Last weekend we took a short trip to Zion National Park. I feel so blessed to live so close to such a breathtaking place. Many people travel half way around the world to experience the raw beauty of Zion, and I can get there in just under 4 hours.
We left Friday evening and got there around midnight to find that all of the campgrounds in the park were full. Thanks to freecampsites.net we found some free camping just a couple of miles outside of the entrance. It wasn’t glorious camping by any means, but hey, it was free!
We woke up early Saturday morning and set out to hike Angels Landing, which is one of the most popular hikes in the park.
The trail to Angels Landing starts at the Grotto trailhead. Zion uses a free shuttle system to keep the traffic and pollution controlled in the park. I found the shuttles to be an easy and convenient way to travel throughout the park. We parked about ten minutes from the entrance and took a shuttle into the park. The shuttle comes pretty often (we never had to wait more than a couple of minutes) and I liked being able to enjoy the scenery without having to keep my eyes on the road.
At 5 miles round trip, this was a great day hike. Most people finish the hike in 3 – 6 hours. The trail was fairly steep, but the challenge for many is stomaching the sheer drops (nearly 1,500 feet) on either side of the trail. If you are afraid of heights, you might want to think twice before committing to do Angels Landing. But if you are up for the challenge, the climb to the top is definitely worth it. The views are absolutely breathtaking and looking over the precipice will definitely get your adrenaline pumping.
The river at the bottom of the trail is a nice way to cool off during a hot day!