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Angels Landing permit system at Zion is open for business

Associated Press

A permit is now required to hike Angels Landing at Zion National Park. Some of the first people to hike it Friday with the new system in place said it was less crowded and felt safer.

Susan McPartland, the park’s visitor use manager, said the reduced crowding and enhanced safety is exactly why the new pilot program was put into place — to improve people’s experience, as visitation has risen in recent years.

“We are trying to … make sure that folks have that time to go at their own pace, enjoy those beautiful views and really hope that we can improve how they feel safe,” she told KUER-FM.

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There are two lotteries for Angels Landing. The seasonal one opens months in advance and the other can be entered the day before hiking it. McPartland emphasized that it’s a pilot program and may require some tweaks. But by the afternoon on day one, she said things were going smoothly.

There’s a thick metal chain to hold onto, as hikers scramble up steep rocks to the top of Angels Landing. During busy days in 2021, park officials say people had to wait multiple hours to make the trek.