Zion’s iconic hike, Angel’s Landing is known across the country, and the world for a reason. It may not be for the fearful of heights, but don’t let the 1,000+ foot cliffs stop you from experiencing one of the best trails in the country. The views from Zion canyon atop Angel’s Landing are unforgettable, and offer a glimpse into millions of years of geologic history. The hike is listed as “strenuous” by most, but the various switchbacks make this 4.8 mile roundtrip doable by the average person, and athletes will have no problem completing this hike in under 3 hours.
This hike is near the top of our list of the best hikes in Zion.
Distance: 4.8 Miles Round Trip (7.72 km)
Duration: 2-6 hours
Elevation: 5,790 Feet (1,764.8 Meters)
Elevation Gain: 1,488 Feet (453.54 Meters)
Before You Hike
The trailhead is located at The Grotto, also known as stop 6 in Zion Canyon. It is only accessible by the canyon shuttle system. You can park your car at the Zion visitor center, or at the parking areas before Canyon Junction (on the map below). The rangers will be able to answer any questions you have, and will supply you with a park map, a detailed hiking/camping map, or you can purchase trail maps.
|Good Sneakers/Hiking Boots||The trails are so smooth and nice. You don’t need anything fancy, just stay away from flip flops. If it’s icy, consider microspikes, though this is really unlikely.|
|A Trail Map||Everything is well marked, so you shouldn’t have an issue, especially with how many hikers will be on the way, but still. Always bring one.|
|Hydration||It’s a short hike compared to other’s in the park, but it does have some serious elevation gain. Hydration is especially important on a warm day. Bring a snack or two as well!|
|Some Guts||It’s really not that bad…but if you have a fear of heights, and many people do, this hike bring those fears out. There are cliffs, you do HAVE to get close to the edge if you are going to summit.|
|A Camera||You’ll want to document it!|
|Not Much Else||It’s 4.8 miles of switchbacks. With less than a half mile of chains to hold near the top. You’ll love it. It will take 4-5 hours to complete for most.|
How Long Does It Take To Hike Angel’s Landing?
Depending on the speed at which you hike, Angel’s Landing will take you between 2-5 hours. The Average hiker will be right around 4 hours.
Elevation Gain: 1,488 feet
The Grotto sits at 4,302 and Angel’s Landing is at 5,790 feet, making for 1,488 feet of elevation gain.
The Grotto Trailhead
Hikers are dropped off at The Grotto, and begin their trek up Angel’s Landing by crossing the bridge over the Virgin River and starting on the West Rim Trail which is clearly marked. The trail is 2.4 miles to the summit and rises 1,488 feet.
You won’t have to wait for views on this hike. The canyon provides outstanding views from the moment you step on the trail. As you rise through the switchbacks, you are constantly experiencing different angles of the canyon, that keep the hike interesting throughout.
The trail quickly makes its way to whats known as Refrigerator Canyon. A series of switchbacks with outstanding views brings hikers into the unique canyon.
The canyon trail leads to a series of switchbacks known as Walter’s Wiggles, a series of 21 switchbacks that lead up to Scouts Lookout.
You are staring at what is known as the Hogsback. Which is the thin stretch of trail that leads from Scout’s Lookout to Angel’s landing. The famous trail features large cliffs, and chains to keep hikers from starting a fast descent down the mountain. The top of Scout’s lookout is on the way to the West Rim trail, and it also offers incredible views.
This part of the hike is the most iconic, with huge drop offs on all sides, incredible views of Zion Canyon, Observation Point, Cable Mountain, the Virgin River, and the incredible rock colors all around. It does not disappoint. If you get there early enough, you will likely have most of the summit to yourself, especially in the off seasons.
Angel’s Landing is accessible in all four seasons. The switchbacks make the trails manageable in all conditions. During winter months, it is possible for the upper sections of angel’s landing to be snowing or icy, making it necessary to be very cautious. During the summer months, Zion Canyon can be extremely hot, making spring and fall the most enjoyable seasons.
Temperatures of Zion National Park:
|Month||Avg. Daily High Temp
|Avg. Daily Low Temp
The West Rim Trail
After ascending Walter’s Wiggles and reaching Scout’s Lookout, hikers can make take the West Rim trail which leads to higher elevations above Zion Canyon. There are camping options on in this area. More information as well as camping permits can be found at the Visitors Center.
Directions and Address to Zion National Park
This will take you directly to the main entrance of Zion National Park, and to the Visitor’s Center where parking is available. 118 Lion Blvd, Springdale, UT 84767
Trailhead (The Starting Location) – The Grotto Trailhead (6th Stop for Zion Canyon Shuttle)
Difficulty – Strenuous – Many Switchbacks with long cliff drop-offs.
Distance – 4.8 Miles Round Trip (2-6 Hours)
Elevation – 5,790 Feet
Elevation Gain – 1,488 Feet
Seasons – Year Round
Bathrooms – Bathrooms are available at the base, where the bus stops at the Grotto Trailhead. They do have outhouses near the top, but it is highly recommended to do your business at the bottom.
Angel’s Landing Deaths
Though it has a reputation of being a scary trail, Angel’s Landing has only claimed the life of 5 individuals in the last 100 years. This however does not mean that you shouldn’t respect the trail, and understand that it is dangerous, and it is important to be prepared and cautious.
Angel’s Landing in Winter
Angel’s Landing can be done year round. Winter months are actually some of the best months to experience as crowds are often much smaller. Conditions are very manageable much of the year, but during the coldest months, snow and ice can build up, making the trails far more dangerous, and the park may shut the trails down. Be sure to check conditions before you make the trip!
Angel’s Landing Alternative Hikes
If you are a little nervous about hiking the Angel’s Landing trail, or maybe need a few extra hikes in Zion, you should absolutely check out the following:
Clear, with a low around 51. North northeast wind around 7 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 81. Northwest wind 3 to 8 mph.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 52. Northwest wind 5 to 8 mph.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 76. West wind 5 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms before midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 49. North northwest wind 3 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Sunny, with a high near 76. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 49.
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Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and sharing experiences with others. Max is a published author for various outdoor websites and digital marketing websites. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about