My husband and I only have 8 hours in Zion (our 1st and possibly only time there) on July 7th before the start of a family reunion in Cedar City that night. I'm 50, 40 lbs. overweight and only in fair shape despite going to the gym a few times a week but would like to attempt the Angel's Landing hike as soon as we get to the park, arriving by 8:30 am. How much water should I pack for the hike (I'll be hauling it in bottles and am concerned about the extra weight)? How much time RT should we allott with I'm assuming a need for frequent rest stops on Walter's Wiggles--to go as far as Scout's Landing; to go all the way to Angel's Landing? After Angel's Landing I was thinking it might be nice to take the easy riverside walk to the mouth of the Narrows and walk up them a bit. Would we have much time to do so in our limited time period? I can borrow a walking stick from someone but am wondering what to do with it on Angel's Landing or if most people would be honest and not steal it if I just left it behind at Scout's Landing. Also, if I do both, would it be best to wear hiking boots to Angel's Landing and carry shoes I don't mind getting wet (again, extra weight) for the Narrows? I'm losing sleep over these decisions. If you have answers to the above ?s or suggestions for a better way to schedule our day, I'd love to hear them.
In 8 hours you will only be able to do one of these hikes. July in Zion is very busy and you have to use the shuttle to get to both trailheads which also consumes lots of time. Obviously The Narrows is easier with more people but the path to the beginning of it is paved and you can go as far as you like up the canyon.
Angel's Landing is also paved except for the last bit but is very steep. The last part out to the point is very narrow and you will have to hold onto chains at certain parts to maintain balance. The NPS says 4 hours as an average time round trip for Angel's Landing but if you have to stop a lot it will definitely be longer. So it really is your choice about which you want to do more.
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My husband, overweight, out of shape, bad knees, took 8 hours to climb and descend all the way to Angel's Landing. He did not have enough water (obviously not expecting to go all the way nor take that long), but thankfully people were willing to share.
People do leave things at Scout's landing, but I'm not sure a walking stick would be safe, that is just a little too easy and too generic. You might be able to find somewhere to stash it off the beaten path, up the West Rim trail, in some bushes, behind the outhouses or something. Plus maybe a little note saying please don't take this, I will be back for it and the date? So if some one sees it they will not assume it has been abandoned.
I hope you have some way to carry your waterbottles besides in your hands. If you are planning to go to Angel's Landing you will need your hands on that last stretch. Do you have a pack or something you will be putting them in? I'd take 2 liters each at least on a hot day.
It would be best if you could wear shoes compatible for both hikes. Some decent shoes for Angel's Landing that you wouldn't mind getting wet in the river.
I understand about the stress on such seemingly little things that could make or break the trip. Hopefully you will be able to figure it out, and enjoy the park and canyon. Cause that really is what Zions is all about, getting rid of your stress :-)
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