By Michael Lanza

Thrilling, scenic, and enormously popular, an impressive feat of trail building, an intimidating and exposed scramble—these are some of the descriptions commonly given to Angels Landing in Zion National Park, all of them accurate. It also has a reputation as one of the scariest and most dangerous hikes in the National Park System—a claim that would seem somewhat overblown just by virtue of the fact that innumerable tens of thousands of people, including many novice hikers, safely venture up and down it every year.

Constructed nearly a century ago and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, now one of the classic dayhikes in America and certainly one of “The 25 Best National Park Dayhikes,” Angels Landing is safe for anyone exercising reasonable caution and should be in the sights of every avid hiker. This story explains what you need to know about it.

For those willing to brave the exposure, the 5,790-foot summit offers arguably the best view of Zion Canyon.

Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here for my e-guides to classic backpacking trips. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

A teenage boy hiking Angels Landing, Zion National Park.
” data-image-caption=”My son, Nate, hiking Angels Landing in Zion National Park.
” data-medium-file=”″ data-large-file=”″ width=”900″ height=”600″ src=”″ alt=”A teenage boy hiking Angels Landing, Zion National Park.” class=”wp-image-35512″ srcset=” 1024w, 300w, 768w, 1080w, 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 900px) 100vw, 900px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />My son, Nate, hiking Angels Landing in Zion National Park.

Having hiked Angels Landing several times over the years—and taken my kids up it as young as age five—at times when the trail has been packed with a conga line of hikers and when I’ve enjoyed it nearly to myself, I’ve seen the many faces of Angels Landing and enjoyed it every time.

The out-and-back hike begins from the Grotto Trailhead in Zion Canyon, one of the stops on the free and frequent park shuttle buses that operate generally from mid-March through October. (Private vehicles are generally only permitted in upper Zion Canyon outside the season that the park shuttles
Did you miss our previous article…