Last weekend I finally decided it was time to go over to Zion National Park. It’s only about 80 miles from Mesquite and I had heard from a bunch of people about how amazing Zion is. It had cooled down quite a bit last weekend but it was nice and sunny so I figured it would be fine for hiking. Sunday morning I headed out and ended up getting there a bit later than I had planned, mostly because I completely forgot about the time difference (the problem with living right near the Arizona border), but it was still early enough that I would have a few hours to finish my hike before it got dark. The round trip for the Angels Landing is 5.4 miles and according to the park guide takes about 5 hours. Zion gets busy enough that for most of the year your not actually allowed to drive through the park and have to take their shuttles instead. Starting in November the park is open to drive through but parking is limited so I parked at the visitors center and took the free shuttle up to The Grotto where the trail head was. As soon as I got on the trail it I started going up. Even with all the switchbacks it was still a steep hike.
Most of the trail is actually paved (weird after being used to hiking around the Monument) so it’s not bad but it just goes up and up and up. It’s about 2 miles up to where the trail splits off for the rest of Angels Landing and the West Rim trail. From there it’s another half mile out to the top. The whole hike had been kinda tough but it was nothing like that last half mile. The top of this hike is basically along a wall, it’s not super narrow but it’s enough to be a little stressful and to warrant chains most of the way to hold on to. There are a few spots that you basically have to climb up using the chains and everything around you.
Oh and did I mention the multiple signs that say that 6 people have fallen and died while on this trail in the last 8 years? Yeah that doesn’t cause any stress or anything. Actually I didn’t mind it, maybe rock climbing since I was 3 has some benefits.I finally made it to the top where it flattens out but is still a pretty narrow top.
It was absolutely gorgeous at the top, could see the whole valley from there. Even though I don’t think it was even 50 degrees out I was still hot by the time I was at the top, the sun plus a strenuous hike kept me more than warm. Everyone at the top was talking about how cold it was which I thought was funny cause I was in a tshirt while they were all in jackets. I did have to put my sweatshirt back on for the hike down though since I was in a bit of a valley so the sun was blocked and walking down wasn’t nearly as hard as going up. Compared to the hike up the way down was practically relaxing. I finished the whole hike in just about 3 hours. After that I took the shuttle ride around the rest of the park just to check it out since I’m planning on going back again this weekend. The Narrows is a hike that follows the river and I’ve heard it’s pretty cool, it’s supposed to be warmer this weekend so I’m hoping to go do that hike. I guess there’s a couple different ways to do this hike but the day hike is 9.4 and is supposed to take about 8 hours. Sounds fun right? My legs are finally recovering from my hike last weekend, my suggestion for anyone going to Zion, don’t run 5 miles the day before hiking up a mountain.