In an area full of supurlative places, Hidden Valley is a little gem, mostly overshadowed by "archier" places but definitely worth visiting. The trailhead is just south of Moab, Utah near the end of the Prospector Bike trail.
The hiking trail climbed steeply to begin with, causing my Mononucleosis-induced heart to go a little bonkers. I've been hiking quite a bit with Mono in the three weeks I've had it, but lately it's been forcing me to go a little slower than I'm used to. Luckily, I seem to have gotten a "Mono-lite" version of the virus, as family and friends scared me with tales of people who missed out on lots of life for six months or even a year. Me...I feel mostly fine. Except when I try to push a little too fast up a hill, and my whole body gets the feeling that I better slow down immediately. I can't really explain why.
Anyhoo, I really miss running and biking, which I've done none of since being diagnosed, so going on slower than usual hikes keeps me sane. Plus, it's given us the excuse to go visit some places that normally we bypass to go mountain biking instead.
Once we climbed above the first steep section, the trail leveled out into a flat, grassy meadow. I guess these two rows of sandstone cliffs got shoved apart, filled with debris, and so created this fascinating little hidden valley. A couple of meadows later, the trail led along a cliff and then we looked down and saw the real trail that we weren't on. I guess it forked. Since this was an out and back hike, we really didn't care. Plus we saw some cool petroglyphs!
Spot the wonder dog discovered tiny lizards, and peered into every shadow and under every rock to see them. Given that they are the size of my little finger and as fast as a rocket ship, I assume he'll never catch one but will happily keep trying. Also luckily, it was a quiet trail and we could let him off leash occasionally so he wouldn't jerk our arms off (and choke himself in the bargain) by running full tilt at the lizards.