First of all- Happy Fathers Day to the very best dad in the whole world! Dave, you make my life better than I could have ever imagined and the kids are so lucky to call you daddy. We love you more than we could ever say! We can’t wait until you get here to travel with us! XOXO
Knowing how hot and crowded Zion can be, we decided to tackle Angels Landing first thing in the morning so we hopped on the shuttle early and were on the West Rim Trail by 7:15. The sun was just peeking over the canyon walls as we started. The trail gets steep almost immediately and we warmed up pretty quick! The panoramic views start right away and reward you with the colorful scenery that makes Zion National Park so spectacular. The switchbacks on the West Rim trail are no joke and we rested on every other landing to catch our breath, but still made it up the trail pretty quickly to where the Angels Landing trail splits from West Rim. At this point, you have a half mile left to the top.
After a quick break, we started the steep, rocky, heart pounding climb to the peak. Once we finished the initial climb, we stopped at the next landing to discuss whether anyone was having second thoughts, because I will be honest and say, it was SCARY! Sophie, Ryan and Naomi were confident and kept climbing. Aubrey decided she had climbed enough, and wanted to wait at the landing. Meg, Maya and I were still deciding, and we ended up continuing on based on Meg’s encouragement. She said she was scared to go, but knew she would regret not going. Amen, girl. So we kept climbing. I can tell you I only made it up the trail by looking straight at the rocks in front of me when climbing and only pausing to look around when we could stop at a flat spot. The views were heart stopping but also unbelievably gorgeous. Any amount of fear I had was totally worth it, and before we knew it, we were at the top! We rested for a while, enjoying the view we had earned and watching the clever little chipmunks begging for food before heading back down. I had been worried that going down would be especially scary, but it wasn’t too bad. However, the crowds had really picked up and we had the added challenge of maneuvering around many, many people. And the temperature? It was searing hot by now. I am SO glad we got on the trail early! The entire trail only took us about 3 hours or so, but this beautiful and heart pounding hike is definitely in my top three favorite treks of all time. Simply spectacular! We spent the rest of the day playing in the Narrows, taking several short hikes in the canyon and trying to stay cool. We are sun burned, sore and exhausted, but totally full in spirit.
Zion has my heart for sure!
Looks like I’ll be doing this hike in October now! Have to say I’m a bit freaked out but I have to do it.
You will LOVE it! Just finished Rae Lakes Loop in Kings Canyon. Add it to your list. It was unbelievable!!
Just saw your response to this now…holy cow Rae Lakes loop looks nuts! I told my hiking buddies we need to do it in 4 years when we turn 40. So 40 for 40. As in 40 miles (or so) for turning 40.
I think Kings Canyon would be a perfect place to celebrate turning 40!