During our first full day in the canyons area we decided to go to Zion national park. Since we arrived early in the morning we were able to find a parking spot next to the Visitor Center inside the park. Usually, the park gets very crowded and visitors have to find their parking spot in Springdale from where there are free shuttle buses to the park. Most time of the year the roads are closed for private cars inside the park, and visitors can use free shuttle bus service.
Our initial intention was to go to the Angels Landing hike but since it was cloudy we decided to ask in the Visitor Center if it was a good idea. We were advised against doing it because of the clouds. So instead we caught a shuttle bus and went to the last stop (Temple of Sinawava) from where we could do a Riverside Walk hike.
While driving to our stop we saw that there are some people doing Angels Landing hike and the clouds were moving away so we started rethinking our idea of skipping the hike. We started walking on a Riverside Walk but quickly turned around and went to the Angels Landing (the Grotto shuttle bus stop).
Riverside Walk hike:
Angels Landing is one of the most popular and difficult hikes in Zion national park that doesn't require any special permits (some of the hikes are lottery-based and require special equipment, like Narrows and Subway). It is 5 miles round trip hike with a steep climb and breathtaking views all the way. The last part of the hike is not for the people who are afraid of heights. You will be walking on the narrow spine of the mountain with many exposed sections from where you can see all the way down. There are chains and railways to hold on to while climbing that section. This time we decided against going all the way to the end because of the weather, slippery slopes and potential low visibility. But we did this hike several years ago and even witnessed some people getting panic attacks. If you decide to go there make sure you have good shoes and consider taking a safety leash.
Start of the hike and initial ascent:
Views from the top:
Some more pictures from the area next to the Visitor Center: