What are the Odds of Getting an Angels Landing Permit?

by | Apr 12, 2024

Just a few years ago, individuals looking to take on Angels Landing, Zion’s most famous—and most dangerous—hiking trail only needed to hop aboard the Zion Canyon Shuttle, get off at Shuttle Stop #6, also known as The Grotto, and start their hike. But hiking this unique trail has become more complicated in recent years.

Starting in 2022, the National Park Service launched the Angels Landing Permit Program. A pilot program in its first years, the program meant that hikers hoping to go past Scout Lookout now needed a permit. Unlike getting a backcountry permit, which is something that you can do same-day at the Wilderness Desk, getting a permit for an Angels Landing hike isn’t something that you can do the day you’re planning to hike. Instead, hopeful hikers must enter one or both of the two lotteries. If you don’t get a permit in these lotteries, you’ll have to wait to try again in the future for the chance to enjoy this iconic hike.

Many guests traveling to Zion Wildflower Resort are hoping to hike Angels Landing. But how many will actually get the chance? Keep reading as we explore what the odds are of getting a permit during your visit, and some tips to help you improve your chances.

How Do You Get an Angel Landing Permit?

Before we discuss the odds of getting a permit, it’s important to understand the process of applying for one. There are two opportunities to get a permit to hike Angels Landing on any given day.

Your first opportunity is the Seasonal Lottery. As the name suggests, this lottery opens four times a year, and awards permits for the following season. One of the 2024 Seasonal Lottery entry windows has already passed, but there are still three additional Seasonal Lotteries scheduled for the year:

  • For hikes between June 1 and August 31, the lottery will be open from April 1 to 20.
    For hikes between September 1 and November 30, the lottery will be open from July 1 to 20.
    For hikes from December 1 to February 28, 2025, the lottery will be open from October 1 to 20.

When you enter the Seasonal Lottery, you’ll get to choose seven dates that you’d like to hike the trail. If you get a permit, it will be for a single date selected from your list.

If you don’t get a permit in this lottery or if you’re planning a last minute stay in lodging near Zion National Park, you can also enter the Day-Before Lottery. This lottery opens daily at 12:01 a.m. and closes at 3 p.m. MT. Permits are awarded at 4 p.m. daily. Unlike the Seasonal Lottery, this lottery is only for permits for the following day, and you cannot select additional days.

What are the Odds of Getting an Angels Landing Permit?

Now that you know how to get an Angels Landing Zion permit, it’s time to get real about your odds. A study by Outdoor Status found that only around 43 percent of people who enter the lottery get a permit.

Can You Increase Your Chances of Getting a Permit

The easiest way to increase your chances of getting a permit is to enter the Seasonal Lottery. This could mean entering the lottery several months before you plan to visit Zion. But if you’re able to book your lodging near Zion National Park at least a few months in advance, this will give you the chance to enter the Seasonal Lottery, and still enter the Day-Before Lottery each day of your visit to improve your odds.

If your travel plans are flexible, another way to increase your odds of getting a permit is to plan to visit the park during certain months of the year. In the Outdoor Status survey, they found that in 2022, the months of July and August saw the least number of permit applications (note: this study did not include January through March or October through November). Of course, these months are likely the easiest to get a permit because of the temperatures in the park, which can make the trail even more dangerous.

January and February tend to be some of the least busy months of the year, and would likely also be times when fewer people are applying for permits, which could increase your odds of getting one. These months are a great alternative for those looking to hike in cooler temperatures, those occasional winter storms may cause snow and ice on the trail.

Planning Your Angels Landing Zion Hike

If you’re dreaming of hiking Angels Landing, Zion’s most famous trail, don’t let the 43 percent odds get you down. Entering the Seasonal Lottery rather than relying solely on the Day-Before Lottery is a great way to increase your odds. This means keeping your plans flexible, or booking your lodging near Zion National Park like Zion Wildflower Resort at least a few months in advance of your visit.

There are still three chances to enter the Seasonal Lottery for an Angels Landing hike in 2024. Book your stay at Zion Wildflower Resort today to start planning your own strategy to get a permit!

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