Hike Angels Landing, Zion NP

5.4 miles 1488 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Jason Hatfield

Hike up a steep and challenging trail to one of the most incredible vistas in the world!

Angels Landing has long been one of my favorite national parks hikes.  The hike is thrilling, extremely photogenic, and appeals to those who enjoy exchanging leg power for views. The hike to the top isn't long, 2.7 miles, but you'll definitely feel the 1500 feet of gain! The trail features a mostly paved surface (to protect from erosion and high use), steep switch backs, a cool canyon, rock scrambling, safety chains, and plenty of long drop-offs.

This extremely popular hike starts at The Grotto Trailhead where it crosses the Virgin River along the West Rim Trail. Due to the every increasing popularity of the park you'll need to park at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center and ride the free shuttle most of the year; the dwindling off-season allows for parking at the TH for a couple months in the winter, excluding holidays. Arrive early or late to avoid most of the crowds but be prepared for bottlenecking on the trail during peak season (May-Nov).

The first 2+ miles of the trail follow the canyon floor and switchback up the cliff walls. This portion of the hike is mostly on paved trail and brings you through the aptly named Refrigerator Canyon, a welcome respite on hot summer days. You'll also encounter Walter's Wiggles, a fun section of 21 tight switchbacks. It's incredible to see the 1930's CCC engineering that carved a path up through this almost unyielding landscape.

Once you reach Scout's Overlook the real fun starts, the last half mile of the trail follows a narrow sandstone ridge to the summit of Angels Landing. Many people choose to stop at this view once they size up the remaining "hike".  This is my favorite part and is actually relatively easy if you're experienced and safe, but it is still very dangerous. You will need to traverse and scramble your way up steep, narrow cliffs with limited safety chains while navigating around other hikers; proper footwear really makes a difference here. You also have the obligation of being safe around others, meaning if you're not in good shape, feel sick, are afraid of heights, or have a small child, you shouldn't be on this part of the trail. If you seize up at a narrow spot on the trail you can create a hazard for everyone else on it.

Now that we have all the warnings out of place and you've made it to the top, enjoy the view and spend some time soaking it in! There's actually a fair amount of space at the top and you can even do a little exploring. When you're finished pack out any trash you find and follow the same way back, it can actually be more challenging going down so pay extra attention to your footing.

*This trail is not advised for young children or those with a fear of heights. Hiking the trail is not recommended in inclement weather such as snow, ice, or lightning, due to long drop offs and extreme exposure. People have died on this hike due to not following these recommendations.

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🥇Top Contributor

6 days ago

Iconic Zion Hike

This is probably the most talked about hike at Zion- although the Narrows and Emerald Pools are up there too. This hike starts out by climbing up switchbacks before you get to the iconic part of Angeles Landing. That flat area is a great place to regroup and refuel before starting the rope section.

🥇Top Contributor

3 months ago

A Zion Classic

Angels Landing is a must do hike when visiting Zion National Park. The trail can get very crowded so it's best to get early in the day. The trail is mellow until you start going up the switchbacks. Once you make it to the top of the switchbacks the real fun starts. Just take your time and be sure footed every step of the way from here. Such a fun hike!!!

🥇Top Contributor

3 months ago

Worth the crowds

Its as incredible as everyone says, which is why there are thousands of people a day doing it too! Worth every bit, just be patient with folks as they navigate the heights.


🥇Top Contributor

4 months ago


This was the most challenging and rewarding day hike I have every undergone and conquered. The trek to scouts point was tough, but the mental fatigue to get through the chains was another animal. Not because of the 100 plus feet below me, but because of all the people in flip flops not giving me the breathing room needed to get from one section to the next. This will likely become a permit hike in the near future so do it while you can.

🥇Top Contributor

4 months ago

Thrilling Hike

One of the best hikes I have ever done. My favorite views are actually of the snake like rockline in front of you as you are climbing the rope section. I wouldn't recommend doing this hike if there is snow or ice, as it's dangerous enough with lots of people trying to get around each other while holding onto a rope. Also, please hold the rope. Sometimes people will be "brave" and let go to try to pass other people. Just be safe.

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