Yucca (05/27/2003) In the Spring there are many flowering desert plants including this Yucca.
Yucca (05/27/2003) A Yucca growing along the Angels Landing Trail in Zion National Park.
Prickly Pear (05/27/2003) A pink variety of prickly pear cactus along the Angels Landing Trail.
Zion Canyon (05/27/2003) A picture from the first switch backs on the Angels Landing Trail. You can see how the canyon carves a U. The soft sandstone on top quickly erodes, the Kaibab Limestone below erodes slowly.
Switch Backs (05/27/2003) The lower switch backs on the Angels Landing Trail.
Brick Work (05/27/2003) As I understand, the brick trail was built by the CCC during the depression.
Snaking Along (05/27/2003) A desert creatures snakes its way along the Angels Landing Trail.
Alcove (05/27/2003) A sandstone alcove along the Angels Landing Trail.
Balanced Rock (05/27/2003) An unidentified hiker admires a balanced rock along the Angels Landing Trail.
Balanced Rock (05/27/2003) An identified photographer (me) takes a picture of the balanced rock along the Angels Landing Trail.
Wally s Wiggles (05/27/2003) The start of Wally's Wiggles. The backpacker in the picture was probably camping up on the West Rim.
Wally s Wiggles (05/27/2003) The wiggles provide an interesting contrast of brick work and sandstone.
Angels Landing is a 6,000 foot tower on the rim of Zion Canyon. The Angels
Landing Trail is a brisk 2.5 mile hike that climbs 1700 feet from the Virgin River. It is a
strenuous walk. On a hot summer day, you should plan on drinking two or more
liters of water on the way to the summit. Every time I've taken the hike, I've
met people who failed to bring enough water!!!! Soda is not water. Warm water does a better job of fighting dehydration
than ice cold
water...so don't bother freezing your water for your hike.
The Angels Landing Trail starts at the Grotto Stop on the Zion Canyon bus
route. You cross the Virgin River on a metal bridge. About two
hundred yards beyond the the bridge you will notice a stairway leading down to a
small swimming hole on the river. You may want to plan a dip in the water after
your hike. It is not the cleanest water in the world, but the cool canyon waters
are a welcome sign for overheated hikers.
The lower part of the hike is in Kaibab Limestone and Kayenta Shale. The main
feature of the hike is the massive Navajo Sandstone cliffs. This sandstone was
deposited as massive sand dunes. You can still see some of the patterns in the
dunes as you walk through the canyon.
The trail has several switchbacks as it crawls from the Virgin River Canyon
to Refrigerator Canyon. Refrigerator Canyon is a narrow overhanging canyon in
the park. The main Zion Canyon is so deep, that few of the tributaries have
eroded to the level of the main canyon floor. Refrigerator Canyon provides shelter from the
sun, making the trail a little more pleasant.
A tight set of switchbacks called Walter's Wiggles (Wally's Wiggles) climbs
from Refrigerator Canyon to the start of the West Rim Trail. The West Rim Trail
leads into the upper formations of Zion's National Park, and is popular with
back country enthusiasts. The main trail leads follows the ridge to Angels
Landing. This is a rather exposed walk with a thousand foot drop on both sides
of the trail. The trail requires a certain amount of scrambling over rocks, but
has chains and guide rails at the scary parts of the walk. It is not recommended
for those who fear heights.
Angel's Landing is a choice mountain climbing area as well, and you might see
climbers on the shear canyon walls.
Scrambling to the top of the trail gives you an excellent view up and down the
canyon. The Angels Landing Trail is one of my favorite hikes in the park. It is
a good short work out. I noticed kids as young as 6 hiking the trail. It is a
good place for a family outing, and should be part of your trip to Zion National