As I have told many of my friends and family, the hike to Angel’s Landing was by far the most exhilarating hike I have taken up to date. There was an overwhelming sense of accomplishment felt when we reached the end of the landing and looked out over Zion National Park.
Before starting the hike we took the shuttle from the Welcome Center to the Grotto stop (the 6th stop). While riding in the shuttle an audio player told facts about the different things to do at each stop. When Angel’s Landing was discussed phrases like a “three foot wide path with 1,000 foot drops on either side” and “6 people have died” were mentioned. To some this was very discouraging, but for me it was the start of an adrenaline rush!
Honestly, the worst part about this hike was getting to Scout Lookout. Despite hiking in the morning and having cloud coverage we were all drenched in sweat by the time we made it through all the switchbacks.
My best advice: go at your own pace with a buddy and stop every 10-15 minutes to catch your breath and to get a drink of water.
Once you reach Scout Lookout there are chains that line the path up to Angel’s Landing. You will probably see various backpacks lying around the area before the chains. Don’t be one of the fools to leave your backpack behind. People are honest and typically won’t bother your things, but the squirrels are a different story. Referred to as the “rascals” these squirrels thrive on packs left behind by hikers that are going up to Angel’s Landing. I couldn’t help but laugh as I watched the president of our university chuck large rocks at these rascals to prevent them from chewing holes into various backpacks that were lined up at Scout Lookout. You have been warned, now back to the hike.
This segment of the trail would only take 30 minutes or so if there were no people. However, there are many adventurous souls that like to take on Angel’s Landing all at the same time. For this reason this section of the trail took us an hour. We did not mind at all though, because it was the fun part!
We climbed hanging onto the chains for support and moved aside when others needed to pass. It was a game of red light, green light. A group of us would gather before a chained section and wait until another group would pass going down. Then, once the trail was clear, we would all scurry up the chains and wait again for another group to pass. Needless to say, having your own personal space was not a thing on this hike. I truly believe part of the experience is sharing your hike with others and giving a helping hand when needed.
And when you get to the top and feel the breeze of your face, you will break out into a smile…and take LOADS of pictures. I am excited to cross this one off the bucketlist!
I took a video of the hike from Scout Lookout to Angel’s Landing on my GoPro to give a better perspective of the chained section. Here is the full video, but I also have a time-lapse of this same video on my YouTube channel.
Just a few tips for hiking this trial: Morning when there is a cool temperature is the best time to hike, preferably in the off season. When we were coming down there were so many people going up I can’t imagine how crowded it would be at the Landing. If you are afraid of heights I highly recommend considering what your limits are. Most people can do this hike, but it is not for the light-hearted.
This is not a hike to attempt during rain! Some of the rocks are slippery to begin with and if you pair that with rain you are asking for a disaster to happen. Go at your own pace and, as always, drink tons of water. I think I drank 2 liters just on just the way up. It took us 2 1/2 hours to go up to Angel’s Landing and an hour and 15 minutes going down.
There are no “usable” bathrooms at the top so make sure you go before you start the hike. And as always enjoy yourself and give yourself a pat on the back even if you don’t fully complete the hike. However much you do complete is an accomplishment itself!
What about you? Have you hiked Angel’s Landing? What was your experience?
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