Tuesday, April 5, 2011

West Rim Trail and Angels Landing, Zion National Park

I got an invite from good friends Brandon and Trisha Johnson this weekend to go down to Zion National Park for some camping and hiking.  Since Erik was going to be gone with the track team to USC, I gratefully accepted the invitation to be the 3rd wheel.  Who would turn down any opportunity to visit their favorite place in the entire world? 

We camped Friday night and woke up for an early start on Saturday morning.  Our plan that day was to hike up the West Rim trail up to Angles Landing, and then continue up the West Rim trail to Cabin Spring.  If anyone is interested, the following site gives a great trail description:

We shared the trail with only a few other people and had fun asking everyone where they were from along the way.

Brandon and Trish proved to be excellent hiking buddies.  Trisha is a geologist and taught us about rock formations in the canyon as we hiked.

After Switch-backing up the main canyon the trail turns into Refrigerator Canyon.  It was a nice oppurtunity to cool down as we explored some of the rock features along the way.

Brandon Traversing the Walter Wiggles switchbacks

View from Scouts Lookout where we caught our breath one last time before the final quad burning thrill up the treacherous spine to the top of angels landing.

 At the highest point atop Angels Landing.  Absolutely gorgeous views worth every step of the 2 1/5 miles to get there.

The hike up angels landing energized us enough to get us excited enough to continue up the West Rim Trail.  There were hardly any people on this portion of the hike, we maybe saw 8 people the rest of the day.  It was an excellent way to leave the crowds at Angels Landing behind to enjoy the solitude of the park.  Along the way we enjoyed views looking back down on Angels landing, looking down into the narrows, Telephone canyon, and Little Siberia.  

We planned to hike all the way to Cabin Springs at the top of the rim making the hike 11 miles total, but when we were about 1 mile short the snow became impassable and a little scary.  Brandon and Trish were in Teva and Keene sandals and their feet were freezing, and one slippery step sent you falling off a cliff.  So we had to turn back early.

It was a totally different hike coming back into the main canyon because the afternoon light was so unique.  Absolutely gorgeous day with Sunny 70 degree weather and a thrilling 9 1/2 mile hike.  


Lauren said...

I love all of the pictures. So beautiful!

Emilee said...

those switchbacks are killer, but so worth it. love zions! great pics!

Tera said...

I need some friends like yours!