Zion: Part 1 – Enchanting Sandstone Cliffs (Angels Landing)

Are you looking for an adventure on one of the most dangerous hikes in the world?? (according to several outdoor publications)

So are we!

Today we are going to be in Zion National Park hiking Angels Landing, which stands 1,488 ft above its base, the Virgin River.

Angels Landing

It’s a little late in the afternoon, but after recently completing more demanding hikes, like El Capitan in Yosemite, we feel we can make it up to Angels Landing before dark.

We begin our hike at the Grotto Trailhead.

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We’re not very far on the trail before Kali gasps with fright to what lies ahead!

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What could this spider be? Do they have camel spiders here? 🕷

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Oh yes, this region has turantulas! Yikes!!!

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We let the little guy continue on his way as we make our way up the mountain.

The trail at the base is pretty level for a bit, so we take the time to enjoy some photo shots!

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The path is fairly well maintained. We hope this smooth progress continues!

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After passing this guy, we see why the trail is maintained so well.

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Up to Scout Lookout

Before long, we are high enough up the mountain to where the views are increasing in their splendor!

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The trail dips back away from the main canyon and into a smaller crevase.

The trail’s steepness increases, so it’s a good thing we brought a walking stick!

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The walls of the canyon are filled with tiger striped orange sandstone.

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Before long, we see what looks to be a massive set of switchbacks!

The name for these? …. Walter’s Wiggles. Yep, that’s right!
There must have been some Walter somewhere wiggling their way up this thing in a fashion fancy enough to claim stake to the name! …. we only speculate.

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They truly are not as bad as they look.

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After completing the 21 switchbacks, we arrive at Scout Lookout, equipped with bathrooms but no refill stations.

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Looking down, we see why they consider this hike as dangerous as they do…

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Forgetting about the insane amount of fall hazards for a moment, the view here is spectacular enough for many people to never continue across the chains and onto Angels Landing itself…

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Hiking With Chain-rails 

We carefully read the warning sign… which makes a point to mention the high fatality rate from falling…

Maybe we should be more worried than we are??

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The chains guide us further along the trail.
We cling on, arresting the steepness of the cliff-side.

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When standing at Scouts Lookout, the whole thing is incredibley intimidating.

…but the chains definitely make this thing doable.

We climb what is referred to as the hogs back.

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The setting sun draws the rock’s color, cause them to pop orange and red all around us!

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We continue on the chain laden trail carefully watching each step.

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It’s quite a long drop on either side! 😱

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Looking back, we can see the progress we’ve already made!

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Angels end with a perfect view down the center of the valley.
As we make our way, the views become even more glamorous!

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Disclaimer: If you’re easily afraid of heights….. this portion of the hike can easily become unbearable!

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We continue with some nerve-wrecking climbing maneuvers.

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The closer we get to the summit, the more exciting it becomes!

…we’re almost there!

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Finally, and after successfully not falling to our deaths… we reach Angels Landing.

The Summit!

The sunset arrives just as we do.

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Time to enjoy a coke! (This is not a paid advertisement) 🙂

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Practice our yoga

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or… something…

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and share the beauty.

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Summary

Here’s this hike’s summary 🙂

Leave us a comment! 😀