We left the Grand Canyon, and made our way to Zion. The drive wasn’t too long but we had several interesting stops throughout the day.
It was these two days that we realised the ‘Southern Sun’ part of the trip was rapidly coming to an end. In a couple of days we would be saying goodbye to some people that we got to know really well and continuing the ‘Northern Trail’ with a new group. A very strange thought when you have been travelling the past 3 weeks with the same faces.
*On May 29th 2019, I travelled with Trek America on their Grand Trek tour for six weeks around the USA. We began in New York, travelling south to the West Coast, then North back to the East Coast. I am not affiliated with Trek America. Read all my Trek America posts here. *
Horseshoe Bend is one of those classic views you probably have seen on Instagram. Only in person can you appreciate how amazing this is and understand how high this is – it is approximately a 1000ft drop. What’s strange is that the visitors site is nothing like I had expected. I kind of imagined that this was just at the side of the road but it’s not.. it has it’s own car park and is a 1.5 mile round trip walk. After the hike yesterday I was NOT prepared that it’s a bit of a walk to the viewpoint. Hint: bring water.
Glen Canyon Dam Bridge
This stop was completely unexpected, our leader just said does anyone want to walk across the bridge. At which point, only a few of us said yes. Now, the view was amazing, however it didn’t seem like such a good idea when you could feel the bridge moving as you were stood in the middle of it. After doing some research, I have found out that this bridge is 700ft high and is one of the highest bridges in the USA!
Zion Canyon Campground
After a good few days of having no WiFi, it was good to be connected again. I was using the app preview to arrange pictures before posting them to Instagram, this was really handy for when I didnt have connection. This campsite was good, the facilities were refurbished and clean and there were individual shower rooms. We had a nice big site to spread out our tents and could all sit our chairs in a circle around the campfire. Day 18 would be our last night camping together!
What is Angels Landing?
This was the one hike I had been researching leading up to the trip. If you google this hike you will see it as being cited as ‘one of the most dangerous hikes in the US’. There are strong warnings not to do this if you have a fear of heights. Angels Landing is 2.5 miles long with a 1500ft elevation gain.
The majority of this trail is uphill and gradually gets steeper. Once you reach ‘Walters Wiggles’ – 21 steep switchbacks, you will then arrive at Scouts Lookout. This is where you can stop if you don’t fancy doing the final part of the trail. The final half a mile to Angels Landing is described as strenuous and is surrounded by sharp drop offs and narrow paths. There are chains to help you along the trail. However, there are sections with no support or enclosure at all.
There are good videos on YouTube, so you can see what it’s like. I personally decided it wasn’t worth taking the risk. One foot wrong and I would be falling off the edge! The view from Scouts Lookout was still really cool. This is one of my favourite National Parks.
Hiking Angels Landing to Scouts Lookout
Even though I didnt go all the way to Angels Landing, I still really enjoyed this trail. I would love to go back to Zion National Park – It’s really beautiful! There were so many trails to explore, I could definitely spend longer than two days here. So jealous that anyone who lives in the USA have these National Parks on their doorstep!
Angels Landing TIP!
Get the first shuttle bus – seriously, we got there way in enough time, thanks to our leader, to be near the front of the queue. However, in the time we were waiting, the queue got extremely long. If you are planning on hiking to the Angels Landing viewpoint, I highly recommend you are the first ones out there!
Brunch at Perks, Zion
A couple of us decided to head back down rather than wait for those who hiked all the way to Angels Landing. We really needed a good breakfast! As we were leaving Zion National Park we found a really cool coffee shop. They have a great selection of food and drink here.
Emerald Pools & Kayenta Trail
After relaxing at the campsite throughout the afternoon, we decided to head back into Zion National Park. Myself, Rene & Isaac went for a spontaneous hike. This entire outing ended up being really funny, I think we were delirious.
We decided to begin on the Kayenta Trail, this leads to the Emerald Pools. When we entered the trail it said that it was closed further on down, therefore, you couldn’t get to the next trail that way. We had plenty of time so decided to walk down it anyway, it wasn’t that far. These guys take their closures seriously..don’t jump any fences!
The bottom of the sign below it mentions a fine of up to $500 and up to six months in jail if you are caught trespassing. (obviously, we weren’t going to attempt to get through anyway even though it was closed.)
After returning back out of the Kayenta Trail, we decided to walk along the Lower Emerald Pools. I would love to check out the Upper Emerald Pools on a future visit.
Zion National Park is so beautiful! Have you hiked there before? Let me know of other good trails!
Let me know if you have any questions regarding Trek America or the places we visited ?