Sunday Hikes: Angel’s Landing (Josh’s Perspective)

I’m going to preface this post by saying that you should read last week’s “Sunday Hike” about Angel’s Landing for a little more detail on the trail itself.

Angel’s Landing acquired it’s name from someone exploring the Zion Canyon in the early 1900s and commenting that “Only an angel could land on it”. However nowadays thousands of people have stood atop the peak of Angel’s Landing and looked down at the ant-like cars below on the canyon floor. I am lucky enough to be one of those many people. My family and I began our hike in the summer morning and it was already getting hot. We followed the trail along the river and up towards the first set of switchbacks that were long and not too steep but in the direct sun. By the time I reached the top of these switchbacks I realized how far behind me the rest of my family was so I waited before I could see them and they waved me to go ahead without them. So I continued through the only shaded part of the trail, a small side canyon with trees and a creek and beautiful cool air. This luxury went away quickly however and I found my self facing the infamous Walter’s Wiggles, a set of 21 switchbacks that shoot you steeply up the canyon wall. I fought up the wiggles quickly and thought to myself that they weren’t all that bad after all. At the end of the wiggles the trail turned and opened up into the “Scout Lookout” area (Also known as the chicken out spot). This is where the trail began it’s most famous feature of a small narrow path crawling out across a rock spine jutting out some 1500 feet from the canyon floor. I didn’t hesitate at all and climbed up a steep rock with a nice chain to hold onto while yielding to the many people returning from the other end of the trail. This portion of the trail was much longer than I had expected but also nowhere near as terrifying as I expected. The scariest thing to me wasn’t the steep drop offs on either side off me but rather how many people populated this tiny trail. It took a while to reach the end because of the extra caution you have to take and giving way to returning hikers (All of which kindly encourage you that you are almost there). At last I reached the crowded summit and took in the beautiful surroundings of Zion.


After looking around and taking some pictures I had a snack and started my journey back (That rhymes). The return trip felt much quicker as well as easier. I passed my dad and my sister on the way back (probably at one of the narrowest parts of the trail). My dad was clinging to the chain for dear life and asked me for water because they had none. We wished each other good luck and parted ways. I quickly arrived back to the Scout’s Lookout where my other family members were waiting. We had a little snack and some water and them headed back down the trail. We soon were back at the canyon floor, sitting at a picnic table and looking up at Angel’s Landing marveling at how crazy it was that I had just been all the way up there. My dad and sister soon met up with us and we continued the rest of our day but ever since I finished hiking Angel’s Landing, I have been looking forward to hiking it again. -Josh



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