Magazine article Sunset

Heavenly Hiking: See Zion National Park as the Angels Do

Magazine article Sunset

Heavenly Hiking: See Zion National Park as the Angels Do

Article excerpt

I'm on one of my favorite hikes in southwest Utah: the route to Angels Landing in Zion National Park. The sun's not yet up, but it's light enough to see without a flashlight--that rare time of day when birds and bats share the same airspace, pursuing insects. Violet-green swallows zip overhead like tiny cruise missiles, their mouths open in hopes of catching a meal. Near the trail, there are shooting stars under the trees, and Indian paintbrush is visible between rocks. spring is a heavenly time to hike in Zion, before summer's heat and hordes, and this trail is one of its best.

A spur off the West Rim Trail, the route to Angels Landing is a challenging but rewarding hike out of Zion Canyon. The trailhead is reachable by eco-friendly free shuttle buses from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. (Get off at the Grotto picnic area stop for the West Rim trailhead.)

Angels Landing is a virtual island in the sky, a fin of rock that juts out from Cathedral Mountain like a thumb. Offering a nearly 360[degrees] view of the park's interior, it's a remarkable vantage point. …

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