Hike Angels Landing, Zion NP

Zion Canyon Visitor Center - Search Nearby - Added by Jason Hatfield

Hike up a steep and challenging trail to one of the most incredible vistas in the world!

Angels Landing has long been one of my favorite national parks hikes.  The hike is thrilling, extremely photogenic, and appeals to those who enjoy exchanging leg power for views. The hike to the top isn't long, 2.7 miles, but you'll definitely feel the 1500 feet of gain! The trail features a mostly paved surface (to protect from erosion and high use), steep switch backs, a cool canyon, rock scrambling, safety chains, and plenty of long drop-offs.

This extremely popular hike starts at The Grotto Trailhead where it crosses the Virgin River along the West Rim Trail. Due to the every increasing popularity of the park you'll need to park at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center and ride the free shuttle most of the year; the dwindling off-season allows for parking at the TH for a couple months in the winter, excluding holidays. Arrive early or late to avoid most of the crowds but be prepared for bottlenecking on the trail during peak season (May-Nov).

The first 2+ miles of the trail follow the canyon floor and switchback up the cliff walls. This portion of the hike is mostly on paved trail and brings you through the aptly named Refrigerator Canyon, a welcome respite on hot summer days. You'll also encounter Walter's Wiggles, a fun section of 21 tight switchbacks. It's incredible to see the 1930's CCC engineering that carved a path up through this almost unyielding landscape.

Once you reach Scout's Overlook the real fun starts, the last half mile of the trail follows a narrow sandstone ridge to the summit of Angels Landing. Many people choose to stop at this view once they size up the remaining "hike".  This is my favorite part and is actually relatively easy if you're experienced and safe, but it is still very dangerous. You will need to traverse and scramble your way up steep, narrow cliffs with limited safety chains while navigating around other hikers; proper footwear really makes a difference here. You also have the obligation of being safe around others, meaning if you're not in good shape, feel sick, are afraid of heights, or have a small child, you shouldn't be on this part of the trail. If you seize up at a narrow spot on the trail you can create a hazard for everyone else on it.

Now that we have all the warnings out of place and you've made it to the top, enjoy the view and spend some time soaking it in! There's actually a fair amount of space at the top and you can even do a little exploring. When you're finished pack out any trash you find and follow the same way back, it can actually be more challenging going down so pay extra attention to your footing.

*This trail is not advised for young children or those with a fear of heights. Hiking the trail is not recommended in inclement weather such as snow, ice, or lightning, due to long drop offs and extreme exposure. People have died on this hike due to not following these recommendations.

Distance

5.4 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1488 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Photography, Running, Hiking

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Groups
Scenic

Nearby Lodging

From $199/night

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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!

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Amazing views

Angels Landing has spectacular views of Zion, but beware the growing crowds. I would suggest you either begin before 9am or in the late afternoon. The trail is continuously uphill (except for a short break before Walter’s Wiggles) and not for the faint of heart. That being said, this is a challenging and rewarding hike, which I recommend to all those physically able. Stay hydrated, be safe and have fun!

Iconographic hike, but way popular!

Trail is listed on the historic register. It's definitely stunning, but absolutely everyone is doing it. Observation Point is a great alternate, overlooks Angels and fewer crowds.

Great climb.

Great views, great trail. I would start early enough to beat the crowds.

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