Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Angels Landing


I just returned from a trip to Zion National Park.

Zion is one of those great Utah parks in red rock country that really became well known and highly visited in the last 15 years or so.

It really is a spectacular park and I have enjoyed several visits to it.

One of the classic hikes in Zion Canyon is Angels Landing. It, of course, was one I had to do on the trip.

For those who have not been to the park before, let me set the stage. Zion is a fairly narrow canyon of sheer big walls. Some of the tallest sandstone cliffs in the world are right here in the park.
Take a look at the top image.

That is Angels Landing.

It is a giant cliff that sticks out into Zion Canyon proper.
The Angels Landing hike zig zags up these cliffs for over 1000 feet. You start at the very left side of that image and switchback up the canyon wall. The trail ducks into a small canyon at the base of the ridge notch. It emerges at a place called Scouts Lookout. The lookout is 1000' feet above the valley floor.

It is there the trail really gets interesting!

From there the trail follows the spine of the ridge up another few hundred feet to the very top of Angels Landing.



This trail is not for everyone. It is 4th Class climbing-you will want and need to use your hands here. There is exposure to sheer drops. The do have a chain in several places to offer a hand but it is still not for the faint of heart.


Check out the second image. This is one of those spots. The "trail" goes up these rocks and it ain't that wide. And it is a LONG WAY DOWN.


I scampered up the ridge taking in the view. The climb is a fun one. You will need your hands and you make use of the chain in a few spots. Climbers will find it easy, but fun. Non-climbers will find it to be thrilling.

Make it to the top and your reward is a dramatic view in almost a full circle. The valley is now far below.


Take a breather and enjoy the view.
See the view looking down canyon in the third image. This view is south. The Zion lodge is down there and the village of Springdale is farther down canyon.


Then you have to go back down. Be careful as going down is where I would think most people slip.


Take your camera too as you will want to have images and movies of this one!

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