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Thread started 02 Aug 2012 (Thursday) 04:08
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Zion NP - Angels landing advice needed.

 
Oeijur
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Aug 02, 2012 04:08 |  #1

Hi everyone,

I'm heading to Zion national park in about two weeks. I'll only be there for one day unfortunately, and so I'm trying to make best use of that day. I have a loose itinerary planned out:
1) Go to Visitor's center and possibly hike the Watchman's trail in the morning (about 1-2 hours), then
2) Hike the Narrows/riverside walk in the late morning - mid afternoon (3-4 hours) and then
3) Start the Angels landing hike around 4-5 pm to get there in time for sunset. (I'm going to bring a headlamp and flashlight just in case I have to hike down in the dark)

Any advice on the following would be greatly appreciated:
1) Is this itinerary reasonable or is it just too much in one day. Any suggestions for alternative hikes/photo spots (especially for the morning or mid-afternoon given the lighting). I like hiking, but I'm more interested in getting nice photos than hiking per se.
2) Has anybody done angel's landing for sunset? Is the lighting for the vistas good at that time? How is hiking back after sunset? I've read on other posts that dawn lighting is better, but I won't be able to go at that time.
3) I'm thinking about buying a Singh-ray LB Warming Polarizer/Intensifier combo filter for this trip. I thought it might help with bringing out the reds of the canyon walls. However it's pretty pricey at $400, so I'm not sure if it's worth the cost. (I already have a Hoya CPL).
4) Any advice on equipment I should bring? I plan on packing light - Canon 40D with EF-s 17-55mm, EF 50mm, tripod, Graduated ND filters, CPL, water, snacks, headlamp, flashlight, gloves (for grabbing chains).

Thanks in advance for any helpful hints.




  
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irishman
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Aug 02, 2012 14:49 |  #2

I'll be there in 2 weeks also, but fortunately will have much more time. From my experience and what I've read, doing the Narrows at that time will be crowded as hell. And Angel's Landing late will possible put you back past dark so take a light. I would bypass the Visitors Center and Watchman Trail and do either the Narrows or AL early then the other later. Hope you're young!


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Cali_PH
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Aug 03, 2012 10:05 as a reply to  @ irishman's post |  #3

Is this your first time there? If so, I'd probably lean towards changing the itinerary to see more of Zion, but obviously everyone has different priorities on what they want to see. If you're pretty insistent on Angel's Landing and the Narrows, I'd second Irishman and skip the visitor's center and Watchman hike.

I've been to Zion several times, but have never been able to do Angel's Landing; planned on it, but scheduling changes and limited time never made it happen for me. But from looking at a couple of sites, it looks like it takes 3-6 hours (5 hours according to one). Sounds like about 2-3 hours on the return, maybe longer because it'll be dark, and maybe because you're carrying gear. So if you're shooting up there at sunset, I don't think there's any "if" about hiking down in the dark, sounds like a sure thing. Not having done it myself, I'd be very leery of shooting up there at sunset, and hiking down in the dark. Done that a few times at other places, not fun. Especially if you're doing it alone. You also have less chances of help if you twist an ankle or worse.

You've probably done some research; these 2 pages have some pictures of the hike, in case you haven't seen it before:

http://www.citrusmilo.​com …uide/angelsland​ingpix.cfm (external link)

Good call on the gloves for chains; I've done Hidden Valley which is along the edge of the cliff opposite Angel's Landing and very glad I had gloves for those. I passed a couple who saw mine and heard the wife say something like, "See, I told you, you idiot. Shoulda brought gloves!" :lol:

Also good you're planning on two sources of light. I'd say 3 is better, or spare batteries just in case. I've also recently become a huge fan of hiking poles, after having done a 2 1/2 week trip through the southwest.




  
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pudgy_groundhog
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Aug 03, 2012 15:04 |  #4

Personally, I wouldn't want to hike the chains part down in the dark from Angel's Landing, but that all depends on your level of comfort.

