Angel’s Landing is a spectacular rocky outcrop in Zion national park, Utah. Known internationally as one of the world’s most dangerous hikes, you don’t have to hike Angel’s Landing to get a great view of this Zion feature. There are a few amazing views of Angel’s Landing in Zion. If you like hitting the trails then there are two wonderful places to admire a view of Angel’s Landing from above. If you prefer staying down in the valley there are also Angel’s Landing viewpoints from below too! Here are 5 amazing viewpoints of Angel’s Landing to add to your next visit to Zion!
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What is Angel’s Landing?
Angel’s Landing is a beautiful, dusty orange rock formation in Zion National park, Utah. Angel’s Landing used to be called the Temple of Aeolus. I assume it was renamed as people thought that in order to reach the summit you would have to be an angel and land there! The perilous rock formation is 1488 foot tall (453m). Brave people built a trail along the arete in 1926. This now aids thousands of hikers each year to the top of Angel’s Landing. Not all of them make it back as at least 15 people (as of April 2020) have fallen to their Death from Angel’s Landing!
In order to admire Angel’s Landing, you don’t have to hike along the dangerous trail. In fact, here are 8 reasons why you should not hike Angel’s Landing! You can still admire this gorgeous geographical feature during your trip to Zion though! There are plenty of wonderful viewpoints of Angel’s landing to discover.
Where is Angel’s Landing?
Angel’s Landing is in the heart of Zion national park. The rocky outcrop juts into Zion valley, forcing the Virgin river to meander around the orange cliffs. To reach the base or to hike up Angel’s Landing you can get off at the Grotto shuttle stop (shuttle stop 6). Alternatively, getting off at Big Bend also offers some great views of Angel’s Landing (shuttle stop 7).
Best Viewpoints of Angel’s Landing
You don’t need to hike on Angel’s landing to admire the incredible rocky outcrop. In fact, you don’t even need to get high to see Angel’s Landing if you don’t want to.
If you are an avid hiker, you might enjoy the view of Angel’s Landing from above. There are two places in Zion to admire Angel’s Landing from above. Both of the Zion views will require a good hike to reach – but your efforts will be rewarded with an amazing view!
There are two great spots to admire Angel’s Landing from above. One of these is from the West Rim Trail and the other is from Canyon Observation point. There is no need to hike Angel’s Landing with these great places!
5 Amazing Views of Angel’s Landing!
The unique geography of Zion valley means that you can admire Angel’s Landing from both below and above! Depending on whether you are an avid hiker or a valley rambler will affect which Angel’s Landing viewpoint will be best for you.
Here are 5 amazing viewpoints of Angel’s Landing to choose from:
Angel’s Landing View 1: Scout Lookout
The view of Angel’s Landing from Scout lookout is one that everyone who hikes Angel’s Landing sees. It is also the point of no return. If you see the start of the Angel’s Landing trail and gulp then you know it is not for you! Yet it is still a great viewpoint to hike up to, to get up close to the Angel’s Landing trail without hiking on it.
Scout Lookout offers a great view of Angel’s Landing. You can see the start of the trail with its chains and thin arete. You can also look down at the Virgin river below and across to the rock called the organ. Yet this viewpoint does not offer the full scale of Angel’s Landing. For that we will need to hike a little more and continue upwards.
Angel’s Landing View 2: West Rim Trail
Arguably the best view of Angel’s Landing can be found from the West Rim trail. Those who embark on the Angel’s Landing hike will start on the West Rim Trail but leave the trail at Scout Lookout to scramble on the arete. If you don’t fancy tackling the crowds (or the danger) of Angel’s Landing, continue upwards on the West Rim Trail for the best view of Angel’s landing!
To admire Angel’s Landing from the West Rim Trail, get off at the Grotto shuttle stop. It takes around a couple of hours to reach Scout’s look out. On the way, you will have to tackle the infamous Walter’s Wriggles too! These are a serious of steep switchbacks which get your calves working! Once you pass them you will arrive at Scout’s viewpoint. This is where most hikers choose to start the Angel’s Landing hike or see how scary it is and turn back instead. Don’t veer onto Angel’s Landing, but keep following the West Rim Trail upwards instead. The West Rim trail after Scout’s Lookout is a wonderfully quiet oasis. Go past, vibrant wild flowers and admire the gorgeous red cliffs. See if you can spot secret canyons and unusual cacti on your way. This hiking paradise in Zion!
If you would like to hike in a quiet slot canyon in Utah, check out this post about the Wire Pass Canyon Day Hike!
