The wind wasn’t near as bad last night, so we made it up at our designated time, caught the 7am shuttle, and headed up to the Grotto stop on the Canyon Highway. From this stop, we could access the west rim trail, which leads to Angel’s Landing, a 5.4-mile round-trip hike that is considered strenuous. After doing hidden canyon a couple of days before, I knew that strenuous meant uphill, so I was a little nervous, but on we went!
|A view of the longer switchbacks from above.|
|View from the first hill on the spine|
hike to Angel's Landing.
Passing by some who let their families go ahead, Jen and I powered on, excited to get our amazing view at the top. We started on the first section (which we originally thought was part of the end…), and made our way up the sandstone with fair ease. Once on top, we realized that there were no people because we still had a long ways to go! It was definitely a daunting task, and although the pictures I post will attempt to show you what this looks like, unless you’re there and can see it in person, nothing will truly do this hike justice.
We continued on, making good time and reaching the top with little incident. There were definitely some steep cliffs and this was not a hike for children, people without proper footwear, or for those who are afraid of heights. Many people had gone apart way up and turned around on the sheer ridges. I will say that the chains helped…a lot…but this is the type of climbing that I like. I’m better at the scrambling than the constant uphill cardio!
|Western View from Angel's Landing|
|The spine of the monolith leading to Angel's |
Landing...You have to climb this.
At the end, Jen and I made the round-trip in just under 3 hours, with a 15-20 minute snack break at the top. It was getting warm and more tourists were heading up the hill, so it was a good time to get the hell outta dodge!
|Me on the hike down...overlooking the valley|
We then headed back to the campground, cleaned up, and took a drive back through the park to take pictures that we didn’t take on our way in. It was a nice, relaxing ride, and a good way to spend the afternoon. We then headed into Springdale (it was the 4th of July, so we needed beer and a place to celebrate). What we learned is that in Utah, you have to have a special license (as an establishment) to serve beer without food. We weren’t hungry, so we made the most of the time, shopped a little, found beer at a coffee shop, and hung out until we were hungry enough to eat. We had a great dinner at Switchback Jack’s (again), where we had huge beers…and then went back to the campground. We hung out for a while and turned in at a reasonable time. Maybe a lame fourth of July, but we drank what we could and focused on the fact that we had a great hike that morning as our celebration!