After our first day in Zion being full of rain, fog, and even some snow, the second day was absolutely beautiful. It was just the right temperature, the sun was out, and it made for the perfect morning for a hike. I had never heard of the Angels Landing trail before, but around the park they said it had some of the best views. Those views can come with a cost though, while it is a relatively short trail (a little over 5 miles round trip), it is known for its danger. You gain elevation rather quickly, and in recent years 6 people have died on the hike. The last part of the trail is extremely exposed, you are basically straddling the top of the mountain via a very narrow path on slippery sandstone, with 1500 ft drops on both sides. This is not a trail for someone with a fear of heights, uneven footing, or without patience. There are several areas that can require a lot of patience if it is busy, as the trail is not wide enough for two people, yet people need to pass each other. You also can’t be afraid of helping out a stranger and coming into close contact with others, because there are times when someone might need the extra hand or you might get really close as you try to basically hug your way around one another as you cross paths. While the trail is challenging both mentally and physically, the reward of the view as well as knowing what you were able to accomplish is unbeatable.
While photos can somewhat show the beauty, it really is something you have to see in person to get the full effect. Most of the areas were too dangerous to just be busting out my camera, so I was only able to get photos from a few of the more safe locations, but even then I wasn’t going to be walking right up to the edge and hanging my camera over, so you can’t quite feel just how high you are. I find it so amazing that in such a short amount of time you make it to such an amazing place. I never thought I would do a hike quite like this, I am typically not a fan of heights. I will admit there were a few places I seriously considered turning back, but I am so happy I didn’t. It even gave me a little bug for rock climbing, and I can’t wait to start trying some more alternative outdoor activities that I might not have tried before.
After the hike we grabbed a quick lunch at the lodge, then headed out of Zion and on towards Bryce Canyon. While we were in Zion for a short amount of time, it quickly became one of my favorite places, and I am definitely planning on some return trips in the future.
Photos from Bryce are coming up next!