Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hiking to Angels Landing in Zion National Park

Photo of Angels Landing in Zion National Park
Above: Angels Landing rises 1500 feet above the Zion Canyon floor. Below: The view from the top.
View from the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park

I figured it was time to get out of the studio and fill the creative bucket, so I spent the day today in Zion National Park. I had in mind to get "above it all" with a hike to Angels Landing. It's not a long hike but takes about 4 hours round trip. It was 28 degrees when I parked my truck and took the canyon shuttle to the Grotto. But things warmed up considerably as I started up the switchbacks that led to Refrigerator Canyon. The leaves still haven't turned yet, but there was enough color to add drama to the scene.

Chains assist the climb to Angels Landing in Zion National ParkA series of 21 switchbacks called "Walters Wiggles" made my legs burn and my lungs ache by the time I leveled off at Scout Lookout. Here things get interesting with a Class 3 scramble assisted by well-placed chains across a narrow 3 foot wide passage with 1500-foot drop offs on BOTH sides. Not for the faint of heart, but it was all worth it as an incredible view opened up on both sides of the canyon from the small perch at the top.

Roland Lee on top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park
Giant Condors in Zion National ParkWhat a place to relax and enjoy my baloney sandwich while taking in the view and the crisp wind. I ignored the hopeful appeal for a handout from the resident chipmunks, but couldn't ignore the two huge Condors that appeared with a rush of wind and soared on their huge wings right past the peak. Finally I started down the chains and worked my way back to civilization. Now that's the way to spend a day!


  1. I'll take your word for it that it was beautiful "above it all". I can't muster up the courage yet to go up. Hmmm, maybe for my 40th bday.


    also at:

  2. Angel's Landing is one of our most favorite hikes, just as Zions is one of our most favorite places on earth to visit. Aren't we lucky to live near such a spectacular canyon? I never can visit without marveling at our Heavenly Father's workmanship. Love your stories, love your pictures, love your paintings, and love you Uncle Roland.