Angels Landing is one of the most beautiful and strenuous hikes in Zion National Park. This hike has an elevation gain of 1,488 feet and is 5.4 miles round trip, taking about 4-6 hours to complete. Nonetheless, don’t let those facts scare you, the views along the way are absolutely stunning and 100% worth it. Angels Landing Hike is one of the most thrilling trailheads in the United States. Keep reading for everything you need to know before hiking Angels Landing!

Top of Angels Landing

Angels Landing

  • Hike: Angels Landing
  • Location: Zion National Park, Utah
  • Distance: 5.4 miles round trip
  • Time: 3-6 hours
  • Starting point: The Grotto Shuttle Stop
  • Difficulty: Hard

Tips Before You Go

  1. Go Early! First shuttle starts at 6am, but arrive ahead of time. We arrived at 5:15am and were on the 3rd shuttle bus. Note- this was during peak season in June.
  2. Pack lots of water! This hike is strenuous and there are a lot of switch backs, pack more water than you think you need. I highly recommend bringing a hydration pack/bladder to store water in your backpack. Even if your backpack doesn’t have a pocket for it, you can buy these separate and store then in any backpack. This pack will help keep you hydrated because you do not have to stop every time you want a drink.
  3. Prepare for the Crowds! This hike is on everyones bucket-list and is is one of the most popular hikes in Zion, so prepare for the crowds. This means you might have to wait when you reach the narrow section along the chains and let others pass. I highly recommend going as early as possible (like the 6am shuttle) to help avoid the crowds and the heat.
  4. Enjoy the scenery! When you get to the top soak it all in, it is one of the most beautiful views in Zion. We packed a lunch and took a nice long break at the top.

Arrival and Shuttle

Arrive Early!! We went to Zion National Park in early June 2021 and the crowds were crazy, the park was experiencing record high attendance. There was also a heat wave rolling through southern Utah and average temps were 109-114 degrees. Waking up at 4am wasn’t easy but it was well worth it! We arrived at the park around 5am and stood in line until 6am for the shuttle. The picture below is the line at 6:10am.

Line for the shuttle bus at Zion National Park
Line for the shuttle bus in Zion National Park

You have to take a shuttle to get through Zion National Park, I don’t think you can park at the start of the trail head. The first shuttle arrives at 6am and runs every 10 minutes. Tip: If you are traveling with multiple people then have someone drop a few people off at the shuttle stop so they can get in line and reserve your spot. This will allow someone else to go park the car and grab your gear.

Detailed Description of Angels Landing

To start the hike head to The Grotto shuttle stop, here you will find restrooms and water fill stations. Then head across the Virgin River to start your journey along The West Rim Trail. After hiking for a bit you will reach the true first section of Angels Landing, the switchbacks. This is where the elevation starts to increase as you hike uphill on the switchbacks lined along the canyon wall. Honestly, this part is hard! I am in decent shape and my legs were burning when hiking up the switchbacks, feel free to take breaks as necessary!

After hiking the first set of switchbacks you will enter a cool area hiking through the canyon. Then you will hit Walters Wiggle, and yes, this is another set of difficult switchbacks.

Walters Wiggle, Angels Landing Hike
Walters Wiggle

After Walters Wiggle the hike gets easier on your legs. As you hike you will walk slower as you navigate up the chains. The chain section can feel narrow and steep at times but most of the time there is a rock or area you can grab or lean on if you need extra support.

After hiking roughly 1/2 mile along the chains you will reach one of the most beautiful views in Zion National Park!

Top of Angels Landing

Warning

During the hike there is a lot of exposed rock, this is not recommended for anyone who is afraid of heights. There are also a lot of switch backs and these can be difficult for anyone who is out of shape. Take your time, take breaks along the hike, and go at your own pace.

What to Expect and My Experience on Angels Landing Hike

Before heading out to Utah I read multiple blogs and reviews on Angels Landing, and I honestly think people make it seem scarier and more “narrow” than it actually is. If you hike early before the crowds, take your time when going up and down the chains section, and follow one foot after the other then you should be just fine! With that being said- if you have anxiety or fear of heights then the chains section might not be for you. If you decide to skip hiking up the chains then there is a nice waiting area you can hangout and relax if you are waiting for others who want to hike the chains.

My experience: We got to the park at 5:15am, and hopped on the 3rd shuttle bus at 6:20am. We departed for The Grotto stop, filled our waters and were on our way.

In summary, Angels Landing was one of the best hikes I have ever done and I highly recommend to anyone visiting Zion National Park!

IMPORTANT UPDATE!

We hiked Angels Landing in June 2021 and since then this has has become even more popular! There is now a lottery system and a permit is required to hike Angels Landing. You can find more information on how to apply by following the link below.

Angels Landing Hiking Permit Details

About to hike the chains section
Start of Angels Landing hike. Watching the sunrise on the canyon

Want more information on Zion National Park? Comment below or message me hikes you are interested in. More tips on visiting Zion coming soon!

About Author

Hi, I'm Sierra, a world traveler with an adventurous spirit. I love all things coffee, my dogs, the outdoors, and spur of the moment adventures.

If you are looking for travel inspiration, destinations and itineraries, or budget-friendly vacations, then you came to the right place! I know planning a trip can be incredibly time consuming and stressful but don’t worry, I’ve made is easy for you!

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