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Ascent of Angels Landing on 2017-04-05

Climber: Michael Vecchiarelli

Others in Party:Jazz
Date:Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Angels Landing
    Location:USA-Utah
    Elevation:5790 ft / 1764 m

Ascent Trip Report

This hike is a mess. The National Park system needs to really step in here and do something about the number of people allowed on this trail at one time. Maybe they should institute a daily cap or require a permit, or an age minimum. I don't know, but right now it is a complete s**tshow up there. It is not just inconvenient, it is unnecessarily dangerous. People are going to get hurt. The final 1/2 mile is precipitous and the trail is very narrow and you can only have movement in one direction, so when you have half the world up there it creates a bottleneck in both directions, similar to waiting in line for a ride at disney, no joke, 2 lines 40-50 people deep waiting to pass each other in both directions. And people bring their kids. Some of these kids are crying, falling, or frozen in place, or crawling on all fours, or being carried. Then you have people with giant packs for some reason - dude its an easy 2.5 mile walk, not an ascent of Everest, stash the pack. Most of the people on this trail are inexperienced and lack trail etiquette, just looking for another excuse for a selfie, so be prepared for frequent stops.

With all that said, the view from the top is absolutely beautiful. It is even worth suffering through the mobs. On a clear day you can take in the 360 degree majesty of Zion Canyon. Gorgeous! If you do this hike, my advice is to start very early to avoid the bulk of the crowds. I started at 9:00 and it wasn't terrible going up, but coming down around 10:30-11:00 was the worst. It was like a mosh pit. I would recommend starting at 7:00 or earlier, that is what i would do if I ever hiked this again.

As for the actual trail, we started at the Zion Lodge and took the 1/2 mile connector trail to the Grotto and then that 2.5 mile trail to the top of Angel's Landing. The hike is relatively easy but slow because of the abovementioned number of people hiking it. The 21 switchbacks are cool but ehh, they're just switchbacks, not very challenging. The last 1/2 mile requires the use of your hands, for crowd safety not really for ascending. If there were fewer people on the trail, this would be one of the best short hikes ever. Glad I did it, but Geeeeezzzz.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
View of Zion Canyon from Angel's Landing (2017-04-05). Photo by Michael Vecchiarelli.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1509 ft / 460 m
    Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Route:Grotto
    Trailhead:Zion Lodge  4281 ft / 1304 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Perfect Spring Day
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:1 Hours 30 Minutes



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