Zion National Park, UT
Straight to the Top
Watchman Peak, copyright
Zion National Park
Experienced hikers can thank the Virgin River for carving out Zion's canyon walls more than 13 million years ago. Those towering cliffs now provide the perfect terrain for scaling the park's many peaks, all of which offer dizzying views of the valley below.
One of Zion's most popular hikes is Angel's Landing. You'll hear a lot about this so-called scary trek during your stay here. But don't let that stop you from trying it. Only the last half-mile is a corker. Mostly, the trail is a steep but scenic climb on wide concrete paths to Scouts Landing, with 21 switchbacks along the way named Walter's Wiggles, after a former park superintendent.
Wait at Scout's Landing, if you're prone to vertigo, while the rest of your group goes on to the 6,000-foot summit. That last half-mile gets very narrow, and there are steep drop-offs on either -- or both -- sides (chains are provided).
Exposed sandstone along the
copyright Zion National Park