There are many great hikes in Zion, most of them requiring a LOT of climbing. We picked a moderate hike that promised to be beautiful, somewhat challenging and a bit of a test of fortitude to see if Angel's Landing would be next.
During the busy season (March to October), the main scenic road in Zion is closed to cars and visitors use the shuttle buses to get around. This works great, as parking is limited at the trailheads and the buses come every few minutes. Our campground was just a short walk to the first shuttle stop and we rode them a lot. For the Hidden Canyon hike we took the shuttle to the Weeping Rock trailhead and headed up a broad, paved trail that consisted of long switchbacks carrying us up the canyon for bigger and bigger views. After a while, the trail branched off and became shorter, steeper switchbacks and finally a long stone stairway. At this point, things became interesting! The trail winds around a couple shoulders of the mountain and at many points is narrow, steep and cut right into the side of a very steep cliff. Here, the park conveniently places long chains so hikers can hang on for dear life while they navigate parts of this trail. This is a preview of the much more difficult Angel's Landing trail that also uses chains.
Well, we navigated the chains just fine and made it to Hidden Canyon, which is a hanging slot canyon cut into the White Throne megalith. We explored this nice little canyon, found a small arch near the end and had a great lunch. All in all, this was a wonderful hike to show off the beautiful and interesting landscape of Zion.
|A little warning to get your sprits up!|
|Starting to get interesting, but not too scary yet|
|The stone stairway just before it gets interesting|
|Getting a little steep, but not too bad yet|
|Yes, we were glad the chains were there!|
|The view from just inside the mouth of Hidden Canyon|
|A beautiful free-standing arch up Hidden Canyon|
|The view from Hidden Canyon trail|
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