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Hidden Canyon, Zion National Park

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  • The Hidden Canyon shares the Weeping Rock trailhead with the Weeping Rock and Observation Point trails, but is unique from them both. Hidden Canyon begins with the long, steep switchbacks of Observation Point, but after one half-mile, the Hidden Canyon trail leaves the pavement and turns into dirt. From this point, the trail intrigues hikers along cliff edges with chains and ledges, similar to Angels Landing. The last 1/8 mile (.2 km) is not difficult, ending at the mouth of Hidden Canyon. Exploring up-canyon reveals some hidden gems; one is a beautiful arch at the floor of the canyon. You can hike about 1.75 miles (2.8 km) up through the drainage, solving boulder obstacles along the way to reach each progressing level. Please make sure as you ascent the canyon that you will feel comfortable descending the sometimes imposing drops on the way back!
  • Trailhead: Exit the free Scenic Drive shuttle at Weeping Rock trailhead and follow the trail to Observation Point, the East Rim, and Hidden Canyon.

    Mileage: 2 miles (3.2 km), round-trip, or longer, depending on your perseverance

    Elevation Gain: 850 feet (259 meters)

    Approximate Hike Time: 3 hours, round-trip

    Difficulty: Moderate, with strenuous sections

    Crowds: Traffic thins out significantly when the trail splits off from the Observation Point/East Rim trail. The further into Hidden Canyon you delve, the fewer hikers you encounter.

  • Best Times of Day:
    During winter, hike in later morning or early afternoon to let the canyon heat up a little from its chilling nightime lows.
    During summer, any time of day will grant cool shadows to escap the heat of the main canyon outside.

    Best Times of Year:
    Hidden Canyon is a great hike any time of year.
    Summer hikers especially appreciate the cool, shaded icebox effect of the stone canyon.
    Summer and autumn allow the driest access to the upper reaches of the canyon.
    Winter rains and spring snow melt often make for a wet slog past the canyon mouth.

  • The upper portion of Hidden Canyon is a fun opportunity to explore off the beaten path, especially for teenagers and adventurous souls.
    If you go far enough up canyon, eventually further progress becomes impossible due to high, steep cliffs. If you find such a place, look carefully for metal bolts in the rock wall. Climbers use these bolts to contine up the canyon, using ropes and bolts to protect possible falls!
  • A short section of the main trail bends over slickrock, exposing you to long drop-offs. Please be careful!
    Up-canyon travel within Hidden Canyon requires climbing and scrambling, which becomes pretty hairy at times. Take the time to talk about the potential risks with your group and make conscious decisions.
    Over the years, the Park has carried out a few live bodies with broken legs, and a few not so lively ones. Know your limits and be conservative in your up-canyon quest.