Angels Landing

| December 22, 2013 | Reply

When most people think of Zion National Park they think of 2 hikes, Angels landing and the Narrows. Both of these hikes offer amazing views of scenery that is indescribable. Angels Landing starts at the canyon floor and works its way up almost 1500 feet in just a couple of miles.

This hike is paved but steep and fairly strenuous for most hikers. This hike is  not recommended for small children or people afraid of heights. The hike is almost completely in full sun so make sure you have plenty of water and good sun protection.

During the peak season you will need to take the shuttle to the Grotto stop (6th stop) and from here walk across the road and over the bridge to the trailhead for Angels Landing (also the trailhead for West Rim). Here is where your adventure begins.


trail starts off fairly flat as you head towards Angels Landing (right in front of you) near the Virgin River. Take time to enjoy the calm before the storm!


As you get closer to Angels Landing you will start off with some long switch backs. For many of my friends who struggle with hiking I suggest they make small goals like not stopping until they reach the end of a switchback. It seems to work fairly well and keeps people at a decent pace.


Once you reach the end of the first switchbacks take a moment and look at the canyon below. If you are a canyoneer here is where you start lower Refrigerator Canyon.


The next small section is pretty flat until you reach Walter’s Wiggles.


Walters Wiggles is an intense section of short switchbacks that get you to Scout Lookout.


Scout Lookout is 2.1 miles from the trailhead and 1,070 feet up. If you are afraid of heights or don’t feel comfortable making the 400 foot climb with the assist of fixed chain railings here is where you will want to stop, take a break, and head back down. There are also outhouse style restrooms if you need them.


The next 400 feet take place in 0.4 of a mile and requires the use of chains and an extremely narrow trail usually only wide enough for 1 direction at a time. Make sure to have good shoes and be sturdy on your feet otherwise you will face dire consequences. Once you reach the top of Angels Landing you can see 360 degrees for miles. Enjoy the cool breeze and take some pictures of your great accomplishment!




During the peak season you will need to take the shuttle to the Grotto stop, during the off season you can drive to the Grotto stop and there is usually spots for around 20 cars. Even in the off season the parking lot fills up quickly so get there early if you want a spot.

Quick Stats:

Time: 2.5-4 hours
4.8 miles r/t
Elevation Gain: +1500 feet
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous


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Category: Hikes

About the Author ()

Michael Sproul currently lives in Utah. He grew up in St. George, Utah only moments from Zion National Park. He loves sharing his experiences and helping others enjoy Zion as much as he does. He currently writes for The Carefree Traveler and My Life Outdoors.

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