The hike to the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park ranks among the most famous in the world. It’s only moderately challenging until the final half mile, when the trail becomes precipitous and the narrowness of the path—not to mention sheer drop-offs to either side—offers an additional mental challenge. Visitors who make it to the top are rewarded with spectacular views.
The 5-mile (8-kilometer) round-trip trail to the top of Angels Landing from the Grotto Trailhead includes series of switchbacks such as Walter’s Wiggles, steep drop-offs, and an intense scramble up a ridge with chains to help offer a safe handhold. Hikers with a fear of heights can take the trail all the way to Scout Lookout for the panoramic views and a look at the ridge leading up to Angels Landing.
The Zion landmark often features on multi-day tours of Utah and Arizona national parks—Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef among them.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Angels Landing is a must for adventure travelers.
- The Angels Landing hike can be made in four to five hours.
- Wear sturdy hiking shoes suitable for walking on uneven surfaces.
- Dress in thin layers—the climate in Zion can change quickly—and don’t forget sun protection.
- You need a moderate level of physical fitness to complete the hike; it’s not recommended for those with a fear of heights.
How to Get There
The path to Angels Landing begins at the Grotto Picnic Area within Zion National Park. Get there by taking the Zion Canyon Shuttle or parking in the lot just across from the trailhead.
When to Get There
Try to plan your hike for a weekday during the off-season, when you’ll have more room to maneuver on this popular trail. Plan to get an early start to beat the heat (and the crowds) during the summer months, and don’t attempt the trail when it’s icy or thundering.
Recommended Hikes in Zion National Park
If you have more time in Zion, you’ll have no shortage of excellent hikes to choose from. The Emerald Pools Trail, which includes waterfall views, offers an easy and family-friendly option, as does the wheelchair-accessible Riverside Walk. Observation Point is an alternative spectacular lookout point that can be done in a day and includes views of Angels Landing. For something different, consider tackling the Subway or the Narrows, both of which involve hiking in water.