How to Hike Angel's Landing in Zion National Park (permit, gear, trail details, & more)
Welcome to our comprehensive guide to one of the most exhilarating hikes in the United States: Angels Landing in Zion National Park, Utah. Nestled within the grandeur of nature's masterpiece, this trail offers an adventure that combines awe-inspiring vistas, a touch of adrenaline, and an unforgettable experience. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a courageous beginner, this guide is designed to equip you with all the essential information you need to conquer Angels Landing in all its majestic glory. So lace up those hiking boots, it's time to explore!
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Zion National Park, a majestic haven of natural beauty, is situated in the southwestern region of Utah. Renowned for its distinctive red cliffs and breathtaking landscapes, the park covers 229 square miles of diverse terrain, offering visitors a unique blend of adventure and serenity. One of the park's must-see attractions is Angels Landing, a popular hiking spot known for its panoramic views.
What is Angels Landing?
Angels Landing is one of the most iconic trails located in Zion National Park, Utah. This dramatic five-mile round trip hike offers a challenging yet rewarding experience that is renowned for its sheer cliffs and narrow paths. The hike culminates at the summit of a rock formation known as Angels Landing, providing hikers with unparalleled, 360-degree views of the stunning Zion Canyon below. This trail is not for the faint-hearted, but those who brave it are rewarded with one of the most breathtaking vistas in the entire park.
Why is Angels Landing so popular?
Angels Landing's popularity stems from its unique combination of thrill and scenic beauty. The trail offers an adrenaline pumping, heart-racing experience due to its sheer drops and narrow pathways. Despite the challenge, it's the awe-inspiring panoramic views of Zion Canyon's red cliffs and verdant valleys that truly capture the hearts of hikers. A successful hike gives visitors a sense of accomplishment and an unforgettable encounter with the magnificent natural beauty of Zion National Park.
To reach Zion National Park in southwestern Utah, visitors have several options depending on their starting location. If traveling by air, the closest major airports are Las Vegas McCarran International Airport and Salt Lake City International Airport. From there, you can rent a car and drive to the park. The journey from Las Vegas is approximately 2.5 hours, and from Salt Lake City, it's around 4.5 hours. For those who prefer ground travel, bus services are available from major cities, and include stops at popular nearby attractions. Detailed directions and additional travel information can be found on the Zion National Park official website.
Flying to Zion National Park
If you're planning to fly to Zion National Park, the closest major airports to consider are in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Salt Lake City, Utah. Phoenix is an option, too if you plan to visit more of the Arizona desert during your trip. Upon arrival, car rental services are readily available at all three airports. If you're arriving towards the end of the day and plan to drive directly to Zion from the airport, keep in mind that the roads through Utah are remote, dark, and have lots of wildlife so be careful and drive alert.
Las Vegas International Airport (LAS) to Zion National Park: 163 mi | 2 hr 20 min | Google Maps
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to Zion National Park: 274 mi | 3 hr 45 min | Google Maps
Phoenix International Airport (PHX) to Zion National Park: 381 mi | 5 hr 54 min | Google Maps
Driving to Zion National Park
Driving to Zion National Park is a wonderful option if you're like us and plan to camp during your stay. Not having to check all of your camping gear at the airport will save you a headache and who doesn't love a good road trip? Utah is famous for the "mighty five" national parks: Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Bryce Canyon. Many people choose to make one big road trip and visit all five at one time which we'd highly recommend if you have the time to do so!
Arches National Park to Zion National Park: 302 mi | 4 hr 18 min | Google Maps
Canyonlands National Park to Zion National Park: 314 mi | 4 hr 33 min | Google Maps
Capitol Reef National Park to Zion National Park: 176 mi | 2 hr 55 min | Google Maps
Bryce Canyon National Park to Zion National Park: 72 mi | 1 hr 17 min | Google Maps
Flagstaff, AZ to Zion National Park: 237 mi | 3 hr 54 min | Google Maps
Las Vegas, NV to Zion National Park: 152 mi | 2 hr 8 min | Google Maps
Salt Lake City, UT to Zion National Park: 269 mi | 3 hr 37 min | Google Maps
If you're planning to make one big road trip out of the Might Five, keep in mind that there are a few good small towns near the national parks that make great stopping points for groceries, hotels, restaurants, and any other sort of resupply for goods you may need. Many of the small towns in this region of the country cater to national parks tourists and will be equipped with more outdoor gear than what you might usually find in any other small town across America. We'd recommend keeping Kanab, St. George, and Moab, Utah in mind when planning your route.
