Angels Landing is one of Zion National Park’s most exhilarating hikes. The peak stands at nearly 1500 from the canyon floor and its rugged trail is not recommended for those fearful of heights. It’s definitely a strenuous hike combined with several switch-backs and rock scrambling. To access the trail head, you must take the shuttle into Zion Canyon during peak season to the Grotto. Once you’re off the shuttle, cross the road and the foot bridge over the North Fork. You will actually be taking the West Rim Trail up to Scout Lookout which is where the Angels Landing Trail begins.
Most of the Angels Landing hike is in complete sun. If you are here in the summer, make sure you start early to avoid the heat. The West Rim Trail starts out with gradual ascent, before hitting several switch-backs that ascend you very quickly. Once beyond those switch-backs you will reach Refrigerator Canyon, earning its name due to the cooler temperatures because of the shade. You will do a few more switch-backs before reaching Walter’s Wiggles (another set of short switch-backs) that lead up to Scout Lookout. Some hikers will decided to stop there because from that point, safety becomes an issue especially for younger or elderly hikers. Scout Lookout offers a great view on both sides of Angels Landing into Zion Canyon. There are restrooms there as well and it’s nice spot to take a break!
Beyond Scout Lookout, push straight ahead for a few feet until you see a warning sign and the bottom of a rock formation with chains. This is where the real fun begins. Heed the warning, there are several areas that are exposed and treacherous. Many of those areas have safety chains and rails, but still you need a good sense of balance to do this. There are several areas where you can pull over to take a rest and let other hikers pass. The trail continues up the spine of the mountain that leads to the top. Take your time and enjoy the trip up.