Angels Landing in Zion National Park is one of the most famous and thrilling hikes in North America. The trail begins with an easy walk along the Virgin River but shortly begins to climb as it carves back and forth along the cliff base. A series of tight switchbacks, called Walter’s Wiggles, gains elevation rapidly as the trail climbs up to Scout Lookout. Scout Lookout boasts amazing views and provides hikers space to rest while taking in their first view of the daunting remainder of the trail to Angels Landing. This final climactic section of the trail traverses a narrow fin of rock with sheer drop-offs on both sides. Conquering this final ascent of 500 feet will require rock scrambling and careful maneuvering around obstacles and other adventurers. The victorious adventurer will be rewarded with 360 degree views of Zion Canyon with the the trail head and the Virgin River nearly 1500 feet (450 m) below.
Epic adventures and views aside, this hike is not to be underestimated. It is strenuous and dangerous with little room for error. If you have a fear of heights or are not steady on your feet then this trail is NOT for you. Hikers have been known to fall to their deaths on this trail. Some hikers, knowing their own limits, will make Scout Lookout their final destination. Though they forego the dangerous portion, they are still rewarded with exhilarating scenery. This experience will occupy four hours or more and is 5.4 miles (8.7 km) in length.