Hiking In Zion National Park
Fall hiking in Zion National Park, Utah, can be very rewarding. The autumn season trips are the best as the crush is down and the heat has melted.
The leaves on the trees turn golden and red, and the flow of snowmelt water in the spring and summer has relaxed in the rivers and streams that need to be crossed.
One year, I went to Zion during Thanksgiving week. It was the perfect time to leave.
The Path Of Angels
Start early in the morning on the famous Angel Landing trail.
The crowds for this hike in Sion can be so strong in recent years that the park is considering setting up a reservation or quota system.
Landing should also be done if there is no snow on the ground, as the rocky trail along a chained handrail can be slippery enough to send a hiker to the passed away hundreds of feet.
A precise source claims that more than a dozen hikers have died in the last 20 years.
We went to the first light, and yet the path was crowded by our standards.
Reading other articles about hiking here, I now realize that it was an easy day for Angels Landing.
Round trip, Angel’s Landing Trail is about 4.5 miles, and depending on how much and how easy you are walking at high speed with huge drops on either side of them, it can take anywhere from two to five hours.
Frustrated with the pace of those walkers dragging their feet and standing on the Dear Life ramps provided by the National Park Service, I decided not to touch the chain at all and go around it.
Ignoring the chain for the last half mile up and back was a spectacular way to make the climb, as was done for decades by early park visitors.
The view at the top is worth every sweaty, anxious step and looks at the valley floor, about 1,500 feet straight ahead.
It is known exactly how the rock formation came to its name. Early explorers must have thought that only angels would ever end up on its summit.
A special treat on the Way to Angels Landing is a resting place and photography spot called Scout Lookout.
That day, a park ranger was on hand to point out the perch of the gigantic California Condor family that had settled in the area.
It even had one of the springs of their 10-foot span.
In 1987, the California condor was considered extinct in the wild, with the remaining 27 birds in captivity.
Since then, successful breeding and reintroduction programs have taken root on the coast of Central and Southern California, in Grand Canyon National Park and in Zion National Park.
Find a hidden bow
Angels Landing isn’t the only hike with peril drop-offs and otherworldly views.
Hidden Canyon is my favorite hike in Zion National Park. Your hike on this rarely used trail starts at the Weeping Rock Trailhead.
At the “Y” turn right onto the tarmac trail and enjoy a 3.5 km round trip rarely visited by crowds.
After leaving the cobblestone switchbacks, venture onto a path with stones cut into the shape of stairs, and onto a path carved into the cliff, with 200-foot drops on the right and a safety chain attached to the cliff on the left.
Ride alongside steep cliffs and dry sandy creek beds until they become impassable.
At some point, you may notice that the Hidden Bow was never created until you saw it on the way home. Hidden indeed.
One of the reasons we liked this path is that we only saw a handful of other people for more than two hours.
In a national park, this is a rare opportunity worth using.Tags: Drag, Hiking, Zion National Park