Hike Spotlight: Hidden CanyonMar 14, 2018
Hike Spotlight: Hidden Canyon
Hidden Canyon is one of Zion National Park’s most memorable hikes and if you have never experienced it, definitely put it on your Zion itinerary of 2018. Many describe this trail as having a little bit of everything, fluctuating between various levels of difficulty as the trail progresses and offering some the park’s most incredible scenery. Giant cliffs of sandstone that bleed into the Great White Throne as well as Cable Mountain make of some the visual highlights of this trail, in addition to slot canyon features, a 20-foot arch, and some sandstone caves. Some portions include footpaths that are quite narrow with guiding chains, other sections will put you up against some semi-challenging ascents, and still, you’ll find small areas that are pleasantly non-strenuous. Overall, however, this hike is considered strenuous as it’s mostly uphill. Hidden Canyon Zion is roughly 2.5 miles round trip and is a well-maintained trail. Hikers should consider this a day hike as it will likely take around 3 or 4 hours to complete depending on speed.
Along the way, you’ll encounter a handful of switchbacks. These sections are located on a high cliffside that is narrow so be careful and be sure to follow Zion safety recommendations. A few of these areas have chains installed along the trail for assistance. Be aware of your steps as there can be small sandstone sections that are a bit smooth and a little slippery. Also, there isn’t much shade while hiking Hidden Canyon Zion until you get into the canyon section which is very shady and actually quite cool. Be sure to bring sunscreen, perhaps a hat, and as always when hiking anywhere in Zion, a sufficient amount of water. The recommended time to embark on Hidden Canyon Zion is between March and October due to the ice that usually covers the rock walkway during the winter months. Keep in mind that the only restroom is located at the trailhead. This particular trailhead is also the starting point for three other Zion hikes: the East Rim, Observation Point, and Weeping Rock. Once you start walking the path, you see signs that direct you toward your trail of choice. A ways in, you’ll come to the mouth of the canyon where you’ll find carved steps leading into it. Soon you’ll see some wonderful looking sandstone pools that likely will have little gray canyon tree frogs in them. Once you continue on from there you’ll see a sign that tells you that you’ve reached the end of the hike. If you want to view the freestanding arch of Hidden Canyon Zion, you’ll see a path next to this sign that will take you there. It’s an additional quarter mile in length. If you decide to go see the arch (which you should), you’ll also get to see the Green Wall which is really neat flat stone wall covered in moss and is another fantastic feature of the Hidden Canyon Zion trail. Safety note: once you get to the freestanding arch, turn around. Going past this point requires a high-level of skill, experience, and technical training.
While on your return journey of Hidden Canyon Zion, know that you have some incredible views in store; amazing views of the Organ, Cathedral Mountain, Angels Landing, and Big Bend.
A bit of history on this trail: in 1927 the area that we know as Hidden Canyon was first sighted in a most unusual way. Historical figure William Evans actually fell while ascending another Zion landmark, the Great White Throne, and it was during his rescue attempt that Hidden Canyon Zion- an isolated oasis of sorts- was found (Evans did not perish in this fall, by the way).
Hike Spotlight: Hidden Canyon
Hidden Canyon Zion
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