Hidden Canyon is perched above the east rim of Zion Canyon, offering an exciting hike with rewarding scenery. The more famous Angels 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.
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.
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.
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, UT 84767
Trailhead coordinates: 37.2709, -112.9385 (37° 16′ 15.2″N 112° 56′ 18.6″W)
|Weeping 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.
|Riverside 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 |
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.
|Emerald Pools |
This 2.4-mile loop visits three tiers of enchanting pools by incorporating the Lower, Middle, and Upper Emerald Pools Trails.
|Court 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 |
This one-mile round trip hike visits a scenic viewpoint looking west over Zion Canyon.
|Watchman Trail |
This 3.5-mile lollipop loop reaches a panoramic overlook on the side of Zion Canyon.
|More trails in Utah |
Explore other hikes in Utah outside of Zion National Park.
|Zion Campgrounds |
There are two large campgrounds at the south end of Zion canyon and another small campground outside Kolob Canyon.