Route DescriptionFollow the Pine Creek Trail into the north fork of Pine Creek Canyon, where the trail drops into a wash (about 1.5 miles from the TH). The north fork of the canyon is locally known as Fern Canyon. The wash heads SW and is a mixture of Class 1-3. Continue through the wash to a seasonal waterfall. Ascend the brushy chute to the right of the waterfall.
Once up the chute, hike on the sandstone; don’t descend back into the wash. Make your way up the canyon to a dryfall distinguished by white salt deposits. It’s only about 150 yards from the top of the chute you ascended.
Once up, hike 25 yards north toward the mouth of the canyon on sandstone to a path. Follow the path 30 yards east, and then head north (left) to a small wall. Once up the wall (class 3), head east (right) along a wide ledge. As you continue east, the dropoff to the south (right) increases. Soon the ledge gives way and you have to climb/traverse (class 2/3) up to the next level. Cairns may mark this spot. Head east on the sandstone, avoiding brush. Continue east, paralleling a 100-foot wall to the north. Follow it as it bends to the NE (left), where the terrain opens up.
From here you will scramble to the start of a gully. Numerous cairns help keep you on route. The easiest route is no harder than Class 3, with most of the route being Class 2.
A little before the gully, a path leads through vegetation to the gully. Once in the gully, veer to the right when an outcrop divides the gully. (The outcrop is noticeable from the bottom of the gully but seems to disappear once you’re in the heart of the gully.) It’s a strenuous Class 2 trek to the top. Near the top of the gully, there’s an interesting ponderosa pine growing sideways out of the sandstone. At the top of the gully, notice the dark red ground. This is a major landmark on your descent.