Hidden Canyon hike

Zion National Park
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Hidden Canyon hike

Distance: 3.2mi
Elevation: 1,391ft
Time: 2-2.5h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.4 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

Accessed by part of the trail for Observation Point, the Hidden Canyon hike leads up markedly fewer switchbacks than many others in the area to a lush slot canyon. Angel’s Landing style chains line the upper part of the trail, however they are nowhere near as scary.

Hidden Canyon hike Map

Getting there

Enter Zion National Park from the town of Springdale. If possible, park near the visitors centre just past the park gates. If that lot is full, park in the town of Springdale and get the free shuttle bus to the visitors centre. From the visitors centre take the other free shuttle bus into Zion Canyon. For most of the year the canyon is not open to public vehicles. Exit the bus at the Weeping Rock bus stop.

I’ve done this 12 people have done this
I want to do this 28 want to do this route

About

When to do

Spring and Fall, avoid summer heat

Backcountry Campsites

None

Toilets

At trailhead

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


Hidden Canyon
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Hidden Canyon hike

From the bus stop, find the small parking lot on the right side of the road, which is the same side you got off the bus. Here you will the find the pit toilet and some trash bins. Cross a small footbridge to find the trailhead signs as well as a fork. Continue to the right here and begin the climb.

The first part of this hike is simply pure switchbacks making their way up the canyon wall. These have been blasted into the sandstone slick rock, and it was obvious that when the trail was first created it was paved. Now the pavement is quite cracked and doesn’t detract too much from the wilderness aesthetics! This path is extremely well leveled, making the challenging ascent that much more pleasant.

After many switchbacks you will reach the first junction for Hidden Canyon, located roughly halfway up this first set of switchbacks. Turn right here and continue following half a dozen or so more small switchbacks. You will soon gain a small notch where most people take their break.

The trail leads left from here, contouring around the sandstone cliffs. Soon you will reach a section that has been blasted out of the sandstone, with sturdy chains drilled into the rock to hang onto. This part of the path can get super congested as people try to pass others. Take your time and be sure of your footing.

After contouring around the ridge for a little while longer you will reach several small pools. Theses are fed by the flash floods running through the wash of Hidden Canyon. Here you will also see the narrow mouth of the slot canyon.

Continuing along the trail into the slot canyon involves some minor rock hopping. Most people will be able to do it with no problem, however if you are uncomfortable, this is a fantastic place to stop and then turn around. You’ll get intimate views of Cable Mountain across the valley you just hiked up, as well as red sandstone cliffs occupying almost your entire field of view.

If you choose to continue head into the canyon and follow the obvious footprints along its sandy bottom. The canyon is almost always shaded, making it extremely cool. You can continue in the canyon as long as you want, however the official trail ends at a very impressive natural arch. From the arch you can turn around and head back the same way you came.

Insider Hints

  • There are many flat rocks to stop and have a picnic on within the canyon. Especially nice on hot days!

  • Combine this hike with Observation Point for a longer day hike.

Comments

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PetraPk 2 months ago

Chains again! but I managed to get through this time. Going back was scary. People were queing up, but the distance is too big to see everyone so some people had to squeeze past me, I felt I am going to dig into the cliff, just to stay as close to that side as I could. Scaryyyyy

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
SteffWilk 3 months ago

Not as scary my ...! they were scary. They wouldn't be if I would be there by myself, but the people are always passing by. And the chain is on the cliff side. So someone has to pass through you by almost hugging you and not holding on to anything. I would stick to the cliff with my whole body. But as you go further, the sort of tunnels between the mountains was amazing, a lot of light scrambling later on. Good area to explore

9.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
2h 30m Time Taken
SJ 3 months ago

Hidden Canyon is a really great spot, but the chains were a bit daunting.

8.0 Overall Rating
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Jane 3 months ago

I did not find it as easy as the rating states. There were some very scary parts here. Holding the chain on the edge and allowing others to pass was really horrifying.

10.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
3h 00m Time Taken
Burokai 3 months ago

Don't go there if you are afraid of height otherwise, it's a must do! I was surprised that this hike was not too popular as it was really fun to do and took some effort jumping and climbing among the fallen rocks in the canyon. Also, it starts at the same point as the Weeping rock so it's easy to visit that one too

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
02h 00m Time Taken
5 Comments

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