Zion National Park Angels
Landing and Observation Pt
National Parks have some of the great trail hikes. The
key is to go when no one else is there, which means: not summer. Watch the weather maps and spot
a window of opportunity for a pleasant, un-crowded hike. Winters
in Zion National Park are often mild with 60 degree daytime temperatures
possible. DayHiker has hiked this majestic
red canyon the past two winters around Jan 1, found the weather
great and the accommodations (Desert Pearl Inn, Springdale) upscale.
hikes rated strenuous by the visitors guide are
as scenic as any in the world. Angels
Landing, not for the vertigo inclined, is a unique, short (5mi
round trip, 1488ft) climb with its long drop-offs on a narrow trail
the last 0.5 mi. Attached to rocks, chains let your arms do some of the work
as you move gingerly along the top of the ridge. The spectacular
view from the top looks down to the valley floor of Zion Canyon
and up to higher ridges, one of which is Observation Pt.
round out an extreme hike day adventure go a mile from
the Angels Landing trail head at the Grotto picnic area to the
Observation Pt trail head at the Weeping Rock picnic area. A
well maintained (i.e., paved) switch back trail lifts you up quickly
to Echo Canyon where shear
rock walls surround the trail. Another
series of switchbacks carved into the face the rock canyon wall
is followed by a level path through some trees to the expansive
outlook over the Zion canyon at Observation Pt.
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