About two years ago, I visited Zion National Park in Utah over Labor Day weekend and it was hands-down one of my favorite trips to date. I traveled with my roommate to Vegas where we met up with my brother, his wife and another friend to make the 2-hour drive to Springdale. We didn’t think we needed more than 2 full days at Zion and blessed be for my maxed out PTO because I don’t think my legs could have handled anymore.
In my mind, the trip would be some light hiking, wine-filled evenings and Instagram-worthy scenic views. Well, 20 miles later and I did get two out of the three right.
Day One – Angels Landing
For the first day, we decided to do one of the most strenuous hikes the park offers, Angels Landing. I feel like this is the point I should mention that I’m not one to frequent a gym. So when we decided to attempt the hike I did have some hesitations but I’m a glass half-full kind of gal.
The 5-hour hike takes you uphill 1488 feet and then just when you think you’ve reached the top of the ridge, nature likes to throw you a curveball. The final half-mile is across a narrow sandstone ridge, anchored by chains across some sections of the “sheer fin”. It’s easy to understand why the shuttle audio echoes, “people have died here” as you step off.
In the end, after more than a few food, water, and slight panic attack breaks I made it to the top. I think a strong motivator was seeing babies make the dangerous trek. I’m not kidding. It was a little overwhelming how many people had babies strapped on their chest.
Day Two – The Narrows
I’d like to say that on our second day we decided to take it easy considering every step we took ached all over. Instead, we thought why not push ourselves farther by hiking another 10+ miles.
The park service offers a free shuttle bus throughout the park so we rode that to the last stop to the Narrows. Before you actually get to the entrance of this gorge, you have a 2-mile hike ahead of you. Zion is fun like that.
In all sincerity, The Narrows is something I would suggest everyone adds to their bucket list as it was definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s the narrowest section of Zion Canyon where you basically walk/stumble through the Virgin Mary River. The whole hike is 16 miles but you can turn back anytime you want.
Overall I have a whole new respect for people who frequent parks and can spend hours upon hours hiking. These people are badasses. And for 48 hours, I was one of them.