ZION NATIONAL PARK – Superintendent Jock Whitworth has announced that the Angels Landing hiking route and all climbing routes on that rock formation will close for several days starting in mid-September. A Zion National Park trail crew will be working on route improvements including re-chiseling existing steps, drilling and installing new posts and chains in some areas to better delineate the route, and adding dry stone masonry to improve footing. The closure is necessary due to helicopter activity in the area, movement of materials and equipment, and for visitor and work crew safety while work is in progress on the narrow route.
September 15-16 and September 20-23, the West Rim Trail will be closed from the Grotto to Scout Lookout. The Angels Landing route will also be closed from Scout Lookout to the summit of Angels Landing. All climbing routes on the cliff faces of Angels Landing will also be closed for those time periods.
From September 27 to October 14, the Angels Landing route from Scout Lookout to the summit and climbing routes on the Angels Landing cliff faces will be closed Monday through Thursday. The Angels Landing route and climbing routes will be open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The West Rim Trail from the Grotto trailhead will be open at all times for those hikers wishing to visit Scout Lookout or the West Rim of Zion Canyon.
Alternate hikes with similar views are available on the Observation Point and East Rim trails. When open, the West Rim trail to Scout Lookout and further up to the canyon rim is also very rewarding. Rangers at any of the park visitor contact stations can help with alternate trip planning or you can visit the park website at www.nps.gov/zion.
Visitors are reminded that their safety is their responsibility. Even with the route improvements, exposed cliffs and great heights present situations where lack of situational awareness can have life threatening consequences. Any location with vertical exposure can be dangerous and should not be underestimated. Attention to the terrain and focus on footing are essential for a safe experience.