Friday, November 29, 2013

The Best For Last


Switchbacks on the trail to Angel’s Landing, ZIon National Park.


We wanted to do one more hike in Zion, and had planned to do this one with John and Susan while they were here, but the weather drove them away and they never even made it into the national park. On our first visit to Zion in May 2009 we did the trek to Angels Landing. Looking back I wonder how I ever made it to the top, and we don’t intend to do it again. But if you climb the steep, mostly paved trail not quite two miles, just before getting to the challenging part with chains, the trail forks left to the West Rim Trail, where we had never been.

Angels Landing straight ahead. We continued up more switchbacks along the West Rim.


This turned out to be a great hike even though we did almost 2,000 feet of climbing in about four miles. We stopped so many times on the way up to take pictures and take in the views, it didn’t seem so bad.

We had a good view of Angels Landing and saw quite a few people making their way up.



Always a crowd at the top of Angels Landing.


The West Rim trail offers just as good views as it makes its way up to the canyon rim and we were treated to a variety of rock colors.








The West Rim trail is actually 16 miles long and connects the main canyon to Lava Point, the highest point in ZIon, which can be accessed off Kolob Terrace Rd. We would have liked to go farther but it was late afternoon and getting very cold as the sun went behind the rock walls. On our way down we met up with a hiker we had spoken with briefly on the way up before he turned off and went up Angels Landing. He was nice guy in his late 20s who works for an LA hedge fund. We talked the whole way, which made the hike back down seem very short. We seem to meet the nicest people on trails.

And yes, Zion is still our favorite national park. We’ll be back.



  1. Katie and I didn't hike there, but we took a lot of walks around the campgrounds, over to the store area, etc. It is a beautiful place even from the floor of the park. I took the bus they have to see all the sights. We were there during the time you couldn't drive a car on the road, buses only. I was so glad I took that little bus trip. It must be so exhilarating to hike up higher and closer to the beautiful rocks and views like you guys do. :)

  2. AHHHHHH...what a gorgeous hike. You were surrounded on all sides by beauty.

  3. The colors on your pictures are gorgeous. I had never even thought of going to Zion in late November. How cold is it? Like you, I hiked Angel's Landing the first time we went to Zion but am glad to know about the trail going off of it. Looks gorgeous and I will definitely do it when we return. I love Zion too!!

    1. The first two and a half weeks here were lovely. In the 70s and mostly sunny with just a couple of cloudy, cooler days. Since mid month it cooled off into the 60s, then after our 4 days of rain last week it hasn't been out of the 50s. But the sun is shining and it's still good for hiking. Mark and Bobbie said the previous two Novembers were warmer and drier. If we come back next year we will start our month in mid October. We'd rather be warm than cold, but that's just us.


  4. Now those are some spectacular views! How far did you go on the West Rim Trail? Was it four miles past the fork, or total? And was that one-way or roundtrip? I'm rather limited on how far I can go, but sure would like to try that one. Thanks again for sharing. Take care.

    1. We went about 2 miles beyond the fork to Angels Landing, so our total hike ended up to be just under 8 miles. At least the last 4 miles were downhill!

  5. When you hike the West Rim Trail and look over at Angel's Landing, you realize how crazy it is to hike up there. It gives you such great view of narrow that trail on Angel's Landing is. We loved the West Rim Trail. Terrific views and colors. I loved the brilliant yellow section of rock. Your photos look very familar:)

  6. We only did the first set of chains on Angels Landing...can't imagine going to the end! Next time in Zion we'll have to check out the West Rim Trail.

    I sure have enjoyed your tales from red rock country!

  7. What a beautiful hike. We hope to do this hike in the future.

  8. I did the same hike the last time I was in Zion, but probably didn't go as far as you did on the West Rim trail. Absolutely breathtaking. BTW, that 's not Walter's Wiggles. They are right before you reach Scout Lookout and are shorter and tighter switchbacks.

    1. Thanks, I knew that but posted the wrong photo. Jim pointed it out to me after I posted but I never corrected it. I will now!