Angels Landing is arguably Zion National Park’s most famous hiking trail. In fact, it’s often touted as one of the most popular trails in the U.S. Despite having a reputation for being challenging and even dangerous, the trail has attracted hundreds of thousands of annual hikers for years now. That is, until 2022.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, many national parks, including Zion, saw an increase in visitor numbers. Many of those visitors hope to hike Angels Landing, to experience for themselves the harrowing ridgeline trek and incredible views that the trail has to offer. This resulted in overcrowding on the trail, which caused dangerous bottlenecks in narrow sections and lines of hikers forming at Scout’s Lookout.
To help curb the crowding and protect the park’s delicate natural habitats, the National Park Service launched the Angels Landing Pilot Permit Program. Visitors hoping to hike this iconic trail now need to get a permit to do so. If you have a visit to Cliffrose Lodge planned in 2023 and hope to hike Angels Landing, keep reading as we break down everything that you need to know.
Hiking Angels Landing in 2023
The Angel’s Landing Pilot Permit Program launched on April 1, 2022. Prior to this, those looking to hike Angels Landing only needed to pay the park’s entrance fee, hop on the Zion Canyon Shuttle, and ride to the trailhead. But after the permit program launched, hikers looking to hike past Scouts Lookout now need to also purchase a permit in advance and have it on hand to present to park rangers.
With so many people still hoping to hike this popular trail, getting a permit isn’t a guarantee. The number of available daily permits is limited. Hikers who want to try their hand at getting one will have two opportunities; the Seasonal Lottery and the Day-Before Lottery.
Your first opportunity to get a permit to hike Angels Landing is through the Seasonal Lottery. As the name suggests, this lottery opens up four times a year, and awards permits for the following season.
The dates for the 2023 Seasonal Lottery are as follows:
- For hikes from March 1 to May 31, the lottery was open from January 1 to January 20, with permits awarded on January 25.
- Hikers looking to hit the trail from June 1 to August 31, can enter the Seasonal Lottery from April 1 to April 20, with permits awarded on April 25.
- For hikes from September 1 to November 30, the lottery will be open from July 1 to July 20, with permits awarded on July 25.
- The final lottery of 2023, for hikes from December 1 to February 29, 2024, will be open from October 1 to October 20, with permits awarded on October 25.
You can enter the Seasonal Lottery online. The cost to enter is $6, and one entry can include up to six hikers. The Seasonal Lottery entry fee is non-refundable.
If you receive a permit in the lottery, you’ll need to pay an additional $3 per person. If you cancel your permit at least two days before your scheduled hike, this $3 fee is refundable. You can also reduce the number of hikers in your group until two days before your scheduled hike.
If you miss the Seasonal Lottery for the dates of your trip or you enter but don’t get a permit, you do have one more opportunity. The Day-Before Lottery opens daily, and awards permits for the following day.
The Day-Before Lottery is open daily from 12:01 a.m. to 3 p.m. MT. Permits are awarded via email at 4 p.m. This lottery also costs $6 to enter, with an additional $3 per person fee if you get a permit. Both of these fees are non-refundable.
Planning Your 2023 Visit to Zion National Park
If you’re planning a visit to Cliffrose Lodge in 2023, hiking Angels Landing can be an incredible addition to your trip. If you’re planning your visit far enough in advance, entering the Seasonal Lottery is a great way to increase your odds of getting a permit.
But if you don’t get a permit, don’t fret; there are plenty of other incredible hiking trails in Zion National Park! Those still up for a challenge can take on The Narrows, a trail that requires hikers to get their feet wet as they hike through the Virgin River. Other trails are more family-friendly, like Riverside Walk or the Emerald Pools trails.
Ready to start planning your own adventure in Zion National Park? Start by booking your Zion lodging. Beautiful Cliffrose Lodge is the perfect base camp for your visit to the park. From the stunning boutique rooms to the manicured grounds to the views of Zion’s peaks, this Curio Collection resort is one of Springdale’s premier resorts. Book your stay today to start planning your next trip.