I'll just come out say it. Zion National Park is one of most amazing places on earth. If you ever get a chance to visit, GO and see it for yourself. Better yet, if you can handle a little hiking, DO IT. There are hikes suitable for everyone.
We wanted to see Zion from the top so, on our last trip through Utah, we decided last minute to spend a day at Zion and hike the world famous Angel's Landing Trail. However, on the morning of our hike, we heard people on the shuttle bus talking about the trail being closed. Oh no!
Is the trail closed?
We knew that the Angel's Landing trail was actually an off shoot of the West Rim Trail. So we decided to head up the West Rim Trail and see for ourselves how close we would get to Angel's Landing. What we didn't realize at the time was that the entire West Rim Trail was closed.
We headed up the trail and noted that we were the only ones on the trail. Was this because it was early in the morning? On the way up, we passed a park employee working on the trail and asked "is the Angel's Landing Trail closed?" He replied "actually the whole trail is closed, but you guys are fine. Go ahead." Ok, at that moment we knew we were probably going to have the entire trail to ourselves. Oh boy, this was about to get awesome!
Hiking is more like Rock Climbing
When we reached the top, and the start of the Angel's Landing Trail, we realized that there was nothing but fear stopping us from heading up the rock. We continued on. The trail at times was non-existent. If not for the chain to grab onto, there would be no possible way to get up there without climbing gear and the desire to climb. So with our hearts pumping and eyes wide, we made our way up and over the first big hill up towards the Angel's Landing summit.
When we arrived at the midway point, Melissa decided that she would not continue up to the summit. I wanted to continue on and she agreed to wait for me to return.
I set off up the remainder of the trail and got to the point called "The Point Of No Return." At that point, perched up on a two foot wide landing with sheer drop offs on either side, I felt a strong gust of wind hit me broadside. Many thoughts flashed through my brain at that very moment like "you shouldn't be up here alone", "Melissa is all alone back there waiting for me", "this will not be as fulfilling unless we could experience it together", "that wind was kind of strong", "would anyone know if I lost my footing and fell to my death?" I decided rather quickly to turn around and head back. The summit will have to wait for another day. Needless to say, Melissa was relieved.
Back on the West Rim Trail
After enjoying the view and solitude up at the mid-way point, we eventually made our way back down the scary trail and continued hiking up the West Rim Trail. From there we could see more awesome views of Zion Canyon and Angel's Landing.
While up there we ran into one of the few other hikers on the trail who recommended we stay one more day to hike "The Narrows". But that's another story…
Where did we stay?
While in southern Nevada, I got online to search for a place to stay for a night. Unable to find a last minute spot inside the park campground, we opted for the last available spot at the nearby Zion River RV Resort and Campground which was around 20 minutes down the road. It was a pretty nice park with nice facilities. The only negative was the very poor cell phone coverage. But with our new weBoost Drive 4G-X mobile booster, we were able to get an acceptable 4G data signal.