Angel’s Landing – The Hiking Guide: Everything You Need

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.

Before You Hike

The trailhead is located at The Grotto, also known as stop 6 in Zion Canyon. It is only accessable 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.

Zion Shuttle Stop Map with trails

 

The Gear Why
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.
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.

Trail Length:

From the Grotto to Angel’s Landing is 2.4 miles to summit. (4.8 miles round trip)

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.

 Early West Rim Trail Views

 

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.

 

Refrigerator Canyon

Refrigerator 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.

Scouts Lookout from Angel's Landing
Scout’s Lookout and Refrigerator Canyon (on the left) from Angel’s Landing

Scout’s 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.

 

Angel’s Landing

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.

Zion Canyon from Angels Landing

 

Hiking 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.

Month Avg. Daily High Temp
(Degrees F)
Avg. Daily Low Temp
(Degrees F)
January 44 21
February 47 24
March 55 29
April 62 34
May 73 42
June 83 51
July 89 58
August 86 57
September 79 48
October 67 38
November 54 28
December 43 21

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.

 

Did I miss anything? Let me know! Please subscribe and share if you enjoyed or found this helpful.

Please share this post and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *