There are two famous iconic and challenging hikes in Zion, each challenging for different reasons. We were not able to do the Narrows, which involves hiking up a gorgeous slot canyon IN the Virgin River. Sometimes requiring wading in 40-degree water up to your waist, this hike is so popular that many outfits in town rent waders and river boots to people who want to hike the Narrows. Lynnae hurt her back so she couldn't hike, but I decided I couldn't leave Zion without checking out the other most famous hike--Angel's Landing. This rock rises nearly 1,500 feet above the floor of the canyon and was so named because it was thought that only an angel could land on the top. In the 20s, a trail was constructed to the top that included many switchbacks and, for the final ascent, a series of chains bolted to the rock, similar to the Hidden Canyon trail. That trail is the minor leagues, but Angel's Landing is playing in the majors. The heights and drop-offs are vertigo-inducing. I saw many people turn around and head back down. It is definitely not for people afraid of heights. In some places the trail consists of slanted sandstone about three feet wide with a 1,000-foot drop off on the left and an 800-foot drop-off on the right. In other places you literally have to pull yourself up the rock with the chain with negligible footholds. There are several flat spots to catch your breath and sometimes the biggest challenge is the steady line of people coming the opposite direction competing for access to the chain! Eventually the top is reached and the views are really spectacular and worth the effort. There is definitely a wonderful feeling when you meet your fear head on and break through it to the top!
|Angel's Landing trail winds up the narrow face|
|The chains are really welcome!|
|For some reason, there is no chain on this section--don't slip!|
|Great views from the top|
|Going down is kinda worse|
|View of the lower switchbacks on the Angel's Landing trail|
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