Angels Landing Hike: Hiking the angels landing summit is a worth experience of a lifetime, that inspires excitement, thrill, fear along the way and also gets you’ll be among few people who hiked one of the dangerous hikes in the World.
One of the most popular things in Utah – and the land that consists of one of the dangerous hikes in the world – the Angel Landing Hike in Zion National Park is an adventure that you shouldn’t miss out on. The National Park consists of canyons and unique landscape which are widespread with several trails, majestic valleys laid out, and in the center, the highest peak of the national park- Angels Landing Summit which gives a 360-degree overview of the landscape and valleys.
After our own hike to the Park, we wanted to share our experiences in the magical land and along the way give you to necessary tips for your successful journey to the Angels Landing Summit.
So, whether you’re heading there in the winter or summer season and want to understand, the guidelines, what thing to pack during the hike, is there permit required, is it safe to hike the highest altitudes, are you worrying whether you’re are fit enough, do you need a guide, what else can you do in the park, then this post will provide you all this information you are so concerned about( Don’t miss out the safety tips during the hike mentioned below).
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Are you ready?
Here’s everything you need to know before doing the Angels Landing Hike. Let’s go
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE ANGELS LANDING HIKE?
Angels Landing hike is one of the dangerous trails which leads travelers through solid rocks and leads them at the highest peak(1488 foot) of the Zion National Park.
The good news is that it’s a lot shorter than you may expect and you can easily hike in few hours.
The bad news? To get to the top, the hikers have to travel through a narrow, steep path which is very dangerous.
Angels Landing is a part of the great Zion canyon that accommodates thousands of kilometers of trails and most of the trails are covered with reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone, and hikers can use any point to click an amazing picture with the help of red texture background. Angels Landing is located at the southwestern Zion National Park in Utah. The park is widespread over 229-square-mile (590 km2) and it is popularly known for its 360-degree views of amazing Zion canyon that is 15 miles (24 km) long and up to 2,640 ft (800 m) deep.
WHY IS IT SO POPULAR?
Also known as the Temple of Aeolus before 1916, the massive sheer pinnacle received the current name, when exploration hikers got a glimpse of the rock. It is standing just a few inches away and there is no trail joined, that can lead the hikers to the peak. One of the group, Frederick Fisher exclaimed, “only an angel could land on it.” Another amazing fact, that this group doesn’t manage to get to the peak of the massive pinnacle, the name is stuck on the rock forever.
Angels Landing Summit is a 1,488-foot (454 m) tall rock formation and to get to the peak, hikers have to travel one of the dangerous hikes in the world. To hike, the traveled has to use the strong metal chains which are embedded on the rocks. Only with the help of these chains hikers can reach the destination and there’s is no alternative route. At the peak of the Angels Landing Summit, the traveled offer a 360-degree view of the Zion canyon.
However, as truly beautiful as the hike is, there are several other things that Zion National park offer and hikers have the facilities to enjoy and explore the true history with the help of a museum and it is accommodated with numerous plant species, endangered species of birds, mammals, reptiles and all that are inhabited in the park’s four life zones: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest.
BOOKING THE ANGELS LANDING HIKE
WHAT ARE ANGELS LANDING HIKE PERMITS AND DO YOU NEED A GUIDE?
No permit is required to hike Angels Landing. Although, it is must be required for overnight bivouacs. If hikers want to enjoy the Zion National Park at night and explore the wilderness, you can apply for an additional permit.
There are two methods to apply for a permit in Zion National Park,
Two-thirds of permits are reserved ( to make reservations the travelers have to apply up to three months in advance.
One-third of permits are walk-in permits. Although, the chances are very rare as there are almost 4.9 million travelers who visit the park an average of 13425 per day. So, it’s to apply for a permit in advance before you visit Zion National Park.
ARE THERE AGE RESTRICTIONS?
