Zion - Mount Carmel Highway

Zion - Mount Carmel Highway

Angel's Landing Hike at Zion: The Ultimate Guide

Everything you need to know about the Angel's Landing Hike

Zion is a National Park in the southwestern United States. Zion is located near Springdale, Utah, and boasts large canyons with exposed rock dating back hundreds of millions of years. Zion is famous for it's extravagant natural scenery, including points of special interest such as the Virgin River, The Narrows, Lava Point, Emerald Pools, and The Subway.

Angel's Landing and The Narrows are Zion's most famous hikes. The Angel's Landing hike takes you up to the top of the cliffs that you were staring at from the canyon floor below. Along the hike you're presented with incredible views of Zion Canyon.

If you're an experienced hiker, you won't have much trouble on this hike, but, if you're scared of heights, you may have a tough time. The last half mile of the hike is scary, steep, and narrow. You walk along narrow cliff walls, cling to a chain, and there's several hundred foot drops on both side of you. Don't let go!

 
On the Angel's Landing Trail

On the Angel's Landing Trail

 

Is the Angel's Landing hike scary? Coming from someone who is deathly afraid of heights (me), Angel's Landing wasn't that scary. Okay, I'll admit, it is scary. But I personally wasn't that scared because my tolerance for death defying hikes changed after I did the Half Dome hike in Yosemite.

Angel's Landing felt like a walk to me, but how will it be for you? If you're not sure about hiking Angel's Landing, I encourage you to take the hike as far as you can. You can get pretty far and see some pretty nice views even before you get to the scary part.

Planning and Preparing to visit Zion and hike Angel's Landing

If you're planning on camping in this beautiful canyon, be sure to book a campground in advance. If you miss the opportunity to book in advance and all the spots are full, arrive at the park as early as possible the morning if your visit to try and secure a first come first serve camping spot. We managed to snag the last available walk-in spot in Watchman Campground when we arrived at around 11am on a Friday. More information on camping in Zion can be found here and you can reserve campgrounds here.

 
The very tip top of Angel's Landing - this is where Angels land

The very tip top of Angel's Landing - this is where Angels land

 

Items you might want to consider bringing for the Angel's Landing Hike:

  • Clothes according to the weather
  • Good hiking or trail shoes
  • A hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Trail snacks
  • 3L water

How to get to Zion National Park

 
 
 

Zion National Park is a 6 hour drive from Los Angeles, 2 1/2 hours from Las Vegas, 4 hours from Salt Lake City, and 6 hours from Phoenix. If you're far from Zion, consider taking a plane to Las Vegas and then renting a car and driving 2 1/2 hours to Zion.

In Zion head to the visitor center and speak to a guide about which of the hikes fit your skill level. Once you decide, take a bus straight from the visitor center to the trailhead, then begin your awesome hike!

What to do in Zion National Park

 
What conquering Angel's Landing feels like

What conquering Angel's Landing feels like

 

In additional to the Angel's Landing hike, Zion National Park also has activities available such as:

If you brought a car, drive up Zion - Mount Carmel Highway from majestic views and a long tunnel.

From Zion you can also travel and visit what's known as the Grand Circle, a tour of National Parks and Monuments across five states, such as Grand Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Mesa Verde National Park. Last but not least, Las Vegas is also not too far from this National Park!

Tips for the Angel's Landing Hike

  • You don't need a permit for the Angel's Landing hike
  • The campgrounds at Zion are some of the best quality we've stayed at, the bathrooms are clean and there is a sink with running water and soap to wash your dishes
  • The town near the entrance to Zion National Park, Springfield, is known as the Gateway to Zion and is full of restaurants, hotels, and shops
 
 

Back to Reality

Leaving Zion sucks! Zion Canyon is super fun and there's so much to do and see. Zion helps you realize that the desert is not just all flat and boring. The beauty of Zion is overpowering at times and leaves you with a lasting impression that you won't be able to shake off for a while. If you're craving more hiking that is similar to Zion, be sure to check out Grand Canyon National ParkPinnacles National Park, and Yosemite National Park.

Along the Angels Landing hike I met someone from New England who was having a tough time and said there is nothing like the hike back home. When I heard this I felt really lucky to have grown up on the West Coast and to have such a spectacular collection of outdoor adventures pretty much in my backyard, such as Point Lobos, Yosemite, Sequoia/King's Canyon, and Catalina Island.

 
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Zion Q&A

Question: How long did the angel's landing take?

Answer: The Angel's Landing hike took us about 3-4 hours, so we still had a lot of time in our day to do other things around Zion as well. Take your time on the hike, it's a little steep. The last part of the hike, where you hold on to the metal chain, is only .5 miles long but takes over 30 minutes because of how slow you have to take it!