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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Hidden Canyon, UT

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Guide 22 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List UT > Southwest > St George
Rated
4
4 of 5 by 6
 
3
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
Canyoneering
Consensus
View 1
Grade1
WaterA
Risk
TimeI
Statistics
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,733 feet
Elevation Gain 586 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.93
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Connecting Only
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
6  2018-05-22 KBKB
9  2015-05-04 Oregon_Hiker
8  2014-09-28 AZ_Step
6  2014-06-27 charlieaz
29  2012-12-17 paulhubbard
6  2011-05-10 squatpuke
4  2010-06-20 nonot
10  2007-12-05 PaleoRob
Page 1,  2
Author PaleoRob
author avatar Guides 137
Routes 111
Photos 5,253
Trips 942 map ( 2,097 miles )
Age 38 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
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Preferred   Sep, Oct, Nov, Apr → Any
Seasons   Late Summer to Late Spring
Sun  6:19am - 6:30pm
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0 Alternative
 
Water
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Steep hike to hidden slot
by PaleoRob

Likely In-Season!
Hidden Canyon is a slot canyon located in Zion National Park.

Zion Canyon is a beautiful, unparalleled declivity in the earth's surface at the edge of the Colorado Plateau. Here the vast amount of sediment, laid down over millions of years, is exposed in one steep-walled gorge, cut by the Virgin River as it heads down to the lower elevations of the Great Basin, and eventually Lake Mead. In order to become so deep and steep, the Virgin River has to cut down through lots of sedimentary layers very fast. Represented within the park, being cut by the river, are the Navajo, Kayenta, Moenave, and Chinle Formations. Because this cutting happened so rapidly, many small tributary streams were literally left hanging as the Virgin sliced through the rocks at rocket (for a geological event) speeds. Hidden Canyon is one of these tributaries. From the parking area for Dripping Springs, the trail takes off to the south. To the east, against the cliff face, the alcove of Dripping Springs can be easily seen. Hike south, and cross the bridge spanning the creek flowing from the springs. The trail to Dripping Springs branches to the left, and the Hidden Canyon/Overlook/East Rim trail continues straight on.


Not too far past the creek and bridge (~50 yards), there is a mound of dirt on the east side of the trail with an interpretive sign. Back in the early days of settlement around Zion Canyon, it seems logs were in short supply. Some enterprising (and slightly mad) person came up with the idea of a cable lift from the floor of the canyon to the rim, and back, to harvest the Ponderosa Pines that live along the rim. There are some harrowing pictures of the lift in operation on the sign, and apparently the lower terminus for the cable was there on that mound of dirt. Looking up towards the rim, the remains of the towers at the upper end are still visible.

The switchbacks begin shortly after the sign. The trail ascends 586 feet up the side of Zion Canyon in the space of about a mile, so the switchbacks come pretty fast. they start out close together and shallow, then become steeper, and then get placed further and further apart. The views into the canyon at the Big Bend of the Virgin are pretty neat. After climbing about 2/3 of the height, the trail branches. To the left the East Rim/Overlook trails take off. The East Rim trail is a popular backpacking trail, and runs most of the length of the east rim of Zion Canyon. To the right the Hidden Canyon trail heads up a vertical wall with a tightly spaced series of switchbacks. Once on top, there is another nice view into the valley on the right, on a spur. The trail leads to the left, down into a shallow canyon. There are chains from this point onward, to help with the ascent/decent into and out of this canyon. Crossing the draw, you climb again, for the last time, along a thin slickrock ledge. Using the chains are advisable. This rounds a point, and drops you into the mouth of Hidden Canyon, where Hidden Canyon Creek flows into potholes and drops away into a 600 foot trickling waterfall to the valley floor. If you need water, this would be a reliable place to fill (don't forget to treat), and at some of the seeps up the canyon a ways, but this hike is so short you should just planning bringing a liter or two. The mouth of Hidden Canyon is where trail maintenance ends, and where the 2-mile round trip distance comes from for this trip. Upcanyon, the sign at the mouth says, there are even narrower walls, fern covered alcoves, and a free-standing arch. I'll leave them for you to explore - getting there is half the journey, after all. Once you've completed exploring into Hidden Canyon, make your way back down to your vehicle the way you came. Take the quick hike to Dripping Springs while you're there, or if you're backpacking, continue on out the East Rim trail.

