Friday, June 5, 2009

Zion National Park's Angels Landing Hike

My first visit to Zion National Park was a long, long time ago. We'd been to Yellowstone National Park and after seeing the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone we decided we needed to see the Grand Canyon of the Colorado.

The route to Grand Canyon went by Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. I knew nothing about either. We checked out Bryce Canyon first. Loved it, vowed to return. It would be a lot of years before that return.

Next was Zion. It was September, it was hot, we stayed overnight at a campground inside Zion. That night we went to a slideshow and talk where a lady Park Ranger imparted a lot of information. Among the things she waxed poetic about was the hike to the top of Angels Landing.

She made it sound so fun and so scary. She described there being a point where the trail is very narrow, where you are at the top of a spot where there is a thousand foot or more drop-off on either side. Very dangerous. This drop-off area had a name. I can't remember it for sure after all these years. Maybe it was the Razorback.

One thing the Ranger made clear is you needed to be wearing sturdy hiking boots to be safe on the Angels Landing Trail. All we had were tennis shoes. But we vowed to return one day and hike the Angels Landing trail to the top. I was not to return to Zion National Park til 18 years later. The Angels Landing Hike did not take place on that return. I was back in Zion again a few years ago, staying overnight at the National Park Lodge. Sadly, the Angels Landing Hike did not take place that time either.

That picture at the top shows part of the Angels Landing Trail. The National Park Service has an interactive webpage about the Angels Landing Hike. This may be one of the best webpages I have ever seen. By the time I was done looking at all there was to see, music came on and I sat here feeling real sad that I've not yet made it to the top of Angels Landing. And maybe never will.

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