Angels Landing, The Grotto Trailhead, Zion National Park, Utah
Angels Landing - 5.0 Miles
The Grotto Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||5.0 Miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||4,320' - 5,808'|
|Elevation Change:||+1,488' net elevation gain|
Angels Landing is one of Zion National Park's most recognizable geologic formations. It rises 1,500' from the Zion Canyon floor and Virgin River, which wraps around its base.
This iconic trail is strenuous and not for the faint of heart: the final half mile scrambles up an exposed ridge with perilous drop-offs. Children and those fearful of heights are discouraged from attempting the summit:
The trail leads over the Virgin River and begins a relentless two mile climb on long, rough-pour switchbacks etched into the canyon wall. The rapid elevation gain offers terrific perspective on the canyon's verticality.
The trail abruptly levels through Refrigerator Canyon, a narrow slot with perennial shade. Travel intensifies at Walter's Wiggles, an (in)famous set of 21 steep, tightly-wound switchbacks.
Walter's Wiggles spill out onto Scout Lookout, a small bluff over the Virgin River that physically connects to Angels Landing by way of a narrow fin.
The West Rim Trail, which leads to Cabin Spring and other northern points, splits off into the backcountry from Scout Lookout.
The final half mile runs atop Angels Landing's steep, rugged fin. Chains have been installed for support, but proactive caution is a must. High traffic in both directions is common, and may compound the difficulty. A very early start will help avoid crowds and provide more space between you and other hikers.
The summit has limited room but offers unparalleled views across Zion Canyon. While a map isn't necessary for this hike, it will help identify many points of interest. The return scramble to Scouts Landing is equally precarious, and should be taken with the same caution and care.
GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84View these GPS points on a Google Map
- N37 15.566 W112 57.081 — The Grotto Trailhead
- An early morning start is advisable, as this popular destination sees heavy crowds throughout the day. The final approach is more easily tackled with less traffic. Turn back immediately if you see or hear lightning.
- This hike should not be attempted when any moisture is present on the Angels Landing Trail, or when there's any threat of a storm (the summit is subject to direct lightning strikes).
- Parents should exercise extreme caution with children.
- Walter's Wiggle's were carved out in 1926.
Take the Zion Canyon Shuttle to the Grotto Trailhead and Picnic Area
Zion Canyon Visitor Center
Closed: December 25
Spring: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Summer: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Fall: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Winter: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Backcountry Info, Camping & Permits Desk (including camping in the Narrows)