If ever you go somewhere and you find a place, a destination, a climb, a hike, ah yes a hike, named Angels Landing you must take it. You can think all you want about how “things” like streets, places, towns, events etc. get named but more times than not the name has significance and there is no random coincidence that this has happened Yes, for the contrarians, I am sure there is a “Hill Street” somewhere that is not a hill or maybe a guy named Frankie that is not Italian. But it is more common that the name represents what the “namer” thought of when they were asked to name the object, location or person. And so when given the opportunity to hike Angels Landing in Zion Canyon you have to go do it. And when you do you will know deeply in your heart why the explorer Frederick Fisher while exploring Zion in 1916, exclaimed, “Only an angel could land on it,” and thus the monolith was named Angels Landing.
And today as I worked my way up this most amazing of hikes, that I have been on in a National Park, I am struck by three thoughts, each of which has a real connection to THPL
- I am really glad that the National Park Service in 1925 was bold, brash and with high risk tolerance. They spent three years building a trail to a magical place that by all normal measures would never be done. We are so fortunate that they allowed the dream of what could be, to trump” it is dangerous” or we should not do that. Yea, baby, yea! go NPS!
- I saw a lot of people hiking to the top because it was there – they overcame their fear of heights and proceeded to traverse next to the side of truly exposed cliffs . They did this because they set a goal for themselves and they willed themselves to get it done. Remarkable, for sure
- It takes a lot of effort to get to a place like Zion and a lot of effort to hike to the top Angel’s Landing. And in the end it is worth it again and again. You cannot feel how important this moment is until you are there and have felt it yourself. THPL implores you to do stuff like this – you need no more suggestions than Angels landing – then again – inspire yourself and pick out something like it. You will be forever changed and better for it.