Zion National Park Marks Two Years Of Angels Landing Lotteries

The permit program for hiking to Angels Landing has been successful/NPS file

Zion National Park is marking two years of success reducing crowding and congestion on the half-mile of trail that leads from Scout Lookout to Angels Landing.

“Angels Landing is one of Zion National Park’s most popular destinations,” said Zion Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh. “The Angels Landing Pilot Permit Program helps us maximize the number of people who make the hike and minimize crowding and congestion on the route. We know this from what visitors are telling us, and from what rangers have observed since 2022.”

Fast Facts About The Angels Landing Pilot Permit Program

  • The Angels Landing Pilot Permit Program has continued to accommodate more than 80 percent of the previous use NPS recorded in studies conducted in 2019 and 2021.  
  • Zion rangers observed that the Angels Landing Pilot Permit Program spread hikers’ start times throughout the day.  
  • Zion has issued nearly 400,000 permits to hikers since the program began in 2022 (about 200,000 per year). Daily allocations of permits range from a few hundred to 800 or more per day.  
  • Some permits, about half, are issued months ahead in a Seasonal Lottery while others are issued in the Day-before Lottery to accommodate visitors’ trip planning time frames.
  • Depending on the day of the week and time of year, between 10 percent and 100 percent of lottery applicants receive permits. Holidays and weekends are busier than most weekdays.
  • Rangers observed less crowding and congestion on the trail than in past years. Hikers often report that they have better experiences on the trail now with the permit system in place.  

Tips For Permit Applicants

With two years of data, there a few things applicants should keep in mind when they’re preparing permit applications:  

  • Over the last two years, the overall odds in both the Seasonal Lottery and the Day-before Lottery average about 50 percent. However, the range of those odds vary from 8 percent in the Day-before Lottery on Memorial Day Weekend Sunday to 100 percent on random mid-week days throughout the year.
  • Zion continues to experience high visitation, and that also leads to a high number of applications for the Angels Landing Lottery. If planning a trip on a holiday or weekend, odds of receiving a permit will be significantly lower.
  • You are more likely to receive a permit if you apply to hike mid-week. Weekends consistently see higher visitation numbers.
  • Only select the time slot(s) you are able and willing to hike. Visitors hiking at different times of day helps assist with reducing crowding on the hike.
  • Compliance with the permit program is extremely high, and rangers have issued citations to visitors who attempt the hike without a permit.

Apply For A Permit On Recreation.gov

Take advantage of park lotteries to get a permit for your hike. The park staff issues permits through a Seasonal Lottery (up to three months ahead of hikes) and using a Day-before Lottery (apply by 3 p.m. on the day before you want to visit Angels Landing).

If you plan to visit between June 1 and August 31, you can apply in the park’s Seasonal Lottery for a permit to hike to Angels Landing until 11:59 MT on April 20.  

You can learn more at: Angels Landing Permits & Hiking – Zion National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)

The National Park Service implemented the Angels Landing Pilot Permit Program in April 2022. Angels Landing is one of the most popular destinations in Zion National Park. Parts of the half mile section of the trail from Scout Lookout to Angels Landing are less than three feet wide.

Visitation at Zion has risen significantly in the last decade. In 2011, Zion recorded 2.8 million visits. In 2021, Zion recorded a record 5 million visits . Visitation continues to exceed pre-pandemic levels. Throughout the pilot, Zion staff have been collecting important information and monitoring trail conditions. This information will be analyzed as part of ongoing visitor use planning.  Learn more about the National Park Service’s work to accomplish the park’s mission of conserving the landscapes, plants, animals, and human history and working to accommodate visitors on our website.

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