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The Narrows, Zion NP

Springdale, Utah

4.9/5
based on 60 reviews

Details

Distance

9.73 miles

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

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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Features

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Hiking
River
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The Narrows, Zion NP Reviews

The sheer size of the canyon walls that surround you is jaw dropping. I traveled here towards the end of May and definitely had large crowds around me during the hike. Water was cold but bearable. I'm 5'0" and the highest the water got on me was right under my chest. Bring a stick for balance and for checking depths around where you are thinking about stepping! :)

Very unique hike - obviously breathtaking sights along with the challenge of trudging through water. I was worried about the water levels and I didn't bring my camera along. I am 5'6" and only had to carry my pack above head once so I definitely could have brought it without having to worry (dry bag wouldn't hurt though in case). Factor in some extra time to take the tram - it's about 40 minutes from the visitor center/campground to get out to the trailhead.

Such an incredible experience! Did it top down and camped overnight at campsite 12. It was definitely very challenging but beyond worth it. I rented the 5.10 canyoneering shoes from Zion Adventure Center - they look mega lame but were soooo worthwhile. They grip anything! Would do this hike a million more times. Hoping to do it top down in one day next time.

My favorite hike yet. Went in July and the weather was perfect for this type of hike. Would definitely recommend taking the eastern route of the fork in the Wall St. area, particularly if you are physically fit and can make it past 4-5 obstacles that require upper body strength to climb up small waterfalls, ropes, and slick inclines.

Honestly this was one of my favorite hikes I've ever done, defintely a must do if you are able to.

Simple but breath taking

Leave No Trace

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

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Zion National Park Bus stop 8

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