No matter if it’s your first time or if you’ve been a dozen times before, its impossible not to feel a sense of wonder a when you’re surrounded by Zion Canyon in Zion National Park. You can easily appreciate the beauty of Zion from inside the canyon while you are surrounded on all sides by lush greens and towering cliffs. If however you prefer a more panoramic view and are up for a challenge…there’s a hike for people like you too : ) Below is our guide to hiking Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park!
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Preparing for your trip
When preparing to hike Angel’s landing there are a couple of important things to keep in mind:
- Angel’s Landing is categorized as a strenuous hike by Zion National Park. If you are looking for an easy or casual hike, this is probably not the hike for you.
- The hike to Angel’s Landing and back is about 5 miles and will take about 5 hours. There are no bathrooms or fill up station for water along the way, so make sure you come prepared!
- There is not a lot of shade along the trail and it can get pretty hot around midday. Plan your hike accordingly and get an early start. I would recommend starting around 7-7:30 am. Try to avoid hiking during the hottest time of day (12 pm-3 pm if possible).
What to Bring
- Shoes: closed toed with good traction for hiking and climbing
- Hat: with a brim to protect your face and neck. Sun Protection Zone Outdoor Hat
- Sunscreen: don’t forget to reapply! Missha All Around Safe Block
- Water: preferably one that you don’t need to hold, as you’ll want your hands free for part of this hike. I recommend the Camelback Crux Hydration Reservoir. It holds 3L of water, comes with a bite valve for convenient hydration, and will fit in your backpack.
- Food: make sure you eat to replenish the energy that your body is burning. It is also important to balance your food and water intake to maintain your body’s electrolytes. Pacific Gold Beef Jerky, Cliff Bars
- Backpack: to store everything so you can keep your hands free
- Sunglasses: so you don’t have to squint while climbing up. Ray-Ban Men’s Polarized Sunglasses
- Camera/phone: something to take pictures while climbing and when you get to the top! Nikon D3200 and Sigma 17-55mm f/2.8 lens
Part 1: The relatively easy part of the hike
The first leg of the hike is a nice easy stroll along the river in the shade of the trees. On our way down we saw some beleaguered hikers laying in the water!
Look upwards to the sky and keep on looking…and you still won’t be able to see the peak. Up there is the end of the first third of your climb!
As a reward for making through the first leg of the hike, you get this amazing view.
Here you can see the winding switchbacks that take you up from the canyon floor. If you get an early start you might be lucky enough to have some shade on the way up.
A couple of rough steps to go and…congrats! You made it to the top of the first leg of the hike.
The second part of the hike takes you between mountains to a section called “the refrigerator.” During the morning it was pleasantly cool in the canyon and shaded the entire way!
The view is amazing even in between the mountains!
Part 2: the stressful part where you will be challenged mentally and physically
“Hey are those little dots up there people?”
That’s what I asked my girlfriend as we gazed skywards and caught our first look at the peak where Angel’s Landing crested above us.
It looked like a daunting climb, but it was even harder than I imagined. The second half of the hike was not only physically taxing, but also mentally taxing. The trail to the peak was steeper and narrower than the first half of the hike and requires hanging onto thick chains bolted into the mountainside to keep your balance. If you have a severe fear of heights or are physically unable to make it to the top, you can still catch a great view from Scout’s Lookout without having to go all the way to the top.
Scout’s Lookout is a good place to catch a break and mentally prepare yourself for whats to come.
This little landing covered with shade and nice, flat rocks is a great place to catch a breather before the last leg up to the summit of Angel’s Landing.
After a long hike, we finally made it to the top!
This is the view that I climbed all this way to see!
The look of two tired, but elated hikers celebrating their successful climb to Angel’s Landing!
Angels landing is the hike of a lifetime! If your looking for beautiful scenery, a spectacular view, and a challenging hike, I would definitely recommend this hike.
What are some challenging hikes that you have gone on?
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