Monday, July 20, 2009

Where the Angels Land

Angel's Landing. One of my favorite hikes in Zion National Park. I was down there a few weekends ago helping my grandparents install their new internet modem and thought I'd swing by for a quick, leg-blasting hike.

When I arrived, the sun was peeking in and out through the clouds. The top of the monolith at the center of this photograph is Angel's Landing.

Fuzzy little caterpillar.

The first of probably 20 or so chipmunks I saw on my way up the hike.

This is the view from the back of the canyon that is the second of five legs of the hike.

I caught this squirrel mid stride as he came to check me out, making it appear as if he were waving to me.

On the left, you see the chains installed to help keep you from falling off a thousand foot drop, which you can clearly see on the right.

A hiker rests as he surveys the final leg of the hike - a strenuous climb up the northwestern ridge of Angel's Landing.

The more dangerous parts of the trail have chains installed.

With nobody else up there to take my picture, and no good rocks from which to perch my camera for a timer shot, I had to settle for the "stick-your-arm-way-the-hell-out-there-and-hope-for-the-best" type of picture. Nevertheless, it felt great to be done with the climb.

The scenery up there is breathtaking. Very much worth the hike.

I took this picture with my camera's color setting on "Extra Vivid." It makes for some interesting color, but I prefer something more realistic over this option.

These chipmunks were fearless! I couldn't help but wonder if any ever fell as I watched them leap from rock to rock at the edge of a 1000+ ft. drop.

More of the amazing scenery from Angel's Landing.

A shot of the valley - and a smaller sandstone spire adjacent to Angel's Landing - below.

This part of the hike is easily the most difficult for those who fear heights. On either side of me was certain death had I fallen.

More chains.

This series of switchbacks on the backside of the saddle is known as "Walter's Wiggles." Anyone who has "wiggled" up them probably hates Walter as much as I do.

I was hoping the clouds would clear enough to allow this to happen. You can imagine my joy when I came out of the canyon and saw that the sun was finally painting the top of the valley. :)

On the way back to the car, there was a doe with two fawns meandering on the hillside just next to the main road.

They were adorable!

The doe had substantial scarring on her right shoulder and above her right eye. It looked like she had been hit by a car sometime in the past. She seemed to walk normally, though - with the easy, cautious gait typical of deer in the area. (The car you see in this picture is parked.)

This fawn gave one final peek over the rock before heading up the hillside with the doe and the other fawn.

On my way home a brewing storm created an excellent sunset.

This caused me to pull to the side of the road multiple times for pictures. Well worth the stop, though.



  1. your pictures are too good. marry me.

  2. wow!, some of your best work!
    The does are darlingly doe-y!
    The pic looking down the abyss on either side of the narrow ridge is terrifying! I was afraid of the heights even on the screen!
    That sunset was equally magnificent from g-ma's back yard!

  3. The picture of the sun painting the top of the valley was so amazing...what a fantastic shot Barry!!! Excellent...and the last shot of the sunset lighting up the brewing storm clouds was close to ethereal! I do love your camera work! Mama Vezzani is glad you got to go!

  4. Excellent pictures. Do you ever print out these suckers and frame em? You should...