“Angels Landing is one of the most iconic destinations in Zion National Park and issuing permits will make going there fair for everyone. The system we’ve put in place will reduce crowding on the trail, address safety concerns, and make it easy for visitors to plan ahead.”–Jeff Bradybaugh, Park Superintendent
Angels Landing at Zion National Park is one of the most popular hikes on the planet. With this notoriety comes giant crowds, and due to its surrounding, the risk of falling to your death. The trail is literally right next to a cliff, resulting in thirteen people falling to their deaths since 2000. AllTrails rates the 5.4-mile roundtrip trail as strenuous due to its steep inclines and declines, and that doesn’t even factor in the crowds that squeeze visitors. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that beginning in April, the only way to get a hike is Angels Landing during the peak season will be through a lottery permit system. Based on the POV from Attractions 360, you can probably see why crowds could be an issue on this narrow hike.
Here’s how the lottery system works: Guests can go to the Zions website on January 3rd to pick seven days in which they would like to visit. The dates open up about three months beforehand. The lottery will randomly select who can go on the hike. If you can’t get a permit a few months before, there will also be a lottery system the day before people are planning to visit the park. The lottery costs $6 to enter(even if you don’t get picked), and an additional $3 if you are selected in order to register for the hike. The costs associated with the process will go towards “managing the lotteries and also cover the cost of additional National Park Service rangers needed to check permits and assist visitors.” You will have to print or download your permit before you go on the hike.
You can find out more about the permit system here.