Article •  Zion National Park, Utah, USA, North America

All You Need To Know About Hiking Angels Landing In Zion National Park

Last Updated On: June 4, 2021


Difficulty: Strenuous, steep with exposure to long drop-offs

Length: 5.4-Miles Out & Back Hike

Best time: Sunrise and Sunset

Open: All Year Around

Angels Landing is one of the most iconic hikes in Zion National Park. The trail is known for its drastic elevation gain and intense hike along a narrow ridge that leads out into the Zion Canyon providing breathtaking views of the valley below.

Some areas of the last 0.5-mile stretch are equipped with chains for hikers to hold on to and pull themselves up, as there is not much separating them from the sheer drop-offs. However, I have to say that reading this may sound scarier than it actually is.

Before I go into sharing our experience hiking the 5.4-mile round trip hike to Angels Landing, I would like to say, that it isn’t as hard as many blog posts make it out to be. I used to be pretty intimidated by the hike after reading up on it, but let me assure you that if you are fairly active and not deadly afraid of heights, then this hike is totally doable and you should give it a try.

With that said, there is no shame in turning around if the heights scare you more than you thought they would. In fact, many only hike to the Scout Overlook, a 4-mile hike that ends just before the last 0.5 mile stretch along the ridge that leads to Angels Landing.

In this blog post we are sharing our whole experience of hiking to the very top of Angels Landing located in the iconic Zion National Park in Utah. This article is accompanied by real life videos and enticing images to really give you an idea of what to expect. Scroll down to read more about the epic hike to the top of Angels Landing.

All You Need To Know About Hiking Angels Landing In Zion | Bare Escape

The hike to the Angels Landing begins at the Grotto Picnic Area. This is also the name of the Shuttle Stop where you will have to get off, stop #6 on the Zion Canyon Shuttle Bus. I recommend using the bathroom before you start your hike, the next bathrooms aren’t until the Scout Overlook.

Quick Facts About Angels Landing

  • 5.4-Miles Out & Back Hike
  • Open All Year Around
  • Stop #6 On The Zion Canyon Shuttle (from March to November you have to take the shuttle to reach the trailhead)
  • No Permit Required
  • Not for those afraid of heights

To avoid missing your chance to experience one of the most amazing hikes in Zion National Park, we recommend getting to the Visitor Center no later than 5:30 am during the peak/summer season. Parking at the Visitor Center is limited so you want to make sure you get there in time to snatch a parking spot as well as be near the front of the line for the shuttle.

The first shuttle begins operating at 6:00 am starting at the visitor center until 3:00 pm.

We woke up at 4:30 am to assure a parking spot at the Visitor Center with no regrets. Once we got to the shuttle bus line at 5:30 am we were already behind a big group of eager adventurers, but still caught the second shuttle. Then when we got to the trailhead, we had to wait a few minutes in line to start the hike, so I can’t stress waking up early to avoid standing in line all day.

Click here for more information about catching the shuttle bus in Zion National Park.

The Angels Landing hike starts at a footbridge crossing over the Virgin River. If you look up you can already spot the impressive Angels Landing from the trailhead. Since we started our hike early in the morning we watched as the sun touch the very top of its peak. Follow the paved trail upstream until you reach the first switchback of the hike. Winding steadily up along the side of an impressive red rock formation, the switchbacks provide stunning vantage points of the valley below.

Be aware that the majority of the hike does not provide any shade, so bring enough water, put on sunscreen, and make sure to take advantage of the next part of the hike, leading through the so-called Refrigerator Canyon. Like the name already suggests, this is going to be the coolest and most shaded part of the trail. The rest of the way you will be exposed to the sun.

After passing through the Refridgerator Canyon you will reach Walter’s Wiggles, the last challenging section before reaching Scout Lookout. Here at Scout Lookout, enjoy sweeping views of the Zion Canyon. But the best views are yet to come atop Angels Landing. You are just about there. Only 0.5-miles to go!

All You Need To Know About Hiking Angels Landing In Zion | Bare Escape
All You Need To Know About Hiking Angels Landing In Zion | Bare Escape
Views from the Scout Lookout along the hike to Angels Landing at Zion National Park Utah
All You Need To Know About Hiking Angels Landing In Zion | Bare Escape
Breathtaking views from Scout Lookout along the hike to Angels Landing in Zion National Park Utah

The last stretch between Scout Lookout and Angels Landing may take an additional one or two hours depending on how much time you spend at the top. This is the most strenuous section of the hike but was our personal favorite. Be prepared to scramble up a narrow ridge holding onto the metal chains attached to the rocks all the way to the top.

Tips for hiking the Angels Landing in Zion National Park:

  • Get up early to catch the first shuttle (6:00 am) to avoid standing in line. Be aware that also parking at the Visitor Center is limited. Once the parking lot is full you will need to wait for someone to leave.
  • Take it slow if you have to, the elevation gain of approximately 1,000 feet can be quite challenging for some.
  • Bring enough water, the majority of the hike is exposed to the sun and does not provide shade
  • I would avoid hiking the 0.5-mile extension trail after Scout Lookout up to the Angels Landing after any storms. The rocks can be quite slippery after the rain and all it takes to fall is one wrong step.
  • Rent a bike in the town of Springdale and skip the shuttle bus. This allows you to stop whenever and wherever to take in the stunning views as well as to get to Angels Landing trailhead before the crowds arrive.
The top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park in Utah
Top views from Angels Landing in Zion National Park in Utah
All You Need To Know About Hiking Angels Landing In Zion | Bare Escape

Best time to visit Zion National Park

Zion is one of those places that can be explored all year round. While every season has its pros and cons, I recommend visiting either during the Spring or Fall when the temperatures are comfortable and the crowds less overwhelming.

  • Spring is a great time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds and summer heat.
  • Summer provides the perfect temperatures for early morning hikes but can get quite hot during the day. Make sure to bring enough water and sun protection, and be prepared to battle the crowds. The Narrows are best to explore during the hot summer months since the trail leads up a river and the water is surprisingly cold. Just note that July, August & September are monsoon season, which can lead to flash floods. Be sure to check the weather before exploring any narrow canyons in the park.
  • Autumn might be one of my favorite times to be anywhere in nature. I just love all the fall colors, the vibrant foliage only adds to the images.
  • Winter in Utah can be quite cold. While the park is much quieter than during all the other seasons, hiking in the cold is often not as fun. I personally don’t enjoy being cold.

LIKE THIS POST? DON'T FORGET TO PIN IT!

A Guide To Hiking Angels Landing | Bare Escape
All You Need To Know About Hiking Angels Landing In Zion | Bare Escape
5 1 vote
Article Rating