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Hiking Zion's Angels Landing

by Katie McCabe  |  @awelltraveledpair  |  October 11th, 2019

It was once said that Angels Landing is "so high that only angels could land there." Back in 2015, John and I traveled to Zion National Park to hike the Narrows. This time around, we were excited to make the thrilling five mile trek up to this heavenly  place.

Facts About the Hike

• Distance: 5.4 miles (round-trip)

• Altitude: 5,790 feet

• Elevation Gain: 1500 feet

• Difficulty: Highly Moderate to Strenuous

• Length of Time: 3-6 hours

• Open: Year-round

• Best Months to Visit: April, May, September, October

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How To Get There

Zion National Park is located just outside of Springdale, Utah. From March through late November, in order to hike to Angels Landing, you must park at the Visitor Center (shuttle stop #1) and ride the complimentary shuttle to The Grotto (shuttle stop #6). The first shuttle of the day runs at 7:00AM, and additional shuttles arrive every 10-15 minutes. The shuttle ride from the Visitor Center to The Grotto takes around 25 minutes. Once you exit the shuttle, cross the bridge over the Virgin River and follow the trailhead signs toward "Angels Landing". 

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The Hike

The hike begins along the West Rim Trail. For two miles, you'll walk along a wide, well-paved trail at a steady incline. Next up are Walter's Wiggles, twenty-one thigh-burning switchbacks that will surely get your blood pumping. At the top of Walter's Wiggles is Scouts Lookout. A lot of people prefer to stop here. The next part of the hike is quite challenging, and if you are scared of heights or get nervous by narrow paths, then Scouts is a great place to end your hike. If you're looking for more of a thrill, then proceed to "the spine". For the next 500 feet, you'll hike a narrow path (about two feet wide) with drop-offs on both sides. There are chains set up along the climb so gloves with grip can really come in handy. Once you get to the top of this section, you've made it to Angels Landing. Enjoy the breathtaking views!!!

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Even though Angels Landing is challenging and can be dangerous, with proper caution, the hike is achievable. 

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• Do NOT underestimate this hike. There have been 17 deaths and many injuries. Be cautious!

• This hike is NOT recommended for young children, or anyone with heart problems or a fear of heights.

• Dogs are NOT allowed on this hike. 

• Remember to pack out all of your trash. Do NOT leave anything behind. 

• Summer months (June, July, and August) get very busy and the trail can get congested causing more risk.

• Hiking boots are recommended. 

• Bring water! There aren't any fill-up stations along this hike. 2-4 liters is recommended. 

• There are restrooms near the trailhead (at the shuttle stop).

• Pack a lunch. The top of Angels Landing is a great place to eat lunch.

• Go EARLY! We rode the first shuttle of the day at 7AM. By the time we got back to our car, it was 11AM and the shuttle line was extremely long.

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