Do It Before You Die: Hike Angels Landing in Zion National Park
Utah is renowned for it's amazing landscapes and unique scenery that boast powder snow, dry desert canyons and the saltiest of ancient lakes.
Zion National Park, an aptly names adventure Utopia is located towards the south of this magical state and hosts one of the United States most popular hikes.
From the Canyon floor it appears that Angels are the only ones that could stand atop its 1,488 ft (454 m) high cliffs. Probably true until a solid rock trail, cut into the mountain was built in 1926 have permitted those brave enough to scale their dangerous cliffs for spectacular views of Zion Utopia.
It is around 2.4 miles long (including the West Rim Trail) with a 1500 ft elevation gain. The hike starts out on a paved walkway followed by switchbacks in Refrigerator Canyon.
This canyon tends to be cooler because of the lack of sunlight it receives, so it's great for hot temperatures. Despite this, Southern Utah is a blazing desert so the best times to do the hike is in the spring or fall when the temperatures aren’t 100+ degrees
We went in March, right after a snow storm. It is not recommended to go when there is snow on the ground, especially since one could slip and fall off the crazily steep cliffs. We took extra precaution, staying close to the inside of the trails. There is a point where the paved walkways end and the rest of the way up is just chains that are bolted into the rock so that you can pull yourself up.
It surely isn't a hike for the faint of heart or for those with a fear of heights.
Just a little further after the chains begin, there is a picnic area called Scout Lookout. This is where most people stop and turn around. Just beyond this point is where the Angels Landing trail begins. It is only about half a mile to the top from Scout Lookout.
Right as you start on this trail, there is a table top platform with a chain running through it to hold onto. On either side of this 3 foot wide platform is a 1100+ ft ( 350+ m) drop.
Each year, people fall off because they aren't careful, so don’t forget to take this section of the hike seriously. Climbing up the rocks, squeezing through trees that have been growing close to the trail, and using the chains to pull your way up makes for great hiking fun!
Once you make it, the view is nothing short of spectacular.
There were times when my friends wanted to back out, but I promised them it was worth the effort. What do you think?
Make sure you drink lots of water on the way, and soak up what this beautiful place has to offer.
Written by Kasey Crook, a THISWORLDEXISTS Adventure Ambassador.