Observation Point Hike Zion

Trail Report: Hiking Angels Landing in Zion National Park

Angels Landing is the must-see of ‘must-see’ places not only in Zion but throughout the National Parks system. Jutting out from the canyon wall into the center of Zion National Park, Angels Landing is one of the best Utah hikes. It’s undoubtedly why it was named what it was. Even angels couldn’t miss it. The Angels Landing view is so phenomenal words can’t really do it justice.

Even if you aren’t much of a hiker or outdoorsy person, you’ve undoubtedly heard or seen someone talk or post about the exhilarating experience. While people will rave about the hike – for good measure – it isn’t long or that complex, meaning you can do plenty before or after your hike if you plan it right.

Angels Landing Zion National Park

Hiking Angels Landing

The Details:

Distance: ~5 miles round trip

Elevation Gain: 1,600 feet

Difficulty: Moderate to Hard (Not advised for those with a fear of heights)

Beauty Level: Stunning

Travel Distance: 20 minutes on the bus from the entrance

What to Expect Hiking Angels Landing

Angels Landing is not that hard of a hike. It’s tough, but it won’t crush you. Less than three miles each way, this can be done in under four hours if there isn’t a lot of traffic coming up or down. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll get the blood pumping after a quarter-mile, and then Walters Wiggles will have your legs burning as you endure switchback and switchback.

Once you’re past the wiggles, you have the spine to tackle. This is where the heebie-jeebies will come into play. I believe that people overdramatize the risk level of the hike. Yes, there are steep drop-offs of 1,500 feet, but you don’t get that close if you are paying attention and are safe. Now, people do die, but as someone who has done it now three times – once as a younger kid and once at night – I never felt like my life was in danger.

Angels Landing
Angels Landing
Angels Landing

With the spine, some portions have chains to help you up, over, and around some bends and steps. Use the chains. They are there for your benefit. Also, realize that these areas are the riskiest during the most crowded times. People will pass by, and hikers could easily be knocked off balance on Angels Landing. This is how accidents happen.

So, Alec, how can I prevent being in these riskier situations? Ah, good question.

Angels Landing view

Angels Landing view
angels landing view
Angels Landing view
Angels Landing at night

Hiking Angels Landing Off Peak

Everyone goes to Zion in the summer. It’s when kids are out of school. It’s when vacations happen. So, yes, I know it makes planning challenging, but don’t go to Zion National Park during summer. Early spring or late fall is the best to avoid large crowds, and you’ll have much better weather. If you visit in the summer months, you can hike late into the evening as there is still light past 9 pm. This can help you beat the heat and the crowds. Bring the appropriate gear (headlamps, plenty of water) if you hike from June through August.

Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.

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