You mention nothing about your hiking ability or fitness level, so hard to gauge what you'll have time for. Last time we were in Zion we did Keyhole Canyon, Angel's Landing, and Emerald Pools hike in a day. But I was also in tip top shape and made it to the top of Angel's Landing in an hour (now would be a different story, lol).

Without researching anything, I would opt to get up early and hike Angel's Landing (beat the crowds, nice morning light), then hike the Narrows in late morning/midday. Then find another spot for sunset in the evening. You'll also need to take the shuttle in the park, not sure what their schedule is (how early or how late they run).

Enjoy!


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Oeijur
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Aug 03, 2012 19:44 as a reply to  @ pudgy_groundhog's post |  #5

Thanks for the advice everyone,

I might have to change the angel's landing hike to mid morning/early afternoon. I'm not sure about how good the lighting will be during that time though. I'm thinking about buying a small hip harness now, so I can clip into the chains as a safety precautaion on the hike.

Unfortunately, I don't have rappeling equipment, so I won't be able to do Keyhole canyon. In terms of hiking, I'm in pretty decent shape (although I doubt I could get up Angel's Landing in only an hour!). I've hiked half-dome (including the ropes at the end), Mt. Fuji, and up to Everest base camp/Kala Pattar.

To Irishman, I think I'll be there a week after you. It would be great if you could share your experiences and insight after you come back.




  
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pudgy_groundhog
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Aug 03, 2012 20:49 |  #6

I might have to change the angel's landing hike to mid morning/early afternoon. I'm not sure about how good the lighting will be during that time though. I'm thinking about buying a small hip harness now, so I can clip into the chains as a safety precautaion on the hike.

I think that is much more common on Half Dome. The two times I've done Angel's Landing I did not see anybody clipping in. Just be aware if you are there mid-day, it will be crowded, and it might take you a long time to do the chains if you are clipping in. An early start would be a great help to beat the crowds. It's a fantastic hike!


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5Dmaniac
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Aug 03, 2012 21:38 |  #7

Forget Angel's Landing! If you are in Zion for only one day, you will be busy enough just taking in the sights without climbing Angle's Landing. What you are trying to cram into a single day does not make any sense!




  
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bps
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Aug 03, 2012 22:13 |  #8

I agree with Katherine. I don't think many people clip in on the chains. Yes, it's a little exposed, but it's not even remotely difficult. (Kids go up and down them all the time.) You should only consider clipping in if you're absolutely terrified of heights and it's a must-do accomplishment for you.

Bryan


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Oeijur
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Aug 05, 2012 02:18 |  #9

I think I'm going to stay 2 days in Zion now. Seems like 1 day is not enough time. Also, my friend changed his mind about going to the Valley of Fire.

pudgy_groundhog wrote in post #14811568 (external link)
I think that is much more common on Half Dome. The two times I've done Angel's Landing I did not see anybody clipping in. Just be aware if you are there mid-day, it will be crowded, and it might take you a long time to do the chains if you are clipping in. An early start would be a great help to beat the crowds. It's a fantastic hike!

Thanks, I guess I will not buy the harness.

BTW, I love your photos, Pudge (especially the locatelli pictures in Italy.)




  
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ETS
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Aug 05, 2012 09:51 as a reply to  @ Oeijur's post |  #10

For your experience and condition, I think the Angels Landing sunset hike is definitely doable. It's only the last 1/2 mile from Scout Lookout to the summit that is dangerous and has the chains. You should be able to get your sunset photos and still make it back down to Scout Lookout before dark. The rest of the way down is well worn trails.


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goldboughtrue
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Aug 05, 2012 12:18 |  #11
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I just did Angel's Landing for the first time last week. You don't need to clip any harness. You do have to use both hands on the chain section. I got up early and rode the 6 am bus (first of the day) and the driver said the trail was closed until 2pm because of restroom repairs. So I did some other hikes and came back. I was first when it reopened and so didn't have any traffic going up. There were a few people going up while I was going down.

