Climbing A “Via Ferrata”! Our Wild 500+ Foot Hike – Straight Up the “Iron Road”!

Welcome To My “Iron Road!”

There are times in your life when you take a “road less travelled” – in this case an “iron road” – I’m pointing to what my wife and I, along with our great friend Merah, tackled earlier this year – one of Utah’s legendary “Via Ferrata” – which in English translates to “iron road” – and you’ll see why!

Welcome to The Majesty Of Utah!

We joined our friends Merah and Chris at Amangiri, an incredible resort and lodge in Utah!

Amangiri, meaning peaceful mountain, was designed to do, as they say:

“blend with the sublime tranquility of the stark yet beautiful desert.”

As they note on their website, Amangiri blends into untouched red-rock country, claiming 600 acres of the vast and majestic Colorado Plateau, the original Wild West.

That’s the resort to the left of my wife Alex, off in the distance.

In this desert landscape of canyons, mesas, ridges and gorges, the modernist Suites of Amangiri and the tented Pavilions of Camp Sarika offer an inspiring welcome to one of the world’s most dramatic secluded settings. 

Here is a video of one of the mesas that we hiked to on the property, called the Hoodoo trail:

So, what to do next? Climb it!

We decided to tackle this Via Ferrata, which is Italian for “iron road” and is a climbing route of fixed cables and ladder rungs – straight up!

We Are Headed To The Top Of Hoodoo – From The Inside!

Yes, that is a suspension bridge, located 500+ feet high – and we were climbing straight up to it – from the inside!

That is a spectacular 18-inch by 232-foot suspension bridge located at the top of the Hoodoo Via Ferrata.

Alex, Merah and I headed off with a professional Guide – Chris had to stay behind to take care of their two dogs…this was no hike for them!

We documented this several ways: I grabbed wide shots as the last of the climbers, and our terrific Guide also took pictures – and video – of us at key times during the climb, because it was too dangerous to try to shoot it ourselves….as you are about to see!

We were masked up – and we were donning our carabiners, which attack to our harness…as you climb, you attach them at each rung to make sure you don’t fall – because we are literally climbing up the inside of this mesa!

All joking aside, here is what happened next:

As you climb straight up the middle of the Via Ferrata, there are bulges in the rock that force you to actually lean backwards as you climb up – very unsettling!

Only Halfway There!

After this terrifying climb, we got to take a break – we all wore masks during this climb, as it was still before restrictions were relaxed outdoors…

Perhaps that was for the best – so you don’t see the look on our faces as we faced the next challenge – this vertical ladder!

Oh, did I mention that this sways in the wind? It’s only partially attached, and when you are 400+ feet up, the wind bounces you around a bit!

Standing At The Top Of Hoodoo!

After the harrowing climb up the ladder, we were on top of the mesa…and this is what we saw around us:

More than 500 feet high! It was break taking, and we took lots of photos at the top, but we do have one more thing to do: cross this!

Our Guide went first, then found a place on the other side to get this incredible shot of Alex crossing:

THAT’s How High We Were!

Yes, it was the last exciting part of our hike – crossing two separate suspension bridges high above Utah!

Here she goes:

Alex led the way, followed by Merah – they both made it across easily:

Since I was last, I shot a bit of video of my start:

So we made it to the top of the Hoodoo Via Ferrata – exhilarating, a bit terrifying, and because we crossed the suspension bridge, we could take a short cut back down from the other side…so I got a shot of them leading the way down:

It was a bit terrifying going down as well at time, but since you exit on the other side, you can slide down some gentler verticals, using the metal rungs as steps for your feet!

If you still don’t sense how much of a climb this way, here’s a wide shot of the Hoodoo Via Ferrata, and you can see the suspension bridge at the top:

We celebrated our climb with a great meal and wine – and months later Alex and I returned again, but this time to climb this terrifying peak in Utah’s Zion National Park:

Angle’s Landing!

Yes, that is Alex pointing to the top of Angle’s Landing, more than 1,500 feet high!

Click here to see all of this terrifying climb:

We also did one of the coolest hikes ever – literally!

Yes, we hiked “The Narrows”, including large portions through the Virgin River!

Click here to see how we did!


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

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25 replies

  1. OMG! This is terrifying, especially leaning backwards at places during the climb. I’m not sure how I would feel about walking over the bridge with nothing below. It makes me think how impossible it must have been to construct the whole thing in the first place. Your photos are gorgeous!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, my jaw keeps dropping! WordPress needs to add a ‘wow’ button! I am SO IMPRESSED that you and Alex made that climb!! Incredibly beautiful country, but I’m quite sure this is the only way I’ll see it as I don’t have the nerve to do it myself!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love it! What a fantastic birthday celebration.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Uh…thank you, but NO!!! I’ll stick to trails that don’t require scary narrow bridges, ladders, etc. YIKES!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We actually didn’t know what to expect until we got there…there were a few times where it was truly scary, but as long as you “clip and step up”, unclip and then “clip and step up again”, eventually you got up there! Thanks for commenting!


  5. What a beautiful and fun place for the activity! I’ve only done indoor climbing but looks so tempting👀✨ Bravo for you to made it to the top!🎉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amazing scenery, John, but I don’t think I could stomach that ladder. Did you have to do any practicing for that climb? It looks hard on your arms, shoulders and back.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kudos to you and Alex for making that difficult climb. I am not scared of heights, but I think I am physically past doing the rock ladders and rungs now. A great experience!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person


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