Zion National Park entrance fees and passes
Entry to Zion National Park is charged per vehicle or individual, and fees are valid for seven days. As of 2023, private vehicles are charged at $35, motorcycles at $30, snowmobiles at $20, and individuals entering by foot, bike, or shuttle are charged $20 each.
For frequent visitors to national parks, the America the Beautiful Pass is a cost-effective and convenient alternative. Priced at $80 annually, the pass provides unlimited access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the United States, including Zion National Park. The pass covers entrance fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas or up to four adults at sites that charge per person. We purchase the America the Beautiful Pass every year and it always pays for itself multiple times over since we visit lots of national parks each year! Keep in mind that
Note: Deep discounts are given on the America the Beautiful Pass for seniors, military, those with permanent disabilities, and fourth grade students. Some of these categories are even free so be sure to check to see if you qualify.
Angels landing has its own separate permit in addition to the park entrance fee which we'll discuss more later in this travel guide.
Staying in and around Zion National Park
Zion National Park offers a variety of accommodations that cater to all types of visitors. Inside the park, visitors can choose to stay at the Zion Lodge, which provides hotel rooms, cabins, and suites. Additionally, threeo campgrounds, the Watchman Campground, Lava Point, and the South Campground, are available within the park for those who wish to be closer to nature. A myriad of hotels, motels, and vacation rentals are also available in the neighboring towns, such as Springdale, which is just outside the park entrance. Remember, booking in advance is highly recommended, especially during peak season.
Camping when visiting Zion National Park presents an unparalleled opportunity to immerse oneself in the breathtaking beauty and serenity of nature. It is an experience that combines adventure with tranquility, providing a unique way to experience Zion's stunning landscapes.
This campground is conveniently located near the South Entrance and offers both tent and electric campsites. Amenities include flush toilets, drinking water, picnic tables, fire pits, and access to the Virgin River. It's open year-round and reservations are highly recommended and are available to book six months in advance. RV and tent sites available.
Slightly closer to the park entrance, South Campground offers beautiful views and quick access to the park's shuttle service. Sites here are available for reservation two weeks before arrival, and facilities include restrooms, drinking water, picnic tables, and fire pits. RV and tent sites available.
Address: 6228+F3C, 1 Zion Park Blvd, Springdale, UT 84767 | Google Maps
For a more remote experience, consider Lava Point Campground. This small, primitive campground, located about an hour's drive from Zion Canyon, offers six first-come, first-served campsites with pit toilets, picnic tables, and fire pits, but no water. It's typically open May through September, weather permitting, but always closed in the winter. This is a tent only campground.
Address: Zion National Park, Springdale, UT 84767 | Google Maps
Glamping, a portmanteau of 'glamorous' and 'camping', embodies the sweetness of the great outdoors with the comforts and amenities of home. It's an upscale version of traditional camping where you can enjoy the beauty of nature without sacrificing the luxury of a comfortable bed, heating or air conditioning, and even private bathrooms. Perfect for those who love the idea of camping but aren't thrilled about 'roughing it,' glamping in Zion National Park is a unique way to experience the majesty of the park while enjoying a touch of luxury.
Zion Wildflower Resort
For those seeking a touch of luxury in the wilderness, Zion Wildflower Resort offers exceptional 'glamping' (glamorous camping) experiences. Nestled on the edge of Zion National Park, this resort presents a unique blend of comfort and nature. They provide a variety of accommodations, such as bell tents, covered wagons, and tiny homes, all furnished with cozy, modern amenities. It's the perfect option for visitors who want to enjoy the natural beauty of Zion National Park without sacrificing comfort.
