Friday, August 29, 2008

Hidden Canyon, Zion National Park

For Suzy's birthday, yesterday, we hiked into Hidden Canyon and had a birthday picnic. We had a great time. The first picture below is one I took from the top of Observation Point last Monday and shows the route and canyon. The trail starts at the Weeping Rock trail head and climbs a handful of switchbacks out of the bottom of the canyon (bottom left corner of picture), then forks off the Observation Point trail and up the mini swithbacks to the right. After about a mile of climbing (maybe 600 vertical feet), the trail drops into Hidden Canyon, a beautiful slot canyon (seen below, splitting the mountain in two). Fairly easy hike, but lots of fun. The canyon itself is really beautiful. There is no maintained trail in the canyon, but the adventurous types can go up the canyon as far as they can make it, over boulders, up fairly steep sandstone inclines, through narrow slot canyon walls. We probably made it about half-way up the canyon before it became a bit too much to do with a baby on my back. The best part of the hike is probably that the switchbacks get great morning shade, and the canyon is shaded and cool even in the middle of the day.

My beautiful birthday girl stops to enjoy the spectacular view where the trail wraps around the exposed cliff face just before entering Hidden Canyon.

Looking back down the canyon (Weeping Rock is visible at the bottom of the cliff).

This free-standing rock arch is about a quarter mile up Hidden Canyon.

Our little hiking buddy really liked the flat areas in the canyon where he could get out of the pack and play in the soft sand (and throw it at momma).

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