Angel's Landing Trail Guide: The Best Hike in Zion National Park
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!
Is the Angel's Landing hike scary?
Coming from someone who is deathly afraid of heights (me), Angel's Landing was surprisingly not that scary. Okay, I'll admit, it is scary. But I personally wasn't too scared because my tolerance for death defying hikes changed after I did the Half Dome hike in Yosemite.
Angel's Landing felt like a cakewalk to me, but how will it feel for you? If you're not sure about whether the Angel's Landing hike is for you, 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 Hiking to 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. I also heard that there's a lot of backcountry camping near Zion on BLM 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
- Trail snacks
- 3L water at least
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 up to Angel's Landing!
What to do in Zion National Park
In addition to the Angel's Landing hike, Zion National Park is also great for:
If you brought your 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. And it doesn't hurt that Las Vegas is 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, overflow campgrounds, and shops
Why Visit Zion
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 Park, Pinnacles National Park, and Yosemite National Park.
Along the Angels Landing hike I met someone from New England who said there is nothing like Zion NP 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.
Question: How long does the angel's landing hike 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!
Question: Is Angel's Landing a hard hike?
Answer: Angel's Landing is a moderate-tough hike. There's a lot of steep uphill, train at least a little bit beforehand!
Question: Is Angel's Landing worth it?
Answer: Yes, very much so. Getting to Angel's Landing is an accomplishment that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Question: Is Angel's Landing open? Is Angel's Landing closed?
Answer: Angel's Landing is open to hikers usually all year long, but be sure to stop by the visitor's center to inquire about current conditions. The best time to do the Angel's Landing hike during good weather, bring plenty of water, dress accordingly, and start early.
Question: Is Angel's Landing dangerous?
Answer: Yes, very much so. People do die during the Angel's Landing hike. If you get to the scary part and don't feel comfortable, pay it safe and stay back. Also, don't be too confident during the hike, respect the difficulty of the trail and proceed with caution.