Address: 100 Kolob Ter Rd, Virgin, UT 84779 | Google Maps
Located in a serene setting near Zion National Park is the Under Canvas Zion. This luxury camping site offers a unique camping experience with all the modern amenities. Visitors can choose to stay in safari-inspired canvas tents, each equipped with plush king-size beds, wood-burning stoves, and private bathrooms. The site also offers guided tours and activities, making it an excellent choice for an adventurous yet comfortable stay.
Note: Under Canvas Zion is open seasonally, usually from mid March - early November.
Address: 3955 Kolob Terrace Rd, Virgin, UT 84779 | Google Maps
Cable Mountain Lodge is a stunning hotel located at the entrance of Zion National Park. It boasts of comfortable rooms with kitchenettes, an outdoor pool, and a picnic area. The hotel often gets praised for its clean facilities and the breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery. For guests looking for a bit more pampering, the lodge has a full service spa on site where visitors can get a little R&R between hikes in Zion.
Address: 147 Zion Park Blvd, Springdale, UT 84767 | Google Maps
Desert Pearl Inn
The Desert Pearl Inn, nestled in the heart of Springdale, offers spacious and beautifully adorned rooms. Its riverside location offers a tranquil environment, and the lush, well-maintained grounds make it an oasis in the desert. Guests enjoy the pool and comfortable rooms to relax after a warm day in sunny Utah.
Address: 707 Zion Park Blvd, Springdale, UT 84767 | Google Maps
Curled up in the shadow of Zion National Park, Cliffrose Springdale is an idyllic haven for those seeking comfort and luxury. Its spacious rooms, beautifully landscaped gardens, and stunning views of Zion cliffs create an atmosphere of tranquility. After exploring the wonders of Angels Landing, guests can unwind by the riverside pool or dine in the award-winning on-site restaurant.
Address: 281 Zion Park Blvd, Springdale, UT 84767 | Google Maps
Angels Landing Permit 2024
As of 2024, the Angels Landing hike works on a lottery permit system for all hikers, all year around. No matter when you plan to visit Zion National Park, if you intend to hike Angels Landing, you must have a permit! Permits can be applied for at recreation.gov. For detailed information as to how to apply and secure the permit, checkout this three minute video by the NPS on exactly how to get that highly desirable permit.
You will need to carry a copy of your permit with you while on the trail so be sure to have it ready either digitally or a hardcopy printed out prior to arrival in the park. Keep in mind that most people do not have cell service inside Zion National Park, so if you plan to rely on the digital version of your permit, make sure you have it downloaded prior to arriving at the park.
Before embarking on your adventure to Zion National Park and Angels Landing, it's vital to ensure that you're well-prepared for the journey. This section will guide you through essential items to pack, the best times to visit the park, and other key considerations to help you plan your trip effectively and make your experience in Utah truly unforgettable.
Best time of year to hike Angels Landing
The best time to hike Angels Landing in Zion National Park largely depends on your personal preferences and what you hope to experience. We hiked Angels Landing in early November and found that it was the perfect time of year to do so! The weather was cool in the morning but by the time we finished the hike we had taken off our jackets and were sitting on a nearby patio for lunch in the sunshine. It was perfect! You might not expect the desert to have fall colors, but Zion does have fall color and the contrast against the orange rock is stunning! Everyone has their weather preferences but always go prepared!
Spring (March to May): This season is considered the optimal time for hiking Angels Landing. The weather is typically mild and pleasant, with daytime highs ranging from 60°F to 80°F. The park bursts into color as wildflowers bloom, enhancing the scenic beauty of the trails.
Summer (June to August): Summers in Zion National Park can be extremely hot, with temperatures exceeding 100°F. If you plan to hike Angels Landing in the summer, start early in the morning to avoid the midday heat. Despite the high temperatures, summer is the peak tourist season, so expect crowded trails.
Fall (September to November): Fall is another great time to hike Angels Landing. The weather is similar to spring, and the park's foliage turns into a breathtaking palette of autumnal colors. The trails are less crowded than in summer, offering a more peaceful hiking experience.
Winter (December to February): Winter hiking in Zion is an adventure for the well-prepared. While the park sees fewer visitors, Angels Landing can be hazardous due to snow and ice. Proper gear and caution are essential.
Remember, regardless of the season, always check the weather and trail conditions before setting out on your hike.
The Angels Landing hike is approximately 5.4 miles (8.7 kilometers) round trip, including the section on the West Rim Trail. It typically takes between 4 to 5 hours to complete the entire hike, depending on your pace and how long you spend at the summit. The journey is strenuous, involving a steep climb with numerous switchbacks and a final segment along a narrow ridge. This challenging hike rewards with breathtaking panoramic views of Zion National Park.
Length: 5.4 mi | Elevation gain: 1488 ft | Route type: Out & back
Angels Landing is categorized as challenging, making it one of the more adventurous hikes within Zion National Park. The trail is not considered suitable for children, the elderly, or anyone with a fear of heights. The 5.4 mile round trip hike includes a steep and narrow ridge with sharp drop-offs on either side along the last half-mile to the summit. This final stretch is known as Hogsback and requires scrambling over rocks and holding onto chains for support. Despite the challenge, completing the Angels Landing hike is a notable achievement and provides an adrenaline-fueled experience. Remember, this hike is not to be taken lightly and requires a good level of fitness and a strong head for heights. However, the breathtaking panoramic views at the summit make the exertion worthwhile.
What to pack for the hike
Whether you're an experienced hiker or a novice, packing the right gear is crucial for a successful and safe hike to Angels Landing. Here's a comprehensive list of what you should pack:
Garmin inReach Mini 2: This is always our number one must have item when doing anything outdoors. We never leave home without our Garmin inReach Mini 2 (seriously, it's always on me). This is one of those pieces of gear that you don't need until you need and because it comes with a price tag many people put off buying. We did, too, for a while and regret it! This is a satellite emergency communication device that can send/receive text messages and can send out an S.O.S. call with one click of a button which can [literally] save your life.
Water bottle(s): The general rule of thumb is .5 liters of water per person per half hour on the trail. Keep in mind that Angels Landing is in the desert so if you intend to hike the trail in the heat of the day (which we don't recommend) you'll need more water. We recommend learning how to calculate hoe much water you'll need on the trail before you go. We prefer carrying Nalgene bottles when hiking because they're durable and lightweight.
Snacks: High-energy snacks like nuts, dried fruit, and granola bars can be a lifesaver. Keep in mind that if you're planning on hiking Angels Landing in the heat you'll want to bring some electrolytes with you, too. We always like carrying a few LMNT packets with us so we can just toss one in our water bottle if we start to feel fatigued.
Sunscreen: Pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from the Utah sun. We recommend Thinksport since it's natural, zinc oxide based, and reef safe.
Hiking shoes: Sturdy shoes with good grip are a must for the steep and sometimes slippery terrain! One of the biggest mistakes you can make when hiking Angels Landing is wearing the wrong shoes. The rock you're climbing along Hogsback is very smooth and slippery, even in dry conditions. We both prefer trail running shoes for hiking since they're lightweight, but if you need the ankle support, a good pair of hiking boots is a must.
Backpack: A lightweight, comfortable backpack is necessary for carrying your essentials. Having one with a water bottle/bladder built in is handy but not required.
Map and compass: While the trail is well-marked, having a map and compass is a good precaution.
First aid kit: Always bring a basic first aid kit for unexpected injuries.
Camera: Don't forget your camera to capture the stunning views from the top!
Headlamp or Flashlight: If you plan to start early or finish late, a headlamp or flashlight is necessary. We have a great headlamp which we take with us on every hike. We prefer headlamps to flashlights since they're handsfree.
Remember, all items should be packed in a manner that allows easy access to essentials and distributes weight evenly in your backpack. Happy hiking!
Step-by-step guide for hiking the trail
Step 1: Start early
Kickstart your journey at dawn to beat the crowd and the heat, especially during the summer months. Begin your hike at the Grotto trailhead.
Step 2: Take the West Rim Trail
Your first section of the hike will be the West Rim Trail, a well-marked path that ascends gradually. This part of the trail is relatively easier compared to what lies ahead.
Step 3: Traverse Refrigerator Canyon
Next, you will head into Refrigerator Canyon. This is a flat, sandy, and shady spot that offers a cool respite before the strenuous climb ahead.
Step 4: Conquer Walter's Wiggles
As you exit Refrigerator Canyon, you will be met by an infamous set of 21 switchbacks known as Walter's Wiggles. These switchbacks are steep and can be quite challenging but know that you are nearing the hardest part of the hike.
Step 5: Reach Scout Lookout
After the Wiggles, you'll reach Scout Lookout. This is a great spot to rest, use the restroom (pit toilet), and assess whether you're prepared for the next, most challenging segment of the hike.
Note: while there are pit toilets at Scout Lookout, no water is available so be sure you pack plenty!
Step 6: The final stretch – Hogsback and Angels Landing
Now comes the toughest part of the hike. This segment involves narrow paths, sharp drop-offs, and chain-assisted scrambling. It's not for the faint-hearted, but the stunning 360-degree views at the top are worth it. Remember to take your time, hold on to the chains, and watch your step.
Step 7: Return
Once you've taken in the views, it's time to carefully descend the same way you came up. Be cautious as some sections can be even more challenging on the way down.
Safety Information for hiking Angels Landing
Next up, we'll cover the important details on obtaining the Angels Landing Permit for 2024. This permit is a crucial requirement for anyone planning to undertake this exhilarating hike. Furthermore, we'll delve into essential safety information for hiking Angels Landing. These guidelines will ensure that you have a safe and memorable adventure on one of Zion National Park's most iconic trails.
Is Angles Landing dangerous?
Angels Landing is considered one of the most dangerous hikes in the national park system. Its reputation is primarily due to the final half-mile stretch, known as Hogsback, where narrow paths and sharp drop-offs become the norm. There are chains installed along these sections to provide support, but the risk of falling is real, especially if caution is not exercised. Weather conditions can also increase the trail's difficulty; rain, snow, or high winds can make the path slippery and hazardous. Despite these risks, countless hikers complete the trail safely each year by respecting the trail's dangers, preparing adequately, and never venturing beyond their comfort zone or ability level. It is strongly advised to avoid hiking Angels Landing in inclement weather or if you have a severe fear of heights. Safety should always be your primary concern.
How many people have died on the Angels Landing hike?
While exact figures can vary, according to the National Park Service, there have been several fatalities on the Angels Landing trail over the past decade. As of 2023 the number is estimated that at least 17 people have died on the Angels Landing Trail. The majority of these unfortunate incidents were the result of falls from dangerous heights. This underscores the need for hikers to exercise extreme caution when navigating the more treacherous sections of the trail. It is crucial to always stay within your comfort and ability level, make use of the safety chains, and refrain from attempting the hike during adverse weather conditions.
Common mistakes to avoid
While hiking Angels Landing, some common mistakes people often make include:
Not telling someone where you're going - Before you even hit the trail, make sure you tell someone where you're going and when you're expected back. This way just in case something happens, someone will know something is wrong and to come looking for you.
Underestimating the difficulty of the hike - Many people underestimate the strenuous nature of the Angels Landing hike. This isn't a casual stroll in the park. It's a steep, challenging ascent that requires physical fitness and mental preparedness. Not being in suitable shape or not having the right mindset can lead to difficulties on the trail.
Not paying attention to the time - A key mistake people make is starting the hike too late in the day. Starting early is crucial to avoid the afternoon heat and the crowds. It also ensures you have ample daylight for your descent.
Wearing incorrect footwear - Some hikers make the mistake of wearing unsuitable shoes for this hike. Slippery or unstable footwear can be dangerous, especially on the last section of the trail where the path is narrow and precipitous.
Ignoring weather conditions - Ignoring or not checking weather conditions is another common mistake. Rain can make the trail slippery and dangerous, and high winds can make some sections of the trail particularly hazardous.
Not using the safety chains - On the final, most challenging section of the trail, safety chains are installed to assist hikers. Some adventurous hikers choose not to use them, risking slips or falls on the treacherous cliffside trail.
