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Angels Landing Trail, Zion National Park

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  • This epic trail is one of the top two attractions in Zion National Park. The fact the National Park Service even built this trail is remarkable. The path winds its way up steep switchbacks, through the coolness of Refrigerator Canyon, and past the strange geologic formation, “Walter’s Wiggles.” Once the trail gains the ridgeline, it continues to narrow and steepen as the ridge ascends 1500-feet above the valley floor below. After many false summits, the trail ends at an incredible perch, a bald, rocky prow, with 360-degree views of Zion Canyon.

  • Trailhead: Exit shuttle at the Grotto and follow the West Rim Trail.

    Mileage: 5 miles (8 km), round-trip

    Elevation Gain: 1520 feet (463 meters)

    Approximate Hike Time: 4 hours, round-trip

    Difficulty: Strenuous

    Crowds: Common. However, the throng thins out as only the boldest hikers continue past Scout’s Lookout to the top.

  • Best Times of Day: In the summer, early morning (5 - 8 a.m.) or late afternoon (6 - 9 p.m.) hiking avoids the crowds and heat of mid-day.

    Best Times of Year:
    The comfortable temperatures, reliable weather, and dazzling foliage of autumn make it the best time to hike Angel’s Landing. The upper reaches of the hike can become quite icy January through March.
  • Spectacular views of the Great White Throne, Observation Point, the Virgin River, and the entirety of lower Zion Canyon.
    Enjoy cool temperatures in aptly named Refrigerator Canyon, often 10˚F – 30˚F (5 – 10˚C) cooler than the surrounding air temperature.
  • If you are extremely afraid of heights, you may not want to proceed past Scout’s Lookout, a natural viewpoint just before the ridge traverse. Many acrophobes and families with small kids stop at this viewpoint for great views without the exposure of the final portion of the hike.
    For those bold enough to hike all the way out to the Landing, sections of chain provide a measure of security along the most exposed sections of upper trail.
    Please do not feed the persistent chipmunks along the trail. This will help you avoid bites, torn clothing, and the hostile takeover of your backpack, as well as promote the rodents' health and self-reliance.
    Many oblivious hikers carve their name in the rock as some sort of cult-like ritual; please do not join this obscene practice. Fortunately, the views supersede the vandalism from this awe-inspiring perch.