It took me 1 hour 40 minutes to go up with a tripod and camera (plus water and snacks). You'll definitely need a couple liters of water because it gets quite steep even before the chain section.

I wouldn't recommend mid-morning or middle of the day because you'll have to wait for others on the chain and it will take longer. You can try late afternoon and then down in the dark, but be sure you have a big light because the top area is very steep and you have to go pretty slow.

I'd skip the visitor center and Watchman trail if you have only one day. I was there for two days and didn't touch those. If you somehow have extra time after doing the Narrows and Angel's Landing, go to Upper Emerald Pool.


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Oeijur
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Aug 06, 2012 23:47 |  #12

goldboughtrue wrote in post #14817217 (external link)
I'd skip the visitor center and Watchman trail if you have only one day. I was there for two days and didn't touch those. If you somehow have extra time after doing the Narrows and Angel's Landing, go to Upper Emerald Pool.

Which other hikes did you do? And which ones would you recommend, and what time of day would you recommend doing them. I'm going for two days now (instead of one), so the hikes i'm thinking about doing are Canyon overlook in the morning of the first day, then shuttle/drive around and explore in the early afternoon, and do angels landing in the late afternoon.

Second day, plan to do the Narrows in the early morning, and then emerald pools in the afternoon.




  
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goldboughtrue
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Aug 07, 2012 12:59 |  #13
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Oeijur wrote in post #14824160 (external link)
Which other hikes did you do? And which ones would you recommend, and what time of day would you recommend doing them. I'm going for two days now (instead of one), so the hikes i'm thinking about doing are Canyon overlook in the morning of the first day, then shuttle/drive around and explore in the early afternoon, and do angels landing in the late afternoon.

Second day, plan to do the Narrows in the early morning, and then emerald pools in the afternoon.

I arrived about 10am and went straight to Observation Point. Then on the way down I did a little of Hidden Canyon until the trail ran out. The sign said scrambling was required and I wasn't ready for that. I didn't do anything else that day.

The second day I went to Temple of Sinawava and walked the Riverside Walk to where the Narrows begins. I didn't have water shoes so didn't do that. Then I went to Upper Emerald Pool and took photos there. It was about noon so I waited for Angel's Landing to open. By the time I was done I couldn't do anything else that night.

I don't know where Canyon overlook is. Is it at Canyon Junction? If you can climb a lot, I'd recommend Observation Point or at least Hidden Canyon and be prepared for off-trail. A lot of people do that part.

Angel's Landing "faces" east so afternoon is probably best so the sun is behind you.

Not sure where you're staying....just so you know, the campgrounds don't have showers.


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Oeijur
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Aug 12, 2012 02:33 |  #14

goldboughtrue wrote in post #14826309 (external link)
I arrived about 10am and went straight to Observation Point. Then on the way down I did a little of Hidden Canyon until the trail ran out. The sign said scrambling was required and I wasn't ready for that. I didn't do anything else that day.

I don't know where Canyon overlook is. Is it at Canyon Junction? If you can climb a lot, I'd recommend Observation Point or at least Hidden Canyon and be prepared for off-trail. A lot of people do that part.

Canyon Overlook is east of Canyon Junction, just past the tunnel.

I decided to rent a Canon 10-22mm EF-S for the trip also. I think I'll probably keep that lens on my camera and keep the 17-55mm F2.8 in my bag or the car.

I might also try my hand at a little astro-photography. Anybody have any suggestions on good locations. I can't stay too late inside the park since the last shuttle is at 10pm.




  
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Aug 12, 2012 08:21 |  #15

For night skies drive up on the East side, past the tunnel. Another alternative is to go to the Kolob Terrace area, you'll get some great views.


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Zion NP - Angels landing advice needed.
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