On Tuesday, the 21st, Marilyn, Joe, and I hiked Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. Tuesday’s forecast was the best for the days that we were scheduled to be there – it was supposed to be mostly rain-free in the morning with light rain forecast for the afternoon. The remaining days in the Zion area were forecast to be considerably more wet.
Also, the only significant hike that was open in the main canyon was Angel’s Landing. The Narrows was closed due to snow melt. Other trails of consequence were closed due to damage from rock fall. So, we picked the one good weather day to do Angel’s Landing.
I had hiked Angel’s Landing several years ago. On the day that I did it, the route was very dry and the footing was good. On the 21st, it wasn’t entirely dry and there was often wet sand underfoot. When I had done the route earlier, I found the chains to be optional; in dry conditions, they aren’t necessary to safely ascend and descend the route. In less than optimal conditions, however, I was very happy that the chains were there.
The hike to Angel’s Landing starts at The Grotto, ascends the West Rim Trail to Scout Lookout, and then ascends a steep section to the top of Angel’s Landing. This sign appears early in the hike on the West Rim Trail.
A view of Angel’s Landing from the lower (and flatter) section of the West Rim Trail.
Another early look at Angel’s Landing:
Looking back down canyon:
This was one of the easier sections on the West Rim Trail. It was relatively flat here with some interesting views.
Looking up-canyon (below) from near the point where the above photo was taken:
Scout Lookout had some nearby bathrooms and a mass of humanity milling about. This photo is from near the start of Angel’s Landing. The route was crowded that day; groups of (often) ten to twenty people were self organized to travel up or down together. Groups going in one direction would find a landing at which to wait while a group going in the other direction would negotiate a steep and narrow section. At this particular spot, I remember there being a steep drop off to my left. We waited there for perhaps ten minutes for a group coming down. I got separated from Joe and Marilyn at this point. (Joe found some younger folks that he chose to hike with.) After stopping a few few times on the next section, I reached another really big landing where I waited for Marilyn. Marilyn had hurt her knee earlier during our trip and opted to wait for me at this large landing. I think she made the right choice; the descent from the top is very steep and would have been hard on her knee(s).
These next photos are either from the top or near the top of Angel’s Landing…
I’m on my way back down at this point. A little while earlier, I encountered Joe and his group finishing their ascent.
After finishing the descent to Scout Camp, the last part with Marilyn, I proceeded hike further up the West Rim Trail. There were some overlooks from which good views of Angel’s Landing could be found.
I really liked the upper parts of the West Rim Trail. It was considerably less crowded. The views were different too…
I hit a high point on the West Rim Trail and then proceeded perhaps a quarter of a mile further. Had I kept going, the trail would have descended a lot more before going up again. Instead of losing even more elevation which I’d have to reascend on the way back, I chose to turn around at that point. Along the way, I met Marilyn who, after meeting Joe, started up the West Rim Trail. It was at around this point that I took this photo. We’re still high above Scout Lookout at this point.
On the way back down to Scout Lookout, I zoomed in on a steep section of Angel’s Landing. Although it had been raining – hard enough for me to put on my rain jacket – there were still people going up and down the route!
I took this photo from the West Rim Trail below Scout Lookout: