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Canyons of the Escalante: The Box of Pine Creek

Southern Utah Wanderings | Monday, October 3, 2022

After staying up too late on Sunday evening for a concert that was delayed and cut short, I woke up early on Monday and made my way over to Escalante where I met up with Jared later in the morning. There was a very nice and colorful sunrise as I drove across the San Rafael Desert, but I didn’t stop for any photos this time. After getting gas in town we decided to start the week off with a warm-up hike through The Box this afternoon, so we dropped off my Jeep at the lower trailhead and then took Jared’s Jeep to the upper trailhead on the shoulder of Boulder Mountain where we started the 1,500 foot descent along Pine Creek.

We passed a kiosk and trail register shortly after leaving the road and descending a grassy slope.

Trail Register

The fall colors were looking nice along the upper end of the trail.

Upper Box Fall Colors

Entering the Box-Death Hollow Wilderness.

Box-Death Hollow Wilderness Sign

Although the views were blocked by trees for most of the hike, there were a few places we could see the towering canyons walls that surrounded us.

Canyon Wall

Canyon Color

As we followed the trail along Pine Creek there were quite a few creek crossings along the way, but we were able to keep our shoes mostly dry.

Pine Creek Trail

Fall colors in The Box

Trees & Stone

Green & Red

Pine Creek

As we got lower in the canyon the views did begin to open up a bit.

Opening Up

Some light even began to peek out from behind the clouds…

Lower Box

Above The Trees

Sandstone View

Throughout our hike it was obvious that the canyon had seen a lot of rain during the past couple of days and then we came across large piles of hail along the trail that had fallen the evening before. Some of the larger hail were about an inch in diameter.

Trail Hail

As we neared the end of The Box, the sky started to clear up even more.

Clearing Clouds

The Box of Pine Creek

Pine Creek in the narrows at the lower end of The Box.

The Box

Crossing Lost Creek on our way back to the lower trailhead.

Lost Creek Crossing

A view from the lower trailhead looking south.

Lower Box Trailhead View

We were planning to spend the next two days south of Zion along the Utah-Arizona border, so after returning to my Jeep at the lower trailhead we picked up Jared’s Jeep from the top and then headed east on Scenic Byway 12 to our next destination.

After crossing the Pink Cliffs and Paunsaugunt Plateau we made a brief stop in Red Canyon shortly before sunset when we spotted this faint rainbow above the bright red cliffs.

Red Canyon Rainbow

>> The Box of Pine Creek Photo Gallery

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