Hidden Canyon is a fantastic hike that lets you romp and scramble and explore a small side canyon that’s perched high above the Zion canyon floor.
Hidden Canyon lies in the slit on the right hand side of the photo above. If you look carefully, you can see people along the surface of the rock, on a trail that is carved out of the rock face.
It’s accessible by a steep, switchbacked trail that climbs until it can go no further as a regular trail. It first becomes steps, laid carefully into the rock… … then it becomes a narrow sandstone rock path that leads to the cliff edge…… and then it becomes ledges, cut into the sandstone, with chains to hold, that go around and across a massive, curving cliff face.
Exploring this terrain, you walk through the creek, you climb over boulders, you squeeze through tight areas, and you balance on logs. It’s super, super, SUPER fun!
Close to the end of where you can go without climbing equipment, there’s a little arch … such an amazing feature.
See what it’s like to walk up on top of it… it’s like walking along the back of a giant worm in a horror movie!!
Just imagine… wherever you see a waterfall in Zion, falling from high above the canyon floor, there is a smaller canyon like this one, hidden out of sight. I love that the park’s founders decided to make one of these high canyons accessible (by carving trails into the cliff face) to us all, revealing a little bit more of the magic of this wondrous place.
If You Go…
Bring gaitors for the water pools in the canyon. This way you will not have to scramble up high on crumbly dirt trails, and contribute to the erosion of the area. You can simply splash through the puddles on a rock hard surface, instead.
Bring food and drink with you as there is nothing to purchase in the park and getting to the trailhead using the mandatory shuttle system (in and out) takes quite a while.
DO NOT enter the canyon if the water is rushing, or if heavy rain is in the forecast. These canyons are sculpted by water… powerful water…. and are prone to flash floods. Check the weather forecast & park system warnings before heading out.
Trekking up a mountain’s shoulder, hiking through a flowering alpine meadow, snowshoeing through a dense pine forest, or taking in the 360 degree views from a ridge top vantage point make me feel alive. The experiences in these places give me a profound sense of space and place.
Travel does a similar thing, pushing me out of my comfort zone, exposing me to new experiences, new people and new ways of thinking; it also gives me that sense of space and place in this world.
I believe that life is lived in the contrasts: when you experience simplicity and complexity and life's ups and downs, whether they be physically in this world or mentally in your own personal inner landscape, you know that you are truly living.
The bigger they are, the more there is to explore!