Hiking the Terrifying Angel’s Landing! America’s Most Dangerous Hike!

Ready To Climb Up Angel’s Landing?

Welcome to Zion National Park – one of the world’s most beautiful – and terrifying parks…because you see that picture above?

We are heading to the top of the peak on the right!

Welcome To Zion National Park!

The map is just the beginning of the incredible adventures that await you at Zion National Park in Utah…when you are standing at the entrance, you are wowed with sights like this all around you:

This National Park has never-ending views and hiking trails to enjoy, but nothing is as dramatic – and dangerous as “Angel’s Landing”, where 13 people have died in the past 20 years!

Alex Points To The Heavens!

My wife Alex read up on this dramatic hike – and the highest part of the mountain on the right is where we are headed – almost a mile high and a 5 mile roundtrip trek!

Angels Landing, known previously as the Temple of Aeolus, is a 1,488-foot tall rock formation in Zion National Park.

The trail begins as a wide, gently sloping upward path before you get to the best part – when the trail is actually cut into solid rock!

This happened in 1926 – allowing adventurous hikers to climb all the way to the top of Angels Landing for a spectacular view of Zion Canyon.

Now The Climbing Begins!

This is a strenuous hike….you can stop all along the way to look down and see what you’ve already achieved….

The higher you climb, the more beauty is unveiled, and on the right is the trail we’ve hikes so far, and here is what’s ahead:

As you can see, we have gone quite a ways up, and there are NO guardrails of any kind…and you just keep going up and up and up:

After close to an hour, and many stops to catch your breath, you reach a flat area that makes you think you are getting close to the top:

In fact, it’s just a pause before you hit the most grueling aspect of the hike:

Welcome To Walter’s Wiggles!

I found this picture online for some perspective, because after that sort, flat break, you get to what is called “Walter’s Wiggles”, a series of TWENTY-ONE VERY STEEP switchbacks: called that because they are short burst of steep climbing, with no guard rails at all!

Here’s what it’s like to hike it:

Look at the tiny specks a various levels, all the way up to the top of this picture…you hike back and forth to the top of this rock face…this is what you see above you as you climb up…and it is very tiring!

Welcome To Angel’s Peak!

Close to two hours into the hike, you reach Angel’s Peak, and this is the view of the valley floor below…simply stunning views like these:

Alex Is “Wonder Woman!” Me, I’m NOT “Superman…”

We are literally .4 miles from the summit of Angel’s Landing…and here’s the line of people waiting to go ahead of us:

It was crowded…in fact, two weeks later we read there was a FOUR HOUR WAIT just to make the hike!

Alex decided to give me another nickname! And yes, the worst was yet to come!

See those trees in the middle of the shot, just to the left of that jutting out rock? Those are people at the top of Angel’s Landing, which you can see from Angel’s Peak, and it was time to press on!

It was slow going, because there is only one path, so people are climbing DOWN while you are climbing UP!

That led to a lot of starting and stopping, and with a backpack on, I didn’t feel balanced at all! After one tenth of a mile straight up, we had to stop to wait for others to come down, and we rested with our backs flat against the mountain, a small ledge to rest our feet on – this is the shot I got:

This is where I told Alex I just didn’t feel comfortable doing the last .3 of a mile…so she trudged on and I turned to go back down, and here was that view as I began my descent:

I hope you understand, it was scary! It’s hard to take photos because you have one hand on the chain link at all times, and you really have to focus on your feet! Here is a shot of what the last part of the climb up to the top of Angel’s Landing looks like:

My wife bravely pushed on, and she actually made it to the top – and got this shot as she pressed against the mountain wall!

She IS “Super Woman!”

Nothing was going to deter her, and the view from the top are exhilarating – that’s the Virgin River at the bottom of the peak:

Alex had the most spectacular view of all – and here’s a shot she got of the other who made it to the top of this very small landing:

And this was her view coming back down!

I got some spectacular views from Angel’s Peak as well, along with a shot of one of the many small Chipmonks who run around to scrounge any food they can find:

I will say that this was one of the most exciting, terrifying and satisfying hikes I’ve ever done, and the incredible beauty of the park all around you is worth the effort!

We did this hike just one day after we hiked in the Virgin River at the place called “The Narrows”:

Yes, miles of this hike and through the fast-moving river, and it leads you into canyons that are spectacular!

Click here to see our entire hike!

Hiking “The Narrows!” Incredible Views On A Water-Logged “Virgin River” Trip Into Zion National Park!

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Categories: Exotic Travel, Memoirs, nature, Real Estate, Sports, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

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20 replies

  1. Great post, John. You two did it! Congrats. I love the pictures — I feel like I’m there. Great weather, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is terrifying and I am with you on this. I had to turn back after 5 days of hiking in the Himalayas because I was getting very dizzy. Still the journey up to that part, as was yours, was beautiful and definitely worth it!

    Like

  3. Oh my gosh John! These photos are breathtaking. Bravo to you and Alex!

    Like

  4. Your wife is awesome!! Bravo to you as well. I would not be able to do this, even when I was younger, but am so impressed by folks who give it a try. The scenery is incredible. You got some great shots. I was actually holding my breath as I read this.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely gorgeous! We were there many years ago but all our hiking was much closer to the ground. Angel’s Landing is too strenuous (and too dangerous) for us to ever attempt. I’m so impressed you did it, but I’m glad you knew your limits. (When I told Bob you took this hike he remembered someone had fallen there earlier this year. 😦 I’m also VERY impressed that Wonder Woman made it to the top! Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think I might be past a hike of such endurance mixed with danger now I am 69 years old. And what if I needed to pee? 🙂 Great photos and video, John. You captured it perfectly.
    I don’t like the fact that people are coming down as you are going up, and it is easy to see why people have been killed there. Well done to you both, and especially to Alex for reaching the very top!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Woahhh!!! So much in this post!! What a fantastic place and that hike is stunning with jaw-dropping views! Shame about so many people but, hey, you cant have everything 😉 Fair play to Alex for making it to the summit! I would have imagined that chain was too hot to hold but I guess not?
    You have inspired me to find out more as I am now interested in how long it took the work-gang to cut out that path!! 😉
    Thanks for sharing this with us!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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