Today would be our last full day in Zion due to a rain/snow storm coming in on Thursday. We did not want to spend the day packing up wet tents and trying to ride out in snow.
I wanted to make the best of my last day, so Brian convinced me to go on the hike to Angel’s Landing. Due to the crowds at Zion, we had to get there first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. This meant leaving camp at 6:30 am to arrive to the trailhead by 7’ish. This was NOT easy, since this was the coldest day we had but I forced myself to do it, and I’m so glad I did!
This is one of Zion’s most renowned hikes and is definitely adventurous! Anyone in an average physical condition can make this trek, but it can be mentally challenging with its steep switchbacks and sheer drop-offs. There are chains bolted into the cliff to provide handholds. If you have a severe fear of heights, I wouldn’t recommend this hike. The Virgin River runs along side near the beginning of the climb.
It starts off innocent enough, with a steady incline on a wide path.
About 2 miles into it, after climbing steep switchbacks, you get to the last half mile, and this is where you really have to be okay with climbing and heights. But the rewards are so worth it.
Focusing on where to step, looking down every once in awhile was incredible. We were so high up we could look down on hawks circling the canyon.
Once you get to the very top, there was this little rock formation that sat on the edge of the cliff. It was dizzying to climb it, but we all had to do it just to say we did. The photo below me is Brian taking his turn.
Made it to the top!
After taking in the view for awhile, we started our trek back down. That was a bit more challenging than going up, especially with more people coming up that wanted to hang on to the chain. The secret here is to take your time. Here is a shot of it after I made it down the chain section, see if you can see the people climbing, they look like little ants.
After this five and a half hour hike, we decided to set off for lunch. Then it was off to our next riding adventure. We had to decide between Bryce Canyon and Kolob Canyon. We were supposed to see Bryce on Thursday but now with the upcoming storm, we had to pick one. We heard Kolob Canyon was a pretty sweet ride and after our epic hike, it was much closer to us than Bryce.
Off we rode and we were treated to bright, colorful red rocks and a diverse landscape. Unfortunately, Kolob Canyon was a national park, and the road was only 5 miles long. It was a pretty 5 miles, but we wanted more. We found a beautiful, scenic, twisty road to Kolob Reservoir, which was close to our campground. If you come here on a motorcycle, that road is definitely better.
Here are some parting shots of the day on these roads. When we got back around dinner time, you can bet we were all in bed earlier and slept hard after this adventure-filled day.