I recently went on a trip that included a stop in Las Vegas, as well as Arizona and Utah.  While I was in Utah, I went to Zion National Park to do a little hiking.  That was probably one of the coolest things I have ever done - as well as one of the scariest.

Photo By: Chaz

Now, first of all, I'm not the most in-shape person in the world, so I didn't think a little hiking would hurt.  Man, was I wrong - in more ways than one.

There are a ton of things to do at Zion National Park.  From horseback riding, river trips and bicycle riding, to camping, hiking and backpacking, this place has it all.  We chose to hike 'Angels Landing', which is a pretty difficult uphill hike that takes about 5 hours to do.  The first part of the hike, there is a  paved trail that is pretty steep, but gradually takes you up higher and higher.  Let me just say, it was pretty hard for this fat boy to go up just the first couple of miles, but that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Photo By: Chaz

After hiking on the paved trail for what seemed like days, we reached a part that is called 'Walters Wiggles', which is basically 21 very steep switchbacks that will test every muscle in your legs.

After going through the switchbacks,  you reach a place called Scout's Landing.  At this point, you're about 1200 feet up with an amazing view.  This is also the point where you can choose to go back down, or continue up to 'Angel's Landing', which is another half mile up to a peak that is over 5000 feet up.

We chose to keep going up, and my heart chose to come up to my throat because at this point, there is no more trail.  Just anchored chains to hold onto as you try to work your way up the side of a cliff.  There are only small footholds and at any moment, I could have slipped off of a narrow ridge to my death.  In fact, there have been several fatalities on 'Angels Landing'.  So, needless to say, I had a death grip on the chains that were supporting me.

Photo By: Chaz

Once  you make it up, the view is amazing, and I did feel a sense of accomplishment, although stupidity still lingers in my mind.  What in the heck was I thinking?

One of my biggest fears, has always been heights, but it wasn't until I climbed 'Angels Landing' that I realized how scared I was.  Even now as I type this, my hands are sweating as I remember how incredibly scared (but cool) this hike was.


Chaz's Pictures of Angels Landing Hike