I’ve been interested in this ever since hearing that Val (longtime readers of this blog will immediately recognize that I’ve never mentioned Val up to this point) completed this exciting and possibly dangerous hike. It’s probably the most popular hike in Zion NP, along with the Narrows, and for good reason. The views on the way up to Scouts Lookout are amazing, and the trail itself is a testament to human ingenuity. But the main motivation for me was that Val said she had hiked out to Angels Landing. Her description of the experience made me think, “OK, I’m doing that.”
Here’s Angels Landing from the start of the trail.
The trail follows the Virgin River for a very pleasant stretch, and then starts climbing.
This part isn’t all that bad if you get an early start. I would imagine it would be quite warm for those starting mid-day in the summer. After this stretch of switchbacks you come to refreshing Refrigerator Canyon. Great name, and a really neat stretch of trail.
After this point, you get to a series of switchbacks that take you up a cliff face – some really phenomenal trail building exhibited here. I don’t have a picture. Take my word for it.
Then we come to Scouts Landing, and decision time; do you venture out the remaining half mile to Angels Landing, or take in the sights from here? For me, the answer was simple. Val went out there, so I must do so as well.
I was mentally prepared for facing the steep drop-offs – those turned out to be not that bad, since you’re mostly watching where to place your hands and feet on the next move up the trail, but the trail is more strenuous than I thought it would be. There are a few places where you’re hauling yourself up a rock face or lowering yourself down, so you’ll want to have your hands free. Your trekking poles will not help you here. Here’s me at the top. A nice couple from Holland took my picture after I took theirs.
Look at all the extra sky he included in the frame, but then didn’t include all of my feet. How are we to interpret this?
Another guy took my picture on the trail. His Dad is one of the founders of the Oboz shoe company, and he noticed I was wearing a pair of their excellent hiking shoes, so he snagged a picture of someone putting their product to the test.
Good hike. Now I’ll have to find out what other things Val has done that I have not.
Update: Here’s a picture somebody else took that shows the trail at a narrow section. At this place, the lady in front of me stopped and said “I just want to feel the adrenalin”.