Angel’s Landing was earlier known as Temple of Aeolus. It is a 1,488-foot (454 m) tall rock formation in Zion National Park in southern Utah. The last half mile of the trail has steep ridges on with extreme drop off on both sides. Angel’s Landing hike is one of the most difficult and dangerous hike that Praveen and I attempted. It’s one of Zion’s most famous spots and true to its name, you will find out why only angels could land there! By the end of hike, you would dead tired, your knees may shiver and obviously the spectacular views will leave you breathless.
The trail starts at the Grotto trailhead and then you continue to hike on the West rim Trail for 2 miles. This is paved and the path is wide too. Slowly it starts to get narrower as you continue to the Angel’s Landing.
First two miles, you won’t feel the real thing of what Angel’s Landing has to offer. We stopped by and would take a few selfies. My selfie stick was new so I was so immersed with selfies at that time.
We started this hike post lunch. So we carried less food and more water. Yes please carry loads of water. You will need it at the top. As we reach the last half mile, the real challenge began. One step wrong could leave you paying for it with your life. So it’s definitely not a joke. Some areas of the trail neither have handrails to hold on, and nor it’s more than foot wide. You will be already above ~1000 feet by now and so now u practically don’t have room for mistakes.
This hike we attempted last year on this day to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. Instead of romantic candle lit dinner, we chose this. We were atop a rock 1,488-foot high , staring our heart out to the beauty nature offered us. We were so proud to have made it finally.
Mountain squirrels and too many other people were there for giving us company. Obviously it was so much different. Now these memories make us smile and I won’t be regretting this ever. A hike is always ok any day for me as it makes me feel so good.
Even as this hike is considered dangerous, Angel’s Landing hike is a heavily trafficked trail especially in the summer months. So be careful and make sure to hold on the railings well.
Quick notes –
- Hike Type: Strenuous. It starts from the Grotto trailhead and continues on the West Rim trail for two miles.
- Total distance: 5 miles RT.
- Total time required: ~4 to 5 hours
- Dogs: Not allowed
- Kid friendly: No ( Pregnant women aren’t allowed too. If you are scared of heights, please do not attempt this hike)
- Best time: Spring and Fall season – Open year round (I have been in Summer) the trail can get extremely icy in winter so be careful.
- Washrooms:Available at the Grotto trailhead.
- Parking: Available at the Grotto trailhead.
- Picnic tables: Available at the Grotto trailhead.
- Wheelchair accessible: No
- Permits required: None
Tips for Hiking Angel’s Hiking:
For the trail
- Get plenty of water for the hike. There are no water fill up area other than the start of your trail. Same for the washrooms.
- Start your hike early in the morning as it won’t be sunny and strictly follow the trail. It wouldn’t be wise to go off trail.
- In summers, the temperature can go upto 100 (F) degrees. It might make your hike not so enjoyable.
- Avoid the trail when it is icy, rainy and thunderstorms. The trail is totally exposed and definitely not a good option during thunderstorms.
- The trail is less than a foot wide in some places so be courteous to fellow hikers and maintain a safe distance. A slight mistake can kill anybody.
- Hiking poles are not recommended as they can cause trouble while climbing. The trail is rocky with both sides extremely steep especially in the last half mile. Be hands free so you can hold or take support of the chains when you hike this trail.
- Wear good sturdy boots for the hike.
- Plan your hike so you can be back before dark. During the summer months,you will need to use the shuttle service. So you would want to be back before the last bus leaves the Grotto trail bus stop.
- There is no cell phone network coverage.
- Carry some snacks if you want. We carried, trail mix, energy bars and nuts. Please don’t litter.
- Carry flashlight in case you are returning after sunset.
- Keep a sunscreen handy too!
- If you have kids who like to run free then this hike is not for you.
- Make sure they already have hiking experience and it would be a wise option to get older kids if you want to. Many people have already lost their loved ones hiking the Angel’s Landing.
Photography tips for Angel’s Landing:
- Best time to photograph would be on a clear day with some great dramatic clouds.
- Late afternoon or evening on a clear day would give you a good lighting. If you are lucky you can get the canyons overcast in the shadows. They look amazing.
- Get all your photography gear in a backpack preferably, as you can be hands free. We carried all our camera gear, we are used to it. But I would suggest go light on the weight.
- Dont expect to be alone while clicking the photographs. There is too much traffic all along the way.
- Dont stop in between the trail for photographs, as there may be many people waiting behind you and it can be dangerous especially in the last half mile.
- It would be very difficult to go on the top for sunrise shot, as it takes at least 2.5 hours of hiking one way. For sunset, however, we did not wait until sunset, it will become darker quickly and you would not want to be stranded on the ridge of a cliff at dark.
Happy and safe hiking!
Thank you for visiting! If you have any questions / suggestions / feedback you can comment below or send me an email. I would love to hear back from you.
Have a nice day!