20b gypsum further up trail

Zion’s Angel’s Landing Challenge !?!

I am excited! This is my very first visit to Zion National Park in southern Utah. Taking the shuttle bus into Zion Canyon, the only option from mid March to late November, we’ll get off at the Grotto picnic area. From there we cross the bridge over the Virgin River and begin the hike to Angel’s Landing. One of the most famous hikes in the national park system and one of the very best short hikes in all North America, how can we not give it a go? This is the most popular hike in Zion, but many people turn back before going half way. You know me. Lung issues make elevation gains a real struggle plus I’m afraid of heights–remind me again why I’m visiting canyons? Well, why not!

I already know I cannot walk the last half mile to the top of Angel’s Landing since it requires pulling yourself along chains, using both hands for safety, then walking on a rock trail, sometimes only 3-feet wide, with 1,000 foot drops on each side. Totally not an option for me! My challenge is to make it up 1,080 feet to Scout Outlook. However, Plan B is going as far as I can without being scared to death by narrow trails along cliff edges. Always good to have a Plan B. So let’s get going. It is 7am, temperature in the mid 50’s, and the sun is beginning to hit the mountain tops. A beautiful morning to challenge that fear of heights!

Let’s go . . .

20b gypsum further up trail

Lost Lake–5 miles out, 2 miles back

Heading into the wilderness takes a combination of love, mindfulness, caution, and knowing and respecting your physical limits. Montana and Yellowstone are places of glorious big sky, mountains, and many trails with awesome elevation gains. So I stand on the edge of wilderness, knowing beautiful Lost Lake lies ahead, with  a willing heart, mind, and feet but lungs that make me reevaluate the wisdom of every trek.

trail up-3811

Continue walking . . .

20b gypsum further up trail

Into The Woods . . .

I saw the sign so many times–Harlequin Lake–but I could never see the trailhead. Was it further up or down the road? Did so few people walk the trail that the surrounds swallowed it up? Well, why don’t I just park across from the sign and take a good look. I see it . . . uhhhhh . . .


Continue the walk