To many a visit to the great outdoors means a leisurely stroll through the well-worn trails of a nearby state park, perhaps entailing the odd clamber over a felled tree or rogue boulder before taking a well-deserved granola bar break. And then there are these: Extreme adventures that offer intense and thrilling challenges to even the most seasoned outdoorsman, from terrain, or temperature, fauna or any combination of the three.
Angel's Landing, Zion National Park, UT
Perhaps the most famous excursion through the brutal, otherworldly red rock landscape of Utah's Zion National Park, Angel's Landing is also undoubtedly its most hair-raising. The two and a half mile trail leading to Angel is pleasant enough for nearly any level of hiker, with sections that are even paved. It's after you've surmounted Walter's Wiggles – a series of 21 switchbacks – and then Scout Lookout when you've reached the last turnaround point. From then for the final half mile it's a tight squeeze through carved rock, steep and narrow ridges and points only accessible with the help of support chains that are bolted to the rock walls. Make it through and you'll be rewarded with a majestic view from nearly 6,000 feet.
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