Zion National Park is one of the most beautiful and popular hiking destinations in the United States. Within the park, Angels Landing is one of the most thrilling and challenging hikes you can undertake. This hike is not for the faint of heart, as it involves steep drop-offs and narrow ridges, but the views from the top are truly breathtaking. Here’s a detailed travel guide to help you plan your Zion Angels Landing hiking adventure.
How to get Zion Angels Landing ?
Zion National Park is located in southwestern Utah and is easily accessible by car. The nearest major airport is Las Vegas, which is about a 2.5-hour drive from the park. Once you arrive at Zion, you can take the park’s free shuttle to the trailhead. The shuttle runs from early spring through late fall and is a convenient way to get around the park.
How hard a hike is Angels Landing Zion?
Angels Landing is a 5.4-mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 1,488 feet. The hike is rated as strenuous and is not recommended for those with a fear of heights or inexperienced hikers. The trail starts at the Grotto Trailhead and follows the West Rim Trail for the first two miles. The trail is well-maintained and easy to follow, with beautiful views of the Virgin River and Zion Canyon.
The last half-mile of the hike is where things get interesting. The trail becomes narrow with steep drop-offs on both sides. There are chains anchored into the rock face to help hikers navigate the final ascent. This section of the trail is not for everyone and is not recommended for children or anyone with mobility issues.
What is the best time of year to hike Angels Landing Zion?
The best time to hike Angels Landing in Zion National Park is during the spring (March to May) or fall (September to November) when the weather is cooler and the crowds are smaller. During the summer months (June to August), the park can get very crowded and the temperatures can be hot, making the hike more challenging. The trail can also be closed during winter months due to snow and ice. It is important to check the weather forecast and trail conditions before attempting the hike, and to start early in the morning to avoid the heat and crowds.
What to Bring
Hiking Angels Landing requires some preparation and planning. Here are some things you should bring with you:
- Plenty of water
- Snacks or a packed lunch
- Sturdy hiking shoes with good traction
- Sunscreen and a hat
- Layers, as the weather can change quickly
Hiking Angels Landing can be dangerous if you’re not prepared. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
- Check the weather before you go. Thunderstorms can cause flash floods and make the trail slippery.
- Start early in the day to avoid crowds and heat.
- Stay on the trail and avoid shortcuts or climbing on the rocks.
- Hold onto the chains when ascending or descending the narrow ridges.
- Be aware of your surroundings and step aside for faster hikers or those descending the trail.
What is a fact about Zion Angels Landing?
One fact about Zion Angels Landing is that the final half-mile of the hike involves a narrow ridgeline with steep drop-offs on both sides, and there are anchored chains to help hikers navigate this section of the trail. This part of the hike is known as the “Hogsback” and is considered the most challenging and thrilling part of the Angels Landing hike.
Why is called Angels Landing?
The name “Angels Landing” is said to have been inspired by a group of Methodist ministers who visited the area in the early 1900s. As they looked out at the stunning views from the top of the peak, one of the ministers is said to have exclaimed that “only angels could land on it.” The name stuck and the peak became known as Angels Landing.
Hiking Angels Landing is an unforgettable experience that offers some of the most stunning views in Zion National Park. However, it’s important to be prepared and aware of the challenges of the trail. With proper planning and precautions, you can safely tackle this adventure and create lasting memories.