Zion National Park - Angel's Landing

After completing the Lake Powell Half Marathon, we headed north to Zion National Park, a short two hour drive. One could spend a week or more exploring Zion and during our two-day visit, we hiked the two most popular trails - Angels Landing and the Narrows. This appeared to be an obvious destination after the destination race as we encountered other runners from the Lake Powell race out in the park.

Angel's landing
One of the most popular hikes in the park, this challenging climb starts with paved walkways on the West Rim Trail then heads into Refrigerator Canyon. After a series of short but steep switch backs (Walter's Wiggles)you can rest at a nice plateau (Scout's Landing) before ascending 1500 feet on cliff edges using chains as climbing aids. This was by far the most challenging hike I've ever done and I wouldn't have completed it without the encouragement of my friend Julia who suggested it in the first place!

There are numerous blogs, websites, YouTube videos describing and virtualizing this climb so I won't repeat that content here with the exception of what worked for us.

One - get to the trail early. I think it was barely light out when we got on the park bus that would take us to the trailhead. We weren't the first hikers out there, either! An early start means you will avoid the super hot conditions prevalent in a desert.

Early Morning On The Trail
The Virgin River and West Rim Trail Below

Two - pack ample food and water. Julia is a seasoned adventurer - we packed containers of veggies, hummus, nuts, fruit, and protein bars. She is gluten intolerant and I avoid grains, sugar and simple carbs like bread so no sandwiches for us. The local market in Springdale had lots of packaged hiking food to choose from. We both used backpacks with water bladders for hands free hydration.

In Refrigerator Alley

Taking in the View

Three - proper footwear like hiking boots. I used my trail running shoes with great success. Julia packed sturdier Keen hikers. You wouldn't believe how many people we saw heading up the paved walkway in flip flops. When you're on what feels like 2" of rock face and hanging on to a chain, you will feel more secure with grippy shoes.
We Had to Hike All the Way Up There!

- take your time going up, with plenty of breaks to rest, refuel and enjoy the amazing scenery. If / when you make it to the top, spend some time to bask in the accomplishment. Even if the climb is too much, getting to Scout's Landing is beautiful and enjoyable.

Climbing Up

Atop Angels Landing

The View is Great From the Top of Angel's Landing

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