Angels Landing. Rock formation in Zion National Park. Some say it’s so high only angels can land there.
Let me remind you – you’re not an angel 🙂 Neither am I.
That’s why I started this hike feeling a mixture of excitement and anxiousness. Even though I’m not afraid of heights, each and every picture of this trail made me feel warm and my heart rate increased. I felt even more insecure knowing that, just like in the Grand Canyon, reckless tourists have died on this trail already…
The trail starts at the fifth shuttle stop (The Grotto). It’s visible from the very bottom what’s your destination, Angels Landing appears in front of you immediately.
The most of the trail is wide and safe. Tiring and steep – but there’s nothing to be afraid of. Getting from the shuttle stop to the beginning of the narrow ridge took us one hour with a quick pace.
And the ridge… believe me, it will make your heart beat faster… It makes your imagination work almost as hard as rock formations in Bryce Canyon. Only what you’re imagining there are fantastic figures and shapes. Here all you see is yourself, on a trail 30 cm wide with a few hundred meters falls on each side… slipping. Falling down…
Eventually, this trail didn’t seem so scary to us. It really does look much worse in the pictures and videos that it is in reality. Hiking up the ridge took us half an hour – this long mostly because of the amount of people on the trail. But how are you supposed to know if you’ll make it up Angels Landing too? There are a few things which may help you.
4 signs you should not hike Angels Landing
1. You feel paralyzing fear looking at the picture below
Don’t get me wrong. If you feel concerned or anxious, everything is fine. You should feel that. But if you’re afraid of heights and the only thing you can think of when you see this picture is grabbing the chain with both hands and screaming in panic – you probably shouldn’t hike Angels Landing.
2. You don’t like crowds on trails, especially narrow ones
Despite the dangers, Angels Landing is one of the most popular trails of Zion National Park. Look at the picture above again. Imagine you are there, holding the chain, afraid to look down…
And there he comes. An American tourist with his selfie stick who normally doesn’t have much life outside of his couch. And who doesn’t know he should let people going up go first. And now pass him on a trail that’s 30 cm wide… If you want to scream in panic now – better don’t hike Angels Landing.
3. You have problems with balance, you often feel dizzy, you have hangover
You have to be able to put your feet firmly on the ground. Otherwise you might fall down and make yourself and everybody around scream in panic.
4. You don’t respect mountains
You can’t be paralyzed with fear but neither can you be too self-confident. The mountains can prove that it’s not the attitude they like. Even we have recently received a respect lesson from Babia Mountain in Poland.
When you reach the beginning of the ridge think again if you feel like going further. Don’t assume there’s no other option. Turning back is not a shame, the most important is your safety.
So… did you pass the above test? Congratulations! 🙂 On the top you will be rewarded with this view:
Enjoy it. Because you still need to go down the same way. And even though the trail really looks worse in the pictures, you need to look down when you’re going down… And then you really dream of angel’s wings. Just in case 🙂
There is one more outstanding, amazing trail in Zion National Park. It’s a hike in the river. Yes, you got it right, not along the river. In the river. 🙂 Check what you need to know before breathtaking hike in The Narrows? And if after reading this article you need to run away to a safer city, remember you can spend a sinful night in Las Vegas…
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