5 Tips for Hiking Angel’s Landing with Kids

Parents: Are you nervous, kids?

Kids: No, why?


Angel’s Landing, located in the heart of Zion National Park in Southern Utah, is a hike worth preparing for. And if done carefully, it’s a great place for a family hike. Here are five tips we’ve learned along the way:

1. Harness up and tie together

  • We knotted two kids to Bryan and one to me (Megan)
  • Use climbing rope if you can

2. Time it right

  • Zion is a well known national park. It gets crowded. Really crowded. An iconic hike like Angel’s Landing needs to be executed strategically to ensure success – especially with the kids in tow.
  • Two options: Hike first thing in the morning (literally – be on the first bus into the park at 8am), OR wait until mid-afternoon to begin your hike. Plan it so you’ll be hiking out at dusk – not dark – and still have time to catch the bus back to the parking lot.
  • Choose the shoulder seasons. March/April or September/October. The summer gets blazing hot and the south-facing switchbacks quickly become a high-risk point for heat stroke for the littles.

3. Lower your expectations

  • Make it a goal to just see how far you get! Start small so you don’t get overwhelmed even before you go
  • Your kids will feed off your energy so try your best to keep it positive

4. Invest in proper footwear

  • Find shoes with good traction (grip). For the kids, we typically choose Salomon.

5. Practice before you go

  • Rock climbing, scrambling, hiking on slippery surfaces
  • Elevation hiking – aim for 1,500 – 2,000 foot vertical gain during your training sessions
  • Parents – be prepared to carry a kid or two for part of any given hike. Make sure your body is in a place where it’s able to do that, if needed.
  • Know basic emergency medical aid, especially CPR.

Angel’s Landing – a Quick Look

  • 5 miles roundtrip
  • 1,600 foot vertical gain
  • Located in the heart of Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah
  • You will likely need to ride the shuttle bus to the start of this hike (Grotto trailhead), so plan accordingly