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Utah Travel Headlines

Monday, June 12, 2006

Zion’s Chains, Rain and Automobiles

Angels LandingA group from went to Zion National Park recently to get material for a short video clip on the popular Angels Landing hike. We had a great time and we were able to produce this fun little video clip:
--(Flash video (4.5M)

This was Brian Topham’s first time up Angels. He jotted down these comments:

This Memorial Day weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Zion Nation Park. First on the agenda was to conquer Angles Landing. Angles landing got its name in 1916 when explorer Frederick Fisher declared, “Only an angle could land on that.” Although a set of wings would have differently made the hike easier, there is no way I would have wished for a pair. I would have lost the chance to hike through Refrigerator Canyon, to climb Walter’s Wiggles, and finally to ascend the last half of a mile using chains as handrails.

Refrigerator Canyon – A cool canyon just east of Angles Landing that provides hikers with shade and a cool breeze at almost any time of the day.

Walter’s Wiggles – An extra fun set of switchbacks named after the first superintendent of Zion, who helped engineer them.

Scout Lookout—A very scenic place to rest, eat a snack and take in the view and breeze, before the chains start. Often, from here, rock climbers can be seen scaling the northwest face of Angles Landing.

The chains – The most difficult and technical part of the hike. I would probably have a hard time recommending this part of the hike to those who fear heights. However, traversing the saddle up to Angles Landing is not has hard as it looks from Scout Lookout. I believe anyone with a little determination (and probably a small group of friends or family to act as a cheer leading squad) can do it—especially if they just take it slow.

A very short walk (probably three to four hundred yards) from one of the stops will put you under “Weeping Rock.” This was one of the neatest things I have seen in a long time. This rock sheds hundreds of thousands of tears each day. Go find out why.

Since 2000 Zion Nation Park has prohibited most personal vehicles from going up the canyon. Today most tourists ride Zion’s very own bus system. This system comes complete with buses, bus stops, and knowledgeable and helpful drivers. An interesting fact about these buses is they run on propane instead of gas. The byproducts of burning propane are water and carbon dioxide (the same things humans exhale). Reducing the amount of carbon monoxide from cars has substantially increased the air quality in the canyon over the past seven years.


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