The first time I went to Zion National Park I was too young to remember, fast forward probably 15 years and I made another trip to Zion while I was on a solo road trip. As soon as I drove into the park I was amazed. The walls of the canyons are so high up, and the entire place is just so majestic.
My main focus on this trip was to hike Angel’s Landing. I had been planning to go on this solo Utah road trip for a little while and kept reading about the angels landing hike and how it was one of the “most” dangerous hikes in the U.S.
How to get there
After reading this and researching, I had to go! I pulled into the park just before sunset and got to see the walls illuminated by the sun. There was a little dusty haze in the air which added to the views with the sun rays going through the dust. I needed to find a place to sleep so I could get some rest before taking this hike the next day. I ended up just sleeping inside my truck outside the park down the road near the Coal Pits Wash.
I woke up early the next morning and venture into Zion. I parked just outside the park, and walked in and jumped on the park bus near the visitor center. On the bus ride it gives you a lot of information about the park and everything in it. You’ll want to get off at the Grotto bus stop. Cross the road and the trail head starts once you cross the bridge over the river below.
This is one of the best views of Angel’s Landing in my opinion and the most picturesque.
The hike takes you quickly up a steep trail. Eventually you reach Walters Wiggles which is a series of 21 switchbacks in the trail.
At the top of these you can look back at the rest of the valley below you. Continue on and you will reach a leveling out area.
You are not to the top yet even though your winded and thinking you are! Look ahead and look for the chains. At this point is when the hike can become dangerous for you if you are not careful, cautious, and patient for other hikers.
Work your way up and down the spine of Angel’s Landing, or the Hogsback, be careful and hold on to the chains when possible. Don’t rely on them though or trust them as some are lose, and when other hikers lean on them, or pull on them, the force will follow the chain and you will feel the effects and possibly get jerked around. Be sure to look around and see everything along the way. Take breaks often and pictures, and don’t just stare at your feet the whole way up, there is much to be seen!
Also realize that you are couple thousand feet from the ground below. After a while of weaving through hikers, and carefully making your way up, you will reach the top.
What a sight to be seen from the top. You can look down below and see the Virgin River that wraps around Angel’s Landing back to the Narrows area. To the west you can see Zion canyon, and the Court of the Patriarchs as well as the Virgin River flowing below through the entire canyon.
When you have rested and snacked and taken pictures of everything, just head back down the way you went up. Once at the bottom you can go take a break at the shop and small restaurant in the Grotto area, or you can take the connecting trail to the Emerald Pools Trail. Another great hike with plenty of sights to see. I hope after reading this you will want to try this hike for yourself. It is extremely rewarding!
“Only an angel could land on it!” – Fredrick Fischer
This trail is roughly 5 miles round trip. I recommend wearing shoes with good traction especially if you plan to hike the whole way to the summit. Bring a camelback, plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, a camera, sunglasses, a hat and anything else you think you may need. It can be very hot in the canyon at different times of the year so hike at times when the temperature is lower. Mostly have fun be safe, and if you are afraid of heights, push through it, you will not be disappointed!