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Hike The Guillotine In The Narrows, No Permit Required

Springdale, Utah



10 miles

Elevation Gain

100 ft

Route Type



Added by Eric Murdock

Leave the crowds behind. The perfect Narrows hike for the adventurous without a permit.

This hike is from the bottom up, starting from the "Weeping Rock" stop on the bus line. From the bus its an easy mile on paved trail to the Virgin River starting point.

The difficulty and duration of the hike definitely depends on the water level. Only those who are very physically capable should attempt this hike during high water. Otherwise it is a good test for anyone who enjoys modest scrambling.

Once you hit the river it's pretty simple, follow the crowd. This is the only path to take for quite a while, probably 3-4 miles. It's likely you will not be able to see where you're stepping, be prepared for twisted ankles and bruised shins.

After about 3-4 miles, you will reach a fork in the canyon. Straight ahead is fairly wide open, to the right is tight and narrow. Veer right towards the tight and narrow.

Approximately 100 feet in and you will encounter your first obstacle, a small waterfall that you can climb right over. The rushing water is forceful and it will deter most from continuing.

This is a good taste of what's to come. After this there will be several small falls and traverses to scramble up. It's a constant test, and it makes the rest of the hike very engaging. No wrong turns to worry about, it's a straight shot the whole way.

One of the more formidable challenges will arrive when you encounter a small waterfall about 8-9 feet in height. It will seem like there's no way up, but if you look closely you will be able to spot a small black rope to help you with the climb up. With the water hitting you in the face it won't be graceful, but it's definitely doable for most levels. *Hint - Let the most capable person go first, that way he/she can help the others after he is up.

After this there will be another challenging obstacle, which will require you to traverse from a high section of rock over the river to slightly lower section. It's a wide traverse so this is much more difficult during high water and It's important to use teamwork when overcoming this obstacle.

After about 2 miles of scrambling up waterfalls and traversing up rock faces you will encounter The Guillotine. You can't miss it, the trail will dead end at two of the largest boulders you've ever seen.

This is where the hike ends, after the Guillotine is where the permited area of The Narrows begins. It's possible to scale up either side of the Guillotine, although not recommended.  

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