There is no minimum or maximum age limit for hikers on the Angels Landing hike, but it is advised to never under the age of 14 age because Angels Landing hike is if the dangerous hikes in the world and travelers have to hike without any permanent equipment attached and has to hike using the chains embedded on the rocks. There are many cases where travelers fall of the trail while hiking as a slight loss in grip strength will result in falling.
If you are traveling with your kids it’s better to hike till Scoot lookout. And if someone in the group is interested to hike Angels landing, then you can leave the kids with an adult and go for the ultimate hiking you can imaging
If you are a little older in years like above 65 years you shouldn’t hike the trail, but if you an experienced hiker, you can as you wish.
HOW FIT DO YOU NEED TO BE?
As mentioned, Angel’s Landing is a strenuous hike and not everyone can do it easily. To hike, you must have good physical fitness as you’ll experience an elevation gain of nearly 1458 feet without any equipment attached to your body. You have to fully dependent on your hands as you have to grip the metal chains hard. Most of the trail is a narrow spine and it’s become harder when few miles from the angels landing summit or at the peak point. The trail must not be underestimated and you ever feel fatigued, never go further as it can be very dangerous for you.
Only people who have the ability to handle their body weight and do not experience any medical conditions should try to climb angels landing. If at any point you think you can’t climb or don’t feel the energy to move, don’t climb and always remain near the scoot lockout area.
According, to reports people who have experience in rock scrambling and have experience in hiking prefer to go down this tail.
What to Expect When Hiking Angels Landing
- Angels Landing hike is a strenuous hike with a steep and huge elevation gain of nearly 1458 feet. It is challenging for your body and mind and reaching the top, you can see the wonder of the Zion canyon. The path is narrow and you’ll have only a few inches of the road to move and another side a huge drop-off zone. People who have fear of heights should hike till Scout Lookout as, after that, the trail is going to get scary as hell.
- Always carry a backpack, with enough amounts of fluid and water as drinking water is only available at the trailhead.
- Restrooms are available at Scout Lookout.
- If you have a fear that might lose the path and go in different directions, you can lose these thoughts. As the trail is well marked. Every inch of the trail has full sun exposure except for the Refrigerator Canyon ( Just like the name, you can take a small rest from the heat).
- Angels landing us on the popular hikes if the Zion National park and trail is very busy, and there could be sometimes where you have to cross people on a narrow section. Try to get there faster and you can avoid the huge crowds.
ANGELS LANDING HIKING STATS
Distance: 5.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 1488 feet
Time: 3 hours to 5 hours
Trailhead: The Grotto
WHERE TO START
We know how crowded Zion National park can be, so we started our trip early in the morning of the first week of June. Almost 4.5 million people visit per year to get the amazing trek experience with the popular hikes in the park. So, to avoid the huge crowds, we started our trek early in the morning. We were so excited to begin our hike, that we were the first one in the line of the shuttle.
The first shuttle arrives at 7 A.M and almost every passenger on the shuttle is heading in the direction of Angels Landing.
WEST RIM TRAIL
From the Grotto shuttle stop, we are heading to one of the dangerous hikes in the U.S and after crossing the Virgin River we can clearly see our destination. Angels Landing can be easily seen from the trailhead and in our mind, we can clearly see ourselves standing there.
West Rim Trail is almost 2 miles and it is clearly marked and well-identified by a sign and you’ll have to worry about getting lost on the trail. West Rim Trail is paved, steady uphill climb and passing along the river, we come across the canyon bottom that is surrounded by 270-million-year-old layers of rock.
After hiking few miles, you’ll probably need rest as you’re getting direct sun exposure for quite some time. To get some relaxing time, you’ll come across Refrigerator Canyon. That canyon is pleasantly cool, scenic, and walking is easy. The temperature remains always cool in this area any time in the day as this place does not have sun exposure angles. Good for us! After few switchbacks, we need and shady place to gather energy and continue our hike to Angels Landing.
The next thing we have encountered in this trail is known as Walter’s Wiggles – 21 tighter turns which can cause your heart to pump faster as you’ll experience a huge elevation gain. This place is very popular among tourists for its stunning views and according to reports, people used this spot for a marriage proposal. So, if you are wondering to propose to your loved one, you can use this spot. Check out the images.
At the top of Walter’s Wiggles is Scout Lookout, where you can enjoy the enormous views of the Canyon. It is also equipped with a restroom, but there are no facilities for drinking water. So, make sure to pack the necessary water and snacks for your hike.
If you gaze at the ridge to the south from Scout Lookout, you can see the last half mile of the trail and also how difficult the trail of the Angels Landing is.
If you are traveling with a kid, or you have fear of heights, you should avoid climbing further.
FINAL CLIMB TO ANGELS LANDING
From Scout Lookout, it’s the last half mile of climbing to the Angels Landing and At this point, the real, dangerous hike begins. The short mile(0.5mile) is ranked one of the deadliest trails in the U.S.
Although we were the first in the shuttle, some people passed us as we were busy clicking pictures. Another great thing is that there were a handful of people who choose to hike after Scout Lookout.
At first, the moment we headed to the last half mile, we started practice climbing using chains. We recommend you to do always practice for a small time as it benefits it maintaining a tighter grip in the long run.
The starting part is not too difficult and you can easily hike without using many chains.
The Middle section is this trail is where things get exciting and dangerous. The trail is narrow and just a few feet wide, with a drop-off on either side. It is nearly impossible to hike this trail using metal chains that are bolted into the rocks. Along the trail, you’ll encounter some steep sections where the chains will help you move forward.
Hiking this trail is one of the thrilling experiences you can have and enjoy it while it lasts. If you dare to look down you can see the virgin river which looks very tiny.
ANGELS LANDING SUMMIT
We finally made it! We were standing at 5,790 feet elevation with sweeping 360-degree views of some of the most breathtaking Zion Canyon. It almost took us 1 hour from Scout Lookout to angels landing Summit and we get to the peak around 8:30. The 360 degree was magnificent and we could admire the beautiful view of the Zion Canyon, getting to see Observation Point, The Organ, and Weeping Rock. As we hiked in the morning, some of the valley and canyons were still in shadow, but that doesn’t make the view less impressive.
Even though we appreciate the beauty of the 360-degree views of Zion Canyon from Angels Landing, our favorite spot is looking back at the trail we hiked and knowing what we have accomplished.
It is as difficult as to get down from angels landing to Scout’s lookout. Although we were hiking down we have to make sure that we don’t run into a huge crowd who are hiking upwards. It’s a majority problem as the path is the same and it can difficult to cross people on a narrow section. Luckily, people are aware of these issues, and hikers are very safety conscious, so there is a time limit where only hikers climb up and climb down. There is no significant time schedule, just get close to a big group and when they go down join them. It will be easier and you can easily get down without any rush.
We were on the firsts shuttle, so we didn’t encounter huge crowds on our way up and our hike down but as time progress, the crowds began to multiply. So make sure to hike in the first shuttle as we did.
Back at Scout Lookout, we could relax as we have completed, one of the dangerous hikes in the World. It was one of the best experiences as have conquered, the highest peak of the Zion National Park. From Scout Lookout, it’s just an easy downhill trail and it only took us about 30 minutes to get to the bottom ( because of huge crowds and us clicking some more pictures).
WHAT TO PACK FOR ANGELS LANDING HIKE
No flip flops, no crocs, no Converse sneakers. You’ll need a good pair of hiking shoes with additional ankle support. It will help in maintaining a good grip while hiking a steep section.
Bring plenty of water, as there is no drinking water available on the hike.
Red burnt skin isn’t looking good in pictures, so always apply sunscreen to protect your skin. Also, there is very little shade on the trail.
CARRY HIKING GLOVES
To hike on the peak of Angels Landing, you’ll need to use metal chains. The chains are rough in your hands and hiking gloves will help you get a stronger and better grip when you propel your body forward. Make sure that you use fingerless gloves as it is better for warm weather.