Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hidden Canyon

On the last day of our Zion Get-Away we decided to hike up to Hidden Canyon.
The trail starts at the parking lot for Weeping Rock and Observation Point.
This is what you see from the parking lot.  Hidden Canyon is up and toward the left...

The trail started out with steep semi-paved switchbacks that climbed very quickly.
We were amazed at how far we'd just climbed with each turn onto a new switchback.
The views became spectacular very quickly.
The curved line in the bottom of the canyon is the road that winds through Zion National Park.

After a while, the wider and semi-paved part of the trail ends and becomes a bit tricky.
The edge of the trail has steep drop offs all along but the semi-paved parts were wide.
All of a sudden the trail became narrow, rocky and sandy.  Combine that with the steep 
drop off at the edge and gusts of wind and I was a little nervous about continuing on.
That's my hubby in the center left of the photo.  

Luckily, when it got a bit more risky, there were chains bolted into the side to hang onto.
Whew!  I liked that.  But, then, all of a sudden, hubby felt a bit nervous.

Looks a little crazy, huh?!

But, as soon as I got to the chain I felt safe and excited to continue.  Woo hoo!

I even stopped for a silly photo.  I'm calling it, "Knitting on the Edge".
I can add it to all my other crazy and fun knitting photos.
The drop off was pretty steep but I was sitting in a dip and my legs were up and resting 
on a rock that was a bit higher than I was.  And, I sat down and scooted to that spot.
I may look crazy but I do all I can to be safe.  This spot was actually pretty comfy and the 
warm sun felt so good.  It would have been fun to sit and knit for a while but I was in
the middle of the trail.  Plus, hubby was a bit nervous and probably wanted to get going.

We were so glad we didn't turn back when the trail got tricky.
There were great rewards farther up the trail.
This rock staircase was really cool.  It looked like it was really old and something 
we'd see in a movie.  It was part of the trail.  So, we continued onward and upward.

We eventually made it to Hidden Canyon.  We couldn't believe our eyes.
We would never have imagined there could be a canyon so far up on a mountain of rock.
But, there it was.  Check out the super tall, smooth rock wall on the right side.
That's me in this photo...

It was nice to get away from the drop offs for a while.
This was like walking on a flat, sandy trail....up the riverbed.
We found the arch we'd read about...

We hiked up the canyon for a while.  It was cool and quiet.  We only saw a couple of other people.
We turned around when we reached a section that was filled with huge boulders and might have required some climbing equipment.  But, we heard it keeps going and going after that.
It was late in the afternoon though and I sure wouldn't want to 
climb down those tricky trails in the dark.  So, back down we went...

This is a section we'd hiked on the way up.  It has steps carved into the rock.
For a sense of scale...notice the people on the other side of the river...

The water that comes down through Hidden Canyon comes through this section.
It has done some very interesting carving into the rocks...

Here's that section from another angle...the center of the river.
Notice the steps and chain on the right side.  
That's where we were heading at this point to go back down.

Here's that carved out section again...looking down onto it from the trail.
Notice how it drops off near the center of the photo. 
I'm wondering if it creates a waterfall there when the water is running.

This photo was taken a few steps farther.  The rock/mountain in the background is across the canyon
The trail to Observation Point winds along it.

The sky was so blue.  It was a beautiful day.

The scenery and views were spectacular!

Going down.  Here's another view of part of the trail where it's narrow and drops away.
A lot of it slants in toward the mountain.  That helps.  
But, I sure wouldn't want to hike it without that chain.

Back to the parking lot and restrooms.  Ahhhh!

What an awesome hike that was!  We'll definitely do that one again.
And, now, we're excited to do Observation Point.
We'll have to get a much earlier start on that one though.  Sounds like it takes most of the day.
Hidden Canyon just took a few hours.

We can't wait to go back to Zion!  We miss it already!


Deborah said...

Your photos are stunning. Loved your post.

lynn cockrell said...

This trip was obviously NOT for the faint of heart! I'm quite happy just to look at you and your hubby via my screen. Everything looks just beautiful and I'm sure it is even more awesome in person. Thanks for sharing these fabulous photos!

judith said...

Beautiful! Zion is one of my son's favorite places.

Cindie Kitchin said...

Wow - what an incredible hike!

Shirley said...

I will let you be the one who goes hiking in the mountains and I will enjoy the beautiful pictures that you post. The scenery is absolutely beautiful and your pictures make me think I am climbing right there with you only I would be scared for sure. I remember the first and only ski lift ride to the top of the mountain. I made it and was glad, but I don't think I would do it again if I ever had the option again. Have a wonderful day. Hugs and Prayers Your Missouri Friend

kathyinozarks said...

what a gorgeous area-must have been amazing

Michelle said...

What a wonderful hike! I always find the chains a bit tricky, but tricky hikes are always worth it!

Roxie said...

My dear, you have cohones the size of melons. And I bet they clang against each other as you walk. That was VERY ballsy hiking! Gorgeous, stunning, and better you than me! You ROCK!

Carol Cook said...

You are far braver than I. And then you add in knitting at the same time.

In my defense, our trip to Zion was 6 weeks after back surgery, but I could do very few of the trails. A

In my long ago teens, I was a camp counselor and used to do 4/5 day backpacking trips. I don't think I have it in me anymore.

Patty said...

Wow, you take some interesting hikes! Beautiful scenery!

knitalatte said...

Wow, what an amazing hike. The photographs are stunning. I love the one with you sitting down for a knitting break. I've never been to Zion, but it reminds me of the Grand Canyon, the rocks so red and the sky so blue. Look forward to reading about your next adventure,

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Wow! That was some hike! Exciting and wonderful! So funny that you took your knitting along for a photo op. :) Have a great day. Tammy

Vicki Boster said...

Oh yes--- I remember hidden canyon!! Those chains scared me to death!! I have pictures on my blog of me holding on for dear life--- loved the little secret canyon though!

You had a beautiful day for your hike- and your photos are magnificent!