ZION NATIONAL PARK – Zion National Park’s Hidden Canyon Trail will be closed for the summer starting Monday in what is expected to be the final phase of a multiyear effort to repair the trail.
Several retaining walls on the 2.5-mile trail have been damaged by flash floods and natural seeps. Over the past two years, park trail crews have been repairing the retaining walls, park spokesman John Marciano said.
In July 2012, a rockslide occurred on the trail, stranding 11 park visitors for about three hours. Park rangers were able to set up a rope line and get the hikers out; however, the slide became active again overnight. The slide dumped nearly 6 feet of debris on a steep, narrow section of the trail and prompted closure of the trail.
In March 2014 the park began a multiyear project to rehabilitate several trails that originate in the Weeping Rock shuttle area, including Hidden Canyon.
Crews repairing the trail will use gas-powered buggies to transport materials for the repair work, Marciano said, and may use fall protection equipment.
The Hidden Canyon Trail is scheduled to be closed through Sept. 1. This will be the third and final closure of Hidden Canyon to complete the project.
The Hidden Canyon Trail was first built in 1928 and allows visitors to reach a “hanging canyon” between Cable Mountain and the Great White Throne.
A hanging canyon is one that ends with a sheer cliff. Hidden Canyon is accessed via a trail that follows switchbacks and then cuts around the face of a cliff to the canyon.
Funding for the repair and rehabilitation project comes from park entrance fees as part of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act Funding Program, which uses funds collected from the park entrance and use fees to complete park maintenance projects and public service programs.