Angels Landing

Angels Landing: An Iconic Hike in Zion National Park


7/22/20232 min read

Angels Landing: An Iconic Hike in Zion National Park
Angels Landing: An Iconic Hike in Zion National Park

Angels Landing: An Iconic Hike in Zion National Park

Angels Landing is among the US National Park System's most famous and thrilling hikes. Located in Zion National Park in southwestern Utah, this unique rock formation provides intrepid hikers with an unparalleled view of Zion Canyon.

History of Angels Landing

The monolith, originally known as the Temple of Aeolus, was renamed Angels Landing in 1916 during a visit by Frederick Fisher, a Methodist minister. He reputedly commented that the peak was so high that only angels could land on it. Since then, Angels Landing has become an iconic landmark within the Utah National Parks system and is visited by thousands of hikers annually.

The Hike

The hike to Angels Landing is approximately 5.4 miles round-trip and involves a significant elevation gain of about 1,500 feet. The trail begins at the Grotto shuttle stop and leads along the West Rim Trail. While steep, this initial part of the hike is relatively straightforward and takes you through Refrigerator Canyon and up a series of switchbacks known as Walter's Wiggles.

The final half-mile to the summit is where the hike becomes more challenging. The trail follows a narrow sandstone ridge with sheer drops on both sides. Despite the intimidating nature of this section, it is well-maintained and includes chains bolted into the rock for hikers to hold onto.

Safety Considerations

While the Angels Landing hike is generally safe for those in the good physical condition and with a head for heights, it does come with risks. Several fatal falls have occurred over the years, so hikers should be cautious, particularly in wet or windy conditions. Children and those with a fear of heights may find this hike too challenging.

Hikers are advised to start early in the morning to avoid the day's heat and ensure they have plenty of water and sun protection. The trail can also become crowded, so an early start can help avoid the worst of the congestion. So, if you are in Salt Lake City, get an early start to beat traffic!


Angels Landing offers one of the most exhilarating and rewarding hikes in Zion National Park. With its cliffs, narrow paths, and breathtaking views, it's no surprise this trail is on the bucket list of many avid hikers. However, due to its challenging nature, it should be approached with caution and respect. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a determined novice, the journey to the top of Angels Landing is sure to be an unforgettable experience.