Angels Landing, West Rim, Telephone Loop
The Angels Landing, West Rim Telephone loop is a good challenge for experienced hikers who want to see a lot of Zion in one fell swoop. This hike features the iconic Angels Landing lookout, and hikers are advised to start early to get a view from this spot before the mid-morning crowds roll in. This hike can be strenuous and exposed in some sections, so bring lots of water and be prepared for some vertiginous terrain; because of the nature of the trail, this hike is not recommended for families with young children.
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Route Description for Angels Landing, West Rim, Telephone Loop
The Angels Landing, West Rim Telephone Loop is a long day hike that features Zion classics such as Refrigerator Canyon, Walter’s Wiggles, the iconic Angels Landing Overlook. Doing this hike in one day is manageable as long as hikers start early in the morning and come prepared with good boots and lots of water. If you want to extend your time along this route, it can also be broken up into a multi-day backpacking trip.
At The West Rim Trailhead (south), just over the footbridge from The Grotto picnic site, take a right and head north. As you begin your ascent on the first (and steepest) set of switchbacks, you’ll find yourself in the cool embrace of Refrigerator Canyon. This is a good spot to rest in the shade as the trail ahead is hot and exposed. Soon, you’ll reach the second set of switchbacks: affectionately known as “Walters Wiggles”, named after Walter Ruesch, the first caretaker of Zion National Park who designed this section of the trail in 1926. At the top of the Wiggles, the trail splits in two: the right trail will take you to Angel’s Landing, the left trail brings you a short distance to Scout Lookout. Both viewpoints give you stunning views of the Canyon below.
To get to Angels Landing, follow the right-hand path along the spine of the mountain. This path is not for the faint of heart. This section of trail is very exposed, with both sides dropping away to the valley below. There are chains and guardrails along this section, but it is not recommended for young children or people who are prone to vertigo. If you are feeling unsure by the time you reach the first set of chains, turn back, the trail only gets more exposed. The view at Angels landing is stunning and definitely a Zion hotspot, but the view from Scouts lookout, just a few paces down the main West Rim trail, is just as good and doesn’t involve the same level of exposure, so don’t feel like you are missing out if you’re not feeling good about hiking up to Angels Landing.
After doing the out and back to Angels Landing (or not), the West Rim trail arches north then west before dividing once again at Cabin Spring. This divide marks the start (and end) of the Telephone Loop. Pick your adventure here, the loop is more scenic on the right half as it travels through Telephone Canyon, but no matter what path you take, you’ll see these at some point; it is a loop after all!
There are five camping spots along the Telephone Loop that require a Zion wilderness permit for usage. These campsites are available for reservation online or at the Zion Visitor Center, should you want to turn your hike along the West Rim Trail to Angels Landing and the Telephone Loop into a multi-day adventure.
Getting to the Angels Landing, West Rim, Telephone Loop Trailhead
Catch the Zion Canyon Shuttle at the Visitor’s centre near Springdale, this is a free service that operates almost year-round. Hop off the shuttle at the 6th stop: The Grotto. This picnic spot is the start and end of the Angels Landing, West Rim Telephone Loop trail.
Angels Landing, West Rim, Telephone Loop Elevation Graph
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