Hiking the Angels Landing Trail in Zion National Park

Zion’s Angels Landing Trail is one of the most famous and thrilling hikes for adventure seekers. During our road trip through west-USA, we visit Zion National Park, just so that we could cross the Angels Landing off our bucket list. Hiking this trail quickly became a highlight of our road trip.

The trailhead is across the road from the Grotto Picnic Area. We take the free shuttle from the visitor center to get here. From the Grotto shuttle stop, we cross the river and road to get to the trailhead. Here you get a clear view of the Angels Landing and where we will be standing in a few hours.

Let's go to the top

Let’s start

The first kilometer is a steady uphill climb over a wide trail. After a while, we hit the steep switchbacks that take us up to Refrigerator Canyon. As the name suggests, this narrow and shady canyon is always cool with a comfortable breeze. A pleasant place to cool off and catch your breath after the hot and sweaty first climb.

The first set of switchbacks

Next up, we encounter the second steep climb of this trail, Walter’s Wiggles, a series of 21 tight switchbacks carved into the face of the cliff. After this, we quickly rise to the top of the ridge at Scout Lookout. From here we get a pretty good preview of the last kilometer of the hike along the ridge. This is where you can decide if you want to pursue the last ridiculously steep but most thrilling part of the hike or that you want to turn around and head back down.

Walter's Wiggles from the top

From this point on it will get really interesting!

But be careful! Six people have died already on this trail

Don’t look down

On the ridge, we experience ourselves why this trail is not for the faint-hearted. The path gets smaller and smaller, eventually to only a few feet wide, with drop-offs on either side. Eventually, we find ourselves holding on to the chains more often. On certain points you really don’t want to let go of the chains, when you’re stepping from one sandstone boulder to the next, dangling 300 meters above the ground. If you dare to look down, you’ll see the valley and the river getting smaller and smaller. This is the most exciting part of the trail and will definitely give you an adrenaline rush.

Don't look down!

At the top of the ridge, we are treated to the most magnificent view over the Zion Canyon. Together with some crazy chipmunks and lots of fellow hikers, we enjoy the view for a while before we make our descent.

Incredible view from the top of Angels Landing


Distance: 8 km (round trip)
Elevation change: 450 m
Difficulty: Strenuous, steep with exposure to long drop-offs
Trailhead: The Grotto shuttle stop
Weather: The best time of the year to hike Angels Landing is in spring, summer, and fall.


  • Bring plenty of water. Especially in the summer, when it can get very hot and the shade will be hard to find.
  • Use a backpack, make sure your hands are free to hold the chains.
  • Wear appropriate hiking shoes; no sneakers, Converse or flip-flops!
  • Do not underestimate this hike! This trail is not suitable for inexperienced hikers, people who have a fear of heights, or young children.
  • The trail can get very crowded. Many sections are only wide enough for one-way traffic. You’ll have to stop several times to let people pass. We recommend starting your hike early in the morning to avoid the crowd.
  • For more information about the route, click here.

Have you hiked to the Angels Landing?

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