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Angels Landing (Zion National Park)

Angels landing at Zion national park
Walters wiggles along the trail up to Angels landing at Zion National park
Descending along the cable chains at Angels landing


How to Get There
This hike is located in Zion National Park (Southern Utah).

To the trailhead: Park at the visitor center and take the free shuttle to the Grotto stop. The well signed trailhead starts across the road from the tram stop.
Zion National Park

Hike details

4.40 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
4.4 miles round trip.
4.00 [Hours]
It took us four hours of hiking.
Elevation Gain
1,600 Total Elevation Gain [Feet]
Elevation Details
About 1600 ft of climbing
Hike Trail Type
Out and Back


Best Season
  • August
  • September
Worst Season
  • January
  • February
  • December
Season Details
Late Spring, Summer, Early fall. Make sure it hasn't rained recently before taking this trail.
Date Hike completed
September 05, 2006


Solitude Details
No chance. This is one of the most popular trails in Zion National Park. Expect to meet 200-300 people on this hike.


Difficulty Rating
Moderately Strenuous
difficulty detail
35 yr old Recommendation: This is not a good hike for people who are afraid of heights, but it's a great hike for those who enjoy scrambling. The approach to the peak is lots of fun. Leave the kids at home. This hike is Moderately Strenuous.


Be Aware of
exposure, scrambling, fee to enter the national park

Hike to Angels Landing in Zion National park

After crossing the Virgin River, the paved trail soon starts to switch back up the wall of the canyon. Views of the virgin river become available, but these are but a taste of the views to come. As we climbed steadily on this portion, we were continually impressed by the amount of work that must have gone into the trail.

It is best to get an early start on the trail, as the switchbacks are shaded during the morning but are directly exposed to afternoon sun.

After about a mile of hiking, the trail levels out for a bit as it travels through refrigerator canyon. This hidden slot between Angels Landing and the Cathedral Mountain. You will notice some maple trees enjoying the shady and cooler slot on your left, as well as some small caves and pockets in the sandstone on your right. The level trail is a nice break before the climbing resumes in earnest.

After emerging from refrigerator canyon, you will start to climb a series of switchbacks known as 'Walter's wiggles'. Again, this is a good opportunity to admire the trail making skills as you head up these switchbacks. After 1.8 miles of hiking, you will reach the top of the switchbacks and 'Scouts Lookout'.  There is a port-a-john here, as well as some benches for resting. Many of the hikers turn around at this point, as the trail gets really interesting from this point on. To continue, find the signed trail junction to the Angels Landing (the West rim trail also branches off here).

The trail from this point includes a good bit of scrambling and exposure. There are some chains put in strategic places to help you with these. Many of the scrambles have huge exposure so focus on what you are doing instead of the drop off. This trail can get a bit crowded with people going up and coming down, so be patient and enjoy the views opening up as you wait. This final 0.4 miles is some of the most enjoyable hiking/scrambling anywhere.

 At the end is your reward for all your hard work. You now enjoy unparalleled views of the big bend in the virgin river, the great white throne, and Zion canyon. I sure hope you brought your camera.

The return is enjoyable too, as the height and exposure gets magnified as you descend off of the peak.


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