Hike to Angels Landing
Utah › Angels Landing
Added by Kristina Zhylenkova
- Tackle one of the most famous trails in the National Park System
- Unbelievable views of Zion from the top
- 5-miles round trip
- Elevation gain: 1500 feet
- Duration: 3-6 hours
Assuming you’re not afraid of heights, this is one of those hikes that you’ll brag to your friends about…and deservedly so. It’s one of the most famous trails in the National Park System and definitely one of the two popular trails in Zion National Park. This 5-mile round trip hike is widely considered one of the coolest hikes in the US and near the top of most serious hikers’ wishlists.
The first 2-miles of this hike take you from the canyon floor and zigzag up the sides of the canyon’s steep cliffs. This section of the trail is steep but relatively tame, as it’s paved, very well maintained, and leads you to a prominent overlook at Scout’s Lookout. The last half-mile of this hike is a completely different story.
Reaching Angel’s Landing is nothing but exhilarating. You need to navigate your way up steep, narrow cliffs, which require chains that have been bolted into the rock faces. This is not for the timid, and is legitimately dangerous. If you are not in good shape, feel a little uneasy, or have a small child, this section of the trail is NOT for you. If you decide to go for it, your reward for making it to the top is amazing views and bragging rights.
Even if you decide not to tackle that harrowing last half mile, the views from Scout’s Lookout are phenomenal and still worth the hike.
During peak season, take the shuttle from the visitor center and get off near the lodge at the Grotto Trailhead. I recommend getting there early – as the trail gets crowded in the afternoons and can get congested.
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Crowds definitely inhibit enjoyment
We went on a Saturday in October 2016. We thought it would be off season but were unaware that Utah schools have a "Fall Break" and they were out in droves all over southern Utah that whole week! That caused Angel's Landing to be far more crowded than we expected. I'm so very glad I did it, it was terrifying and exhilarating and devastatingly crowded with non-hikers who didn't really know how to behave. I would dearly love to do it again, but having done it once, on my second try if it was this crowded I would choose a different hike. I passed on Scout's Landing and went to the top, but I suspect the views from Scout's were *almost* as good without all the new gray hairs I came home with.
This is an absolute must-do for any trip to Zion, and it's worth taking a trip to Zion just for this hike. The climb up the canyon wall is a beast, but the trail itself is incredible in that there are stairs carved into the sandstone walls! And Angel's Landing itself is unlike any other summit you'll find on a hike - the views are beyond spectacular, and the drop is more than enough to get your heart racing. In winter, be sure to bring microspikes for traction, as a lot of the trail ices over - and even with microspikes, I'd think twice (or three times) about stepping onto the landing if there's any ice present.
Talk about an experience. This hike will get your hear pumping that's for sure, both because of the elevation and because of the drop offs. You may be fine with heights but this hike will get your heart pumping a bit, especially when you have 1000 foot drop offs on both sides. Once you get to the top though, jaw dropping. Go early as getting down is the harder part and it usually gets a bunch of traffic later in the day.
One of the most amazing hikes I've been on!
Of all the hikes I have taken in the United States this is definitely in the top 10. It is a difficult trail but by far the most rewarding especially for only a 2.5 mile hike one way! You gain a lot of elevation so give yourself plenty of time before sunset because you don't want to attempt this hike in the dusk/dark. Great post Kristina!
If You Can Only Do One Hike In Zion This Is It
It took me 3 attempts to finally make it to the top of Angels Landing -- because I'm terrified of hikes! The hike is still worth it even if you skip the final chain portion -- a great workout and amazing views. It has unfortunately been getting extremely popular and crowded as of late.
Get An Early Start!
One of my favorite hikes I have ever done in my life, that being said the trail is very narrow up top, and difficult to maneuver with huge crowds. I went in March, coming down was awful do to the amount of people going up. GO EARLY
Amazing but go early!!
I just did Angels Landing a few days ago. We got on the first bus (7am) from the Zion Visitors Center. We were the first few people on the hike and it was awesome. The 21 switchbacks are no joke but it's so worth it. While hiking along the ridge, pay attention and get ready for a bit of fancy footwork. There is plenty of space to comfortably get to the top but once more people show up it gets a bit hectic. Once at the top soak in the glory of this panoramic view!
