Hike the Narrows, Zion NP

Details

Distance

10 miles

Route Type

Out-and-Back

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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🥉Contributor

about 1 month ago

maybe the c oolest hike ever, if you don't mind getting wet and a little cold

so unique that you have to do it at least a little. There is no minimum required to experience the awesome atmosphere in there. Kids will absolutely love it just watch the little ones, as the currently is stronger than you would expect with such a shallow river. If you can handle the summer crowds, this is a perfect hike for the hottest days of the year without a wetsuit or any gear except shoes you want to get wet and ideally a walking stick.

🥇Top Contributor

6 months 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

7 months 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

9 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

about 1 year 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.

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Leave No Trace

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

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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