Check out the Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your canyon trip to support this local community.

2007-12-21 PaleoRob
  • nps related
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Hidden Canyon
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After Angel’s Landing and all 16 miles of The Narrows, my wife and I were looking for a short fun and easy hike. So we chose Hidden Canyon. Much to my surprise and delight there were sections of this hike with chains due to the sheer drop-offs. At the end of the hike we explored fairly deep into hidden canyon, some distance past the arch. We finally reached a point where we were not about to go any further without climbing gear. On our way back we scrambled up to the lookout for a minute to take in the view. We started this hike early and had shade for the entire hike.
Hidden Canyon
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Hiked into Hidden Canyon to see the standing arch. Most of this trail is on a prepared surface, even some chains to help in the exposed narrow places. Once you enter the canyon itself you scramble over or around whatever natural obstacles there are, though in a few slick rock places there are chiseled out footholds. My wife did ask me, "were those created?" I just said yes and kept going.

The arch is a nice turn around point if you have other things to do in the park. I hear continuing on is also nice.
Hidden Canyon
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We visited Zion the week before Christmas in hopes of getting some wintery type pictures, and we weren't disappointed! The first two days were pretty grey and bleak, but the last day was bright sunshine and clear skies (photos of that day coming soon).

This hike was a "hmmm... Let's do this one", totally unplanned. That seems to be the best kind for us, we love the surprise of seeing unexpected things. Hidden Canyon fit that bill exactly!
Hidden Canyon
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This was a great hike...had it all...steep switchbacks, dangerous drops, chains, slot canyon, arch, mild canyoneering...we had a BLAST and finally a reprieve from the rainy weather we'd had while camping.

I hiked with my 8 and 11 year old which made for extreme nervousness **http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=192452** (my 8 y/o probably wasn't quite ready to defy death...he just didn't have the focus on the chains... :o )

We hiked about 1/4 mile back into Hidden Canyon to see the arch....

On our descent, I video'd the chain sections...I would post, but I'm ranting at my kids to hang on WAY to much...LOL.

Great Day!
Hidden Canyon
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
I again made a sidetrip up this canyon after hitting Observation Point though I made it quite a ways up past some obstacles that require scrambling until I was stopped by one that required getting wet and climbing up a skinny log. ;)
Hidden Canyon
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I made a sidetrip up this canyon after hitting Observation Point though I made it quite a ways up past some obstacles that require scrambling until I was stopped by one that required getting wet and climbing up a skinny log. ;)

Permit $$
no fees or permits reported

if incorrect tell us about it

Zion National Park
Zion Per Car/7 Day Entrance Fee (Permits such as backcountry and such may pertain too)


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To canyon trip
From St. George, Utah, drive N on I-15 until reaching the exit for UT-9/17. Follow UT-9/17 through Hurricane and LaVerkin. At the second stoplight in LaVerkin, turn right onto UT-9 (signed for Zion NP). Continue on UT-9 through Virgin, Rockville, and Springdale. In the summer, it is advisable to park in Springdale and ride the free shuttle into the park, and take the Zion Canyon shuttle up to the Dripping Springs stop. In the off-season, when the shuttle is not running, drive into the park, and turn left onto the Zion Canyon road, towards the lodge. Continue past the lodge and stop at the turnout marked for Dripping Springs. The trail starts to the south of the parking area, and there are restrooms there. Either method, driving or shuttle, requires the Zion entrance fee.
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