Length: 4.8 miles
Elevation gain: 1,630 feet
Route type: Out & Back
During my visit to Zion, I was rather excited by all the possible hikes. Hikes through the Virgin river, hikes up the canyon walls, and more! If there is 1 hike in Zion that is most widely known and glamorized, it's Angels Landing. It's the terrifying, death-defying, spectacular view providing hike of your dreams! It will certainly put a notch in your hiking belt to complete this hike. Because of all that it offers, it can be a very crowded hike and given how narrow and treacherous the trail can be, this is not an ideal situation to find yourself in. Pile on top of that the exposure to the elements should the weather turn and it can be deadly if you aren't careful. If there is just one piece of advice I can offer after doing this hike it's this: be prepared! Be prepared for large crowds, long lines, desert conditions, potential for changing weather, and even be ready for people who shouldn't be out there... Yes, the draw of this hike is so great that even people terrified of heights will want to try to prove to themselves that they can do it. On my hike there were two people in this position on the trail. They held up the lines as they talked themselves through it. Not who you want to be caught with if the weather should get ugly.
This trail is strenuous! On this trail, hikers will gain approximately 1,500 feet in just 2.4 miles. Certainly there are harder, more rapid elevation gains on other trails however, unlike other trails, you will make most of your elevation gains in a much shorter distance thanks to winding switch backs. Along the trail, you will pass through Refrigerator Canyon, ascend Walter's Wiggles, and Scout's Lookout before you head out to Angels Landing. The views from all along the trail will be nothing short of impressive and the view from atop Angels Landing is absolutely worth it!
Be prepared! Bring adequate water on your hike. Although it may not seem like it, Zion is still considered a desert. You will be losing water through evaporated sweat even if it doesn't seem like it and hiking this trail while dehydrated is a very bad idea. Also check on trail conditions before you hike. As Angels Landing is a very exposed trail, high winds, rain, and even ice could make this dangerous trail even more treacherous.
Watch the heights! No one needs to get hurt or killed. These are very serious drops on very narrow ledges. Be smart and don't do anything stupid. On my hike, I kid you not, I watched a pair of teens doing yoga head standing on a column atop Angels Landing. Had the wind picked up suddenly or had this teen lost balance in the wrong way, it would have been a long but quick drop to the bottom.