If you are a hiker, you have to do this amazing hike before you die.

Forget about the fact that just before you get off the bus at the Angels Landing trailhead the last words you hear over the speakers are, "People have died on this hike." It is pointed out that people with a fear of heights should not do this hike.

Yes, it's true, a handful of people have died on this hike over the years, but, the fact is, hundreds of people hike to the top of Angels Landing daily without incident, injury, or death. I am one of those people.

Zion National Park in southwestern Utah is absolutely breathtaking and worthy of a visit regardless of your age or hiking ability. However, the big draw, honestly, is Angels Landing. It's like no hike you have ever done.

It's about 5 miles round trip and 3/4 of the hike up is on a very nicely paved, continuously inclining path. It's the last 1/4 or so of the hike that will likely make this the most memorable hike of your life.

Full disclosure here, there is a good percentage of people that stop here and don't make it to the top. Reaching the summit of Angels Landing is clearly not within everyone's ability, whether it's physical restrictions or age - too old or too young.

From this point, the hike becomes a climb requiring the assistance of a solid chain to hold on to and, in some cases, pull yourself up the trail and over the rocks. To add to the challenge at this point is the fact that people are coming and going at the same time, and this stretch of the trail is narrow and often requires a single file line.

Zane Mathews

This portion of the hike was challenging at times, though I wouldn't call it necessarily difficult. While there are steep drop-offs which definitely present an element of danger(and excitement) there was never a time that I felt fearful or especially anxious. That chain was like a security blanket.

Zane Mathews

The view from the top is spectacular, (see the video above)  but for this particular excursion, it's really more about the journey than it is the destination.

The bottom line is, this was the coolest and most thrilling hike I have ever done. While there are plenty of other great hiking trails in Zion, this is the granddaddy of them all, and without question the hiking highlight of the trip,  probably the year, possibly a lifetime.