Well, I wound back up at Zions National Park Easter weekend due to a midnight friend invite to go with him and his family. I know I just recently made a comment about this place and Emerald Pools (By the way, they look just about the same, but a little more water is going now, so wait another month and they will be fantastic.) but hey hopefully you enjoy this one, cause in this trip, I hiked one of the greatest, scariest, and most stunning hikes you will find anywhere, Angel’s Landing.
Lets get on with the hike! Angel’s Landing is a strenuous, dangerous and exhilarating hike found in Zions National Park. Its about 1.5 miles to Scouts landing, which is just the beginning of the angels landing section, and this part is actually quite a trip in itself. Then the Angels Landing section is another 1.8 miles (round trip) out onto a spine that juts out into the canyon. Oh did I mention there are 1,400 foot cliffs on both sides and the only reason why your not falling off is due to chain drilled into the rocks?
So Lets begin!
The summer season has kicked into high gear at Zions, and thus the journey begins at the visitor center at the entrance of the park. No cars are allowed up the main part of the canyon anymore, so to get to Angels Landing you must use their shuttle system or ride a bike into the park. Taking the shuttles into the park is fun learning experience due to the fact that they give a guided tour of the park as you go. The place for you to get off at though is the Grotto, thus we begin.
The hike up to Angles lanLing begins at the river bed and then works its way up the side of the cliff. The trail is cut right out of the rock and ascends 1488 vertical feet. The trail zig zags its way up until you hit a nice narrow canyon that gives you relief from the sun and from the hills. Also due to the change in air temperatures and also being higher up and unprotected by the cliffs you get blasted by wind that comes whipping down the canyon. But by time you hit this point, the wind feels heavenly on your hot sweaty body. This part of the trail cuts back about a quarter mile into the mountain and that’s when you hit Walters Wiggles.
Walters Wiggles is a series of cut backs that take you up to scouts landing. Scouts landing is the point where you officially get to see the grandeur of the hike. On the east side of the landing is a rail in which you can look out over and see the 1500 foot drop to the canyon floor below. Also up here you get to see one of the parks greatest little acrobats, the chipmunks, that roam the cliff side seemingly unaware of their emanate demise only inches away. The thing is Scouts landing may be impressive but it is not your final goal. Ahead of you is the beginning of the Angels Landing trail. This .9 mile hike out (1.8 round trip) will keep you on your toes every step of the way.
As you begin this leg of the journey you are greeted with this sign. The sign clearly states that since 2004, 6 people have died falling off this trail. Also depending on the time of the year, there is snow and ice on the trail so be careful. And they’re right. Right away as you begin this trail you are climbing up chains with a big cliff right behind you. This is the section I would NOT suggest taking little kids too. Frequently its a one person passing lane, so if someone is coming down the trail, you have to stop and let the person by. This is no place for carelessness. Everything is sloped and a trip can easily lead to a few feet of tumbling and a 30 second fall down the side of a 1000 foot cliff.
The trail continues along the spine, at a few points you are walking on a slab of rock that is 3 feel wide with cliffs on both side of you. The trek is very strenuous. Frequently you are climbing up sections that are almost vertical with the help of chains. But once you get to the end, its breath taking.
The final view of the trail is from 1500 feet above the canyon floor. The canyon stretches in both direction and you get the perfect lookout. If you are lucky like we were, there was no wind so it was silent. Its a great place to come and watch the world. I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
If you want more images, just message me or email me. I would have like to put more, but it would have looked ridiculous.
Well since it is Easter, I figure I should throw a bit of a thought in here for that. Thank you too all who took the time to read this and hopefully you will take the time to share it with your friends. But the most important thing I could do this Easter Sunday is to remind everyone the importance of God and he has shaped our world around us, and that we have this time on this earth to enjoy that. I am grateful for His son and the sacrifice he made for me and that he has given this time to come unto him. I am grateful for the opportunity that I can go to places like this and feel a sense of peace, and closeness with my maker. Happy Easter everyone.