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The climb to Angel's Landing...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

If, "Wow!  I'd love to hike up the edge of a 1000 ft. mountain and then hope not to blow right off the top of it" is something you've ever said to yourself, then hiking up to Angel's Landing at Zion National Park is just the thing for you! 

I will admit that when SB and I decided to go to Zion, the number 1 thing on my list was to hike through the Narrows, but SB was all about Angel's Landing.  I did very little research on what this actually was, but knew from friends that it was a very strenuous hike that could be scary.  

Well, friends... it was not until we were waiting in line to board the shuttle that would take us to this trailhead that I decided to do the necessary research.  Just do a Google image search of "Angel's Landing" and you'll understand the absolute and ultimate terror that rose up in my tummy.  SB just laughed at my fear and I spent the shuttle ride psyching myself up.  

Honestly, I'm glad that I did.  The hike was insane, especially with the heat, but I'll tell you... I was crazy proud of myself once we made it to the top and then I was even more proud by the time we made it back down to the bottom (and hadn't died... I'm only kind of kidding).  Here's what you need to know about Angel's Landing: 

: It is VERY strenuous.  Like I said, the heat made it even more intense than I imagine it would be in cooler weather.  
: The trail starts out with lots of switchbacks.  A walking stick would have been great for this part, but you'll have to stash it somewhere if you decide to hike all the way to the top.
: Once the switchbacks have ended, there is a bit of a plateau.  This was a great spot to drink lots of water, have a snack, and stretch out before the second half of the hike. 
: The second bit of the trail requires you to hold onto chains that have been drilled into the rock face.  In some places, the chains weren't too helpful to us.  We would have had to bend down really far to hold onto them, but in many places, they were great for balance.  This part of the hike takes you along the edge of the mountain, over some very narrow passes (with 1000 foot drops on either side), and up/down some rock scrambles.  Even though we were sweating in the heat, we were able to use the chains without needing gloves. 
: Take your time!  Many parts of the chain trail were scary.  They were slippery.  There were people trying to go up and people trying to go down.  If you need a break.  Take it. 
: Stay hydrated.  We ran into several people who said that they were getting dizzy.  We went as far as to offer these people our own water.  With the drops off the mountain as high as they are, this is NOT the place to get dehydrated and dizzy. 

I promise that if you make it to the top, you will not be disappointed.  I was SO proud of myself for not getting psyched out.  It turns out that several of my co-workers (some of whom are into extreme fitness) weren't able to make it to the top.  Having bragging rights has only added to my feeling of accomplishment, as does my photo ^ of me doing tree pose on top of a hoodoo at the very top of Angel's Landing! 

Have you ever done this hike?  Tell me about your experience in the comments section! 

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