Elevation Change: 1000'
Trail Type: Out and back
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.
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.
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.
The weather inside the canyon was perfect, and there was a surprising amount of greenery. We reached the arch in no time.
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.
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!
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!
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