Zion National Park is celebrating two years of their Angels Landing Pilot Permit program which has helped reduce the amount of crowding on the half-mile trail that leads to the Angels Landing lookout point.

“Angels Landing is one of Zion National Park’s most popular destinations,” Zion National Park superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh said in a press release statement. “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 rangers have observed since 2022.”

What is the Angels Landing Lottery?

In order to help make the hike safe and avoid crowding at the chains section, the Angels Landing permit was reportedly first introduced in April 2022.

There are two lotteries hikers can enter before they visit Zion National Park:

  • The advance lottery for $6 per try where hikers must enter the lottery five months prior to their hiking date.
  • The daily lottery for $6 per try where hikers must enter the day before their hike between midnight and 3 p.m. MT.

What are the odds of getting a permit for Angels Landing?

Outdoor Status found that 43% of lottery applicants ended up being successful in receiving a permit in 2022.

Since the program’s inception, there have been nearly 400,000 permits given to hikers.

The National Parks Service reported on their top five tips for permit applicants after studying the program for two years:

1. “You are more likely to receive a permit if you apply to hike mid-week,” since weekends typically have a higher number of hikers.

2. “Zion continues to experience high visitation,” which leads to a high number of applicants for permit lottery.

  • NPS reported that if you are “planning a trip on a holiday or weekend, odds of receiving a permit will be significantly lower.”

3. “Only select the time slots you are able and willing to hike.” As hikers select different times of day, crowding on the trail will decrease.

4. “Over the last two years, the overall odds in both the Seasonal Lottery and the Day-before Lottery average to about 50%,” but, the range of those odds tend to change.

  • The change in odds tend to be, “8% in the Day-before Lottery on Memorial Day Weekend Sunday to 100% on random mid-week.”

5. “Compliance with the permit program is extremely high,” and citations are issued to hikers who choose to hike without a permit on the trail.