HIKED ANGEL'S LANDING & RIVER WALK
Zion National Park Travel Blog› entry 4 of 6 › view all entries
May 24th, 2009 – by: mellemel8
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE HIKE:
- We woke up at 8am, ate cranberry trail mix, granola bar, filled up my camel pack with water, and off we go to catch the shuttle bus to the grotto which is about 20mins one way.
- We started the hike about 11am and finished from the top of angel’s landing by 1:15pm. We hung out on top of angel’s landing for 20mins taking photos and eating a snack.
- The weather was warm and breezy.
- The hike was 2.5 miles and 4 hour round trip.
- It is flat for a .5 miles then the rest of the 2 miles is uphill and strenuous. There is shade between the mountains going to uphill.
- There were plenty of beautiful wild flowers on the trail. The trail is a mixture of sand, rocks and cement.
- There were plenty of people hiking with their cameras with no lens caps. $2000 DSLR and they treat like it’s a $100 camera.
- It was a never ending hike I thought at the 1hr and 30mins mark it was finished. When I saw a group of people hanging out. then I saw the sign “angel’s landing 0.5 mile” and I looked up it was a mountain with chains attached and at the distance a hill with people hiking to the top.
- Mark and I kept each other company by sharing travel stories and camera tips.
- This is most strenuous hike I have ever taken.
- I enjoyed the trek using the chains.
- I discovered in the middle of the hike. I forgot my other extra battery at the campsite. DAMN IT…..majority of my photos are from celly. Which is by the way, had better shots than my digi cam.
- 25% of my photos are from my camera phone.
- We arrived at angel’s landing and the view was spectacular. It was worth the 2hrs.
- We hung out on angel’s landing for 20mins.
- The panoramic view was breath taking.
- The chipmucks were not afraid for people. They would get super close to us. one was on my backpack begging for food.
- We were discussing what is out next hike.
- We plan to take the shuttle bus north to weeping rock and hike the observation point which was 5 hours round trip and strenuous as well.
- We ran into some of the peeps from the www.meetup.com hiking group and they were going up while we were going down.
- On the way the down on the 1 mile mark, my sole on my left hiking boot broke off. Then my right sole on my hiking boot. i have had these boots since 1995. It was been everywhere.
- Mark was walking ahead of me. I yelled out loud, “mark, I need to put my soles in your backpack” HAHAHAHAHAHA
- My Nike hiking boots were falling apart. I was making sure the rest of my boots doesn’t fall apart on the way back to the campsite.
- I plan to leave my Nike hiking boots in Zion. I plan to bury it in the campsite. Mark thinks I am ridiculous.
- Since my hiking boots were not fit for hiking. We had to go back to the campsite to change boots. Luckily I have my hiking sandals. I can wear that.
- We were finally at the grotto where we started. I went to the outside faucet to wash my hands, arms and face. I know my face is burnt.
- As soon as we got into the shuttle bus, I pasted out. my feet were barking. I did not relazied how tired I was until I sat in the shuttle. Mark and I had to rethink out hike during lunch.
- We reused the grill from last night’s dinner. I brought a bag of instant coal. After 30mins. I had to get more matches. It took us almost 2 hours to cook lunch. Only because we had 3 fat hamburgers….an inch thick!!!! It was worth the wait.
- We decided to take a twilight hike to the riverwalk, which is the last stop at the end, temple of sinawava. Since it was 6pm.
- While on the trail, mark heard a noise in the trees. Then I saw a deer eating. I only took a photo of it’s bum.
- There were frogs in the river front. The hike was gorgeous.
- We bought a new bag of charcoal. Since mine is not sparking. Maybe because the charcoal is 3 years old HAHAHAHA.
- We both each 3 hot dogs each. We were hungry. HAHAHAHAHA
- I broke out my stove and boiled 6 hot dogs.
- Mark built fire, it was a cool night.
Angels Landing is an island in the sky often surrounded by low lying clouds.
The Angels Landing Trail is one of the most famous and thrilling hikes in the national park system. Zion's pride and joy runs along a narrow rock fin with dizzying drop-offs on both sides. The trail culminates at a lofty perch, boasting magnificent views in every direction. Rarely is such an intimidating path so frequented by hikers. One would think that this narrow ridge with deep chasms on each of its flanks would allure only the most intrepid of hikers. Climbers scale its big wall; hikers pull themselves up by chains and sightseers stand in awe at its stunning nobility. The towering monolith is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Southwest.
