Hidden Canyon Zion hike Zion National Park Zion Canyon cliff trail chains weeping rock

Hidden Canyon is perched above the east rim of Zion Canyon, offering an exciting hike with rewarding scenery. The more famous Angel’s Landing Trail is not the only trek in Zion with dangerous drop-offs that require chain railings for safe passage, because this 3.3-mile trek with 850 feet of elevation change takes hikers across dramatic cliffs to reach a hanging canyon housing a small natural arch.

The trek begins at the Weeping Rock trailhead. Instead of turning left toward that attraction, take the trail to the right and begin a steady climb up the side of Zion Canyon. After 0.7 miles of long paved switchbacks, turn right at the junction toward Hidden Canyon. The track to the left continues to Inspiration Point and East Rim Trail.

Hidden Canyon
Looking down across Zion Canyon

Above the junction, continue to climb, and chip away at the 850 feet of elevation that lie between the trailhead and Hidden Canyon. Progress southward to a panoramic landing on the wall of Zion Canyon. From here, things get quite interesting. Chains appear along the sheer vertical cliff guiding hikers along a surprising course. The trail reaches a small canyon, suspended above the cliffs, but this is not Hidden Canyon, and somehow the adventure continues. Take the stone staircase up to a path cut into the rock wall on the opposite side of the little canyon. This is exhilarating hiking, but if you have a fear of heights, the thousand-foot drop-offs may not be for you.

The trail rounds the cliff face
Hidden Canyon

Your hands will be gripping even more chains as the trail curls around the ledge to the mouth of a second canyon, Hidden Canyon. The maintained trail ends here, but do not let that deter you. Continue 0.2 miles to a small natural arch within this pristine and remote-feeling hanging canyon.

Hidden Canyon
The small arch in Hidden Canyon

The canyon is narrow and gradual with a sandy bottom and a few rock obstacles. None are too difficult to cross, until half a mile in when a fifteen foot dry falls blocks progress. Technical climbing is required to go any farther, so turn around here for a 3.3-mile day hike.

To get to the trailhead: Between May and October, access to Upper Zion Canyon is restricted to shuttle traffic only. From the Zion National Park Visitor Center, ride the shuttle for approximately twenty-five minutes and get off at the Weeping Rock shuttle stop. Head east across the parking lot past the bathrooms to the trailhead.

Trailhead address: Floor of the Valley Road (Zion Canyon Scenic Drive), Zion National Park, Springdale, UT84767
Trailhead coordinates: 37.270599, -112.938381 (37° 15′ 54.51″N 112° 56′ 17.95″W)

 

Elevation Profile
Click or hover over any spot on this elevation profile to see the distance from the start and elevation above sea level at that location, which will be highlighted on the map.
Trail Map

View Zion National Park in a larger map
Or view a regional map of surrounding Utah trails and campgrounds.

Photos

Hidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonHidden CanyonWeeping Rock

These photos were taken in June of 2010. Click to enlarge.
Nearby Trails
weeping rock zionWeeping Rock
This 0.4-mile hike visits an alcove in the sandstone wall of Zion Canyon where water seeps out of the rock, nourishing hanging gardens and plentiful vegetation.
Hike ZionRiverside Walk
This level walkway follows the Virgin River to the bottom of the narrows north of Zion Canyon, a popular place to hike and swim.
Angels Landing Hike ZionAngel’s Landing
This 5.2-mile hike takes an incredible route up the east rim of Zion Canyon ascending to a towering slab of sandstone jutting into the center of the canyon. The expansive views and thousand foot drop-offs have made this trail world famous.
Hike ZionEmerald Pools
This 2.4-mile loop visits three tiers of enchanting pools by incorporating the Lower, Middle, and Upper Emerald Pools Trails.
Hike ZionCourt of the Patriarchs
This 0.1-mile walk heads up a short rise in the center of Zion Canyon to offer a nice view of the surrounding sandstone peaks.
Canyon Overlook Trail Hike ZionCanyon Overlook Trail
This one-mile round trip hike visits a scenic viewpoint looking west over Zion Canyon.
Hike ZionWatchman Trail
This 3.5-mile lollipop loop reaches a panoramic overlook on the side of Zion Canyon.
Moab hikingMore trails in Utah
Explore other hikes in Utah outside of Zion National Park.
Camping
Camping ZionZion Campgrounds
There are two large campgrounds at the south end of Zion canyon and another small campground outside Kolob Canyon.
OK! Add to trails I’ve hiked
OK! Add to trails I want to hike
Tagged with · National Parks · Zion Canyon
Distance: 3.3 miles · Elevation change: 850 feet

8 Comments on Hidden Canyon in Zion National Park

  1. kshoufersays:

    Looks like a scary hike for most. Great photos. Almost like being there. How long did you stay at Zion?

  2. hikespeaksays:

    It was some hike. The canyon at the end was quite peaceful, but the trail itself is pretty intense. I was in Zion for about 24 hours. Hope I can bet back there soon…

  3. Tylersays:

    That last obstacle as of May 2011 has some logs wedged into the front of it that make it pretty easy to climb up. After that the obstacles are simple and you can follow the canyon all the way to its end.

  4. Lucassays:

    I attempted to reach the end and climb out of the canyon, on the basis of Tyler’s experience (see above). May 2012. I couldn’t do it, at least not with a small backpack. Just to help others gauge their skill level, I have led 5.10d outdoors and did in a few cases have to use my climbing skills. Got very far, all the way to an enormous waterfall on the east side, which I think is visible on the topo. Awesome hike though. Just know your limits.

    • Calvin Earlsays:

      Climbing all the way out is said to be a 5.9. Much better to ascend it from the top to bottom – that will take about 10 rappels.

  5. […] those who have never heard of the Hidden Canyon in Zion Hikespeak and Joe’s Guide to Zion National Park  are two great resources for additional information on […]

  6. […] Sunday, 4/3/2016, we drove to Zion National Park and hiked Hidden Canyon. The beauty of Zion’s giant sandstone walls and lush vegetation blew us away. That evening we […]

Ask a question or share your experience

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *