The shortest route from Bryce Canyon to Springdale – the small town that I was going to spend two nights in while exploring Zion Canyon National Park – actually goes right through Zion. And the glowing red mountains had me mesmerized from the moment I first laid my eyes on them. So it was 14 miles of me alomost pressing my nose flat against the windscreen while trying to focus on driving.

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I had left Bryce Canyon right after jumping off Eechell so I was at my motel early enough to test out the pool with the most amazing view (ever!).

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The next morning I was up bright and early, already in the park waiting for one of the shuttle buses by 7.30am. I had planned to do the first part of the famous “Angel’s Landing” trail and wanted to do it before the heat was too overwhelming.

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It starts off with a sandy path that turns into a paved trail as it gets steeper. It sure was steep at times! 21 switchbacks is the last challenge before reaching “Scout Lookout”. It was a tough hike but not scary in any way.

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At “Scout Lookout” a sign says that it’s only 0.5 mile to “Angel’s Landing”. But that is no ordinary 0.5 mile!
With my fear of heights I hadn’t even thought about continuing all the way to the summit, yet somehow I found myself with shaking legs starting on the last hike (more like climb!) to the top. I quickly stumbled into Lori, a 52 year old woman from South Carolina, and we stuck together for the climb trying to encourage each other.
The trail is across a narrow sandstone ridge with drop-offs on both sides. At times there are chains to hold on to but there are also large portions of the trail where there is nothing but the cliffs.

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Almost the entire time I thought about turning around but I got to a point where I was more afraid of climbing back down on my own than continuing uphill with Lori and that’s how I found myself 1488 feet over the canyon floor dropping my jaw over the most spectacular view.

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It had taken 50 minutes to reach the summit from “Scout Lookout” which probably makes it the slowest half mile of my life – but also the one that I’m most proud of ever!

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The whole hike from canyon floor to summit to canyon floor was 4.8 miles.

Almost back down at the Canyon Floor I joined Lori and two of her friends for a quick detour to “Lower Emerald Pools” which is another of Zion’s signature trails with a couple of waterfalls.

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After that I could hear the pool back at the motel calling for me so I dragged my tired feet with me to the shuttle bus.

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I was completely awestruck by Zion and there were many more hikes I would have loved to do had I had the time (or just an extra pair of feet I could have used that afternoon?). I think I might have to come back to Zion some day..

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