Before starting the hike, the welcoming sign warned us “six people have died by falling off the side of a cliff on this trail since 2004.” We were already here, so we had to find out for ourselves how dangerous or scary this hike is.
Angels Landing is one of the most iconic and easily accessible day hikes in Zion, but there’s one thing you have to overcome before conquering this peak: a fear of heights!
Since doing the Half Dome hike in Yosemite, I’ve been scared to do any hikes that have me dangling at high elevations. Lately, I’ve been trying to push myself to conquer my fear of heights. I hate that fears can hold me back from truly experiencing amazing things like the views at the top of Angels Landing.
This is where things start to get interesting and is not for the faint of heart. A lot of the hikers who were afraid of heights would stop here, because the rest of the way is made of narrow and steeper trails with chains to help you through it, some of which had 1000 foot drop offs on both sides!
Once you’re at the top you have an amazing view of the valley! We spent nearly an hour up here just taking in the beauty, munching on some snacks, and enjoying the great weather before we headed back down.
TIPS FOR HIKING ANGELS LANDING ZION NATIONAL PARK
- Distance: 5 miles roundtrip
- Difficulty: Strenuous
- Parking: You can park at their Visitors Center and take the free shuttle to the Grotto stop. There were about 10 parking spots at Grotto stop, so if the park isn’t too busy, you can drive directly there.
- The first 25 minutes of the hike are fairly easy then you reach the switchbacks where you start gaining elevation aggressively.
- There’s a lookout point 1/3 of the way going up the chains. We thought it might have been the top since it levels out, but there’s still more to go! There are, however, great views here too, and many people stopped here before heading back.
- We spent nearly 5 hours hiking, but I’ve seen that some people have done the entire hike in 2 hours. We took our time with photos, and since I was incredibly scared and my legs were shaky, I also took my time with finding my footing on the portion with chains.
- Also check out the 15 Best Hikes in Zion National Park.
WHAT WE PACKED
- Backpack – This is our fave pack for day hikes.
- Water – We always carry our platypus 1L collapsible water bottle.
- Layers – It gets windy at the top. Our favorite and lightweight layers are the patagonia capilene layers for both men and women and the nano puff jackets. I already have two, but kinda want the new one too! They look amazing and always make improvements.
- Gloves – We brought these. They’re optional, but it helps.
- Beef Jerky & Light Snacks
- Swig Flask
OUR HIKING TIMELINE for ANGEL’S LANDING:
10:50 AM Start Trail (mostly sandy)
11:00 AM Trail turned to paved walkway
11:15 AM Switchbacks start
11:25 AM Trail levels out
11:35 AM More switchbacks and Walter’s Wiggles
11:45 AM Start of chains
12:00 PM Reach the first view point
12:25 PM Continue towards Angels Landing
01:00 PM Top of Angels Landing
01:50 PM Leave Angels Landing
03:35 PM Arrive back at bus stop
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