Angel’s Landing

To provide some background, my father is a camping/hiking fanatic. Our traditional family vacation is a week-long camping trip in a national park (usually a different one every year). On these camping trips, we hike. And that’s about it. That being said, not only have I hiked hundreds of miles in my lifetime, but my dad has hiked like twenty times that. (In fact, it would be fascinating to tally up how many miles he has hiked in his lifetime.)

Now to Angel’s Landing. I have been hearing about this hike since I was born. According to my dad, this hike is the most spectacular hike he has ever been privileged to traverse because of its unique difficulty and breath-taking vistas at the top. It is even better than Machu Picchu. He would recount his experience hiking Angel’s Landing at every dinner party, every camping trip, and every church function I can remember. (Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but he would talk about it a lot.)

So naturally, when I found out that we were going to St. George for the family reunion, my only real desire for the trip was to be able to finally hike the storied Angel’s Landing trail, since I wasn’t alive to experience it during the original Whitaker family camping trip to Zion National Park 25 years ago. Thankfully, my brothers also wanted to do this hike, so it was a go!

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View of Angel’s Landing from the shuttle

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The hard part

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Looking down

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We all made it!

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Breath-taking vista

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Portrait of a landscape

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Treeline

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Afterwards

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One of my new favorite pictures

Now I can finally say I hiked Angel’s Landing! I went into it expecting the hike to be super long and scary, so I guess I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was only 2.5 miles to the top and that the part with the chains and steep drop-offs on either side of you are only on the last half mile. The last half mile was definitely a different kind of hiking than what I have ever done before, and the view was gorgeous. However, my favorite part of the hike by far was doing it with my parents and older brothers. It felt like old times again. (I also enjoyed when my dad took out his massive map on the top and was telling a fellow hiker about all the other trails he hiked 25 years ago in Zion.) Definitely a memorable and worthwhile experience, despite my expectations having been blown out of proportion.

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