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Angel’s Landing is the name for a prominent rock formation and also the most renowned hike in Zion National Park. It is definitely a place that is true to its reputation and if you are an avid hiker looking for adventure and great views of the park, this trail is not to be missed.
The Most Popular Hike in Zion National Park
Not only is this a very popular hiking trail, but it’s also filled with a topography of narrow sections and steep drop-offs. It provides some of the most stunning views you can have of the Zion Canyon and goes up to 1500 feet above the canyon floor.
It is important to note that this hike has a lot of narrow and steep sections, and is not apt for children or people with a fear of heights, only for people who seek an exciting trek yet know how to be safe!
How to Get to Angel’s Landing
If you are leaving from St George Utah:
- Follow I-15 North
- Take Exit 16 – Stay right on State Route 9 East for 33 miles
- Keep right to stay on State Route 9 East in La Verkin, Utah for 20 more miles
- Stay on State Route 9 East all the way into Zion National Park.
During the Summer
After entering the park turn right and continue for another .3 miles to the Zion National Park Visitor Center. Walk over to the Zion National Park shuttle stop and take the free shuttle to stop number 6 The Grotto.
During The Winter
Continue 1.4 miles on SR-9 to the south entrance, and then continue for another 1.5 miles. Turn left and follow the Zion Canyon Scenic Route to the Grotto shuttle stop on the right.
Where to Start Angel’s Landing Hike
Angel’s Landing is a 5-mile round-trip hike that begins at the 6th stop of the Zion Shuttle, the Grotto Trailhead, right across from the Grotto picnic area. It is very well marked and hard to miss when you get there.
What You’ll See at Angels Landing
The trail starts out relatively flat until you arrive at the first set of switchbacks. After you haves ascended this portion of the hike you will enter the scenic Refrigerator Canyon. It was named after the cool and breezy walkway that’s created by the shade from the high canyon walls. This is a great spot to stop and take a break especially during the hotter parts of the day.
Once you make it through the canyon, you’ll walk up another series of switchbacks called Walter’s Wiggles. These switchbacks are a little bit shorter and steeper. Those will take you out of the canyon and onto Scout’s Lookout, a ridge that goes along the Saddle, and provides stunning views of the canyon. This is a common turnaround point because it is where the most difficult stretch begins.
After crossing the Saddle, you will encounter Hogsback, an incredibly steep and narrow climb (chains are bolted into the mountain for safety and assistance, and you will most likely need them). This section of trail has steep drop offs on both sides which is why we do not recommend it for those with extreme fears of heights, or small children. If you can stand the heights, the views are well worth the ascent.
After finishing this treacherous stretch of trail, you are rewarded with the best view of them all – Angel’s Landing. This hike is well worth the effort and the nerves required to make it to the top. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world!
Once you are there, you can sit under the shade of hardy trees, take pictures, and just relax. You’ve earned it! You will have just climbed roughly 1,400 feet in elevation in only 2.5 miles. Hopefully this gives you a feel for the trail, but there’s no way to describe in words everything you will see and experience on this incredible hike.
Precautions for the Angel’s Landing Hike
The Angel’s Landing Hike is best suited for experienced hikers who can handle heights and have no problem with vertigo. It’s advisable that you avoid hiking through the trail after extreme winter weather, as ice will make the way too dangerous and slick. Also, you might want to avoid summer afternoons (though mornings are mild enough). Hikers are not permitted to hike during lightning storms, so keep a close watch of the weather forecast before making the trek. Here are some additional tips when taking Angel’s Landing hike.
Drinking fountains and restrooms are available at the Grotto, located at the base of the trail. Bring snacks and plenty of water (you’ll need it)! Make sure you can pack them in a backpack, because you’ll need your hands free once you get to Hogsback. It’s also important to bring good shoes and sunscreen to be protected from the elements, and be sure you are comfortable hiking before you attempt this hike. Don’t let the distance fool you because this hike will definitely give you a run for your money.
People come from all over the world to see Zion National Park, and Angel’s Landing is just one of the many reasons why. So dust off your hiking shoes and head out for a few training hikes to prepare for the best trail Zions has to offer. Don’t forget your camera, you’ll quickly see how this spot earned its name.