Zion hints to the vision of a promised land. And this meant for the Mormons who arrived here after the exhausting march of Brigham Young and the members of Church of Latter Day Saints fleeing persecution in Illinois, first in the Salt Lake Valley and further in south-eastern part of Utah. Zion represented for them the promised land, the place of peace and understanding where they can live happily and prosper. And not surprising the name of the park was coined by one of the first settlers, Isaac Behunin, who had a cabin around the area.
The area became a National Monument in the beginning of the 20th century and renamed as Zion National Park latter on.
The peaks surrounding the canyon are most spectacular, inviting for exploration.
Angel’s Landing is one of them, becoming somehow the most popular hike in the park. It stands so singular and tall inside the canyon that it was assumed that only angels can land on its top.
Its popularity increased substantially since I last climbed it, when I was surrounded by just a dozen people. When we went today for the climb, the access road to the peak was mobbed and the entire route all the way to the top looked like a busy boulevard absolutely packed with people. Its first part, named Walters Wiggles, is a set of switchbacks that lead to the last half mile hike that is eased by the chains nailed to the mountain. It is rated as a difficult hike, for experienced climbers, but the reality is far from it: in many places in the world this would be considered a regular hike where you have just to pay attention. But considering the number of people and especially kids who try to climb it and gave up on the way, as we noticed, maybe its dangerous flag is a good caution. The view from the top where the angel landed is spectacular but just be careful when you go down….