Angel's Landing - Zion National Park, UT

Even though I've done this hike several times, it's always a classic and a must do for every visit, and this time we were treated to fall colors in the valley.

You'll barely have time to catch your breath on the steep switchbacks for the first part of the trail, and then your palms will definitely sweat looking at the steep drop offs on both sides while climbing the chains on the ridge up to the peak. A must do for anyone visiting Zion National Park!

 

Hike Info

Date: 10/21
Miles: 4.8 roundtrip
Elevation Change: 1,500 ft
Trail Type: Out and back

 

Trip Report

Photos in this post by: Kyle McBurnie

Angel's Landing trail map from National Geographic

Angel's Landing trail map from National Geographic

After packing up camp at Watchman campground, we parked our car at the visitor center and hopped on the shuttle to the Grotto. It was quite chilly before the sun came up, and we were outfitted in scarves, gloves, and beanies. The steep grade quickly got our heart rates up, and as the sun came up over the ridge, we got quite warm.

The view of the trail and canyon before the sun rose
The view of the trail and canyon before the sun rose
Looking down at the switchbacks on the other side of the canyon
Looking down at the switchbacks on the other side of the canyon

We quickly made our way to the top of the first section where most of the hikers who chose to not continue onto the dangerous ridge waited and relaxed. There were even bathrooms all the way up here. We continued on, for the views would get even better!

Looking at the "bend" from halfway up the mountain
Looking at the "bend" from halfway up the mountain
Look at that sheer cliff!
Look at that sheer cliff!
This photo really shows the narrowness of the ridge
This photo really shows the narrowness of the ridge
Some parts need your arms and legs, and the chains definitely come in handy too!
Some parts need your arms and legs, and the chains definitely come in handy too!

Since it is a popular trail, you will find yourself waiting for the slower hikers either in front of you or coming the other way. Since the ridge is so narrow, there really is only room for one hiker at a time.

You can get an idea of what the trail is like , this photo really shows the the winding chains leading up the rock
A view looking through the canyon

After lots of scrambling on all fours (I definitely feel more comfortable closer to the ground), we finally emerged at the top!

Finally made it! I really needed a hug
Finally made it! I really needed a hug

There was quite a crowd enjoying the view. While we had a snack at the top and were taking photos, a very eager chipmunk reached for Kyle's bar and he managed to snap an awesome underbelly shot.

Watch out for your food because these guys are very aggressive!
Watch out for your food because these guys are very aggressive!

All of the people made it quite loud at the top, so we climbed down to a lower portion of the peak to get a little bit of isolation and quiet.

Climbing back up to the crowds on the main rock
Climbing back up to the crowds on the main rock

The top was a little windy, so be sure to bring layers in case it is colder up there. After enjoying the views and taking a short siesta, we headed back down.

Heading back down the ridge
This portion of the trail winds through a canyon in the rear of the mountain

We were excited to see some fall colors in the canyon, but it seemed we missed the peak by a couple weeks. The main canyon had just started to change color, with most of the color being right near the river.

The fall colors were beautiful to see from above
The fall colors were beautiful to see from above

We caught the shuttle to head back to the visitor center to have some lunch.

Click to read more about the perfect southwest roadtrip

Other useful sites:
Citrusmilo
Zion National-Park
Hikespeak
Naturalbornhikers
CUSA
Modern Hiker