2 mi, ~1–2 hr, Intermediate-Hard, Stop #6 The Grotto
How to get there: Park in Zion’s Visitor Center lot. It’s pretty big, but gets crowded during peak season so you have to park outside the park and walk in. Take the complimentary shuttle to The Grotto (6). Walk across the street to the Angel’s Landing trailhead on the right (part of West Rim Trail).
The hike starts on a sandy path along the river before hitting a paved part that begins a mild incline. Soon you hit the first set of longer switchbacks climbing to Refrigerator Canyon where you walk along tall canyon walls. It flattens out for a bit in the canyon until you reach the challenging 21 switchbacks called Walter’s Wiggles. After that you are rewarded with the view atop Scout’s Lookout!
Overall this isn’t an easy hike but also not impossible. It’s just a steep incline but as long as you take breaks when appropriate, it is a great hike! We went on a rainy day so the heat nor crowd was an issue. But many suggest arriving early to avoid both. While many say it took ~2 hours to get up to Scout’s Lookout, it only took us ~1 hour hiking at a moderately quick pace. We stopped maybe 3 or 4 times to catch our breath and take in the view.
Angel’s Landing (cont. from Scout’s Lookout)
0.5 mi, ~1 hr, Intermediate-Hard, Stop #6 The Grotto
How to get there: See directions for Scout’s Lookout. This hike is an additional 0.5 miles from Scout’s Lookout along a rocky ridge with chains.
After taking a photo break at Scout’s Lookout, we continued on to Angels Landing. While it isn’t challenging on the heart, it does require some caution when maneuvering along narrow ledges. The hike itself is fun, climbing up and down rocks and along ledges with the help of the chains. Since it was raining pretty hard, the scariest part was how slippery the rocks and chains were while we held on for dear life. We were expecting it to be a lot harder after reading other’s reviews but found it to be only moderately difficult!
You continue climbing up until you reach the great view. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the view! While it was disappointing, we were proud of ourselves for making the hike through the cold wind and rain. Even without the views, the towering rocks and canyon walls were still captivating to walk amongst. We will definitely be back one day to hike this again and hopefully see the view.