One of the most sought after views in all of Zion National Park is the one from Angel’s Landing. The views throughout the entire hike are spectacular!
To get to the top of Angel’s Landing, you’ll need a permit through Recreation.gov or through the app. You can apply for the upcoming season or the day before. Angel’s Landing, The Subway and The Narrows top down are the only hikes in Zion National Park that require permits. You can also reserve campgrounds at Recreation.gov. We lucked out to get day before permits.
Zion National Park has a shuttle system and cars are not allowed in the main canyon unless they are staying in the Zion Lodge. You can drive the scenic drive towards the east entrance.
The shuttles in Springdale and in the main canyon make for a great experience to be able to hop on and off the shuttle and not have to fight for parking.
Angel’s Landing begins from shuttle stop #6 The Grotto. This is also the stop for the Kayenta Trail to Emerald Pools and the shorter version of Angel’s Landing, Scout’s Lookout.
The trail heads to the right after the bridge and the trail is beautiful right from the start!
There were a few wildflowers!
The trail slowly winds up higher and higher, but the views are incredible!
Soon you get to a mostly flat section that heads through to the backside. This section is the habitat for Mexican Spotted Owls. I would have love to see one, but we were just quiet for them.
Some of the rock textures along this trail are amazing!
At the other end you wind up a couple more times and then you get to the famous Walter’s Wiggles. Walter Ruesch was the first super intendant of Zion National Park. The 22 sharp switchbacks were created in 1926 and paved in 1986. You can’t quite appreciate the scale while on the hike, so I will include a photo by Julie Kerr of Water’s Wiggles from above and then mine from the trail. Julie’s photo also shows how much of the hike still remains.
When you get to the top of Walter’s Wiggles you arrive at Scout’s Lookout. If you don’t have a permit, then this is your destination. The views don’t disappoint!
There is a restroom here if needed. It has to be emptied by helicopter so it’s pretty stinky. If you do have a permit you can continue beyond to the chains section.
If you are lucky you might see a California Condor. They were nearly at extinction, but have made a beautiful comeback. Unfortunately we didn’t see any, but we did see a turkey vulture.
There are chains to help lead the way and keep your footing. If you have a fear of heights, this will be really mentally challenging. The trail is usually several feet from the edge.
At the top you will still need to walk over to the other side.
You did it! You arrived at Angel’s Landing! Enjoy the sense of accomplishment and views!
Every direction deserves a full-size photo! Here are a few more views and my awesome kids who rocked it!
Stats: Distance – 5.4 miles round trip
Approximate hiking time – 3-5 hours
Elevation gain – 1488 feet
Difficulty – Difficult
Trail – steeply paved and then steep climbing with chains
Bathrooms – At trailhead and Scout’s Lookout
Seasons to hike – Year-Round (use micro-spikes in winter)
Permits needed – $35/vehicle for 7-day pass or National Parks Pass to enter Zion and then a Recreation.gov permit $6 to enter and then $3 per person if you win the lottery and get a permit
Pets allowed – No