During the previous evening we had visited the gift shop and I had remembered the hike that had inspired me the first time I visited the canyon, Angels Landing. This is listed as one of the top 20 hike s in the US by some people. We set off early and hit the trail around 8:30, we were the second or third party on the route and the sun was wonderful beating down on our backs as we climbed the side of the canyon up the switchback path cut into the sand stone. A very talkative man the previous evening (Len) had told us the hike was in three stages and each one was an accomplishment. As we climbed higher so more and more snow and ice remained n the trail, the last ten switchbacks were very icy and the hiking poles were a great help preventing a long fall. By the time we summited out on the second stage at the Scouts Lookout we had risen some 1300 feet up the canyon walls. The view was amazing, we could look down and see the cars in the bottom like little ants.
The remainder of the hike from Scouts Lookout to Angels landing is highly exposed, it goes out along the thin sliver of rock that in places is no more than two feet wide with 1500 foot drops on ether side, there are chains in places to hang on two. J started and decided her head was not going to handle the exposure and so I completed the last section very quickly on my own.
Given the exposure and the amount of snow and ice on the rock I wished I had a harness and ropes but what the heck, I did it and I am still here. The view was amazing, very exposed, windy and cold, so I hurried back to J and we went off along the west rim trail and found a great plateau to sit on and eat an early lunch of fruit and nuts and just enjoy the sun which by now was feeling hot. I stripped down to a tee-shirt and we descended the canyon at break neck speed poling all the way passing hordes of sweaty tourist climbing the switchbacks in highly inappropriate clothes and footwear – the lodge must do a roaring trade in band-aids for blisters.
By the time we got back to the lodge we were both hungry again and decided to see if the lunch menu was any better than the dinner menu, summary not a lot, but the French Fries were excellent…
We drove to the end of the canyon road and hiked the river bank until it ran out and turned into a water hike, we were not equipped to go canyoneering and we heard thunder which then turned into rain so we high tailed it back to the car and drove slowly down the canyon, stopping off at a couple of view points to take pictures and enjoy the view. We spent a while browsing gift shops, failing to get into a hiking shop which closes for an afternoon siesta! We returned to the lodge napped and then went to dinner at the spotted dog cafe, which I highly recommend, I had scallops, followed by a lamb and salmon surf and turf combination that was as good as any meal I have eaten out for a while. After dinner we returned to the lodge and I got my butt whooped by J at yahtzee.

Bryce Canyon Day 3
Zion Canyon Day 1

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