Zion National Park: Angel’s Landing Hike

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I first visited Zion National Park in 2008, and always wanted to return, specifically to complete the Angel’s Landing hike.  There is something magical about those red cliffs and canyons. When my Grand Canyon rafting trip ended in Vegas, I seized the opportunity to head back to Springdale for what turned out to be my version of a perfect day.  We stayed at Flanigan’s on my first visit, and I loved it so much, I didn’t consider any other options for this trip.

The town of Springdale has a free shuttle that goes up and down Main Street and will deliver you to the park entrance, where the Park Shuttle system takes over.  Compared to a park like Yellowstone, which has frequent traffic jams and overflowing parking lots, it’s so refreshing to just hop on and off a shuttle bus.  More parks need to implement a shuttle system like this!

Town shuttle in Springdale - one of my favorite things about this area are the free shuttles!

My biggest goal for this part of the trip was to complete the Angel’s Landing trail after a failed attempt in 2008.  (Failed because it got way too crowded and freaked me out!) I set my alarm for 5am and got up before dark to head out.  Luckily, the hotel is about a 10 minute walk from the park entrance, where I caught the first shuttle bus into Zion Canyon.  I hit the trailhead right at 7:00 as the sun was coming up.  Two hours later, I was on top of Angel’s Landing.  After a few celebratory photos and a quick snack, it was time to head back down and thread through the crowds of people coming up.  Between the crowds and the heat, I was so grateful for having gotten an early morning start.

Much of the last 1/2 mile of the Angel’s Landing trail is done with the help of chains, as there are steep drop-offs on both sides of the ridge.

After finishing the Angel’s Landing hike by 11am with tired, blistered feet, I had the rest of the day to spend at the pool – lounging and reading until my 4:00 spa appointment.  Yeah, I know, after 11 days on the Colorado River, I was already pretty relaxed, but it still felt great to sunbathe and catch up on my reading.

The pool at Flanigan's - I love that view!

After a few hours poolside, it was time to go check in for my spa appointments.  I  booked a facial and a massage to undo any damage from 10 nights of camping.  I started out with a facial from Carisa , followed by a massage by Michelle.  Both were fantastic and it was fun chatting with them about local events and growing up in Utah.

After a stroll around town and a quick bite for dinner, I returned to my comfy king bed for one more night in Utah.  The next day, I took my time heading back to Vegas for a redeye flight home.  I can only hope it’s not another 7 years before I make it back to this magical wonderland!

For the rest of my Zion pictures, click here!

Have you hiked the Angel’s Landing trail? What did you think of it?


angels landing hike

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13 thoughts on “Zion National Park: Angel’s Landing Hike

  1. Wow! Stunning views, but I’m not sure I’m brave enough to attempt a hike like this one! I’m going to use my 8 year old as an excuse to stay down below where I belong!

  2. This came just at the right time, as I’m heading to Zion in November! I’ll have to check out this hike (and the massage!). Good to know that like many hikes, the earlier the start, the better! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Enjoy! I’m heading back to the area tomorrow 🙂 In November, you might have icy mornings where you’d want to wait for the sun, but best to check with a ranger before setting out!

  3. I understand why you got up early for the hike, too many people freak me out too! It looks like it was worth it as your photos are beautiful. The view from your sun lounger also looks good!

  4. I literally just came back from a southwestern road trip couple weeks ago. We only drove through Zion though and now I’m just totally regretting it! The spa after the hike sounds like a great idea and definitely well-deserved!!!

    • That’s the thing about this area – there’s so much, you can’t cover it all. I’m in St George now, for the third time and seriously think I could live here!

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