A humbling adventure...Zion National Park
Trip Start Oct 01, 2010
123Trip End Oct 01, 2011
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That's something worth noting, traveling to National Parks during the winter has really been advantageous for us thus far
The scene on the other side of the tunnel, into Zion, is breathtaking! There's huge cliffs of sandstone towering over you in every direction and as you drive through the canyon you are reminded of how minuscule your existence is in the grand scheme of things. The actual park is quite small but it will captivate its audience.
We've noticed that dogs are usually only allowed on one designated trail within NP's. Since it's winter, we ignore the rule (who's around to say anything?). Rusty comes with us on whatever trail looks interesting. We were planning on doing a hairy trail the following day so we drove to the far end of the canyon and went on a quick/easy walk beside the Virgin River. As we got further down the trail, we were bummed to see that it was closed off due to icy conditions. Later on I find out that the Riverside Walk is the entrance into The Narrows...we'll have to save that for warmer weather.
We woke up the next morning, excited to hike Angels Landing (a suggestion from my high school friend, Katie M.) It being the second highest elevation hike in the park (1488 ft/453m elevation gain), we weren't sure if we'd be able to make it to the top with the winter hazards
The "spine" he was referring to was a narrow path with unreal cliff drop offs on either side. I'm not a fan of heights nor the thought of dieing (my palms are getting sweaty even at the thought of recalling the experience) so I wasn't sure what I was trying to accomplish? We usually try to capture amazing scenes but it was everything I could to focus my concentration on my footing and balance...my stomach churned when I made the mistake of allowing my eyes to peek over the edge...forget whipping the cameras out! I'm only slightly exaggerating when I say it was similar to walking a tight rope across two city skyscrapers but that's the closest I ever want to get to that experience! Once I got past the "spine," the last half mile of anchored support chains needed to pull yourself up to the summit, were a blessing direct from the angels!
The views from the hike, the roller coaster of emotions from surviving and the feeling of accomplishment make Angels Landing the highlight of Zion. I can not recommend it enough! Zion will forever hold a special place in our hearts!!!