Hidden Canyon - Zion NP, UT

Date: 6/26/12

Miles: 4.5

Elevation Change: 1000'

Trail Type: Out and back

Trip Report:

Hidden Canyon is a strenuous hike up the side of the canyon wall, but it has great views of a hanging canyon, waterfall, and even a natural small arch! Warning: lots of switchbacks! Not recommended for people who are scared of heights, since there is a section of slickrock and a chain to guide you. Since we were in a rush to squeeze in this hike before it got dark, we didn't have much time to take pictures. Instead, I have provided several links at the bottom to more detailed trip reports with pictures.

Trail map from citrusmilo.com
Trail map from citrusmilo.com

We arrived at Zion quite late, and the setting sun had already cast a shadow over most of the canyon. It was too early to just sit around our camp site, so we decided to journey out on a short hike. We settled for Hidden Canyon, and hopped on the shuttle over there (shuttles are the only way around the park during all of Summer).

The hike begins at the same parking lot for Weeping Rocks and continues up the steep switchbacks. As you climb higher, the views of the rest of Zion get better and better. You can even look back at Weeping Rock below you. The trail becomes rock and there is a chain bolted into the side of the wall at some points.

Looking up, Hidden Canyon is somewhere in a crevice up there
Looking up, Hidden Canyon is somewhere in a crevice up there
At the turn of a switchback on the way up, a lot of elevation already below us

At the turn of a switchback on the way up, a lot of elevation already below us

Clark standing precariously close to the ledge... not for those scared of heights!

Clark standing precariously close to the ledge... not for those scared of heights!

After 1.1 miles, you reach the entrance of the hanging canyon. Here the maintained trail disappears and you can continue on in the canyon for another mile.

Entering the sandy canyon
Entering the sandy canyon
The ledge Clark climbed up onto
The ledge Clark climbed up onto
Clark climbed up the side of the wall and looked back to snap this picture
Clark climbed up the side of the wall and looked back to snap this picture

The weather inside the canyon was perfect, and there was a surprising amount of greenery. We reached the arch in no time.

Clark bouldered up the arch
Clark bouldered up the arch
Hidden Alice behind Hidden Arch
Hidden Alice behind Hidden Arch

We had the option to continue further down the canyon, but we decided to turn around to head back to the Shuttle and get some rest before our big hike tomorrow.

Hiking back down
Hiking back down

That night we stayed in a loud and full campground inside Zion, and while playing bananagrams, a giant bug somehow ended up in my cup. It must have enjoyed the wine because it just sat there. I didn't even see it until I raised it to my mouth to take a sip and my headlamp shone on it!

Our nightly entertainment of bananagrams
Our nightly entertainment of bananagrams
The ENORMOUS beetle that I almost drank
The ENORMOUS beetle that I almost drank

Hidden Valley was a great intro hike to Zion. We actually found out that there was a rockslide a month later, trapping 11 hikers for several hours behind the rocks. Scary thinking that could have happened to us!

Other useful sites:

The Hike Guy

Oh the Places They Go

Zion National Park

Citrus Milo

Hikespeak