If you read Emeralds and Angels, Hiking in Zion (Part 1), you’ll know Hubby was not thrilled (umm, extremely nervous), about hiking Angel’s Landing.
For good reason.
It wasn’t the extremely steep 5-6 hour hike with tons of switchbacks that made his heart race, it was the hike at the top of the mountain, on narrow ridges with deep chasms. Did I mention that you get across the most narrow parts by holding onto a chain anchored into the sandstone?
Guess what I found out? THERE ARE BREAKS IN THE CHAIN!
We warmed up by hiking Emerald Pools. Our guide then led us to the bottom of the Angel’s Landing where we started the steep ascension in full sun. Technically, the trail is called the West Rim Trail until it meets Angel’s Landing. Hiking along, we suddenly reached the aptly named Refrigerator Canyon, a mile-long shady part of the trail. We cooled off in time to sweat again, climbing Walter’s Wiggles, “steep 21 sharp zig-zags” that lead to Scout Lookout.
Hubby and Teen Daughter decided to rest on Scout’s Lookout while our guide James and I continued on. Here’s the thing. It was crowded. Walking on sandstone is slippery, the ground is gritty and the slopes are smooth. It’s hard to get traction or know where to put your foot as you climb up. I didn’t want to let go of the chain (when there was one), and people were climbing down as we were climbing up.
“I’m not letting go of the chain, so you’ll have to place your hands on either side of me and go around me,” I said.
“You come down, then I’ll go up,” I said.
“We’re doing the ‘chain dance’,” I said.
When there were breaks in the chain and we had to “Spiderman Scramble” up the mountain, I told James, “If I had a bucket list, this would officially be off of it!”
There was a point on the one-way trail where it was so crowded, we would have had to wait to keep going. I said I was “just fine” ending our hike there. James was, too. He said it but we both felt it.
Not only were we all exhilarated (except for Teen Daughter, who was out of breath!), we were ready for our next adventure. If I go back to Zion one day, I’ll wave to the Angels landing on the top of that trail.
Then, I’ll gear up and head for the canyons!