6/28 Thursday

We got up early to get started on a full day of hiking. After parking at the Visitor’s Center in Zion we took the shuttle to the Dripping Springs stop. From there, we took the trail to Hidden Canyon. This was a moderate hike, but it had a neat ledge we had to walk along near the top.

The maintained trail ends in Hidden Canyon about 800 feet above the main canyon floor. From there, we continued on into Hidden Canyon, but scrambling and rock climbing skills were required to get very far. The situation was made more difficult by the slick rock and loose sand. After a couple of difficult obstacles, we turned back.

On the way back to the Visitor’s Center on the shuttle, we stopped to take pictures at the Court of the Patriarchs. From the Visitor’s Center, we drove toward the east entrance to do the Canyon Overlook Trail. This was an easy trail that lead to a great view of the canyon that comes into the park from the east.

After the hike, we returned to Springdale to pick up lunch from a deli and return to the motel. After a rest, we drove up the the west part of Zion off I-15 to Kolob Canyon. We did the 5-mile scenic drive, stopping for pictures. We would have hiked some trails, but we wanted to return to the main Zion canyon to do the Angel’s Landing hike.

After parking the car and taking the shuttle to the Grotto stop, we began our hike around 6:00 p.m. The first two miles of the trail was pretty standard canyon hiking along switchbacks to ascend quickly. There was also a level part of the hike into a nice side canyon (Refrigerator Canyon). After the very steep second set of switchbacks (Walter’s Wriggles), we got to see why this hike is one of the most famous in the National Park System. A narrow fin of rocks is all that connects the landing to the main canyon wall. Rock cairns and chains are in place to use as needed. The fin itself slopes down on each side. Falling one way will land you about 1200 feet down on the canyon floor, the other about 800 feet down in Refrigerator Canyon. Best to stay in the middle along the fin. The final ascent to the landing required use of all four limbs, and felt more like rock climbing than hiking, but Teagan loved it. Richard was somewhat less enthusiastic.

Once atop the landing, the view was simply spectacular. We got a nearly 360 degree view of Zion Canyon that was awe inspiring. We stayed there at least 30 minutes soaking up the view.

We left the landing around 9:00 p.m. to return down. There was plenty of twilight to traverse the fin, but once we got past that we used a flashlight for safety. We arrived at the Grotto shuttle stop at 10:00 p.m. to await the shuttle.

By the time we got a shuttle and drove back to Springdale, it was after 11:00. The only place open in town was the Bit and Spur Saloon. Luckily, they were still serving food, so we were able to get something to eat.

One thought on “6/28 Thursday”

  1. Isn’t the Angel’s Landing Trail something else? We hiked it in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2006. When I’m grabbing onto the chains I sometimes think, “Now why am I hiking this trail again?” I guess the challenge of doing it is why.

    The trail has been called the hardest hiking trail and the easiest rock climbing trail. I’ll have to search to find the quote.

    Last year we asked the locals about the people who have fallen off. A few months before our hike a 29 yr. old woman had fallen off. In a previous year a 14 yr. old boy fell off. We were told that he was joking around and perhaps had taken a dare.

    I don’t worry about falling off myself; but I sometimes worry about people falling on me.

    We like the Hidden Canyon Trail, too; and because it has been cooler when we were there we would go on past the official trail.

    Another favorite trail of ours is the East Rim Overlook Trail. The view from there is spectacular, too.

    We plan to go back next May. Things are too hectic now.

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