Zion National Park & Angels Landing Hike, Utah

In celebration of a 100 years of breathtaking views since America’s National Park Service was created in 1916, here is my story on the crowing glory of Utah – Zion National Park.

Zion is just absolutely enchanting! As we raised our eyes to the statuesque monolithic structures that nature spent two hundred million years carving and molding, only one thought dominated – spectacular!

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Years of raging storms have pitted ice and snow against rocks to produce these wondrous structures, and the national park does a great job of keeping them in pristine condition for the world to experience in awe!

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Late November snow and ice drizzled over the cliffs and path!

Angels Landing is one of the most exhilarating and dangerous hiking trails in the park system. A quick ride in the park shuttle service dropped us off at The Grotto. We crossed the Virgin River, walking across the bridge to reach the trailhead.

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The hike itself is around 5 miles round trip on a tall and narrow strip of rock and sheer cliffs on all sides. It can take anywhere between three to five hours to complete. The trail can be visited at any time of the year; I would recommend starting early to avoid extreme heat during the summer, and dressing warm with shoes that have some traction for cold, snowy days.

If you’re thinking *well that doesn’t sound too bad* then I’m happy to tel you about the seemingly impossible last half mile of the trail – a near vertical ascent, with only a rusty chain on one side to hold on to, rising steeply around the edge of a 1000ft high cliff.  And is thats not nerve-racking enough, hikers descend the same way down so don’t be surprised to see people climb over, around or under you!

Here is a stock photo of what this looks like because I was too busy holding on to dear life to actually click a picture.

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For those who don’t want to cross this final exposed stretch, Scouts Landing is a vista point at the base of this cliff to enjoy some breathtaking views.

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View from Scouts Landing

For someone who grew up super protected, this opportunity to be in the presence of a little bit of exhilaration and danger was a very welcome relief from my routine! After climbing over boulders, and ducking under branches (and sometimes people), we reached the top of Angels Landing – a mostly flat plateau with views spilling away in all directions.

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View from top of Angels Landing

On the way back, we heard talk of more than five fatalities reported on the trail; I for one was super glad to have known this only after having finished the hike! All the hype about danger aside, this hike was super fun, promises some amazing views, and is definitely totally worth it.

So throw on your hiking gear and shoes, pack a bottle of water (or two), throw caution to the air and hike up Angels Landing.

On that note, here is to centuries more of beautiful parks and breathtaking views! 🙂

 

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21 thoughts on “Zion National Park & Angels Landing Hike, Utah

  1. This is so gorgeous! I love visiting parks in the offseason — hiking when it’s chilly out is so much nicer and it’s a totally different experience without the crowds. It’s been too long since I’ve been to Zion NP.

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  2. This is one among the US national park that I would visit. Hopefully it will be in my itinerary in two years from now when I will be in that part of the States.

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  3. This looks fun.. I have never had my chance to visit a National Park in the states yet… may be one day I will plan on a hike during the winter season, to enjoy the whole thing 🙂

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  4. Zion is one of those parks where everyone has heard of it (in the US anyway), but few people know much about it. Looks like a great place although that chain ascent/descent looks seriously scary.

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  5. I am determined to go to America and visit as many national parks as possible! Loved your photos. Makes me really wish I was outside catching my breath instead of slaving away in my office 😀

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  6. How beautiful is this park! I have been to Utah, but never ventured here. I missed out on quite a lot! The sites are breathtaking and remind me somewhat of Grand Canyon in some ways. I will need to get here and explore.

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  7. The pictures are amazing, And you look really happy in them. How can’t you be happy? The place looks so pretty… I’d love to take my kids to a National Park again, this one could be the way to go 🙂

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  8. That vertical descent!!! I’m fine going up as you don’t think about falling off, but doing down is a whole different beast! Was the descent area busy? I’d hate doing packed in while trying not to fall!

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    1. One of the hardest things was that the climb and descent is the same trail! So we had people climbing down the same time we were trying to get up. It was nerve racking! I would say it’s pretty busy too, it’s a very popular spot!

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  9. The juxtaposition of the ice shards and the sun hitting the rock formations is like no other. Would have liked there to be no fatalities though, but I suppose it is a good thing they informed you after! Lovely pictures and post.

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  10. Of all the national parks in America, Zion is where I would most like to go. I’m always up for a challenging hike and that 5 mile trek sounds amazing.

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  11. This month I am scheduled to climb on Mount Batur. Indeed the place is not as nice as the places in your picture, but it seems to be very pleasant. Maybe you can give me some tips to climb my preparation.

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  12. Slowly but surely nature does leave her mark… amazing creations by her. Your photographs have a lot of detail. I have to get there some day! Those chains does give me confidence.

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  13. The trek you did looks gorgeous but I think I would stop by the time I would reach that vertical ascent. I am not great with heights and that part doesn’t seem to be very friendly, especially for me.

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  14. Oh my gosh, that incline! It looks so fun and right up my alley — my heart is racing just looking at it. What beautiful pictures and a helpful write-up 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us.

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