Angels Landing Zion Canyon

Angels Landing
Spectacular view for all who are free from giddiness

Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

Crossing the Virgin River (350kb)

Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

The left peak is the end of the trip (396kb)

Lots of people use Zion Canyon as a connection between Bryce Canyon and Las Vegas and don’t spend lots of time there. But Zion Canyon offers at least 3 spectacular hikes.

Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

Trees provide for idyl and donate shade (504kb)

Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

Below the rock projection with look at the Zion Canyon (291kb)

Angels Landing is a great hike but not for people with vertigo - especially for the last part of the hike. You will need plenty of water, sun cream and a hat. I suggest bringing a thin jacket for the shady parts and hiking boots are a must. You should decide if you want to bring hiking sticks: they are very helpful in the first part of the hike. But later on when you have to use chains the sticks are in the way. If you get wet hands very soon (from the heat or because of the height) you should bring gloves for the chain (I will come to that part later in my report).

Trail:

First you start at the visitor center of Zion National Park. From here you can take the shuttle which takes you into Zion Canyon. In about 15-20 minutes you will get to the stop "The Grotto". On the way the driver tells you interesting things about Zion Canyon, talks about the fascinating rock formations and hikes from each of the bus stops. The shuttle bus is for free and also very eco-friendly because they use propane or drive electronically.

Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

Walter Wiggles - 21 hard switchback turns (358kb)

Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

Almost done (457kb)

Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

Zions most famous tree (401kb)

Starting from the Grotto it is an unforgettable 5 mile roundtrip. On the left side of the road you have to cross a small wooden bridge. Take your time here. The green trees and the Virgin River are a good place for a shot. You follow a nice trail on your right which runs parallel to Virgin River. After about half an hour the trail leads you to the west through "Refrigerator Canyon". It is still a very nice and easy walk. The canyon, the green trees and bushes are a nice place to cool down from the walk in the heat. After another 15 minutes you will get to the most strenuous part of the hike: Walter Wiggles. There are 21 very steep and narrow curves which bring you to the Scout Overlook (5350 ft high) from where you have a fantastic view. Here is also the most famous tree in Zion Park. You can also find it on postcards and poster in the visitor center.

Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

The last hard stage (331kb)

Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

Over this ridge it completely goes up. At the chains giddiness freedom is a necessity (352kb)

Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

The Virgin River in the Canyon (439kb)

Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

Zion Canyon from the very top (130kb)

For some hikers this is the end of the hike. That is what I did at my first visit. I didn't have the courage for the last part. But the last part just seems to be scarier than it is. From the Scout Overlook you see the courageous hikers walking over the very narrow fin to the top of Angels Landing. The trail leads you south and you will get to chains very soon which are a good help to get over a ledge. Now you get to the narrowest part. After climbing down a short path you get to a path where it is 1500 ft deep on both sides. So, walk carefully. Then there is a steep ascent to the top. There are also chains for your safety. I have seen lots of people with gloves to hold the chain.

Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

Look into the depth (359kb)

Angels Landing, Zion National Park, Utah

Thomas, Indrani and Michael - a fabulous tour (463kb)

The view from the top is breathtaking (5790 ft high). In the south you see the entire Zion Canyon, in the north there are the Zion Narrows and when you look up and northeast you see the Observation Point.

For the whole hike you should plan with 3-4 hours (picture stops included).

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Picture taking and conclusion:

It is not easy to take pictures on this trip because you have to cope with different situations of light at sunny weather. The best time is the early afternoon. In the morning you take lots of picture against the sun but in late afternoon some parts of the Zion is in the shade. I have been once there in the afternoon and once in the morning. Last time we also did the Narrows afterwards. This trip is very worth doing it and it will be an unforgettable hike. Even if you only want to go to Scout Overlook.


 

Last update: 06/24/2009