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20 July 2018 / leggypeggy

Angels Landing—a challenge I didn’t try

Angels Landing, Zion National Park

Angels Landing is at the top of that cliff. Photo by Victoria Herman

Every now and then my common sense kicks in! Recently it was helped along by a hip that was complaining bitterly (recovered now).

This all happened in Zion National Park when I decided NOT to tackle the 2.5-mile, 5-hour hike to Angels Landing. I mean, seriously, what business did I have scaling a ‘mountain’ that rises almost 1500 feet and includes more than 20 steep, treacherous switchbacks?

Angels Landing, Walk, Zion National Park

See that narrow ledge (in the shadow) that runs along the cliff? That’s the walk to Angels Landing. Photo by Victoria Herman

Angels Landing hike, Zion National Park

It’s that narrow path along the rocks again! Glad I didn’t try. Photo by Fiona Haddy

The trail, cut into solid rock in 1926, has an especially challenging last half mile. According to one website, that section of the trail is ‘strenuous and lined with numerous sharp drop offs and narrow paths.’ Luckily most of that last half mile also has well-anchored chains to cling to until you reach the top at 5790 feet (1760 m).

In addition to being physically challenging, the hike tests a person’s mental state. One website advises that ‘people who have a severe fear of heights should not attempt the final stretch but can enjoy the trail all the way to Scout Lookout.’ When you look at the pics, you’ll agree that ‘severe’ isn’t the right word. I reckon ‘any’ fear of heights would apply.

Angels Landing, Chains, Zion National Park

Would you like to drag yourself up those chains? Photo by Fiona Haddy

But many in our group were keen to make it to Angels Landing (yes, it has no apostrophe). Maybe they were tempted by the promised views. I so appreciate that they’ve been kind enough to share their pics with me, so you can get a feel for the experience.

When Victoria’s pics came through, I replied that they reminded me that I was very pleased that I hadn’t done the trek. She replied, ‘I don’t know why I attempted it. My legs were like jelly. Was pretty scary.’ So proceed with care.

As a complete aside, on another walk Poor John encountered a fellow who did Angels Landing ‘by mistake’. This guy had two new knees and was halfway up before he realised his error. So he kept going.

P.S. Many, many thanks to Victoria and Fiona for sharing their pics. Two of the three Peters have also offered to share, but they are still sorting pics and I was keen to get this posted.

P.P.S. Poor John doesn’t carry a camera, but he also decided he didn’t need to do this hike.

P.P.P.S. Fellow blogger, Michael Andrew Just, visits Zion National Park regularly. Check out his recent post on the Milky Way.

View from Angels Landing, Zion National Park

Fiona captured the view from Angels Landing. Photo by Fiona Haddy


Leave a Comment
  1. Frank Prem / Jul 20 2018 10:03 pm

    Yeah … nup. Nice pics, Peggy.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. lmo58LMO58 / Jul 20 2018 10:05 pm

    I’m stunned that anyone does that hike Peggy! It looks like something that only someone who’d been up and down Everest several times ought to contemplate. All that rock and those sheer surfaces! I’m getting giddy reading this. Magnificent photos though so thank to Fiona and Victoria. Very pleased that you and John didn’t attempt it.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. ralietravels / Jul 20 2018 10:06 pm

    I never had a particular “fear of heights” but looking at that super rough surface, I think a “fear of falling” would certainly kick in.
    P.S., it reminds me a bit of the narrow spots and chains when I jogged up [a very long time ago] what was then known as Ayers Rock [and such climbs were then permitted].

    Liked by 7 people

  4. efge63 / Jul 20 2018 10:11 pm

    t’s always further than it looks.

    It’s always taller than it looks.

    And it’s always harder than it looks. –

    The 3 rules of mountaineering

    Nice but not for me also!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 7 people

  5. theunassuminghiker / Jul 20 2018 10:15 pm

    It’s good to listen to your body and know your limits. That looks amazing, but I’m not sure it’s worth the risk. Easier to view it from someone else’s camera.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Miriam / Jul 20 2018 10:34 pm

    Incredible photos. I wouldn’t have done the walk either.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Osyth / Jul 20 2018 11:28 pm

    There is absolutely no way I would do this willingly. I am a keen hiker, as you know but there are limits and that would certainly more than test mine. So I join you in thanking Fiona and Victoria for their wonderful pictures and I thank you for taking me to a place of reason with your words. I am interested in the grammar of the name. It implies that the rocks are many angels themselves rather than it being a place that angels land. Interesting. I wonder what prompted that notion.

    Liked by 4 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 21 2018 8:37 am

      The lack of an apostrophe puzzles me too. Must be from a sentence along the lines of ‘Look out everyone, angels landing!’

      Liked by 2 people

      • Osyth / Jul 22 2018 12:12 am

        Haha! I love that image … mere mortals running for their lives as a thronging hoard of winged messengers with little directional control or regard for personal space outside of their own collective needs hurtles down from the heavens!!!!

        Liked by 3 people

      • leggypeggy / Jul 22 2018 12:50 pm

        Perfect description! No wonder it’s such a dangerous destination.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. derrickjknight / Jul 20 2018 11:46 pm

    Thanks goodness for that

    Liked by 2 people

  9. simpletravelourway / Jul 20 2018 11:57 pm

    We did the Angels Landing hike 20 years ago and I remember it as being not as strenuous or scary as I’d feared – BUT, would I do it again all these years later? NO! What I enjoyed doing at 50 is not what I enjoy at 70 and that’s OK.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Murray Foote / Jul 21 2018 12:37 am

    Maybe with a helicopter – but then you wouldn’t need to actually land….

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Vicki / Jul 21 2018 1:18 am

    Very wise to know your limits, Peggy. Only Mad Dogs attempt that which they know is unwise. I don’t have a head for heights at all and that chain-lined path would really fill me with terror.

    Funnily enough, I can watch DVDs mountain climbing sheer rock faces or ice falls with not a quiver of fear though. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Melanie B Cee / Jul 21 2018 1:52 am

    *sigh* Thanks for sharing the BEST of Utah. I love my State, but now and then forget just why. You’ve helped with that today. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Brian Lageose / Jul 21 2018 7:01 am

    Yes, this is one of those times when I’m more than happy to let other folks do the investigative work. Mmm hmm…

    Liked by 4 people

  14. sidilbradipo1 / Jul 21 2018 7:21 am

    Stunning photos, dangerous hike- anchored-to-a-chain! I have a pure, genuine fear of heights 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  15. gerard oosterman / Jul 21 2018 9:20 am

    The falling is not as bad as the sudden stop.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. Dymoon / Jul 21 2018 10:11 am

    wow great pictures, the first one really struck me.. it was so imposing.. thanks!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 21 2018 10:18 am

      It’s hard to imagine someone clambering to the top.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Dymoon / Jul 21 2018 8:36 pm

        you know Peggy, some of the most beautiful of sights are the hardest to get to.. but oh, don’t we just love to try =^_^= good morning dear friend.. love your smile

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Jul 21 2018 8:44 pm

        Yes, sometimes the best views require a struggle. And your blog post today gave me a reason to smile!

        Liked by 2 people

  17. Alison and Don / Jul 21 2018 11:17 am

    I think I would do it just to prove I could. Yeah, I can be like that with myself. The chain helps. A lot! I just did the Dragon’s Back in Hong Kong. Not quite as scary, but still a challenge. Great pics.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. lexklein / Jul 21 2018 12:51 pm

    I can’t believe I actually did that hike! I don’t think I had any idea what was ahead of me and once I was a good way up, I just kept going in spite of some mild terror at times. The craziest thing is that I saw a young dad with a child on his SHOULDERS going up the chained section. I was aghast.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 21 2018 3:45 pm

      You just made me gasp. I might never recover from seeing a dad with a child on his shoulders doing that. But kudos to you for doing it.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. Matthew Wakelee / Jul 21 2018 1:08 pm

    I made it a short distance past Scouts Lookout then my legs stopped going farther. That was my cue to turn around and head down.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Yvonne / Jul 21 2018 2:43 pm

    What’s the matter with all of you? I’d give tha try … in my dreams. 😊 It looks just awful.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Emma Cownie / Jul 21 2018 5:44 pm

    Very sensible decision – I’m impressed by your photos, anyway.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. beetleypete / Jul 21 2018 6:27 pm

    I am not really scared of heights, but would definitely have given that hike a miss. I am no longer nimble enough to take such risks. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. thewonderer86 / Jul 21 2018 6:46 pm

    My stomach flipped just looking at the photos.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Green Global Trek / Jul 21 2018 9:11 pm

    Holy crap! Good decision!!

    Gorgeous landscape …but from a distance for sure 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Phil Huston / Jul 22 2018 12:41 am

    Always better to err on the side of good sense than adventure. There are pkenty of adventures to be had that don’t push all the buttons of balance and endurance. And, as documented, some brave (probably younger) soul has made the trek and taken pictures. There are plenty of places either side of the continental divide that will instill a sense of awe so deep and breathtaking that hiking or personal danger are not required. Well, the only personal danger being one of those overwhelming sublime to surreal moments where significance and time seem to stop. Great pictures! As before, there are reasons this is holy ground to Native Americans.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 22 2018 9:49 am

      You’re right. I didn’t need to do anything foolhardy in order to be regularly ‘knocked out’ by the amazing scenery.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. dfolstad58 / Jul 22 2018 1:31 am

    You probably made the right choice, but part of you was tempted, right?

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Carol / Jul 22 2018 1:47 pm

    Part of me is never tempted to tackle anything that is high…The only exception is steep temple steps and I have tackled those but like you I would have that a miss …Great pictures 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 22 2018 3:11 pm

      Oh yes, I couldn’t count the number of temple/church/cathedral/belfry steps I’ve climbed

      Liked by 2 people

      • Carol / Jul 22 2018 4:08 pm

        Me to and some of old ones very narrow and steep 🙂 I sometimes wonder why I don’t just get a rocking chair…No!

        Liked by 1 person

  28. a mindful traveler / Jul 22 2018 3:55 pm

    Mmmmm, not for me Peggy. Maybe if I was harnessed or strapped into something!!! And even that’s a maybe!

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Sy S. / Jul 22 2018 11:08 pm

    I never knew that Angels Landing in Zion National Park/Utah existed. The photos and scenery are great, beautiful images and “no thanks” this climb is not for ME, ME, ME! Sitting in my computer chair and watching the screen and reading your blog was scary enough LOL… Not to mention that father who had his son on his shoulders while climbing the steepest part (the chain section)… I think it is fair to say, that guy was “Off the Cliff Wall.”
    Sy S.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 23 2018 4:52 pm

      I shudder every time I think of that dad carrying a child up that climb. I bet there are others who have done the same!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. jeanleesworld / Jul 23 2018 12:26 pm

    Gorgeous photos, and I agree–this is NOT a hike you needed to take! I’ll happily enjoy the pictures and let someone with far stronger nerves than I scale those rocks. Yowza! 🙂 xxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 4 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 23 2018 4:54 pm

      Yowza is right. A fellow traveller has sent me some more pics of this hike, so drop back tomorrow to see what I’ve added.

      Liked by 2 people

  31. Gilda Baxter / Jul 23 2018 7:33 pm

    I love mountains and have recently taken some risks during travels in Peru, but this one looks very scary. I am not sure I would attempt it either. Beautiful pictures 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 23 2018 8:51 pm

      I saw your wonderful pictures from Peru. What a great adventure you had.

      Liked by 2 people

  32. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Jul 24 2018 3:40 am

    Holy shmoley! That’s no walk for me. But I love all the pictures proving how gorgeous and treacherous it is. I think I’ll go back to learning how to cook – scary enough for a woman my age.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. chattykerry / Jul 25 2018 8:07 am

    Much prettier just to look at, Peggy.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. tony / Jul 25 2018 10:43 pm

    Again marvellous photos, Peggy. I think I’d pass on that one too! But it would be nice to be there to pretend you might do it….


    Liked by 2 people

  35. barkinginthedark / Jul 26 2018 8:47 am

    whut’re youse…chicken? 🙂 continue…

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Thanks for sharing your tour experience of Angels Landing. I read your post. Definitely, Angles Landing is an amazing place.

    Liked by 3 people

  37. adventuredawgs / Jul 29 2018 11:35 am

    I don’t blame you for not wanting to make that hike, hip issues or no hip issues. Having said that, the guy that ended up on the trail to Angels Landing by mistake and just kept going…totally me thing to do.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Deb / Jul 29 2018 11:28 pm

    Wow that’s amazing though! I love the name of it and I bet Angels do land there!! Too bad there isn’t a gondola to the top…that’s how I’d trek it. Marvelous story and pics. Happy to hear your hip is better Peggy, happy Sunday. 🙂🧡

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 30 2018 11:52 am

      Happy Sunday to you too, Deb. Yes, a gondola would be just the thing! Might spoil the views though.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Deb / Jul 30 2018 12:34 pm

        Hmmm…have to work on that.

        Liked by 3 people

  39. Sheryl / Jul 30 2018 4:52 am

    Zions is so beautiful. I want to visit it someday. When I get there I’ll figure out how severe my fear of heights is – and whether I’ll try to climb Angels Landing. Somehow I think that I may pass. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  40. macalder02 / Jul 30 2018 6:18 pm

    They are impressive photos for those who can enjoy it. I agree with appreciating the wonderful landscape.

    Liked by 3 people

  41. Nancy / Jul 30 2018 11:15 pm

    I am acrophobic and deathly afraid of heights. However, I respect the beauty and majesty of the mountains and cliffs. These photos are amazing, albeit a wee bit terrifying. 😲 😎 I also love the name Angels Landing, as well as Zion. These names speak of power and gentleness.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. theburningheart / Aug 4 2018 3:07 am

    Nice post, I guess there’s people who would try anything, but I commend your wisdom not to, there’s no point to risk injury, or worst, just for bravado. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  43. eths / Aug 4 2018 8:29 am

    Excellent decision!

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Forestwood / Aug 5 2018 7:02 pm

    Photos and the view from underneath can be just as awe-inspiring!

    Liked by 3 people

  45. candidkay / Aug 6 2018 4:22 am

    Wow. My palms got sweaty just looking at the pics. Your friends must be surefooted!

    Liked by 3 people

  46. Doggedly Yours / Aug 6 2018 4:18 pm

    My goodness… be careful!

    Liked by 3 people

  47. Zambian Lady / Aug 7 2018 3:52 am

    I’m with you on this one. I, too, would not have gone on that suicide mission (it was, wasn’t it?). Nice photos, though.

    Liked by 2 people

  48. America On Coffee / Aug 8 2018 5:12 am

    You’d have to be tough and rock solid for all of this.

    Liked by 2 people

  49. Superduque777 / Aug 8 2018 6:57 am

    Liked by 2 people

  50. paolsoren / Aug 9 2018 1:42 pm

    Dear Peggy, Thanks for the invitation to climb to the top, but if it’s all the same to you I will stick down at the bottom and wait for more photographs.

    Liked by 2 people

  51. Lisa Dorenfest / Aug 13 2018 10:42 pm

    Victoria and Fiona’s pictures are marvelous. I don’t think I would have had your good sense to avoid the challenge even though I have a HUGE fear of heights and am not in my prime hiking shapes these days. I recently found myself on a similar hike in Sri Lanka and half way up was like ‘really Lisa, is a picture worth dying for? When I got to the top I was like ‘yes it is’ but then regret started to kick back in as I made my way back down. It took several hours to reach the bottom, often scooching my way down on my butt. I need to get into better shape before I attempt such madness again. Zion is on the list

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 13 2018 11:19 pm

      Oh my, I feel your pain. Many a time, I’ve had to scooch down some hill on my butt. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing one of your hiking adventures.

      Liked by 2 people

  52. filmsCine / Aug 21 2018 4:30 pm

    Wow! This place is on my bucket list. Fantastic photos.

    Liked by 3 people

  53. Chris Riley / Aug 21 2018 5:39 pm

    My thoughts are anyone would have to be insane to even contemplate that, so congratulations on your sanity Peggy.

    Liked by 2 people

  54. sunnydaysinseattle / Aug 25 2018 3:44 pm

    I didn’t try either and I was glad of that too 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  55. Ammy / Aug 27 2018 3:26 pm

    I want to see this , but I am from India 😥😥

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Aug 27 2018 3:45 pm

      Yes, India is far from the USA, but maybe you will get here someday. Plus, there are lots of wonderful places to see in India.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ammy / Aug 27 2018 3:46 pm

        Yes here is , you can come to India also … incredible India 😀


      • leggypeggy / Aug 27 2018 3:47 pm

        We love India and have visited four times. I’ve written quite a few blog posts about your wonderful country.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ammy / Aug 27 2018 5:59 pm

        Ohhhhh thank you I will read it


      • leggypeggy / Aug 27 2018 7:14 pm

        Thanks so much for your interest.

        Liked by 1 person

  56. artandkitchen / Aug 27 2018 4:55 pm

    Hi dear Peggy! I fully agree with you comments in your post and I hope more people would find you article googling before starting this trek! A very good advice! Thanks a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Aug 27 2018 5:38 pm

      Thanks Adriana, I think it’s a great trek for those who feel up to doing it. I was glad I didn’t.

      Liked by 2 people

  57. The Year I Touched My Toes / Aug 27 2018 5:43 pm

    HI Peggy, Looks scary!!! You would not get me up there. Looks spectacular too, though. Hope your hip is recovering well. Louise

    Liked by 1 person

  58. tony / Aug 30 2018 1:04 pm

    From my cozy lounge room, I like to think I would try. But, when and if I get there, I think it will be 50:50 or perhaps I’m still kidding myself.

    Good that some of the group did it and that you used their photographs. Looks wonderful.


    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Aug 30 2018 3:21 pm

      If my hip had been fine, I might have gone as far as Scout Lookout, but one look at the last half mile would have sent me back.

      Liked by 1 person

  59. sushilove51 / Sep 14 2018 11:22 pm

    I would love to go. need to get over fear of heights.

    Liked by 2 people

  60. Enlightenment Angels / Dec 1 2018 3:27 am

    Reblogged this on ENLIGHTENMENT ANGELS.

    Liked by 1 person

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