This weekend was a marathon of epic adventures. Erica came for a visit to Salt Lake, and I was determined to show her why Utah is awesome! She wanted to experience mountains, canyons, trees, red rocks, and adventure time. On Thursday, we went skiing/snowboarding. I finally made it down my first green run (not the bunny hill) TWICE without a panic attack. I am getting a little better at skiing, which was the only goal for the season so I’d call it a successful day. It was a great powder day at Brighton!
On Friday, we set out for Zion National Park in Southern Utah with Brighton. It’s about a four hour drive from Salt Lake. It’s Utah’s first National Park and it’s beautiful. Ever since I’ve been in Utah, people have been telling me I have to go to Zion before I leave! It’s a mecca for outdoor adventurers. It has canyoneering, hiking, camping, biking, and plenty more to do in all seasons of the year. It gets so busy that they have to close the roads to public traffic and shuttle people in and out because there’s not enough parking. This was actually the last weekend of private vehicle access. It was definitely was busy though! This is because the weather was great– not too hot and not too cold. Perfect for hiking up Angel’s Landing.
Angel’s Landing is a famous hike in Zion National Park that people come from all over to do. It’s a 2.4 mile hike up to the top of a spectacular view of Zion Canyon. It’s considered a technical hike because of the steep, sharp drop offs on either side as you climb up. There’s a chain for people to hang on to on extremely difficult parts, but still the route is very dangerous and steep. The National Park Service makes sure you understand that people have died from the hike and to go up at your own risk. I’ve never been much of a rock climber or tree climber for that matter. Heights are a scary when there’s a real potential off falling to your death… but they don’t bother me like they do other people. Sky diving was nothing compared to this. My philosophy was that people do this hike every day and make it down fine, as long as I’m not foolish or too rushed, I’d be okay. And I was! It was totally worth the fear and strenuous climb at the top. The taste of accomplishment is sweet! The pictures do not capture the immense beauty of this park.
The hike itself up the summit of Angel’s Landing is terrifying. There were multiple times were I looked up and saw the cliff go straight up and thought “I am in over my head right now.” There were other times where you’d get to a part and there wouldn’t be another chain to hold on to immediately. That was the worst part. I’ve never been so excited to have these chain railings in my entire life. I had come so far, so I wouldn’t stop until I had made it to the top.
The hike took us a while between the starting and stopping, our slow pace, and Kodak moments. I’d definitely recommend it for anyone who is adventurous and doesn’t mind a little (or big) adrenaline rush visiting Utah. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much opportunity to see or do much else in Zion National Park that day. We were glad that we chose to do that hike since it was famed.