Hidden Canyon From the Top Down
On Friday, June 15th, we did a trip through Hidden Canyon in Zions. Obtained a permit at the Kolob Canyon VC on the way down along I-15. At the VC, we were told that Hidden Canyon"rarely" gets done, but that there were 3 separate groups going through that day. We were also advised to have a trail guide with us, as the ranger explained last year someone took a wrong turn and got cliffed out south of the Great White Throne and required a rescue. Anyone here of that? We were met at the bottom of the technical section by a ranger checking for permits, but more on that later.
Drove a vehicle to the Stave Springs Trailhead, off of the North Fork Road. After 5.3 miles on the North Fork Road is a turn off to the Zion Ponderosa Ranch. Just before the trailhead parking lot for Stave Springs is a park boundary gate. We chose to park outside the gate and walk on in.
From this Stave Spring Trailhead, follow the trail west until you join the East Rim Trail. Continuing onward, you will eventual reach the Cable Mountain/Deertrap Mountain Trails. Continue westward on this trail, ever gaining elevation at a gradual clip. After passing the Cable Mountain Spur trail, you will soon see the canyon and can route find a way down to the head of the canyon and the first rap. This first rap is off a one of several pine tree choices, and drops approximately 100 feet down a vertical rock face that begins to level out before the end.
We encountered about 8 raps, and numerous downclimbs. Rap length ranged from the 100 foot first rap, to several in the 30-40 foot range. The second to the last rap was off an awkward loose dirt spot surrounding a small pine tree. The tree wiggled a bit, but appeared solid. Try avoiding kicking off the loose dirt onto those down below; very dusty and dry.
After completing the raps and numerous downclimbs, and above the exit of the canyon out onto the chain aided ledges, we encountered a 9mm gun toting ranger who asked to see our permits. Without explaining the "why's" of being there, as we thought it strange that he would come all the up from below to check permits in a supposedly quiet canyon, he did tell us he, the park, thought it "odd" that 3 groups were doing it this day. He kept asking us if we saw anyone else and if we knew the other people. We assumed that he was trying to ensure a max group size of 6 and that we were not all of the same group apparently. Strange though, that with a relatively unused canyon they would go to all that trouble to "enforce" a group size limit. I could see the effort made for The Subway and Narrows, etc. With as busy as the summer season in the park is, wondered why they would expend the time and effort on Hidden.
The entire canyon, trailhead to Weeping Rock shuttle stop took us about 8 1/2 hours. It was scenic and fun. Would not, however, necessarily put it on our "do again soon" list however.
Only Dead Fish Go With The Flow
06-19-2012 05:59 PM
Content Provider Emeritus
Once a bureaucracy has rules, it becomes very important to enforce them. No matter what.
Hope you had a wonderful wilderness experience.
“Ideas on earth were badges of friendship or enmity. Their content did not matter. Friends agreed with friends, in order to express friendliness. Enemies disagreed with enemies, in order to express enmity.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions
Good report, looks like a fun time. Hidden Canyon, a place of fond memories for me (first time down it, solo, with a thunderstorm approaching, watching my rope bag roll down the canyon after I dropped it on a downclimb, while I shouted in half-terror half-comic disbelief "Come back, rope, come back!"). Don't remember hearing anything about a rescue out there last year, but south of the GWT is Grotto Canyon, which I suppose if you're not paying any attention to your landmarks/map looks similar. On the last rappel did you use the chockstone anchor or did you walk across the arch to the further one off a tree?
Hey, don't helmets work a lot better if you actually connect the chin strap? Check out the pictures of the guy with the green WWII Army helmet.
We used the chockstone anchor that was located overhead. Our group had two ropes leapfrogging each other, so we moved fairly fast through the canyon. Lots of downclimbs in this canyon.
Originally Posted by deathtointernet
Only Dead Fish Go With The Flow
That is exactly how I experienced it as well. Michael and I did this canyon May 27th, and it was a great day, but not a canyon to quickly do again. However, with 2 cars (entering the canyon from Pandarosa Ranch area), the canyon is great for a more relaxing day in between of days doing canyons with terrible hikes in and or out.
Originally Posted by taatmk
We have looked at doing hidden for a while but never have. Thanks for posting up a trip report. It has motivated us to plan a trip through next Saturday. May have a couple spots open if anybody wants to join us We do have a shorter approach hike planned