Angels Landing was a hike that I first heard about for all the wrong reasons.  If you're familiar with Angels Landing in Zion National Park then you probably know what I'm talking about it.  Angels Landing has a reputation of being a dangerous hike that results in deaths from time to time.  Many of the deaths come from tragic accidents when people have slipped off the edge while crossing through exposed areas where it is necessary to hold onto cables.  As it is a hike that is known for deaths and has cables, it is very similar to the Half Dome hike in Yosemite National Park in some respects.  We hiked Angels Landing one afternoon after we had arrived in Zion National Park and set up camp.  To reach the starting point, we took the free Zion shuttle bus to the stop at The Grotto and got off there.  We then enjoyed a nice level hike for a while next to the Virgin River, where we saw deer wading through and people swimming.  Soon, the hike got a lot steeper and we had to climb switchbacks which were blasted into the rock many years ago.  The views got better and better the whole way up and the heat got more intense also in the July afternoon.  Once we reached the top of this section, we passed through a pretty place called Refrigerator Canyon, which offered some much needed shade from the heat.  But the steepness soon returned, as we had to climb some colorful zigzags known as Walter's Wiggles.  Scout's Lookout was just beyond and that was where Alesya stopped for the day.  Scout's Lookout has some spectacular views as it is, so it is a good stopping point for those who don't want to deal with deadly exposure.  Daria and I pressed on, as we were used to dealing with bypasses with exposure in Death Valley.  Still, it was very intimidating, especially since I had read the sad accounts of some of the deaths before leaving from home for the trip.  One writer that I came across even raised the question: "Is Angels Landing perhaps Utah's single most dangerous hiking trail?  The long list of fatalities there says it might be."  But Daria and I made it safely through and to the top.  There were truly outstanding views of Zion Canyon in both directions from the top.  And we both really enjoyed the hike, which was the first of three hikes we had scheduled for our first trip to Zion National Park.
Panoramic of Zion Canyon looking towards entrance
Panoramic of Zion Canyon looking towards narrows
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View of Angels Landing from the spot where you get off the shuttle bus at The Grotto:
A warning sign telling visitors that 6 people have died on the Angels Landing hike since 2004.  So it sounds like there is 1 fatality per year on average:
Alesya took this picture of the deer crossing the Virgin River:
The Virgin river flows through Zion Canyon:
Daria and Alesya crossing the bridge over the river near the start of the hike:
Three views of the mighty summit of Angels Landing.  We were told that Angels Landing received its name because one of the persons who first found it thought that it was impossible for a man to summit and only an angel could land on it:
In the next two pictures we need to get from here to there.  From where we are standing to the high point in the middle.  If you look closely you can see a trail blasted into the rock:
Looking up at the Angels Landing peak from far below:
Alesya took a couple of pictures looking out at the pretty greenery in this part of Zion Canyon:
Looking down at hikers working their way up the steep switchbacks:
A picture of Daria as a nice overview of Zion Canyon comes into view:
Here you can see the trail as it follows the base of a massive cliff back to where we started:
Two views of the trail as it crosses through a part with some exposure.  But this is the easy part:
We are even higher now.  We had to take it slow on this hot summer day:
Finally reaching the refreshing shade of Refrigerator Canyon:
The trail levels off through this somewhat narrow canyon:
Brick wall construction along the trail from many years ago:
A nice view taken by Alesya looking up the walls of Refrigerator Canyon:
Looking back down the canyon we had just passed through.  Narrow and high walls:
The next three pictures all show the view looking up at Walter's Wiggles, which are a series of zigzagging switchbacks:
Finally, a view of our final destination at the top of Angels Landing:
Earlier, we could see the other side of the Angels Landing cliff face.  Now this side, with its pretty red and black colors:
Arriving at Scout's Lookout and walking up to the railing to see the view:
This is looking down at the winding Virgin River as it wraps around Angels Landing:
Looking towards the eastern high country of Zion:
While Daria and Steve left to finish the hike, Alesya stayed behind and made a new friend:
Yet another warning sign talking about the deadly exposure just ahead:
Beginning of the cables section of the hike:
Steve with the summit of Angels Landing in the background:
Here you can see how there is frightening cliff exposure on both sides of the trail leading up.  And the trail doesn't stay in the middle.  It usually passes close to one side or the other:
Looking back out towards the mouth of Zion Canyon:
And now in the other direction towards the north:
Two pictures of Steve and Daria on the cables.  We decided not to take any pictures of the scary parts because we wanted to focus on staying safe as we passed through them:
We had a rare sighting of a condor as it circled above us near the top:
Final path to the summit and a successful hike:
View to the south from the summit of Angels Landing:
A picture of Daria and Steve from this spot:
And a picture to the north looking towards the Zion Narrows:
That is a shuttle bus stop far below us:
Steve reaching the summit of Angels Landing and then sending this picture message home to family members from the top:
Check out the sheer cliff faces which were all around us:
Panoramic looking to the south towards the mouth of Zion Canyon and the park entrance (click to enlarge):
Breathtaking panoramic looking to the north towards the famous Zion Narrows (click to enlarge):
Notice the black streaks splashing their color on top of the red rock:
Daria stopping at a pretty spot on the way back down:
Alesya snapped this picture of Daria and Steve as they emerged from the cables section unharmed:
Those same black streaks we saw earlier, but now seen from below:
One final picture as we headed down through the last section and returned to the shuttle stop: