Zion National Park – First Day

I had the great pleasure of visiting Zion National Park a couple of weeks ago.  What an amazing place.

I really enjoyed the bus system that they have deployed at the park.  To access most of the trail heads you simple get on a free bus (you still need to pay park entrance fees) that goes up main road.  Cars are not allowed on the road without a special permit.  Not having to deal with traffic congestion greatly enhanced my experience at the park.  I would love to see this done at some of the other busy parks.

While there, I managed to get some hikes in.  The first one was a hike up the famous Angles Landing.  It’s the parks most popular hike, and while it can be crowded, it is still worth while.  This hike takes  you up a narrow ridge to an amazing view-point.  Be forewarned that it does have a lot of exposure and is not for those scared of heights.  Most of the more exposed parts have a thick chain installed to assist with your balance, reducing the risk of a fall.  There have been fatalities in the past on this hike, so do take it seriously.

Lots of switch backs on the way up.  This is not the exposed area.
Lots of switch backs on the way up. This is not the exposed area.
This is the view from the top.
This is the view from the top.
This is a picture of the angles landing hike from the west rim.  Yes, you do indeed hike up that narrow ridge.
This is a picture of the angles landing hike from the west rim. Yes, you do indeed hike up that narrow ridge.

After completing Angles Landing, we continued up the West Rim trail.  This provided some nice views and a good amount of elevation gain.

Heading up the West Rim trail
Heading up the West Rim trail
Here is one view from the West Rim
Here is one view from the West Rim

After we got a nice view from up on the west rim, we headed back down the west rim trail, past the start of Angles Landing and down to the bus stop.

Headed down from the West Rim and Angles Landing
Headed down from the West Rim and Angles Landing

We ended up going back to Zion a few days later to hike Observation Point.  More on that later.

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