Zion, oh Zion. When we planned this trip months ago we didn’t plan on going to Zion and truth be told we hadn’t heard of it until two weeks before we left. We are complete dorks and a few weeks before our trip we started watching a 8 hr documentary on the formations of the national parks (from PBS, on Netflix and pretty awesome if you are into documentaries that are really long 🙂 ) and here we were introduced to Zion. Since we were going to be so close we decided that we should go to Zion instead of going back in Arizona after Vegas before heading in to Moab, Utah.
The moment we drove into Zion we knew immediately that we were going to love it and we were so glad we made the change in itinerary. Zion is one of the smaller parks but it is simply breath taking! Our campsite had an amazing view and our first night there was a full moon with a completely clear night. We watched the moon rise above the mountains and fill the night with more light than we have ever seen in Memphis. We had actually planned to just stay one night but within ten minutes of being there we decided to add another day and night in Zion.
In Zion there is a fabulous hike/climb called Angel’s Landing that we did. When we looked into the park before heading out on the trip we discovered this hike and were slightly terrified by it. In the last few years there have been multiple deaths on this hike because it is so dangerous… It is a nontechnical hike but it has shear drop offs that go down hundreds of feet. There is a simple chain along the trail that is supposed to help you… yeah real good for the nerves of someone who doesn’t do well with edges. I told Philip that we would do the hike but only if we wore repelling harnesses so we could hook on if we felt insecure with our footing. And it turns we actually needed it because the trail was covered in snow and ice when we hiked it and many times we couldn’t get our footing and needed to pull ourselves up the mountain and then coming down we pretty much ghetto repelled down… But the view at the top was out of this world and we now have the itch to climb even taller and harder mountains!
Our campsite view in Zion.
I love the above image that Philip got the first night! The full moon perfectly illuminated the mountains and river for the long exposure of the stars.
It was pretty cold camping… Below 30 degrees both nights which is pretty chilly in a tent.
The sunrise hitting just the peak of the mountains.
Starting Angel’s Landing. So many switchbacks!
On the right is the start of the last half mile of the Angel’s Landing hike. A lot of the people we encountered on the trail made it this point (Scout’s Lookout) but didn’t continue on to the summit because of the snow and ice.
Drop offs on either side of Philip. This is right near Step of Faith which is a part of the trail that is narrower than this and no chain at all… We watched several grown adults get to this point and turn around since it was so intimidating.
Behind us is the trail and that part was almost completely in shade and had very little snow melt and what had melted was icing over as seen below.
Here we started having to pull ourselves up the mountain. So glad we had been hitting the gym heavy before going!
Not going to lie, we felt pretty bad-A at this point of the hike. The Zion valley is in the middle of the image.
The thin ridge behind Philip is where we came from. It was pretty awesome to see how far we had come. Also at this point we were the only people on the trail.
And the view from the top. Very worth it!
Philip enjoying the summit view.
Coming back down from Angel’s Landing.
Find Savannah! On one of the switchbacks coming back down.
Zion has quickly become one of our favorite places in the US and we cannot wait to go back! Even though the park is super small compared to other national park we felt like we need to go back aspens a whole week here. We barely made a dent in all we wanted to do in this park!