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Essential things to know about the Angels Landing Trail

Angels Landing is easily one of the most popular trail destinations in Zion National Park situated in Utah, USA. The legendary hike provides hikers with breathtaking views and a thrilling experience. It is truly a classic in every sense. The views up there and unmatched and the trail will challenge you mentally and physically. This guide will go into detail about what to expect logistically and mentally about hiking Angels Landing in Zion National Park.

Angel Trail Top


Zion National Park was Utah’s first-ever National Park. In 1916, a man named Frederick Fisher discovered the thin, red elevation now known as Angels Landing. He claimed that Angels Landing was so high that only an angel could land on it. However, in spite of its height, it is still not the highest point in Zion Canyon. There are in total 21 switchbacks along the Walter’s Wiggles section of the trail, and they were constructed keeping in mind to blend in with Zion’s beautiful landscape and scenery.   

Hiking Details

  • Total hiking mileage is about 5 miles round trip.  
  • Total elevation gain is 1800 feet. 
  • The Angels Landing summit elevation is 5,790 feet. 
  • It will take you approximately 4-5 hours to hike Angles Landing depending on your fitness level.  
  • The hike is very difficult as it ascends to about 1800 feet and is uphill the whole way. Doing this hike during the summer can be very dangerous as it is very hot and humid. The hike has a fear factor to it due to it getting narrower towards the top.   
  • As of April 1, 2022, Zion National Park has established a pilot permit program for Angels Landing. You will require a permit to hike on top of Angels Landing. You can check out Zion National Park’s website to get more details about the permit.  
  • The crowds can be a problem on this hike, but the new permit requirements have limited them for now. You can also avoid crowds by going during non peak season.  
  • Make sure you fill up water at the Grotto (it is where the shuttle bus will drop you to access the trailhead) because you may not find many other opportunities during the hike to fill up. It is recommended that you bring at least 3 liters of water with you on the hike. Also, make sure you have a backpack to carry the water because you will want to be hands-free while doing the hike.   
  • No dogs are allowed on the trails in Zion National Park.   
  • Angels Landing is not a kid-friendly hike because there are high consequences if you were to make a misstep on the hike.   
Angels Landing information board

Parking and Getting Around

A big parking lot is situated at the Zion National Park South Entrance and Visitor Center area. However, it tends to fill up very quickly during popular times of the year. You can also park anywhere in the town of Springdale.  

During the peak season in Zion National Park, there is a shuttle bus system that takes visitors from the South Entrance Visitor Center throughout the heart of the park. These shuttle buses arrive at each stop every 7-10 minutes. The bus system is, however, shut down in the off-season.  

To get to Angels Landing, you should take Zion’s shuttle bus into the park to get to the trailhead. For Angels Landing, the bus stop you will want to get off at its “The Grotto” bus stop.   

When to Hike Angels Landing Trail

The best time to visit Zion National Park and hike Angels Landing is in the spring months (March to mid-May) weather-wise. It is also less crowded during these months compared to summer. However, as long as you do not find any snow or ice on the trail, you can hike Angels Landing all year round.    

If you do decide to hike in the summer months, go early during the day. The trail is in the sun for a large part of the day and can get very hot in summer. It is best to avoid the trail if it has been raining because this can again lead to dangerous slippery conditions.   


As mentioned above, you will require permits to hike the summit of Angels Landing as of April 1, 2022. You will however not require a permit to hike Scout Lookout.   

  • Some Angles Landing permits will be issued seasonally.  
  • Each application costs a $6 nonrefundable fee. 
  • You can cancel the season lottery permit for a refund of $3 per person. 
  • Make sure you print or download the permit before arriving at Zion National Park. Permits are issued at specific times and the time on your permit is when you need to arrive at the Grotto.   
Hiking Trail

What to bring

  • A small backpack is crucial on an Angels Landing hike.   
  • Water is essential, especially in the summer months.  
  • The Angels Landing hike can be pretty tedious, therefore, make sure to bring some snacks for the hike up.  
  • You will want to wear shoes that have a grip. 
  • Sunglasses to protect you from direct sunlight.  
  • Sunscreen to save you from UV radiation.  
  • Bring a camera along with you to capture your hike and get pictures when you reach the summit.  

Key Landmarks

In Summary, here are the key hiking landmarks along the Angles Landing Trail: 

  • The Grotto – Once you take the bus into the core of Zion National Park, you should get off at The Grotto in order to get to Angels Landing Trailhead. This is a perfect place to get any final bathroom breaks before you embark on your hike. The start of the trail is very well maintained and very wide in comparison to the top of Angels Landing trail.   
  • Refrigerator Canyon – Upon entering Refrigerator Canyon, you will get a short respite from the steep uphill switchbacks and a short break from the heat as well. The area got its name because it is well-shaded and protected from the sun all year round. Hiking here is relatively easier, so take a moment to breathe and rest.  
  • Walter’s Wiggles – These are a series of 21 steep uphill switchbacks. The best thing to do once you get here is to put your head down and pace towards the top. If you would like to break up the switchbacks, it is best to set up some smaller goals and take small breaks on your way. Remember, to listen to your own body and keep moving forward.  
  • Scout Lookout – Once you are on top of Walter’s Wiggles, you will find a milestone known as Scout Lookout. Many people will simply stop their hike here and turn around. It is still a great place to take pictures from.   
  • Angels Landing Spine – The path from here becomes more and more narrow. Make sure your legs are sturdy and your hands are free. Keep taking deep breaths and pace yourself along the way. You might have to navigate two-way traffic along Angels Landing Spine, so always keep your hands on the chain.  
  • Top of Angels Landing – Once you’ve finally made it to the top of Angels Landing, you can now enjoy the beautiful views of Zion National Park. Take as many pictures as you can, as you will want to capture this moment forever. 
angels landing trail map

We hope you get a chance to hike this exhilarating and beautiful trail. This way you will get to experience some of the best views Zion has to offer

You can also read: Zion National Park 

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