The day that we hiked to Angel’s Landing started with us sleeping in for an extra three hours at the Zion River Resort after hiking The Narrows the day before. It didn’t matter that we started our hike at noon in the peak of the 100 degree heat (even though we don't recommend it). Every bead of sweat we produced while climbing up the strenuous two-and-a-half mile trail was worth the view that awaited us at the top.
The first two miles of the trial are uphill, concrete switchbacks on the West Rim Trail. This trail is not as much fun as the actual Angel’s Landing trail, but does include a few shady stopping points. On the other hand, the sand and rocks on the Angel’s Landing trail provided a slight break from the mid-day heat radiating off of the concrete.
Climbing Angel’s Landing was less intimidating and more exhilarating than I thought it would be. We were able to catch our breath every time another hiker was making their way down the trail and needed to use the chains. We didn’t use the chains too much and climbed to the top with ease. Although it was a bit crowded at the top, we were able to find a quiet spot to sit and marvel at the humbling, panoramic view of Zion National Park.
The hike down seemed more intimidating, but as long as we watched our footing and walked with confidence, we were just as safe as we were on our way up. At the end of the long and hot five mile hike, we stopped at one of the river access points just off of the trail and cooled off in the Virgin River before heading back to the shuttle bus.