Angels Landing at Glance
Photo Album: Angels Landing Pictures
Map: Angels Landing Map
Day Hike: Yes
Distance: 5 miles
Average Hiking Time: 5 hours
Equipment: Map to locate the landmarks surrounding Angels Landing.
Difficulty: Strenuous uphill hike, but hiking is on a well maintained trail.
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Trail Usage: Heavy
Permits: Not required.
Trail Conditions: The first 2 miles are paved and well maintained. Most of the path is sunny, but Refrigerator Canyon offers shade and often a cool breeze. This is a good early morning hike. Make sure to allow time to be off the trail by dark if starting late in the day. The last half mile is across a narrow sandstone ridge. Anchored support chains are attached along some sections of the sheer fin.
Trailhead: Grotto picnic area in Zion Canyon
Trailend: Same as trailhead
Trail Access: Year-round, either by the Zion Canyon Shuttle or private vehicle when the shuttle is not running.
Best Season: March to October, but can be hiked year-round as long as the trail if free of ice and snow.
Elevation Gain : Long steady climb. 1488'
Hazards: Sheer cliffs at high elevations while hiking on a narrow fin. Not suggested for children or those with a fear of heights. Avoid standing near the edge at all times! Do not hike the trail when it is wet, storming, or when high winds are present.
Restrooms: Scout Lookout (when working) at the Angels Landing junction and at the Grotto Picnic area.
See our vacation planning section for classic Zion National Park trails or glance at our favorite Zion National Park trails list or choose from a complete Zion National Park hiking guide. Get on the Zion Canyon Shuttle to hike the trail on this page.
Angels Landing and the West Rim Trail
From the Grotto Picnic area, cross the Zion Canyon Road. Head toward the footbridge that passes over the North Fork of the Virgin River.
Just over one mile, hikers get a reprieve from the constant, steep grade of the West Rim Trail and the blazing heat of the full sun. The path turns toward a gap between Angels Landing and Cathedral Mountain.
Squiggle the Wiggles
Just before the trail spills onto Scout Lookout, it's time to 'squiggle the wiggles,' as they ascend the steep twenty-one sharp zig-zags to a scenic plateau. Walter's Wiggles was named after the first superintendent of Zion who helped engineer the steep zig-zagging section. The park was in its planning stages at this time and the short, steep section of trail was created to enable horses to access Cabin Spring. One of his granddaughters works in Zion today and his home still stands in Springdale, known now as the Worthington Gallery.
The wiggles ascend to a broad, sandy area called Scout Lookout.
Angels Landing Trail
Hikers will navigate the next half-mile along a narrow sandstone isthmus with sheer cliffs on both sides. The narrow and arduous trail drops 1200' on one side and 800' on the other. Chipmunks scurry carelessly along the ridge, finding bits of shade under the few trees that have found a weakness in which to burrow their roots. The summit offers i incomparable, fairytale views. Almost 1500' below, the Virgin River winds around the Organ. The Great White Throne seems only a stones throw away when standing at the end of the trail.
Best features of the hike
The last half mile of the trail is fun and the views along the way are impressive. The point at the end of the Angels Landing trail allows for unlimited views of Zion Canyon in both directions and the Great White Throne seems only a jump away. When standing on the peak of Angels Landing the Great White Throne is at eye level. From the top many landmarks of Zion National Park can be seen including the Virgin River, Big Bend, the Organ, Cathedral Mountain, Observation Point and Cable Mountain.
A group of four (F. Fisher, V Fischer, E. Bingham, C. Hirshi) were exploring Zion in 1916 when upon looking up at the great monolith, Frederick Fisher exclaimed, "only an angel could land on it." Another name considered for Angels Landing was "El Gobernador," a Spanish term to honor William Spry. Later Spry Mountain was named in his honor instead. The Walter Wiggles section was named after the first superintendent of Zion National Park, who in 1924, helped engineer the twenty-one switchbacks.
Great White Throne
The Great White Throne is impressive, rising more than 2400' above the canyon floor. The Zion Canyon Shuttle stops at a view point for the Great White Throne and the nearby Organ. There are no trails to the top of the Great White Throne, but it is a magnificent white topped monolith and perhaps the most famous of all Zion National Park landmarks.
THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST INTENSE HIKES I HAVE EVER DONE.
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