There are many places throughout Zion to have an enjoyable hike. Some are leisurely, some are strenuous, but none are as exciting as Angel’s Landing. This hike is not for the faint of heart and takes a lot of courage to finish the whole route. The steep hills and quick ascent make it very physically demanding. These challenges are well worth it though, as the views from the top are some of the most beautiful on earth. It is no wonder Angel’s Landing is one of the most popular hiking trails not only in Zion National Park, but throughout the entire world.
Those planning to hike Angel’s Landing will want to be prepared with some basic information about the trail. Things like the complete experience, gorgeous views to be seen, time of year to hike, and what to bring along are all crucial to having a successful hike. The following is a breakdown of some important information about Angel’s Landing. This information, along with being helpful, will also help to show why Angel’s Landing is so popular.
The Angel’s Landing Experience
Before any hike, it is nice to know just what to expect as the trail unfolds. While many trails may consist of a few hills or drop-offs, Angel’s Landing is packed with a variety of exciting terrains. The hike changes quickly, going from steep climbs to precarious walkways, meaning each second of this adventure is more exciting than the next. A general breakdown of Angel’s Landing follows to help hikers be more prepared for the hike and get excited about all they will see and do on this journey.
The trailhead for Angel’s Landing is located at the bridge across from the Grotto Picnic Area. This entrance is well marked, so there’s not a lot of guesswork involved in starting the hike. From the entrance, hikers will have a relatively level area to walk through for the first part of the journey. This level walk leads along the river, giving hikers a great chance to feel close to nature.
Once the level hike is behind them, hikers will move on to the more strenuous, daring obstacles. These start off as a small set of switchbacks, which are zigzagged cuts in a hill or cliff that help hikers ascend the area more quickly and easily. This small set of switchbacks leads to a larger group of switchbacks, known as Walter’s Wiggles. The Wiggles consist of twenty-one switchbacks which bring hikers to high elevations very quickly. They are strenuous but well worth the climb.
Once Walter’s Wiggles are complete, hikers will find themselves at Scout Lookout. This area gives a terrific view of the trail that has already been completed, as well as a great 360-degree view of Zion. There is a restroom at Scout Lookout, as well, so it’s a great place to take a rest and prepare for the more dangerous portion of the hike.
From Scout Lookout, brave hikers will walk out onto a narrow ridge. This ridge, in addition to being narrow, also has steep drop-offs on either side. If a hiker were to fall down the side, the result would surely be devastating. Thankfully, there is a set of chains connected to the ridge that hikers can hold onto to prevent serious accidents.
Once the daring ridge is completed, hikers will find themselves on Angel’s Landing. There is no better view in all of Zion National Park. Once this part of the hike is reached, hikers will feel grateful that they had the strength and grit to complete this tough trail.
In addition to excitement, this trail offers incredible views throughout the entire hike. While some views may be more breathtaking than others, there is always something beautiful and interesting to look at on this hike.
As hikers make their way through the beginning stages of Angel’s Landing, they will be able to see the obstacles that lie ahead. This often fills them with excitement and makes them anxious for what is coming. It also gives hikers a chance to plot just how they will scale the next obstacle in their way.
Once the bulk of the lower elevations are completed, the views just keep getting better. The first high elevation place to capture a panoramic view is on Scout Lookout. Hikers will see for miles, feeling as though they are on the top of the world. They can also look back on the trail they have just completed and feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.
The real payoff of this precarious hike comes at the very end, at Angel’s Landing. Standing atop this massive structure, hikers have an endless view of Zion. Even on foggy days, the view from this point is absolutely stunning. Hikers should be sure to bring along a camera, or other may not believe how incredible the views are from Angel’s Landing.
When to Hike
Angel’s Landing can be hiked throughout the entire year. However, there are a few caveats to this. Firstly, this trail should never be hiked when there is snow or ice on the ground. The steep cliffs and precarious walking conditions mean that snow and ice can make this journey deadly. Second, because of the high elevation, Angel’s Landing should never be hiked during, or if there is a chance of, thunderstorms. Since hikers would be very high up when a storm began, the chance of getting struck by lightning increases greatly. No view is amazing enough to be worth dying for.
While Angel’s Landing is open all year, it is best hiked during the summer or fall. These seasons provide the least chance of rain, comfortable temperatures, and decreased risk of severe weather. It is important for hikers to remember that the majority of this trail gets direct sun exposure, so on summer days, it can be brutal. Starting early, before the sun is out in full force, can help reduce issues caused by heat. No matter the season, as long as it is safe to do so, a hike along Angel’s Landing will be life changing.
Preparing for the Hike
Like with any hike, there are some essential items that should be brought along on a hike through Angel’s Landing. The great thing about this hike is, despite its elevation and strenuous nature, it doesn’t require any special gear like ropes or rappelling gear. Instead, hikers should concentrate on the following items for a comfortable and safe trip.
Weather Appropriate Clothing
This is important for not only safety but also for comfort. Clothing that covers the skin will prevent cuts and scrapes along the way. It will also help to protect hikers from the sun on hot days and from the cold on cooler days. Hikers should be sure to really think out their apparel choices before starting the hike.
These are crucial for a safe and comfortable hike. Good hiking boots should fit well, grip all types of terrain, and be water resistant. Checking off these three important features should result in the perfect pair of hiking boots.
Water is an essential part of life and is especially important during strenuous activity. There is water available at the start of the trail, but nowhere else during the route. This means that hikers should bring enough water to stay hydrated throughout the entire journey.
This is important since the trail is exposed to the sun for much of the trip. A wide brimmed hat, neck scarf, and long, light clothing can help keep hikers cool and free of sunburn.
Having the right gear will make a journey along Angel’s Landing as enjoyable as possible.
Enjoy this Heaven-Sent Hike
This one of a kind hike is popular around the world for obvious reasons. Hikers are able to take in amazing views, conquer extreme obstacles, and test their courage. The only thing more impressive than the views available along this hike is how amazed hikers will be at their bravery and strength after completing it. For a sense of accomplishment and an experience that will never be forgotten, every hiker should have Angel’s Landing on their hiking bucket list.
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