Through this article you will learn things to know before doing Angels Landing hike in Zion National Park.
Angels Landing, located in Zion National Park, is one of the scariest yet most exciting trails in the United States. This unforgettable adventure hike should be on everyone’s bucket list. The reward of a 360-degree view of Zion Canyon’s rock layers will take your breath away. Your legs will be burning and shaking from the hike and the excitement… but the view will be unforgettable!
It was our second day when we hiked Angels Landing. It was sunny, clear, and a perfect day to hike. We knew Angels Landing was a strenuous hike, but we didn’t know what to expect along the way. It was a surprise to experience how exciting and scary the trail was. We actually saw a lot of people who didn’t make it to the end of Angels Landing.
You are probably wondering whether you should hike Angels Landing if you are actually capable of such a strenuous hike… We totally understand you. My husband and I were intimidated by climbing up the hills, but trust us! The view was so worth it. We hope you will make it to the end, and this guide will give you everything you need to know before hiking Angels Landing.
Starting from Grotto Picnic Area, you will hike through West Rim Trail for about 2 miles. Although it is a steady and paved trail, you will go through quite a strenuous and steep uphill trail to enter the cool and shady depths of Refrigerator Canyon. Since this is the only shady area of the hike, it is a good place to cool off and catch your breath. Once you are done with a short hike of Refrigerator Canyon, you will encounter Walter’s Wiggles. Walter’s Wiggles, a series of 21 closely spaced switchbacks, will lead you to Scouts Lookout and a trail junction. Scout Lookout has an amazing view, so take a rest and snap some photos! Once you are ready, you can continue 0.5 mile to the summit of Angels Landing.
Angels Landing is in Zion National Park, Utah. Zion National Park is Utah’s First National Park, and Angels Landing is the most popular trail in Zion National Park. We got a shuttle early in the morning to avoid the crowds, but almost everyone in the shuttle was heading to the same place. Yup, everyone was on the way to Angels Landing.
Since private vehicles are usually prohibited around Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, the best way to access to Angels Landing is to get a shuttle! We took a shuttle from the National Park Visitor Center. You will get off at the Grotto (Stop 6). The trailhead is at the bridge across from the Grotto Picnic Area. You’ll have to walk through the bridge across the Virgin River to begin.
Note for winter season (DECEMBER – FEBRUARY):
The shuttles do not run in winter, so make sure you park at the Grotto parking lot.
The highlight of the hike is definitely the VIEW!!! The final part of the hike (about 0.5 mile) is nothing but exciting! You will be climbing up the narrow spine of the canyon, which is nearly 6,000 feet. Although this final trail is challenging, lots of chains provide more security for hiking. Once you made it to the top, you will be rewarded with a 360-degree view of Zion National Park. The experience and the feeling you get there are just something you will remember forever. It still gives me goose bumps thinking about the experience!
Angels Landing is open every season. However, do NOT hike if the trail is covered by snow or ice. You also want to avoid hiking if thunderstorms threaten. For more, check out the Current Conditions.
No, permit is not required to hike Angels Landing. However, it could change due to the popularity of the hike. Make sure you check the official National Park website. Currently permissions are required for only the Narrows (Top Down) and the Subway.
The best time of year to hike Angels Landing is in spring and fall. Although summer months are the most popular season of the year, we personally want to avoid it because it gets crowded, and afternoons can get very hot. We went there in the beginning of September, and we had pleasant temperatures while hiking. We recommend you avoid winter season since it can get dangerous due to rain, snow, and ice on the trail. No matter which season you decide to go, make sure you check the weather forecast and the current conditions at the Visitor Center.
The trail will be about 5 miles round trip, and the hike usually takes between 4 and 6 hours. While walking the first 2 miles, it offers you an outstanding view of a rich collection of canyons, a shining river, and tall green landscapes. For the final 1/2 mile, the trail allows for unlimited views of Zion Canyon in both directions. Although this is where things get intimidating as the trail becomes narrow and steep, you will be rewarded with magnificent views.
For the first two miles, it can be physically challenging since there are only few shady places and 21 very steep switchbacks. Whenever you are tired, make sure you stop and drink water! Bringing plenty of water is a must for Angels Landing. Once you accomplish the 21 switchbacks, you will be awarded with an amazing view at Scout Lookout.
After the Scout Lookout, it will be mentally challenging since you will be walking on the narrow spine of the cliff and sheer drop-offs. There are plenty of chains bolted into the cliff, and it will make you feel more secure. The last 0.5 mile hike can be quite intimidating, but the view will be so worth it!
Since 2004, eight people have fallen to their deaths on this hike, according to National Park Service. It is a strenuous and dangerous hike, so you have to be extremely mindful to hike Angels Landing. If you have a fear of heights, you should not hike Angels Landing. Maybe you could hike up to the Scout Lookout, which also has magnificent views. Also young children are not recommended for the hike. Take this hike seriously and be careful!
Have you already done Angels Landing Hikes? Or are you planning to hike Angels Landing? If so, I hope you find this article helpful and enjoy hiking the exhilarating and amazing trail!
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