Carrying Too Much Weight - Some hikers make the mistake of carrying too much weight. Overpacking can make the tough climb even harder and more tiring. It's important to pack light, carrying only the essentials for this hike.
Remember, knowledge and preparation are the keys to a safe and enjoyable hike to the top of Angels Landing.
Other things to do in Zion National Park
Zion National Park is not just about the thrilling hike to Angels Landing. The park boasts a diverse landscape filled with a plethora of attractions that cater to visitors of all ages and interest levels. From scenic drives and leisurely walks to challenging hikes and wildlife spotting, there's plenty to see and do beyond conquering Angels Landing.
Go hiking on the many trails that aren't Angels Landing
Beyond the adrenaline-pumping journey to Angels Landing, Zion National Park offers an abundance of other hiking trails that deliver unique experiences. From the tranquility of the Riverside Walk to the captivating beauty of the Emerald Pools hike, the park offers a multitude of trails, each providing a distinct perspective of Zion's majestic landscape.
The Narrows is one of the most iconic hikes in Zion, taking you through the deepest sections of Zion Canyon. The majority of this hike takes place in the Virgin River, so be prepared to get wet. It is strongly advised to hike this trail in waders which can be rented nearby. If you're interested in hiking this trail, checkout this complete guide to The Narrows.
Length: 8.9 mi | Elevation gain: 695 ft | Route type: Out & back
Observation Point is a moderately challenging 7-mile round trip hike that rewards hikers with a spectacular view of Zion Canyon. The trail is less crowded than Angels Landing, but offers an even higher vantage point.
Emerald Pools is a family-friendly hike leading to a series of pools and waterfalls. It's ideal for those looking for a less strenuous trail.
Length: 3 mi | Elevation gain: 620 ft | Route type: Loop
Canyon Overlook Trail
Canyon Overlook Trail is a short, 1-mile trail that provides incredible views of Zion Canyon. It's a great alternative for those who are not comfortable with the heights and exposure of Angels Landing.
Length: 1 mi | Elevation gain: 187 ft | Route type: Out & back
The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is an absolute must-do when you visit Zion National Park. This drive takes you through the heart of the park, offering panoramic views of towering cliffs, colorful sandstone formations, and lush, green valleys. It's perfect for those who wish to experience the beauty of the park from the comfort of their vehicle. The route is 7 miles long and is especially breathtaking during sunrise or sunset when the sun casts a warm, golden glow on the landscape. Remember to pull over at various vista points along the route to take unforgettable photos! Looking for more drive suggestions for Zion National Park? Checkout this list of routes through Zion.
Visit the cultural and historical sites
Zion National Park is rich in cultural and historical significance. The park houses numerous archeological sites that provide a glimpse into the lives of the Ancestral Puebloans who inhabited the area over a thousand years ago. Visitors can explore the remnants of ancient Native American cultures by visiting sites like the archeological remains at the Zion Human History Museum. Besides, the park's history as a Mormon pioneer settlement is evident in many of the place names throughout the park, such as the Three Patriarchs. Also, the historic Zion Lodge, built in the 1920s, offers a window into the early years of National Park Service tourism. These cultural and historical sites add another layer to the rich tapestry that makes up Zion National Park, providing visitors with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the park's past.
Cycling is a fantastic way to experience the grandeur of Zion National Park. The park's well-maintained bike paths offer a unique perspective of the landscape, allowing you to take in the breathtaking scenery at your own pace. Whether you're an experienced cyclist or a casual rider, pedaling through the park provides a sense of freedom and connection with nature that's hard to beat. Just remember to bring your helmet and plenty of water!
The Pa'rus Trail is the only paved biking trail within the park, spanning approximately 3.2 miles alongside the stunning Virgin River. This trail is a favorite among cyclists for its easy terrain and spectacular views of the river and canyon. You can either bring your own bike or rent one from local stores in nearby Springdale. Remember that while cycling is not allowed on other trails or wilderness areas within the park, the neighboring town of Springdale offers numerous additional biking paths that provide unique views of Zion's outskirts.