Crowds crowds crowds
I did it to get it off my bucketlist. Its well worth it for the experience, however, i am not one for crowds. It was more like visiting a shopping mall than taking a hike. Yet, the people watching is quite hilarious.
Best hike in Zion
The exposure is awesome and it makes for a great adventure. I take anyone visiting the area here. It can get crowded especially on weekends and during other peak times. If you are afraid of heights you might not make it.
Overly Crowded Bummer
After reading other reviews and talking to some locals, I was so excited for this hike. Unfortunately, the crowds were just RIDICULOUS, and I went during April which is not a peak time. The views were spectacular, but in my opinion not worth it for the amount of people you share it with. There are so many other hikes with spectacular views that you have all to yourself. The number one issue I had with this was the number of people literally pushing past others. The last .5 miles of the hike is pretty narrow and steep, and you have drop offs on each side. It's plenty wide enough to hike through, but when you have inexperienced "hikers" (I'm using that term loosely here) pushing their way through, it gets a little uneasy. I wish I could've enjoyed this hike more, but the crowds ruined it.
This is an amazing hike... and probably the most dangerous one I have ever hiked. It offers gorgeous views of Zion National Park. Only downside is that it can become crowded from the sheer number of people trying to complete a difficult trail. The last portion out to the landing will take the longest because of this, depending on what time of year you go.
Rewarding Hike, For Sure!
Prepare for the exhausting switchbacks to the top, and the steep cliffs. Probably my scariest hike to date! I highly recommend shoes with good traction. If only I had worn good shoes, I think I would feel less afraid.
Probably the craziest hike I have done to date. Views are gorgeous and the exposure will give you chills. Not as scary as everyone makes it out to be, but still gets you a little nervous. Pretty easy overall hike. The only drawback is the crowds.
Best Hike I've Done
Did this hike on a cross country road and was easily my favorite hike. The views are amazing at the top. Pictures make it look a lot scarier than it really was, but the chains really make you feel safe. Hope to do it again some day.
Angels on the Landing
Kristina suggesting this is an intermediate skilled hike is fairly accurate. Those of you who are avid hikers, or even those in good shape, will most likely find it to be an easy and quick climb. The final 0.5 mi. is the only reason I won't disagree with her classification of the trail. I've hiked Angels Landing over a dozen times and never tire of what the trail offers in the final stretch, once past the switchbacks to the summit. The views of the park are utterly astounding, and for the limited effort there is no other hike in the park that will reward you as much as this one. The only caveat to my review is that I ONLY visit the park in off-season. Certainly my review would differ if my experiences happened to be based off visiting in the summer months. My reason for saying that has to do with several factors. Crowds for starters don't make for nice hiking. To then factor in large crowds of unexperienced hikers biting off more than they can chew, not only creates a bottleneck in the final 0.5 mi. stretch but more importantly a recipe for disaster. 3 - 6 Hours is a long time to allocate to the trail. Typically, with roughly 20 minutes up top, we complete the trail in just over 2 hours. Wife included. If you've never been fortunate enough to hike this trail and visiting the park, put it on your ABSOLUTE, DO NOT MISS list.
Add a little scare to your winter
I've only hiked this during the winter. One year it had fresh snow and a lot of ice, which made it far more enjoyable to admire than climb the final ascent; the other it was clear. I highly recommend gloves for the cold chains. Also, when you get to the top it can get very windy. In the winter that makes it a bit unpleasant. Overall, though, a blast of an adventure. Not particularly scary like I thought it would be if there isn't any ice. It's a routine stop every time I go to Zion.
Go for Sunset
A lot of the reviews suggest heading out early in the morning, I would also suggest starting the hike a couple of hours before sunset for avoiding crowds. The temperature was extremely comfortable and watching the sunset from the top was something I will never forget. After sunset there was still enough light to get down the scary part before it was completely dark. The rest of the hike was easily finished with headlamps. The best part of it- we only saw five other people on the trail the entire time. Absolutely one of my favorite experiences!
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