Tag Archives: trail running

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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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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