Tag Archives: Angels Landing

Angels Landing the Best Way: Leave Before Dawn

It can be really cold and dark when you get on the first shuttle from the Zion Canyon Visitors Center at 5:45 a.m. When you get off at the Grotto, the wind makes it feel even colder. That works to my advantage. The earlier and more uncomfortable it is, the less likely it is that I’ll see you there. Don’t get me wrong – generally, I don’t have a problem with sharing. On most Zion trails, I don’t typically notice other hikers much. I’m far more likely to be thinking, “Wow, nothing can beat this scenery”… then rounding the next bend and thinking “OK, now nothing can beat THIS.” The Angels Landing trail is an exception. That trail just dares me to get to the top as rapidly as possible, without any rest breaks and regardless of how high my heart rate gets. I’m happy to take up the challenge, just me and the trail. Interlopers standing in the middle of the path, gaping at the scenery or gasping for breath, seem to be there precisely to aggravate me. Thus, my early and chilly start. I get off the shuttle, make sure my jacket is zipped up as far as … Continue reading

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L.A. Times Opines on the Dangers of the Outdoors

Long-time ZAC client, Jerry King, sent me this article concerning the high rate of fatal accidents in Yosemite this year. Zion has seen its share of tragedies over the years, and this discussion of signage, prevention, and “what more could be done” to avoid more accidents often comes up. I think this editorial does a great job of capturing the heart of the matter in succinct terms: I have often wondered why Zion National Park closed the Lady Mountain route due to safety concerns (not sure this is the entire reason?), but the Angels Landing route remains open despite many deaths over the years. In general, the Park System seems to hold firm to a certain standard of prevention, erecting signage barricades, etc. in the most crowded and popular areas to help folks stay clear of danger, but not building extravagant structures to make it impossible for visitors to access danger. I have never seen a ranger ticket those who climb over rails, etc… I wonder if that happens? If folks knew they might get a $250 ticket for dangling their feet over the cliffs, maybe they’d think twice? But taking too much responsibility for monitoring simply opens the Park’s … Continue reading

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Awesome Winter Activities in Zion National Park

“Is Zion open year-round? You mean people come here in the winter?” Yes! While the vast majority of Zion’s 2.8 million annual visitors come between March and October, the Park is open year-round, with many of the same, and some novel, outdoor activities to pursue. Here are a few “local secrets” for visiting in the “off season”… Take in the solitude.Want to hike the Emerald Pools trail alone? Or have the summit of Angels Landing all to yourself? Try these hikes in the winter, and you can probably have your wish! On any summer day, these trails are packed with visitors, but in the winter, they provide a serene and wild experience for brave hikers. And even if you have enjoyed these trail before in warmer conditions, the low light and snow accents of winter create some wonderfully different and really beautiful perspectives on the “old classics”. Plus, you won’t catch yourself avoiding the sun, like July hikers do, but rather enjoying it immensely. Be flexible: Mother nature is in charge in the Winter. As our past week’s wet weather attests, winter weather in Zion is a bit unpredictable and can be fierce. Winter days can be 60 degrees and … Continue reading

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Go-To Trail Running Routes In and Around Zion National Park

An article caught my eye earlier this year about the Best Trail Runs in the National Parks. For Zion National Park, my running backyard, the author chose Angel’s Landing. I thought, “Whoa, I’d never run that trail!”.  Don’t get me wrong, Angel’s Landing has it all as a hike: it’s paved and accessible, 5 miles roundtrip, beautiful views, some spicy hiking/climbing, and the company of others. But, in my mind, putting all that into a run might mean shin splints, gasping for breath, and jostling through crowds. So I wanted to share some of MY best Zion running trails: Under 5 miles roundtrip: WATCHMAN TRAIL: Located near the visitor center, this trail is a great addition to any run into the Park from Springdale. The trail itself is about 2 miles roundtrip and gains elevation in some steep, but run-able switchbacks. Beautiful views and not so many people make this an awesome short run. PA’ RUS TRAIL: Also accessible at the visitor center, this trail follows the Virgin River for 1.7 miles (3.4 roundtrip). Spring flowers and fall colors are incredible, and this is also my go-to trail if we’ve had recent rain or snow because its paved surface provides … Continue reading

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Angels Landing Closure Extended Through This Week

The storms of a couple weeks ago pushed back the trail work schedule on Angels Landing considerably. Bummer for the trail crews who probably had little to do for a week, and for hikers hoping to get out on Angels Landing this week. But we can’t do anything about Mother Nature’s whims, can we? Thanks to all the folks working on the trail; I know I always appreciate that the trail isn’t falling apart when I’m up on Angels Landing. If you are looking for good alternatives to Angels Landing, the Park offers a few below. You might specifically consider hikes to Cable Mountain or Deertrap Mountain, both spurs of the East Rim trail. Observation Point is always excellent, as is the elusive Lady Mountain route, if you can find it. Wherever you go to find a great view, take care and enjoy! Here’s the official news release: Zion News Release 10-51, Angels Landing Closures Extended Angels Landing Closures Extended Due to Weather Delays The schedule of closures for the Angels Landing Route in Zion National Park has been extended due to weather delays the week of October 3. Closures for route repairs and improvements were originally scheduled to end … Continue reading

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Angels Landing Closing for Repairs in September and October

Well, it won’t be closed the entire time. It looks like the Park is trying to keep the trail open on the weekends; if you are planning on being here mid-week, please note the closure dates in the below news release. Zion News Release 10-39 Angels Landing Closing for Repairs September 3, 2010 Superintendent Jock Whitworth has announced that the Angels Landing hiking route and all climbing routes on that rock formation will close for several days starting in mid-September. A Zion National Park trail crew will be working on route improvements including re-chiseling existing steps, drilling and installing new posts and chains in some areas to better delineate the route, and adding dry stone masonry to improve footing.  The closure is necessary due to helicopter activity in the area, movement of materials and equipment, and for visitor and work crew safety while work is in progress on the narrow route. September 15th and 16th and September 20th through the 23rd, the West Rim Trail will be closed from the Grotto to Scout Lookout. The Angels Landing route will also be closed from Scout Lookout to the summit of Angels Landing. All climbing routes on the cliff faces of Angels … Continue reading

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