Posted by: Cross Country Couple | October 24, 2010

Day 36 … Hiking Angels Landing

Today, we planned on hiking Angels Landing at Zion as well as exploring some of the other attractions the park has to offer. We got a bit of a late start and caught the bus to the Grotto just after lunch time. From the Grotto, the trailhead for Angels Landing was just across the street. As soon as we reached the trailhead we were bummed to see a “Trail Closed” sign. The sign explained that the trail from Scout’s Lookout (2+ miles up the canyon) to Angels Landing (the final and most exciting 1/2 mile of the hike) was closed until Friday. Nevertheless, we started up the canyon hoping the sign was wrong the trail would actually be open. The first half mile of the trail was easy; barely any elevation change. The rest of the hike was much more demanding; full of switchbacks, steep drops, and endless uphill climbs. Half way up the canyon we stopped to explore a cut out in the cliff where we found a spot to sit and snack.
The Weeping Wall is an area of the canyon where water that had soaked into the sandstone over 1000 years ago drips out of the rock. The constant flow of water creates hanging gardens all along the wall. Back on the bus, we made our way to the Big Bend scenic point and then to the Zion Lodge to reach the trailhead for the Emerald Pools. The 1.2 mile hike to the lower pools was a nice change of scenery as we weaved under a tree covered pathway to a small waterfall. The small pools were emerald colored with all the algae. Overall the scene was nice with the canyon backdrop and the trees all around. Fairly exhausted after hiking over 7 miles already, we headed back to the car. We started the drive to Bryce Canyon and made it to a rest stop half way along the route to stay for the night.



As we continued our climb, we came up to Walter’s Wiggles, a set of more than 21 switchbacks that climbed hundreds of feet to the top of the canyon. Once at the top, we made it to Scout’s Lookout. The views were great, but the trail to Angels Landing was closed ahead. Instead, we hiked up the West Rim Trail to the top of a plateau. We took plenty of photos before heading back down the trail. It was a little after 5PM when we made it back to the bus which left just enough time to hike up to the Weeping Wall and to the Lower Emerald Pools before the sun set.



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