Hike the Narrows, Zion NP

10 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Jason Hatfield

Enjoy one of the most unique experiences in a National Park. Hike for miles in a river at the bottom of deep slot canyon surrounded by waterfalls, trees, natural springs, wildlife, beaches, and the incredible colors of the sandstone walls.

Hiking the narrows in Zion National Park is one of my favorite hikes and something I return for almost every year, I can still remember my first visit as a kid. There's no other place like it in the National Park system and the stunning beauty of its towering walls and vibrant river make it a top destination for visitors to the park. 

Depending on the water level most of this hike is partially submerged in the Virgin River making for a refreshing summer hike or cold fall adventure. If you're visiting in the colder months you'll need to pack or rent a drysuit, dry-pants, waders, or wetsuit; there are a couple outfitters in town. The hike is easy-intermediate level in low water and intermediate in high water, water shoes will make a big difference in traction and safety but many people also use old running shoes. Don't attempt this hike barefoot as it can be painful and potentially hazardous.  During spring melt, high rain, and flash flood potential, the hike is closed for public safety; do not ignore closures, people have died in the Narrows. You can check water levels in advance, the Narrows will close at 150 CFS or greater.

There are two options to hike the Narrows: 1. From the bottom entrance up and back, 10 miles round trip. Most hikers travel 3-4 miles to Wall Street as the last mile requires wading deep pools and boulder obstacles. The mandated turn-around point is an area of natural springs called Big Springs. No permit is required for this route and it contains the most interesting sections of the canyon.  2. From the top of the canyon down, 16 miles total in 1 day or split if backpacking. This route requires planning, a permit, campsites, and crossing obstacles and deep pools.

To reach the trail, start at the Temple of Sinawava area and follow the 1 mile river walk. Depending on the time of year you'll most likely have to take the free shuttle from the Visitor Center to the trailhead, as the park gets busier every year the weeks allowed for personal vehicle access are reduced. Use the bathrooms at the beginning of the TH as there are none during the hike and you must pack out all waste. At the end of the paved trail is a sitting area and beach where you can put your wet gear on and start hiking in the river. When you finished you can grab a shower in Springdale for $5 at Zion Outfitter.

Read More

Tags

Photography
Hiking
River
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

🥇Top Contributor

22 days ago

I Love The Narrows

This is a great hike and a Zion Classic. Unfortunately there has been a toxic algae bloom this year in the river. You can hike up to Big Springs before having to turn around. The lower portion of the Narrows has a lot of hand prints and names written on the canyon walls. It's quite sad really. Remember to leave no trace!!!

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

about 1 month ago

Picturesque hike with amazing views

This is one of the most popular and best places to visit in Zion. Whether you do half a mile or 5 it is worth the trip. Make sure to rent water boots if you plan to go a long distance.

🥇Top Contributor

4 months ago

Beautiful! Loved it!

Unique experience. Rent the gear (dry pants, neoprene socks, waterproof boot, etc..) depending on the time of the year. We went Oct. 2016 and were very happy to have the dry stuff from waist down. Also were happy to have their walking/hiking stick. We already had a dry bag, so brought that with. We had such a great time. It's beautiful and an incredible experience. The further into the Narrows you get, the less people. Take your time, soak it all in, and rent the recommended gear!

🥉Contributor

7 months ago

Amazing hike!

Bucket list hike! Be prepared for waist deep water in places. A strong walking stock and good shoes are recommended. Also, start early to avoid the crowds.

Deep in the Narrows

We were told once we arrived in Zion that once you arrive at the river where the narrows is located, hike back two miles and then the first split off, take the first split off! We took it and it was the best decision we ever made! The water got deeper and more clear!

Stay Nearby

Watchman Trail

South Campground (Ut)

Overview For visitors to Zion National Park, South Campground is an ideal place to stay. Reservations for South Campground are available 14 days ahead of arrival. Located near the park's south entr...

Hurricane, Utah

Watchman Campground

Overview For visitors to Zion National Park, Watchman Campground is an ideal place to stay. Located near the park's south entrance, the campground is just a short walk from the main visitor center...

Orderville, Utah

The Lodge

The ranch features large buildings to accommodate groups of all sizes and expansive open spaces for events of all varieties. Clear Creek makes the perfect venue for corporate retreats, family reuni...

From $1,400/night

Orderville, Utah

The Ranch House

The ranch features large buildings to accommodate groups of all sizes and expansive open spaces for events of all varieties. Clear Creek makes the perfect venue for corporate retreats, family reuni...

From $900/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Explore Zion National Park Bus stop 8

    According to the park, there is nothing at this spot, so not many people stop. If you do not like large crowds, this is the perfect place to stop. There is a small trail that leads to the river and a beautiful vista with the massive canyon walls o...

  • Aid Climbing Moonlight Buttress

    Moonlight Buttress follows an amazing system of cracks up some really solid sandstone. The route is 5.8 C1 and is very straightforward. Hauling on the first few pitches is an absolute nightmare, but spending the night on the wall is spectacular. T...

  • Hike to Zion's Weeping Rock

    This trail begins at the Weeping Rock parking lot. You must cross a stream on a bridge and then follow the trail to the left.  The trail is nice and cool at the top and you may get some mist or water on you from the weeping rock. Perfect to cool y...

    0.5 miles 98 ft gain

  • Hike the Hidden Canyon Trail in Zion

    This trail starts at Weeping Rock Trailhead, it's the same trailhead for Observation Point and the East Rim Trail. You will start this hike up a paved section with several switchbacks up the east side of the main canyon. Shortly after the paved tr...

    3 miles 1000 ft gain