Hidden Valley

Round Trip Distance: 4-5 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation: 4573 - 5255 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 2 hrs. 30 mins.
Trailhead: Hidden Valley
Fee: none
Attractions: Good views of valley and Behind the Rocks area, wildlife

The Hidden Valley trail is located near Moab, Utah. The trail, which is managed by the BLM, is a popular destination with local hikers and trail runners. Its close proximity to Moab probably helps to drive its use. The trail begins near the valley floor and climbs the hillside on the south side of the highway to a secluded valley that is nestled between the cliffs. Hikers can turn around at the 2 mile point or continue west into the 'Behind the Cliffs' area where the trail ends at its junction with the Moab Rim trail.

To get to the trailhead drive 2-3 miles south of Moab on Highway 191 and turn right on Angel Rock Road. Drive toward the mountain and turn right again on Rimrock Road to the trailhead. The parking area is pretty rough but passenger cars should have no trouble with it.

The trail leads away from the parking area toward the southwest. Several mountain bike trails also leave from this trailhead to the west and northwest. The lower section of the Hidden Valley trail is pretty rough and rocky. It is hard to pick out the trail looking up the hillside but the route becomes apparent once you begin hiking.

The trail climbs a ridge and then begins working its way in the other direction to the northwest. It is hard to tell what the route is unless there are other hikers on the trail but it is going to top out to the left of the point of rocks in this photo.

It is smooth sailing once you reach the hidden valley. It is also pretty nice to suddenly be out of sight from the town below as though you just entered a secret world.

There were several flocks of a dozen or so birds each of what appeared to be Painted quail. They have red beaks and legs with a red eye ring and no head plumage like the Gambel's quail.

A small hill divides the valley into two sections.

Most hikers and trail runners appear to turn around at the ridge that separates Hidden Valley from the Behind the Rocks area. Turning around here makes for a 4 mile round trip hike.

From the ridge the trail begins giving up elevation as it heads west down the drainage.

The trail reaches a point where it begins following an old double track. The turn around point for this post was about a half mile down the ridge.

An impressive view of the valley with the La Sal Mountains in the background opens up as you transition back from the Hidden Valley to the rocky hillside. With the loose rock and rough trail the hike back down the hillside can be a little tedious but it is short enough that it is all over before you know it.

The Hidden Valley trail was busy mostly with local hikers and runners but there were also a few out of town visitors. A person has to be looking for the trail in order to find it so perhaps local businesses and residents are telling visitors how to get to it. The BLM lists this hike with a few others in the Moab area on their website. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.