SALT LAKE CITY — Zion National Park will soon require reservations to hike a famous southern Utah trail perched on the edge of a red-rock cliff, officials said Friday.
As of April 1, anyone who wants to hike the narrow Angels Landing hike will need to get a permit through a lottery system.
The lottery will be fairer to visitors and reduce crowding on the trail, said superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh. The crowding is worrisome on the trail where people regularly fall and die from the trail edged by a sheer cliff, park officials have said.
The number of people visiting Zion has been growing rapidly in recent years, swelling from about 2.8 million visits in 2011 to nearly 4.5 million visits in 2019. Angels Landing is one of the most sought-after destinations. More than 300,000 people made the trek in 2019, according to park officials.
There will be two lotteries, one seasonal and another for one day ahead of a planned hike. Each will cost $6 to enter and people who are chosen will also pay a $3 per person fee.
The idea was first announced in August, and the new plan reflects comments from more than 1,000 people, officials said.
The new system is considered a pilot project and could be adjusted as needed. Zion is located about 160 miles (250 kilometers) northeast of Las Vegas and 300 miles (483 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City.