Here is the story of our adventure to;
Angels Landing in Zion National Park.
Our alarms went off at 2:30am jolting both Tony and me out of bed – excited for the adventure that awaited us!
Flagstaff came in a breeze seeing as no one was on the road that early. We made a quick stop for a Skinny Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks to wake me up then we were back on the road to Zion National Park.
Finally we had made it at 10:30am, record time!
- $30 Vehicle Pass which includes unlimited access to all shuttle service
- $20 Camping Pass for one night, includes bathrooms
Driving to the Visitors Center I was in awe at the color of the trees, a vibrant yellow. The canyon walls were painted in white, red and brown. As we stepped out of the car I noticed the weather was brisk yet pleasant; not a cloud in the sky. I get cold easy regardless, meaning I had on a plethora of clothing:
Three layers of fuzzy socks √
Two pairs of Yoga Pants √
Three sweatshirts and a jacket √
One scarf √
A beanie and gloves √ & √
At this point nothing matched; stripes, blues, tans. All I cared about was WARMTH!
Waiting for the shuttle did not take long, possibly 10 minutes max – they have multiple shuttles running at the same time. Each shuttle has 9 stops in the park for various hiking locations, our stop was Number 6: The Grotto to Angels Landing.
The shuttle ride was approximately 20 minutes long after it dropped us off at stop 6 near the trailhead of Angels Landing.
WHAT TO BRING ON THE HIKE:
- Backpack– I use my Camelbak for easy access to water
- Water – I packed two extra bottles just in case
- Light Snacks – Lara Bars, Cliff Bars, etc.
- Camera – trust me, you’ll want to get some sweet shots!
– Angels Landing –
The hike started out with crossing a small bridge over the Virgin River leading to a sandy, unpaved path heading up towards the mountain.
At the start of the hike I remember thinking “these are the switchbacks everyone talks about? Piece of cake!”.
Soon enough after the said ‘switchbacks’, the path came to a fully paved trail that continued steeper up the mountain – I then realized these were the true switchbacks everyone had talked about.
During the beginning of hike I was ripping off layer after layer as there was not only one, but two sets of elongated switchbacks. Then finally, we had reached the exciting part – the ascend to Angels Landing!!
WARNING: This part of the hike is not recommended for small children or individuals who are not hiking savvy/ stable footed.
Starting the ascend were sturdy metal chains bolted along the pathway up the ridged mountainside. Though I had my solid hiking shoes on, I was holding on for dear life when the sand beneath my feet caused me to slip at times.
We eventually reached the top – or so I thought! Looking past Tony I saw that we had nearly reached NOTHING (lol). The hike had another three ‘false’ peaks, each steeper than the next. I got a little nervous about continuing the hike but knew if I focused on the land beneath my feet and not the cliff edges I would be A-OK! Onward we went.
At last, the actual top of Angels Landing!
A fluffy squirrel climbed all over both Tony and me while we snacked on our Peanut Butter Cliff Bars and soaked up the Utah sun. We stayed at the top of Angels Landing for an hour or so, leaning against the warmth of the sun soaked mountain in complete relaxation.
OUR HIKING TIMELINE for ANGELS LANDING:
11:00 AM Start Trail (mostly sandy)
11:10 AM Trail turned to paved walkway
11:20 AM Switchbacks start
11:30 AM Trail levels out
11:35 AM More switchbacks and Walter’s Wiggles
11:45 AM Start of chains
12:15 PM Top of Angels Landing
01:30 PM Leave Angels Landing
02:30 PM Arrive back at bus stop
– Camping at Zion National Park –
Upon arriving back to the car Tony and I found the ultimate camping spot!
Deer were everywhere, four to five at a time, feasting off of the natural grass and bushes around us.
A delicious and well deserved pulled pork sandwich with a locally crafted beer was awaiting us in the town of Springdale, nearly four minutes from our campsite. After devouring our first real meal of the trip we headed back outside just in time for the canyon sunset.
Followed by a campfire, more beers and a cozy goodnight sleep in my new TETON Sports Tracker +5F sleeping bag Tony got for me.
The following morning was an unexpected one – SNOW! I zipped open the tent door to find it had snowed during the night. A true winter wonderland!
Our first trip to Zion was magnificent; the weather, the landscape, the serenity.
Have you been? If so, fill me in on some hikes/ “must do’s” for next time I am there!
xoxo ♥ AB