Do If You Dare: 5 Reasons Why You Should Hike Angels Landing

Not for the faint of heart...but totally worth it.

By: Hillary + Matt + Save to a List

Some of the most adrenaline-fueled adventures require you to simply put one foot in front of the other. While that may seem like a piece of cake (I mean, you have been doing that since you were, what, two?), some hikes can turn into a flirtation with death if you’re not careful.

At Angels Landing, one of the premier hikes in Zion National Park, you’re battling exposure, altitude and some pretty steep drop-offs. There are narrow walkways, metal chains to grab onto, and some unstable ground. This hike has been known to turn deadly at times, but don't let that scare you away - it's totally doable if you're in decent shape and love a good thrill.

Think you’ve got what it takes to hike one of the world’s most dangerous hikes? Read on for a list of our top 5 reasons why you should tackle this hike STAT.

Photo: Hillary + Matt

1. You’ll Catch Amazing Views.

Though it may be a short hike, we’re not gonna lie – it takes work to earn this view. Don’t let that discourage you! It’s totally worth it. Everywhere you look, there's something captivating your attention. Vermillion cliffs tower overhead, the turquoise water of the Virgin River runs in sinuous paths, miles of wrinkled peaks rise and fall in the distance. We’re going to go out on a limb here and say it’s one of the best views in Southern Utah.

2. It Takes Cojones.

This hike isn’t considered one of the nation’s most dangerous hikes for no reason. If the lack of guardrails and butterfly-inducing drop-offs aren’t enough of a tip-off, we wouldn’t recommend attempting this hike if you’re faint of heart or seriously afraid of heights.

3. It’s Only Five (Really Tough) Miles Round Trip.

Let’s be honest here – if your idea of a workout is walking to the mailbox and back, this might not be the hike for you. Though it’s only five miles round trip, about a half-mile of the trail is a nearly straight up-and-down ascent, so you have to be in decent shape to make it to the top. But when you do, the work you put into the hike feels totally and completely gratifying. Bonus: you earned yourself a big calorie-filled meal afterwards.

Photo: Hillary + Matt

4. There’s a Camaraderie Among Hikers.

If you typically cruise on the trail, then waiting behind others can get to be a bit annoying. But pushing past them on parts of this trail can be downright dangerous - it could cost someone their life. Luckily, most hikers you’ll find on the trail are friendly, helpful, and willing to wait their turn, especially at the narrow parts. Once you reach the top, you’ll find that you’ve joined a kind of brotherhood and will start swapping stories with other hikers about your ascent. Insider tip: to avoid the crowds, take the first shuttle of the day from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. Not only will you have the freedom to move as fast or as slow as you please, but you’ll usually be able to catch sunrise from the summit.

5. You’ll Have Some Pretty Rad Stories (+ Bragging Rights).

The most compelling reason to take on this hike is probably that it’s just too darn fun not to. How many places in the world can you spot a peregrine falcon (they were nearly extinct once)? Or how about finishing a trail you know so many people are too afraid to even attempt? Not only will your friends and family think you’re a total badass for completing this hike, but that little voice inside your head will, too.

Photo: Hillary + Matt

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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