Tom’s Experience hiking Angels Landing:
Angels Landing is probably the most popular trail in all of Utah. It is not recommended for anyone with a fear of heights. However, the views and the trail really are quite remarkable.
You start at the Grotto Trailhead which is the 6th stop on the Zion shuttle buses. The trail starts off by crossing the Virgin River and then heads steeply up the side of the cliff face on switchbacks, some of which are cut out of the rock itself.
After the first steep section you enter a narrow canyon called Refrigerator Canyon, which provides shade and more of a level trail for a bit.
Once you exit the canyon there are some very tight switchbacks that are paved and are called Walter’s Wiggles. After this there is a level area called Scouts Lookout, where people who are scared of heights can wait, while others continue up to the top of Angels Landing.
The chains start immediately and you are on sandstone rock the rest of the way. The drop-offs are steep on both sides of the trail but the views are spectacular.
Watch where you place your feet and keep hold of the chains. You shouldn’t have problems, but we saw multiple people who had to turn around because they couldn’t handle the height. At the top you will have awesome views both up and down Zion Canyon. Many were posing for the famous Angels Landing pictures.
Dogs are not allowed on this trail. It is 4.8 miles round trip and gains 1500 ft in very steep elevation. This is a very popular trail and the narrowness near the top can cause a bit of a jam so you may need to be patient if you go during the more popular times of the year.
Trail Info: Exit the Zion shuttle at the Grotto Trailhead the 6th stop on the shuttle. You will be following the West Rim Trail for most of the hike until the end with the chains.
Grotto Trailhead: 37.259038,-112.951046
Angels Landing Summit: 37.269378,-112.946572
- Englestead Hollow
- Orderville Canyon
- Red Caves
- Kanarra Creek Canyon
- Red Cliffs Recreation Area Nature Trail
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