Hiking Angels Landing and the West Rim Trail, Zion NP

Going up the Walter's wiggles.

At the Scout Lookout on Angels Landing trail (where many people end their hike) we decided to go check the West Rim Trail since there was a line-up at the beginning of the last section of trail for Angels Landing Peak. After a few switchbacks, we were by ourselves! Incredible! Angels Landing is such a busy trail (one of the most popular in the park) and we decided to keep going for a couple of miles on the West Rim Trail.

The West Rim Trail was simply stunning with views of Angels Landing and Observation Point.

After a few minutes, the red slick rock becomes yellow, then white and the trail takes you across large expanse of slickrock. The view was breathtaking. And there was not a soul in sight... even the morbidly obsese squirrels that have become a serious pain in the park do not come here. I really don't know why this trail is not more popular!

Since Mathilde had decided to not join us on the hike (she spent the day with her grand-parents), JF had the wonderful idea to ask the twins if they were up for the challenge of getting to the top of Angels Landing as a kind of 12 years old rite of passage. JF had done it 3 times in the last few years and knew it well enough to judge that they would be safe on it (but maybe scared).

I had never seen something like it before. You walk on a thin fin with big drops on both sides in places and a breathtaking view.

We made it to the top! It was much less scary than we expected!

It's funny that quite often, when Americans see and hear us, they thing we are Portughese. On that particular hike, 3 different persons asked us if we were. But one man kept speaking to me in broken Spanish even after I told him we were French Canadian... Some people are a little too eager to practice their second language...

                                                                                                 We went all the way to the top!

It was a really beautiful moment that we will remember all our life. It truly felt like a rite of passage, for us as much as for them. Watching them go so confidently, their stong bodies working up and down the rocks, agile and comfortable where many adults weren't.

I remember that when they turned 10, I could see the little girls and the women at once when I looked at them. Now, not so much. I see the young women they have become. I enjoy their presence so much and all the discussions we have. Something strange happens when your children become as tall as you. You litterally start seeing them more like an equal. And I feel so very fortunate to share my days with such amazing partners.

**If you are planning to come to Zion, check out the great post our friend Ching wrote about the hikes in the park. She is the one that suggested to combine Angels Landing and part of the West Rim Trail (which is approx 20 miles long, all the way to the west entrance of the park at Kolob Canyon).

Zion National Park: Hiking Angels' Landing trail

Zion National Park is well known and the amount of people in the shuttles (you are not allowed to drive your own vehicle in the park) and on the trails only confirmed its popularity. But of course, there is a good reason for it: it is a spectacular place and the hiking trails are epic. We hiked Angels' Landing, a beautiful steep climb full of switchbacks that leads to a breathtaking viewpoint. But the magnificence of Zion can only truly be appreciated if you keep going after the overlook (not recommended for kids) and take the challenging path to the very top. Once there, you understand why they call it Angels' Landing. It is that grand!

As we started our hike, we met a French-speaking family that was from my hometown! We quickly found out that we had more than our birthplace in common and stuck together for the whole hike, chatting away as old friends. Their two girls quickly grew attached to Mathilde, who loved being in the big sister position. Thanks to the energy of the group, their 3 and 5 yo girls hiked all the way to the overview and back!