Zion moves forward with lottery system for Angel’s Landing; here’s everything you need to know

An undated file photo from 2017 shows hiker descending the Angels Landing route with near 1,000-foot drops on both side, Zion National Park, Utah | Photo by Caitlin Ceci/Zion National Park, St. George News

SPRINGDALE — If you’re planning a trip to Zion National Park on or after April 1 and want to hike the popular Angels Landing, you will need a permit.

Starting on Jan. 3, the National Park Service will issue permits using online lotteries at Recreation.gov.

“Angels Landing is one of the most iconic destinations in Zion National Park and issuing permits will make going there fair for everyone,” Zion Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh said in a press release from the park service. “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.”

Visitors can get a permit by entering seasonal lotteries or a different lottery the day before their planned hikes. It will cost $6 to enter any of the lotteries and successful permit holders will pay a $3 per person fee. These funds will cover costs to manage the lotteries and for additional NPS rangers who will assist visitors and check permits on the trail. More information about when and how to enter the lotteries is available on the park service website.

This is a pilot program, the press release stated, and the park service will monitor and adjust it as needed. The pilot permit program reflects comments from nearly 1,000 members of the public, park neighbors and other stakeholders.

Stock image of the chained final portion of the Angels Landing Trail that will require a permit in Zion National Park, Utah | Photo by gelyngfjell/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

It also reflects lessons the park service learned by metering the number of hikers on the trail in 2019 and 2021 and distributing tickets to use the park shuttle system in response to COVID-19 in 2020.

Angels Landing is one of many places people enjoy visiting in Zion National Park. The park recorded about 2.8 million visits in 2011 and nearly 4.5 million visits in 2019. As the number of people who visit Zion continues to rise, the park service is preparing a plan designed to provide high quality visitor experiences and sustainably manage park resources. The Angels Landing Pilot Permit Program will inform that planning process.

“We plan to share an update on the plan and ask for your feedback about it in 2022,” the press release stated.

Learn more about Zion’s Visitor Use Research and read a response to public comments about issuing permits at Angels Landing on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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