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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

I would strongly suggest hiking, or if you have the time backpacking the Narrows in Zion National Park! I backpacked them form top down last June. It will forever be one of my favorite hikes and I cant wait to do it again!

We did this day hike in late November, and the water wasn't as cold as we expected. We rented the dry suits (Zion Adventure Company) and had one layer on underneath and we were fine. Start early if you are taking the day hike. I would recommend getting your gear the day before so you can hit the trail as early as possible the day of your hike. One of the best hikes I have ever done, don't skip this if you are in Zion

If you're hiking any distance, you definitely need shoes. Dress sparingly on your legs and layer up on your torso. Hike as early in the morning as you can to avoid the crowds.

The Narrows are a must do if you are in Zion. Walking through the river is truly an unforgettable experience. There are plenty of places you can rent proper footwear and wetsuits too if you didn't bring your own (I suggest Zion Mountain School). Get a walking stick or bring your trekking polls, they really help with stability. Early November is a great time to visit also as the crowds are minimal and the water temperature is mid to low 50s.

Gorgeous and a must do but it's not quite as easy as it looks. Although you don't face steep inclines and sun exposure, you will have to fight the current, slippery rocks, and icy cold water.

Great hike, beautiful views. Most of the trail is uncrowded (going top down) but at the base in the park is a total mad house in busy season. I was not impressed by the narrows. Being a canyoneering lady, the "narrows" was not narrow at all, and hardly a slot canyon. I call it more a tourist trap than any. Growing up here, it's a must do, but if you are time crunched and a serious outdoorsman, find another off the beaten path trail. You won't regret it!

Leave No Trace

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