Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Trying not to Die at Angel's Landing

Wanderlust Wednesday-Week 14
Today is my birthday so I thought I'd share a little proof that turning a year older doesn't necessarily mean getting any wiser. Here's one of our favorite hikes from last week's southwest road trip.
We have a habit of challenging dangerous hikes (like this one) and in Zion National Park, Angel's Landing is the one to do. It's called Angel's Landing because it was once said to be so high that only angels could land there. That should give you an idea of how steep this climb is. The hike is 5.4 miles and gains 1500ft in elevation. That's a ton for us east coasters who are used to being below sea level. 
Thanks to staying at this epic campsite, we only had a 5 minute walk to catch the first shuttle of the day. You're not allowed to drive through the majority of Zion NP during the peak season, so the shuttle takes you all through the park. We happily munched on peanut butter banana sandwiches + coffee during the ride up to the trail head. 
We started hiking right at 6:30AM and it was such a pretty sight to see the sun just beginning to touch the mountains

Standing on an incline this entire hike 
Love this photo because you can see the trail zig-zagging down below, showing just how far we had already come
too bad there was still more hiking up
Thankfully, this trail is gorgeous and these views made us want to continue.
See what I mean?
not to mention that the trail was bursting with desert flowers. 
it's definitely nice to have something pretty to look at while you're climbing steep switchbacks 

I thought I was happy to have those switchbacks end, but then we hit the scary part of the trail. No big deal, it's just the part where you can fall off either side of mountain and drop 1000ft to your death.
Many people stop here and I don't blame them, but of course we kept going
At this stage, I have zero fear of heights, especially after doing crazy stuff like this. But I definitely found this hike to be scary. You're steadily climbing upwards and if you're a shortie like me, that means scrambling up the rock on your hands and knees at some points.
There are chains to hold onto, which is nice…until you remind yourself that the chains were installed so that less people would die. And I have to be honest, this chain system isn't exactly top-notch engineering. They literally shoved some poles into the rock and connected them with chains and that's supposed to help you not fall off the mountainside and die. Fun right?!!
We thought so...
but then finally you're at the peak and it was all worth it
a well earned snack on top of the mountain we just climbed
Then finally it was time to head down and descending was the worst part of this hike. Not just because you're going down a steep mountain, but also because the crowds had begun to form. As we were going down, others were trying to come up. Not a whole lot of wiggle room and there's a lot of invading of personal space, but better that than the alternative. 
 glad to be down the narrow section and still a little in awe that we just climbed that
I was actually thrilled to return to the switchbacks, since we were going downhill this time
We were down the mountain by 11AM that morning. Let me tell you, it feels amazingly surreal to have accomplished so much this early in the day. Let's check the best hike in all of Zion National Park off the bucket list. Here's to being brave and pushing ourselves! And here's to having the whole day left ahead of us to explore more. See the rest of our Adventures in Zion National Park


  1. What gorgeous scenery to take in although I think my fear of heights would make it very overwhelming for me. Luckily I can live vicariously through your photos :-)

  2. You are braver than me! Although this looks beautiful, I'd totally be into hiking it and just stopping before the chain started. It feels sooo good to get things done super early in the day.

    1. I am definitely not brave. Just ask my husband. I thought the chains were terrifying and definitely had some moments where everything in me wanted to turn around. But it felt like I had to do it because I was scared too. And I hate running away from things just because I was nervous or comfortable

  3. Amazing! How gorgeous are those views, such a great hiking spot <3
    Green Fashionista