HomeNews & LifestyleBraving Walter's Wiggles In Zion To Reach The Angel's Landing

Braving Walter’s Wiggles In Zion To Reach The Angel’s Landing

Taking The Walter’s Wiggle Trail To Angel’s Landing Is A Feat In Itself

Walter’s Wiggles is a really playful name for a deadly switchback trail on the Angel’s Landing hike. It’s actually one of the scariest hikes in the United States. Yet, even though people have died on this trail, it remains at the top of many hikers’ bucket lists.

How High Is Angel’s Landing?

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Angel’s Landing is a strenuous 2.5 miles straight up, which is what makes it one of the most terrifying hikes in the world. The specific elevation gain is 250 feet, taking the drained and sweaty hiker from 5100 feet to 5350 feet.

It’s so high, in fact, that you’ll want to be careful if you’re not used to high elevations. You could get sick, or even feel dizzy. Suffice to say, with these drops you can’t afford either.

How Long Does It Take To Reach The Top?

walters wiggles
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Totally depending on how fit you are and how eager you are to get to the top, the hike up Walter’s Wiggles at Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park, Utah could take you three to five hours.

So long, in fact, that you’ll want to take lots of snacks (mmm snacks) and ensure that you’re hydrating as you climb the hill.

Is The Trail Safe?

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Have you seen this trail? You’d be hard-pressed to call it “safe”. However, there are lots of precautions in place to help guide hikers in the right direction… that is up, and not down.

Plus, there’s a spot called Scout Lookout where you can stop and turn around if you’re not up for the hardest part.

Utilizing The Angel’s Landing Chains Is A Necessity

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If you’re one of the brave who continue on from Scout Lookout, you’ll need to use the provided chains to help you get the rest of the way. The chains make it a bit easier to climb, and they also help to prevent falling.

This part of the hike is a huge challenge; it’s both scary and exciting!

Conquering Walter’s Wiggles Ultimately Requires Patience, Safety, And A Lot Of Guts

walters wiggles
Image: @hikersledge on Instagram

Walter’s Wiggles is a series of short, very steep switchback trails. The trails, which run sharply up and down the mountain, were the brainchild of Walter Ruesch. As Zion’s first superintendent in 1926, he came up with the idea for the trails, and then implemented what is now seen as an engineering marvel.

Once you see Angel’s Landing, you have the option to turn around and go back. If you do choose to go on, you really need to exercise your patience. It’s a hard climb, and most people are not that fit!

When you’re doing this hike, make sure you take your time. You’ll also need to ramp up your awareness and commit to safety before you go. The likelihood of falling isn’t that high (don’t worry only five people have ‘officially’ died there) but still, you don’t want to twist an ankle. That would often require a helicopter trip in and that could be super embarrassing.

Finally, bring your guts! It’s scary and you’ll get that vertigo feeling but if you’re really up for it, keep on keeping on!

Know Before You Go!

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Here are some tips so you can go into this deadly but exhilarating Walter’s Wiggles hike. It’s worth it; the view is so beautiful that legend states only angels could land here.

Parking At Zion

Most people actually use the shuttle system to get to Zion National Park. When you do this, you’ll hop on the shuttle and ride along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Many of the park’s attraction are on this trip, so it’s wise to do your research ahead of time.

You’ll find that the parking at Zion is usually full by 8 or 9am. Because of this, you can avoid delays by parking in Springdale and riding the shuttle.

Watch For Weather

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Image: @utahisawesomeofficial on Instagram

Even when it’s winter out, this attraction is packed with people. The view is just that good. Obviously you’ll want to be super careful in the winter, because you could die.

The trails can be slippery at times, especially if it’s icy out, or if it’s been raining. Be very cautious, especially if you’re tackling Walter’s Wiggles switchback, or the upper levels that require chains.

Get There Early & Be Prepared

walters wiggles
Image: @hikersledge on Instagram

Southern Utah has so many destinations to check out, and Zion National Park is one of the best. Be prepared, however, because Zion is packed with lookouts, hiking trails, and lots of other outdoor fun.

Because of this, you’ll want to do your research in advance and give yourself plenty of time to explore your options. There will be different benefits to each person so make sure you’re considering everyone’s fun… and fitness!

Related: The Catskills waterfalls outside of NY will leave you breathless. And wet.

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