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