A few weeks back when I drew my spotlight date for the hop, I decided to save this to share today. Because Angles Landing happens to be one of my most favorite hikes. I can easily say I've done it at least 20 times in my life and I started hiking this with my dad around the age of 10. It's been a favorite since then, even if the hike itself has changed a bit from how it used to be, which I will explain later.
It's quite the hike too, not one for those afraid of heights. In some ways you could also call it quite the climb, so let's begin and I'll take you on a few photo stops along the way of the adventure.
Today, I'll be taking you along the way to the top of the peak in the middle which is called Angels Landing. We'll be climbing about 1,488 feet. The hike itself is about 5 miles round trip. So yes, it's a hike to get your workout on too!
We start out on nicely groomed trails, near the river, before we begin the switchbacks that will make you sweat bullets and will make even those in great shape huff and puff a bit as they feel the burn.
To think when I was a kid I used to be able to run up them, LOL Clearly I am not as in great of shape as then, I stopped a few times to catch my breath LOL
From here we'll begin taking a set of long switchbacks as we climb up to that notch you see in the middle of the above picture. If you look close you can see others on the trail on their way up or down.
I didn't take a lot of pictures of the climb, but as you can see I'm a decent way up from the canyon floor I started at by this point in the hike, you can also get an idea of how steep these switchbacks are by the step, like I said it's a climb and we haven't even gotten to the real climbing yet and it's been full on sun the whole way.
About a mile in now. I've made it up to the notch and now I am heading back into the canyon to take me to the next climb. I've always loved this section because no matter what time of day you hike you'll always get cooler temps and some shade. In fact, I believe it's called Refrigerator Canyon. Which is great to enjoy because it's nearly the last time we'll see shade for a while.
Heading up more switchbacks to get to get higher up and out of Refrigerator Canyon
The famous Walters Wiggles, obviously my photo doesn't do it justice. But here you get 21 steep yet like all the previous trail well-maintained switchbacks.
It's also the fun part for many hikers because at the top is when the awesome part of this hike begins.
At the top of the Wiggles you'll come out to what they call Scout Overlook. It's here you can decide if you have an adventurous side to finish the hike. Or you can split off and head up the West Canyon. Or turn around or watch others make their way up to the top.
I'm going to try and keep the sights you see in order, but before you wonder what is wrong with the coloring. Some I took on the way up, and the majority I took on the way down.
(Coming down was late afternoon.)
Why? That day it was crowded and it would have been rude of me to stop to take a picture while others were waiting behind me to move on.
From the minute you start up the next sections, you have 1000 foot drop-offs on both sides of you, and at times you have not more than a foot or so to walk on with the drop-offs on both sides.
After you make it up the first section, you have a little room to take a break, catch your breath before making it up the steepest and most technical portion of the last fin.
Next, we get to climb down just a little before making our way up the next fin that you can see pictured above.
I gotta tell you what's changed in the years.
Years back when I used to do this hike in my youth with my dad or even when I was in college (the first time).
The only chains were at the beginning other than a few here or there. There were never chains in this sections as you see above this is all new to me.
I remember because you used to have to be really careful coming down if you jumped not to fall over the edge here. I may or may not of had a few close calls in my youth, LOL
Same with above, there never used to be chains here either. I was talking to my sisters and we guessed they added more because so many people have died on this hike and it's just getting too popular.
If I'm going to be honest, I liked it slightly more before they added all these extra chains, it had more adventure risk to it, now it's lost a little of the risk charm. LOL
Now you just get a steep climb on the way up, and literally unless you're being an idiot or hurrying too fast you can't really fall, because there are chains to grab if you loose your footing or get tired.
It's also made it easier to go up. Before you literally climbed with no assistance.
Now, you can pull yourself up by the chains if your legs aren't strong enough to get you to the top. Or many may even notice you don't need them most of the time but they are there just in case.
So in some ways for those who are okay with heights but aren't good climbers, they've now made this hike more accessible for many different types of hikers.
Not sure when they added all the extra chains, if you've done it and know let me know. Otherwise, I'll have to ask a ranger next time I'm there and find out to satisfy my curiosity.
Yes, they've even added chains to this last big steep climb before the top. You probably won't need them, but I saw a few using them to pull themselves up.
But there are what I'd like to call nature's steps so while it's a climb, it's not that bad if your legs are in good shape. Except I could clearly tell at this point that I am not as young and in shape as I once was. I used to go up this so fast, and I was stopping to let people come down as I took a break to let them pass me many times, and what they didn't know was, I was enjoying that break, my legs were burning, LOL
One of my good friends is coming to town next spring to hike this with me, guarantee I will be sure I am in great shape so she doesn't see me huffing and puffing worse than her, LOL Hey, can't help the little competitor in us all, right!
I didn't mention before, but this is in most sections only room for 1 person. So when you get spots like this you can move over to the side and let those coming down have the right away.
Most hikers are very courteous, and most going up like I was, don't mind a minute break to let someone come down.
On my way up, right here, it was perfect timing to let someone coming down pass by and allow me time to turn around quick and grab a quick shot.
Even though this is a favorite hike, I haven't hiked it for many years until a few weeks ago and it's still every bit as worth it as it was the first time!
This is one of the first views you can get from the top as you make your way across the fin to the highest point and best viewing area.
If your interested and follow me on INSTAGRAM you can flip back a few photos and see a quick panoramic video of the views from the top.
Here (Above Picture) is where I like to plant my butt for a few minutes and enjoy the view, grab a snack and drink before the climb back down!
Isn't it stunning? Seriously there are no boring views from start to finish on this hike, it's all breathtakingly beautiful!
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Have you hiked Angels Landing before?
Is it on your bucket list?
Or are heights and drop offs not your thing?