Byrce and Zion! She had no woes with the harrowing Angel’s Landing hike.

The last hike and definite highlight of the day was Angel’s Landing. This is a towering rock in the middle of the canyon, with 1500 foot drops on either side. It was named Angel’s Landing by early visitors who thought the rock’s summit could only be visited by Angels. That couldn’t keep a few hearty hikers away, and now the rock is scaled by many people every year. The hike is easy at first – it climbs up some cleverly built switchbacks and is wide and paved. After the switchbacks one reaches a nice viewpoint of the canyon below. At the same time, one sees the imposing ridge of Angel’s Landing rising to their right. This ridge is narrow and steep, and chains have been installed for the guidance and safety of those who wish to climb the extra distance to the summit.

Now, if this trail were mere feet off the ground it wouldn’t warrant a second thought from the average hiker. But, the enormous dropoff to either side of the ridge adds an element of danger and fear that scares many people away. I’m (luckily) not scared of heights and had a lot of fun scrambling up the ridge, enjoying the views and terrain along the way. I saw some people who look terrified, some who simply looked nervous, and others who were clearly having the time of their lives (other than me). We met a condor who was sitting in a tree next to the trail – by all accounts he had been there for hours – surveying the ridge, obviously waiting for someone to slip and fall. No one obliged, so Mr Condor went to bed hungry

Her photos are awesome (the scenery was a tad bit helpful).

My Southern Utah reflections from September 2006 here.

Long as I’m on the subject, a hiker named Toby had a great time in the Grand Canyon over the weekend.