Angels Landing




April 2016 • Canon 60D camera

Hike stats

8.7km (5.4mi)

Distance (round trip)


Elevation at peak

4 - 5hr

Duration (round trip)

Zion National Park is located in Southwestern Utah. It has some of the most scenic canyon country in the United States. The park is characterized by high plateaus, narrow deep sandstone canyons and towering rock towers. As part of our road trip, we stopped here to hike up the famous Angels Landing via the West Rim Trail. This trail runs up a narrow rock-fin ridge that is very steep to the summit. From the top you are rewarded with stunning views high above Zion Canyon.

From the Grotto trailhead, you follow signs for Angel’s Landing. The trail crosses over the Virgin River, and starts out with an easy walk on the West Rim trail. Around half a mile into the hike, the elevation starts to pickup and you will reach the first set of steep switchbacks. As you hike up you'll see the Great White Throne and Cable Mountain across the valley.

Great White Throne and Cable Mountain
Cable Mountain

After a mile, you'll enter into a narrow canyon known as Refridgerator Canyon. This part of the trail offers you some shade and cool breeze. It then leads to Walter's Wiggles, a series of 21 short switchbacks. The zig-zag trail is quite steep, and can make this section feel quite long. After, you get to an open area called Scout Lookout. Along with some scenic views of Zion Canyon, in front of you is the final part of the hike to Angels Landing.

Did you know...

As of March 15, 2021, 13 people have died from falling while hiking the trail since 2000

Light rain had started to fall and made this part even more dangerous. The sandstone became slippery and some people on the trail did not go further for fear of falling. We persevered, taking smaller steps and holding tight to the chains. The section starts to widen towards the end, as we reached the summit.

The summit, known as Angels landing, rewards the intrepid hiker with breathtaking panoramic views of Zion Canyon. Angels Landing is in the center of Zion Canyon, inside a horseshoe bend in the Virgin River. The weather had become grey, with thick clouds in the distances caiusing the view of the below canyon more dramatic.

Final thoughts

A lot of people consider Angels Landing to be dangerous. It is difficult and can be strenuous at times. With exposed edges at many parts, one wrong step and you could fall into the canyon below. We hiked up when it was recommended not to, due to the light rain. We didn't know this, but in one way, I was glad we didn't. It might have stopped us hiking up. The slightly poor weather made the hike more adventurous, knowing there was an element of danger of falling down.

This hike is definitely not for someone that has a fear of heights. You will need some good hiking shoes with excellent grip to be really safe towards the final part of the trail. A lot of the trial is exposed, so in hot weather, bring sunscreen, hats and water.
UPDATE 2022: Everyone who wants to hike Angels Landing will now need to have a permit.

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