Road cycling in the park
For road cycling enthusiasts, Zion National Park offers a thrilling ride along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. This road takes you up close to the towering, red sandstone cliffs, providing an unbeatable panorama of the park's unique geology. Please note that private vehicles are restricted in the park from April to November, making it an ideal time for cyclists to explore the scenic drive without heavy traffic. However, always ensure you're well-equipped and prepared for the steep inclines and sharp turns along the way.
Zion National Park is a haven for wildlife watching. It's home to a diverse range of wildlife, including mule deer, bighorn sheep, and almost 300 species of birds. Stand silently in the serenity of the park, and you might spot a Peregrine falcon soaring above or hear the distinct call of a canyon wren. The park's varied habitats make it an excellent location for birding all year round. Remember to carry a pair of binoculars for a closer look and always observe wildlife from a respectful distance.
Canyoneering offers adventurous visitors to Zion National Park an unrivaled way to explore the park's unique topography. This activity combines hiking, climbing, and sometimes even swimming to traverse the park's numerous sandstone canyons. Zion National Park is renowned for its spectacular canyoneering routes, with the top-rated route being The Narrows. It's essential, however, to have appropriate safety gear and check the park's daily flash flood potential before embarking on a canyoneering expedition. For beginners, several guiding companies offer guided tours with all the necessary equipment provided.
Rock climbing in Zion National Park offers a thrilling and challenging experience for climbers of all levels. The park boasts numerous climbing routes that ascend its towering sandstone cliffs. These multi-pitch traditional climbs offer breathtaking views of the park's unique geology from high above but should only be attempted by experienced hikers. For beginner climbers we recommend booking a rock climbing tour in Zion.
Sunsets and stargazing
Zion National Park offers exceptional spots to witness breathtaking sunsets, but the Canyon Overlook Trail is particularly renowned for this spectacle. This relatively easy hike takes you to an expansive viewpoint that provides a panorama of the Zion’s landscape bathed in the glorious hues of the setting sun. As twilight morphs into dusk, the towering cliffs and expansive sandstone formations are painted with a spectrum of orange and red, creating an absolutely stunning scene. Remember to arrive early to secure a good spot, as this location is popular among photographers and sunset enthusiasts alike.
Once the sun sets, the majesty of Zion National Park continues to unfold under a blanket of stars. The park's remote location and minimal light pollution make it an ideal place for stargazing. The best place for this celestial spectacle is Kolob Canyons, a less crowded area of the park that offers pristine dark skies. Here, visitors are given a front-row seat to the stunning cosmos, with a clear view of constellations, shooting stars, and even the milky way. So, don't forget to pack a blanket, lie back, and immerse yourself in the wonders of the night sky.
"Leave No Trace" is a fundamental principle that all visitors to Zion National Park, including those hiking Angels Landing, should strictly adhere to. These principles are centered around preserving the natural beauty of the park and minimizing human impact on its ecosystems. Essentially, they advocate for leaving the park as you found it. This includes not littering, not disturbing wildlife, and refraining from picking plants or moving rocks. It's also crucial to stay on designated trails to prevent erosion and damage to native vegetation. Campers should use established campsites and fires are only allowed in designated fire pits. Remember, your actions have a lasting impact; respect and protect the park's natural and cultural resources for future generations to enjoy.
Final thoughts and encouragement
As you prepare to embark on the rewarding journey that is the Angels Landing hike, remember that every step, every vista, and every challenge is part of the unique beauty that makes this trail a treasured jewel of Zion National Park. Do not be discouraged by the difficulty of the trek; instead, embrace it. The journey to the top may be steep and strenuous, but the panoramic views of the magnificent Zion Canyon waiting at the summit are worth every drop of sweat. Respect the trail, tread carefully, and take in all the awe-inspiring wonder that nature has to offer. Your adventure to Angels Landing will surely be an experience that you will carry with you long after you've descended from its peak. Safe travels, and happy hiking!
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We're Chris and Sara
A creative husband and wife duo from a small-town in Tennessee with passion for all things travel. Checkout the links below to join us on our past, present, and future adventures!