Angel’s Landing, Zion. Is it the USA’s most dangerous hike?
Well if you read the news, and all the top articles on the hike, you’ll believe that it is. But if you use some common sense, and realise that the short hike inside one of the USA’s most visited National Parks, Zion, isn’t in fact the most dangerous hike inside of the USA.
Yes, people have died climbing Angel’s Landing in Zion, but it’s a bold claim to make it the most dangerous hike in the whole of the USA based upon this one metric.
Most deadly? Maybe.
Most dangerous? Definitely not.
However, all being said and done it is one of the most incredible hikes I’ve ever done and if you’re visiting Utah, and especially Zion, it most definitely should be on your list to do.
How to get to the Angel’s Landing Hike in Zion
Located in the absolutely mesmerising Zion National Park in Utah. Arguably America’s best state, this hike is now a PERMIT-ONLY hike.
You can apply for the permit here:
The hike itself is located in Zion National Park.
If you’re visiting in the summer then you will have to park at the visitor centre and catch the shuttle bus to and from the trailhead. If you’re visiting outside of this, then you can drive through to the trailhead car park.
Would strongly recommend trying to get an early permit so that you have the trail more or less to yourself and it won’t slow you down on the bottleneck section of the hike.
My Experience with Angel’s Landing Zion
Having not realised it was permitted only for the hike, I nearly missed getting the opportunity to hike this incredible viewpoint when visiting Zion.
Thankfully, a last-minute permit application and we were granted permits early the next morning.
When you read through guides and experiences online it’s easy to feel a little nervous and anxious about this hike, but I am here to tell you not to worry, it’s not anywhere near as bad as people make out.
Yes, there is a section that is exposed.
Yes, it can be a challenging hike if you’re not physically fit.
Yes, it can be scary when you’re on the cables.
But if you get morning permits, set off from the first bus, and take your time, you’ll have an incredible experience and be so glad you made it to Angel’s Landing.
The hike itself has some interesting points.
A series of famous short, but steep, switch backs take you to the first overlook when you’ve hiked gradually up hill for a short while.
From this viewpoint, the chains start, and the exposure begins. If you’re sensible on this section it’s nowhere near as bad as it looks and as mentioned, if you time this right and there aren’t too many others on the trail – you’ll be fine.
If you’re coming midday, in the middle of summer, then this will be a tricky section and you’ll be waiting a lot for people coming up and coming down.
Once you’ve overcome this section you’ll have successfully made it to the top of Angel’s Landing!