Thursday, March 16: Zion National Park

After David and I planned our trip, we found out that my parents would be staying in Zion that same week. We decided to adjust our plans a bit and to head to Zion for two nights, so we could have a day of hiking in the park. Zion was new for both David and myself, and well worth the trip adjustment.

We arrived Wednesday evening after our adventures at Hoover Dam and Valley of Fire. We relaxed by the campfire and munched on some veggies and S’mores before heading to bed. David and I got a break from the rocky ground and got to sleep on the futon in my parents’ camper. On Thursday morning the four of us woke up, ate a celebratory pancake breakfast for my Dad’s birthday, and headed up the canyon on the Zion shuttle bus to the Angel’s Landing trailhead.

The hike was challenging, and felt quite vertical at times. Walter’s Wiggles was at the end of the section before the final section to Angel’s Landing. The Wiggles were a series of 21 shorts and steep switchbacks that led you to Scout’s Landing.

Once at Scout’s Landing, all four of us started the final push to Angel’s Landing. It is a skinny trail marked by a chain that’s meant to guide hikers along the trail. My dad and I quickly decided to turn around and just enjoy the amazing view from the landing, while resting in the sun. My mom made it pretty far, and then turned around before the landing, as the trail was not completely lined with a chain and there were areas where you had to rely on nothing but your own sure footedness. David made it all the way to the landing (!!!) and survived (six people have fallen to their death since 2004).

 

1024px-Angel's_Landing_Summit

Angel’s Landing, photo credit goes to Wikipedia page

The way back down was challenging in its own way, especially on the knees, but it was nice to be able to relax and enjoy the views!

We still had some energy, so we took the shuttle bus up to the Narrows, which were closed due to water levels, but you could still hike to them. It was a really neat hike along the Virgin River, with views of a waterfall, hanging gardens, weeping rocks, and the beginning of the Narrows.

Afterwards, we took the shuttle back down to the campgrounds, cleaned up a bit, and walked to the brewery right outside of the park for a delicious dinner and beer. After dinner, we relaxed by the fire and roasted birthday s’mores.

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