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Scramble and Climb Lady Mountain, Zion

A massively exposed and technical rock climb up Lady Mountain in Zion, Angel’s Landing on Steroids

This really isn’t a family adventure since the risk of fall is very real. Still, I’ve included it anyway. I’d take older kids but only if they are rock climbers.

This is Angel’s Landing on steroids. Lady Mountain in Zion, directly across from the main Zion Lodge, was developed as an adventure trail in the 1920’s with thousands of feet of cable and two ladders.⁠ At 6,945 feet it towers over Angel’s Landing, a lowly 5,790 feet. After several deaths and many rescues, the cables and ladders of Lady Mountain were removed in the 60s, but all the carved steps remain – thousands of them. It is all reasonable (though massively exposed) for someone that can scramble up rocks and balance on small steps – except for two places.⁠


Where the two ladders were it is real climbing – like with ropes. The park service rates the moves as 5.7 but they are probably more like 5.5 or 5.6. But still very real and dangerous. We didn’t have our climbing gear with us but we’ve free-soloed in that range before so we climbed it unprotected. I would not recommend that at all unless you know what you are doing and have free-soloed up to 5.7 before. They are awkward moves too – I did not enjoy that section.⁠ A fall on the first section would be quite serious. A fall on the second section you’d probably just break a leg or two, but not too serious (I’m kidding, they are both serious).

The crux of the first obstacle. Yep a ladder would be good here.

⁠ If you like moving across stone Lady Mountain is terrific fun and of course very quiet as compared to Angel’ Landing just up the road. We absolutely loved it.⁠ There are a few balancy moves on small steps, and there are a few class 4 sections (you fall, you die) but mostly it’s class 3 (scary but not very dangerous).

Typical fun scrambling

The route finding was fun. These days no one would paint big arrows on the rock, but then they did and you can still see them. Yellow at times, red at times, brown at times. If you go a ways without seeing an arrow, stop and backtrack until you are back on course. Usually it is obvious but not always.

Look for the yellow arrows. There are two of them.
Looking down at Zion Lodge
There’s even a cool sundial / landmark thing that may be 75 years old or more!

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