A fine adventure.
Descending Hidden Canyon from the top makes for a pretty good day of downclimbing and rappelling. Hidden was ascended via technical climbing about the time that other people were figuring out that going DOWN canyons was actually pretty fun. Many hikers have tried climbing up the obstacles in Hidden, and it has been the scene of numerous broken legs and difficult extractions over the years. There are several difficult and dangerous climbing sections near the top.
In big snow years, Hidden could hold snow and ice until well into the spring. Caution is advised.
The Hidden Canyon Trail was blasted out of the rock in 1928. A year earlier, technical rock climbing came to Zion when W. H. Evans ascended the Great White Throne via the south face. He built a fire on the summit to prove his accomplishment, but did not return to the valley the next day. A rescue team was organized and found him several days later lying at the base of the upper cliffs, bruised and delirious. The rescue effort led to the discovery of Hidden Canyon.
Summer or fall. Winter and spring if snow is not present.
100 feet (30 m)
Helmets, rappelling gear, webbing and rapid links.
COLD WATER PROTECTION
None. Bring Plenty.
Can be approached from the East Rim/Stave Spring Trailhead or Weeping Rock. The East Rim route is easier, but requires a car spot or shuttle service.
FLASH FLOOD RISK
Off-trail navigation to a seldom visited canyon, downclimbing.
The top of Hidden can be approached from the East Rim/Stave Spring Trailhead or from Weeping Rock via Echo Canyon. The latter is quite long, but requires only one car. From the crossing of the wash near the top of Hidden, make your way to the north end of the blocky bluff, and find the very head of the canyon. A few cairns mark a faint trail leading down to the edge, at the apex.
Carefully descend steep dirt to any of several trees overlooking the head of the canyon. A huge pine right at the apex might be your best choice. Rappel. If you need to, pick another tree and rap further.
Hidden throws many obstacles at the intrepid canyoneer. Most are downclimbable, but a few require a rappel. Abundant trees, logs and rocks provide many opportunities for natural anchors. A few bolts pop up in surprising places, as do a couple of nice arches.
At the end of the canyon, the well-constructed Hidden Canyon Trail heads right, connecting with the Observation Point Trail and leading down to Weeping Rock. It is also possible to rappel the End of Hidden Canyon (several rappels, the longest of which is 450 feet, roughly); or to rappel the next canyon to the east, known as Hidden Plus One, that ends in a 250 foot rappel. Both of these require good skill in setting up your rappels so they will actually pull.