This classic dayhike runs up a narrow canyon then along a formidable knife-edge ridge to a giant monolith with mind-boggling redrock views.
Angel’s Landing is the most popular day hike in Zion National Park, and justifiably one of the top hikes in any national park. It's a straight-up classic. Start out along the virgin River on a mellow paved trail before the path kicks in a hurry. Leave river valley on steep switchbacks that cut into canyon walls and then head into the tight confines of Refrigerator Canyon. Reach Walter's Wiggles, and infcmous set of short switchbacks that zigzag 21 times to the top of the ridge. The Wiggles are named after Walter Ruesh, Zion National Park’s first superintendent, who in 1926 constructed this feat of engingeering.
Catch your breath on Scout Lookout, a broad saddle with views into Zion Canyon and then go south on the Angels Landing Trail to a pinched ridge. Here you'll have to watch your footing on uneven terrain (1,000-ft. drop-offs on either side of trail), and if you need to (and you likely will), hold onto chains bolted into rock face to ascend exposed ridgeline. Then, the payoff: Angels Landing. From the top of your deserved perch, you'll see massive, sheer-walled canyons extending in every direction. Look down--way down--to spot the Virgin River flowing through Zion Canyon around the horseshoe bend of the Angel's Landing promontory. Snap your hero shots before retracing the exposed route back to the main trail, and then down to the canyon floor.
-Mapped by Rajeev Jain and Mike Trottier CONTACT
Zion National Park
In the rivers and canyons, you'll want sticky-soled shoes, preferably mid-height or taller, and a walking stick or trekking poles for stability and pool probing. For hikes up the canyon, sturdy hiking shoes are recommended. Quick-dry shorts work work well for most seasons. Bring an extra dry shirt, an extra synthetic sweater, and a rain shell, even in the hottest weather. Shade, wet clothing, and canyon winds can be surprisingly cold. Thunderstorms can make the canyon frigid. You can rent specialty items in Springdale at the Zion Adventure Company, 36 Lion Boulevard Springdale, UT 84767; 435-772-1001, zionadventures.com
WHERE TO STAY
Located on Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Open year-round. Motel rooms, cabins, and suites available. Also has a gift shop and post office. Reservations recommended: 888-297-2757; zionlodge.comCamping
South Campground: First-come, first-served. Call 435-772-3256 for more information.
Watchman Campground: Reservations can be made six months prior to arrival date online at recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777.
WHERE TO EAT
Red Rock Grill Dining Room at Zion Lodge
Open year round. Dinner reservations advised spring through fall: 435-772-3213.
Castle Dome Cafe at Zion Lodge
445 Zion Park Boulevard
Springdale, UT 84737
95 Zion Park Boulevard
Springdale, UT 84737
260 East 300 South
1120 W State St
(435) 635-4477 GAS
Honey's Fuel Center
344 South 350 East
Kanab, UT 84741-3739
1180 W State St
Hurricane, UT 84737
15 East State Street
Orderville, UT 84758
From Springdale, take UT 9 E/Zion Park Blvd. to Zion Canyon Rd. Turn L and go 3.4 mi. to parking area on R. (Note: From April- October, park in Springdale and take Zion Canyon Shuttle to trailhead).