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The Narrows, Zion NP

Springdale, Utah

based on 60 reviews



9.73 miles

Route Type



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.

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The Narrows, Zion NP Reviews

Hiking up a river is just cool. Hard on the feet and ankles after several hours but worth it! So amazing.

My wife and I hiked 8 miles of the narrows and loved every bit of it. It was crowded at the beginning but a lot of those hikers tapered off after a couple miles. Starting early would have been more enjoyable I'm sure. Even with the crowds they couldn't take away from the beauty of the canyons and the excitement/challenge of maneuvering through water on a hike. We brought our Bedrock Sandals to hike in the water and they worked out really well. We saw many people with water specific hiking boots from the rental shop. There were hikers that looked very confused and uncomfortable that they were hiking in water. Don't be fooled, we spent 80% of the time with our feet in the water. This is not a standard hike so you shouldn't take your standard hiking boots. I'd love to backpack the Narrows in the future.

Amazing hike! Bring a camera in a waterproof bag and bring waterproof shoes or waders. The best time to photograph is soon after sunrise.

Bring a jacket, temperatures fluctuate in shade & with water.

Gorgeous and a must do but it's not quite as easy as it looks. Although its looks nice and calm you will have to fight the current, slippery rocks, and icy cold water. I strongly recommend a walking stick to make it though!

One of the most cherished moments in my life was hiking the narrows alone. Once you get far back enough (7+miles) in the canyon where you see people very few and far between you can truly soak in this world wonder. It was October 1st. Chilly water but tolerable in shorts and a pair of water sandals. You will find peace. You will gain strength and a life long memory of depending 100% on yourself and your self alone....don't be scared. All your fears get lost in the beauty. (My solo 31st bday trip sept 30 2016)

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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