Zion, a bucket list must have! Long we talked about visiting and hiking its most infamous and thrilling trail known as Angels Landing. Luckily, for our adventurous hearts and spirits, we usually set out to do what we talk about….as long as our pockets will allow. Even more so, there could not have been a better time to visit Zion National Park as it was a mere 2.5 hours drive from Las Vegas, NV and en route to Minneapolis, MN.
On the first evening of our week long road trip, we drove into the charming town of Springdale, Utah from Valley of Fire, Nevada and arrived at dusk (first photo below). The sun was setting on red sandstone and roadside bike and pedestrian trails. We stayed at a nearby lodge located on Zion Park Blvd, near all the shops, restaurants and even a little mom & pop ice cream shop with a retirement fund jar. We decided to conquer Zion bright and early the following morning.
Once at Zion, a shuttle transported us to the sixth stop, Grotto Trailhead leading to the most talked about trail, Angels Landing. Before we made our exit, the voiceover on the shuttle made sure to remind everyone of how strenuous the trail is and that some people have succumbed to its frightening cliffs. Another sign at the entrance gave the same warning and at a first glance of the steep and treacherous trail ahead, I may have gotten slight butterflies.
The first mile or so was strenuous in steepness, but it had a paved and wide trail as it curved around the canyon wall. Then, we reached the first plateau and overlook known as Scout Landing. It had breathtaking 360 degree views of the canyon below, but before us stood the next mile of strenuous and I mean strenuous hike. It consisted of walking on sandstone, fairly close to the edge and linked chains to help guide the way with sheer drops of thousands of feet below. There was two way foot traffic on the one cliff and only one chain. Soon enough, we reached another landing and the views were even more spectacular than the last. I decided not to go on to the last part but Jason did taking a few photos as I admired from afar.
Then, it was time to head down! My least favorite part and just a tad bit complicated. There was a high volume of people going in the opposite direction and with only one chain, we had to pass with extreme caution and not look down when doing so.
Angels Landing was one of the most challenging trails we have hiked, but also very rewarding and your legs will feel like jello by the end without a doubt. There are epic views all around. The trails itself is 5 miles with an elevation of 1,500 ft and can be conquered in as little as 4 hours.
As we were on this hike, we saw people of all ages, older and younger, so it’s doable but not for those with an extreme fear of heights. Or as long as you remember to just not look down! Bucket List Item ✓