As you are going upwards on the West Rim Trail, make sure you occasionally look behind you. There are several points when you can then look down onto Angel’s Landing. These Angel’s Landing viewpoints are also great places to stop for a bite to eat! Love eating with a good view! Find a spot you like and look down onto Angel’s Landing. You can see the whole shape of the famous Zion landmark. You may even be able to spot little black dots scrambling on the Angel’s Landing arete. There are some great photo opportunities up here!
Once you have taken a few photos of the view of Angel’s Landing, you can either carry on upwards or turn back. You can follow the trail for miles but will need to work out your own form of transport from the end of the West Rim trail. Alternatively, the white dome is a great place to turn back at and head back down into Zion valley. The hike up the West Rim Trail after Scout’s Lookout is much calmer than tackling Angel’s Landing trail!
Angel’s Landing View 3: Canyon Observation Point
Another wonderful view of Angel’s Landing can be found from Canyon Observation point.
Canyon Observation point offer a wonderful bird’s eye view of Angel’s Landing. In fact, you can admire the entirety of Zion valley from Canyon Observation point. Yet you will have to work to reach this Angel’s Landing viewpoint!
To admire Angel’s Landing from Canyon Observation point, you can either hike up the East Rim trail (please not this was closed as of 2019 due to rock fall) or hike along the East mesa trail.
The East Rim trail is a strenuous day hike. Steep climbs and cool canyons await hikers of the East Rim trail. Alternatively, you could venture along the East mesa trail which takes about 90 mins one way. You will need a good car though as the start of the East Mesa Trail is at the end of a dirt road. This means it is impassable after rains or snow for many vehicles. If you do manage to drive along the trail and hike over meadows to the Canyon Observation point you will be rewarded with epic views of Zion national park and a wonderful view of Angel’s Landing! Some argue that this is the best viewpoint in Zion national park and is better than the view from the summit of Angel’s Landing!
Canyon Observation point shows that you don’t have to hike along the busy and dangerous Angel’s Landing trail to admire the beauty of Zion! This is also a truly epic way to look down on Angel’s Landing and admire the beauty of this famous Zion landmark.
Angel’s Landing View 4: Big Bend
If you don’t fancy hiking to see Angel’s Landing there are a few pretty viewpoints along the floor of Zion valley. One of the best views of Angel’s Landing from below is from Big Bend.
Big Bend is one of the shuttle stops in Zion. Big Bend refers to the Virgin river being forced to meander around the huge buttress of Angel’s Landing. By standing on this bend you feel and see the huge force of Angel’s Landing.
The view from the Big Bend shuttle stop enables you to see the entire length of the Angel’s Landing arete. Angel’s Landing creates an L-shape. The Big Bend stop is at the furthest tip of the ‘L’. You can see the summit high above and admire the whole shape of Angel’s Landing. You can also catch one of Zion’s best sunsets from Big Bend! If you are visiting Big Ben in the late afternoon go down to the shores of the Virgin River. The sun sets between the highest point on Angel’s Landing and the end of the giant orange outcrop. Big Bend is one of the best places in Zion to watch the sunset from!
Angel’s Landing View 5: Angel’s Landing Trailhead
Our final view of Angel’s Landing is from the Angel’s Landing Trailhead. Even if you don’t go up the West Rim Trail you can still admire the view of Angel’s Landing from the start of the Angel’s Landing trail.
Get off at the Grotto shuttle stop (shuttle stop 6). Walk over the small footbridge which leads to the start fo the West Rim trail and is therefore the Angel’s Landing Trailhead. Once you are there, go down to the Virgin River. Depending on the time of year, you may see just a trickle of clear blue water or huge torrents! Once you get down to the river, just look up for a magnificent view of Angel’s Landing.
Your neck may hurt slightly trying to see the top of Angel’s Landing! You can appreciate as well as respect the steepness of the cliffs. Happily, your feet are firmly on the valley floor and there is no risk of falling from the Angel’s Landing trail currently!
After taking a few pictures of this wonderful Angel’s Landing viewpoint, take a seat by the Virgin River and listen to the wonderful sounds of the water for a while. This is also an excellent picnic spot in Zion national park.
Map of Angel’s Landing Viewpoints
In order to help you plan the perfect trip to Zion, here is a map of the 5 best viewpoints of Angel’s Landing.
Where to stay in Zion National Park
There is so much to see and explore in Zion national park. Much more than you can fit in a day! Unless you own your own RV check out some of the places to stay in Springdale or further afield in La Verkin or Hurricane. We stayed in La Verkin and loved the quaint town. We especially liked being able to get fresh coffee from the River Rock Roasting Company before setting off on our Zion hikes!
Have you been inspired to check out one of the Angel’s Landing Viewpoints?
Have you been inspired to check out one or more of these Angel’s Landing viewpoints? Would you prefer to see Angel’s Landing from above or below? Also have we missed out a popular Angel’s Landing view? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!