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**Hidden Canyon is closed indefinitely due to rockfall (as of August 2022)**
Last year I got the National Geographic Secrets of the National Parks book. I didn’t really look through it until I was home recently. When I was looking through it to get ready for our trip to Zion, I saw a hike I hadn’t heard of before. That hike was Hidden Canyon. Once I read about it, I knew I needed to do it.
The hike isn’t super long, but it is so steep in the beginning and has some pretty solid drop-offs. It can be done in a few hours and is the perfect hike for a morning or afternoon. We set off mid-afternoon and got climbing. The trail is at Weeping Rock, the same stop as Observation Point, and starts with a pretty solid set of switchbacks.
I hadn’t done a whole lot of hiking for a while before we got to Zion, so I’m not in the best shape. We got up a couple of the switchbacks and I was ready to turn around. We didn’t. I knew I wanted to do this hike, so I pushed on and stopped a lot on that first part.
It felt like the switchbacks were never going to end and they took so long, but eventually, we made it to the top of those and it was like a walk in the park after that, at least it is if you’re not afraid of heights. Not too long after getting to the top, you start to get to the cliffs.
The trail is a little rocky and sandy, so be careful if your shoes don’t have great traction. When there is a light layer of sand on the rock, it gets pretty slippery. A lot of the of cliff sections have chains, but there are a few that don’t.
At this point, you’re making your way around the cliff and into Hidden Canyon. Once you reach the end of the maintained trail, you need to do a little rock scrambling if you want to keep going.
Some of the scrambles will be a little more difficult than others and will look more intimidating than they are from the bottom. Just remember, sometimes it’s harder to get back down these things than it is to go up.
You’ll see a small arch on the right (on your way in) against the canyon wall. There were a few cairns on the ground right before it. Some of the walls are towering above you. Some are covered in moss.
Some areas are open and sandy, others are less. Eventually, you will come to the end of the trail, marked with a cute little sign. From here you just turn back and make the hike back out.
This is an awesome hike in Zion, and one of my favorites now, even though I almost didn’t make it up. It has a totally different feel compared to a lot of the other hikes in the park.
It doesn’t have the sprawling canyon views like Canyon Overlook, Angel’s Landing, or Observation Point. Instead, you are in the canyon. It’s a good way to switch things up during your Zion trip and definitely bucket list worthy.
National Park Pass + Other National Park Deals
- If you’re planning on visiting multiple parks (3 or more) on this trip or within the year, I would highly recommend getting a national park pass. It’s $80 and you can get it at the park entrance. It will pay for itself in about three parks. It’s so worth it and I buy one every year! They’re also great for gifts for the park lovers in your life.
- To help plan the best national park trip ever, this Ultimate National Park Planning Bundle is perfect! You get two ebooks and a planner, saving 50% by getting them as a bundle! If you want all the details, this is the bundle for you. Buy the Ultimate bundle here.
- This National Park Planner (one of the ebooks from the bundle above) is perfect if you just want some guidance in your planning. Buy the planner here.
- Get yourself a little National Park notebook to write all about your adventures while you’re on the road. These from Field Notes are all very cute! If you want one for all of the NPS sites (400+!) then this one is for you!
- Before your trip, get some national park apparel for your trip! Homage is donating 5% of sales from the national park collection to the National Parks Conservation Association this year. Buy national park shirts here.
- Consider reading some of these books set in national parks before your big trip, on your adventure, or once you get home to take you back to the parks until next time.
- Planning a big national park trip? Check out these other posts: National Park bucket list, Make the most of a National Park trip, National Park camping packing list, My favorite National Park hikes, More National Park hikes I love, Underrated National Parks.
Where is Hidden Canyon in Zion?
You’ll find the Hidden Canyon trail at the Weeping Rock shuttle stop. You’ll get on the same trail that goes to Observation Point, but it will split on the switchbacks and you’ll go to the right around the wall of the canyon then back into it.
How long is the Hidden Canyon trail?
The Hidden Canyon trail is 3 miles round-trip with 940 feet of elevation gain. It is a moderate hike, but if you’re not used to steep switchbacks, the beginning may be tough. It’s totally worth it, though. I would plan 2-3 hours for the whole thing.
Is the Hidden Canyon hike in Zion hard?
I would say it’s a solid moderate hike. I had a rough time on the first switchbacks but after that it was fine. If you really hate heights, the part going around the cliff edge would be pretty difficult. So yes and no. If you’re in really good shape and don’t mind heights, it won’t be bad.
Other awesome things to do in Zion National Park
- Hike to Canyon Overlook
- Hike the East Rim Trail or West Rim Trail
- Hike The Narrows
- Hike Angels Landing
- Hike to Observation Point
- Hike the Watchman Trail
- Bike along the Virgin River
- Hike the Sand Bench Trail
- Hike The Subway
- Or don’t hike at all and do these cool things
- Drive through Kolob Canyon
- Drive up Kolob Terrace Road
Is the Hidden Canyon Trail worth it?
Yes! I loved this trail so much and once it eventually opens back up, I would definitely recommend it. Unless you’re really, really afraid of heights.
Utah posts you may also like:
Have you hiked Hidden Canyon? Do you prefer hiking into canyons or to overlooks?
8 thoughts on “Hidden Canyon: Zion National Park’s Must-Do Underrated Hike”
Those photos show just how dangerous that Hidden Canyon Trail really is!
Yup! And it’s only cliff on one side, unlike Angel’s Landing!
It’s probably got some snow and ice on it this morning as we received some precipitation last night which makes it extremely dangerous
Ohh that would make me so nervous!
I did it a month ago when it was dry and found it intimidating.
I can believe it! My boyfriend was very nervous, especially around the parts without chains
We did this hike in late May 2017, after coming down from Observation Point. It was terrific. We saw a big owl in a tree in Hidden Canyon (maybe a Great Horned, not sure).
Thats awesome! I can’t wait to do Observation Point. Just need to get in better shape first haha