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!


View of Angel’s Landing from the shuttle


The hard part


Looking down


We all made it!


Breath-taking vista


Portrait of a landscape






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.


St. George: Day 1

I just got back from a Whitaker Family Reunion. My grandparents rented condos (Thanks!) and we spent a week down in St. George. On the first full day we went to Zion National Park. That was my first time ever going, so it was nice to cross something off the bucket list. We didn’t hike the Narrows at all, but here are some pictures from the Riverside Walk that leads to the Narrows. (I’m not so good at shooting landscapes, so my photography goal for the week was to capture the personalities in my nieces and nephews.)


The day started off with Brooke latching onto my leg trying to avoid sunscreen.

3 At last she was captured.
7Climbin’ 16 Runnin’12Packing up the baby
20 Then we rode on the shuttle to the trail.22We saw mountains.
23This was Alicia’s first real family reunion.29 More rocks.24 Steven came too.27 Token squirrel picture. They are basically too fat to move.48Because they raid people’s bags for food.51This map is a relic from 25 years ago when Dad first came to Zion National Park. It’s life-sized.
36Mom was also there.35At the end of the walk, the kiddos went swimming.
45“I’m really wet!!” -Wyatt after requesting to be dunked in the water

Next up – Angel’s Landing!