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Hidden Canyon

Zion National Park, Utah

The floor of Hidden Canyon, a hanging canyon tucked in a ravine between Cable Mountain and the north wall of the Great White Throne, lies high above the lush Virgin River valley of Zion—the steep uphill climb provides the intrepid hiker with high adventure, complete with perilous cliff edges, chains and ledges reminiscent of nearby Angels Landing, slippery sandstone areas, and a narrow slot canyon culminating with views of a freestanding arch.

This half-day hike, 2.2-miles roundtrip, begins at the same trailhead as Weeping Rock, the East Rim Trail, and Observation Point—hop off the shuttle at the Weeping Rock shuttle stop. Follow the signs to Weeping Rock until it splits off to the left, continue hiking along the shared path towards East Rim, Observation Point, and Hidden Canyon—the canyon trail will break off to the right at the signed junction.

Spectacular switchbacks hug the side of the cliff, giving way to long drop-offs peppered throughout the steep climb—the hiking is strenuous but easily doable if you pace yourself. However, those with a fear of heights take note, the upper portion of the trail can be very intimidating—many sections are narrow and slippery if it has recently rained, with precipitous drop-offs; there are chains to hold onto at most exposed areas, but those inclined to vertigo might think twice about continuing.

The higher you trek, the more open the views become—jaw-dropping vistas of the Pipe Organ, Angels Landing, and the picturesque landscape of Big Bend and the Virgin River are your apt reward for braving the climb.

After hiking just over a mile, you will reach the official end of the trail—a sign marks the accomplishment, but a short path into the slot canyon, another half-mile or so, can be followed for those wishing to try their bouldering skills and to get a glimpse of Hidden Canyon’s freestanding arch. This upper portion of the hike is a great opportunity to explore off the beaten path—it was pouring down rain when we arrived, limiting our exploration to just the mouth of the canyon, but those who get there under fair conditions have the opportunity to reach the arch.


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