Monday, October 8, 2012

Angels Landing/West Rim Trail

The other day I did the same hike that my sister Diana did in May.  Well, after I went through my pictures and decided which ones to put on the blog, I looked at her post and discovered I had picked many of the exact same pictures she had posted.  How crazy is that?  After much soul searching and internal debate, I've decided to post them anyway.

The Angels Landing and West Rim trails are the same for the first two miles up from the canyon floor.  The reason why I like this trail is that it gives you time to work up to the hill.  It begins with an almost flat section following the river.

And continues with an easy rise for probably 1/2 mile.

But just when you think, "This is going to be a piece of cake," the switchbacks begin.

Before I continue, I have a confession here.  I actually took the previous three pictures on my way back down.  I was so motivated for this hike that I got up, walked from the campground to the visitor center (about two blocks), took the bus to the trailhead, and was on the trail by 9 o'clock.  That's so not like me, but because of my early start, only about a 100 feet section of the trail was in the sun.

But to continue, just when you think you can't go another step, the trail enters Refrigerator Canyon where it's not only cool, but less of a climb.

After a few more switchbacks coming out of the canyon, you arrive at the infamous Walter's Wiggles, a set of 21 short, but steep switchbacks.  Whew!

But once at the top of the Wiggles, you suddenly realize you are at Scout Lookout and have gone two miles.  Here is the decision point.  You can stop there and enjoy the view, continue to the top of Angels Landing (which involves some frightening dropoffs with chains to hold onto), or hike part of the West Rim trail.  Since I had done the first choice once and the second one twice, I chose number three.

After the crowds on the first two miles of the trail, it was very quiet and peaceful.  So much so that I misplaced the trail after less than 1/2 mile.  But no matter, I just sat and ate my lunch while watching the hikers climbing Angels Landing in front of me.
As I look at this picture, I think that, although I remember the climb up had some rough spots, the slide down the other side (on the left) would be really terrifying.  LOL

After enjoying my break, I was just about to give up and turn around when I heard voices coming toward me from farther up the trail.  Oh, that's where it is!

So I continued about another 1/2 mile to this interesting rock

Where I had a fantastic view up Zion Canyon.

It was a great hike and I'm happy to say I didn't get lost on the way down.


  1. Several folks can stand at the same area and take the "same" picture but each will be special. Slight lighting changes or height of camera or a dozen other things can make each shot special. Thank you for you shots.

  2. Interesting that I have many of the same photos from the same locations. :-) Zion has always been a favored park for hiking and great scenery. The hiking part except for Angels Landing. I'll leave that challenge to others.

  3. Our visits to Zion pre-date our hiking days; I see there will be a lot of new things to entertain us when we get there.

  4. Zion is such a beautiful and special place! GOOD for you that you did the hike a third time KNOWING it was a tough hike. Your photos are really Great!!!

  5. Love the last picture especially - great clouds and colors. I think you went a little further than I did. Now I have to go back and do it again....

  6. John says you used really good sense on this hike. Now, what about Picacho Peak?

  7. You took the same pictures as Diana did?

    You two aren't related by any chance?

  8. You took the same pictures as Diana did?

    You two aren't related by any chance?

  9. Excellent pictures. We were there over Thanksgiving and my 11 year was brave enough to finish the hike.