Hidden Canyon via Cable Mountain and Many Pools

Where: Zion National Park, Utah
When: June 2008
Partners: DB & Andy Archibald

Andy Archibald joined DB and I for an ascent of Cable Mountain via Many Pools. The last of the easy peaks in Zion that I'd yet to do, I felt it imperative to have this classic peak under my belt for inclusion in my forthcoming Zion guidebook. Frankly, though, the standard trail approaches didn't interest me much. But I'd heard Many Pools was nice.

Ant Hill's north col from Many Pools

We enjoyed the hike up Many Pools, and soon found ourselves scampering up the progressively more brushy drainage and then popping out into a lovely light forest on the rim just above the canyon. From there, we quickly picked up the trail and wandered over to the cable works on the "summit" of Cable Mountain.
DB at the summit of Cable Mountain

Hiking back to the Deertrap-Cable trail junction, we headed west on the Deertrap Mountain Trail to a point near the head of Hidden Canyon. A short hike off-trail took us to a large pine at the head of the canyon. A nice 100-foot slab rappel followed.
Andy at the top of the 2nd rappel

Starting down, we encountered a series of interesting downclimbs and short rappels, some of them with awkward starts.
DB on rappel

Considering the nature of the rappels and downclimbs, I can understand how this canyon has been ascended. A beefy endeavor, but doable (for some). We found a few climbers' bolts in spots and even a handline or two, my favorite of which was a leather belt hanging down from a piece of webbing around a tree root.
Andy admiring the scenery

After a few hours of enjoyable exploration, we finally encountered a human being, then a trail, then a discarded soda bottle, then an NPS sign...you get the idea. Thus began our short hike out to the Weeping Rock Trailhead, where we hopped onto the shuttle and headed back to the visitor center.
Hiking out the Hidden Canyon Trail