too off course.

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The kicker on this hike is the ascent of the final .25 miles up to the parking lot after a long day in the canyon. If your tired, this last climb to the car will kick your ass! I think about it every time I hike this canyon!

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I'm the founder of Vestor Logic, the digital strategy and web design firm that created Trail Sherpa, ParksFolio, and Modern Steader. I'm a day hiker, top chef in camp, doting husband, and father to two headlamp wearing boys. My work in digital media brings those experiences to life.