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.

Pack List

  • Water shoes, sandals, or old running shoes
  • A day pack with dry-sack for electronics in case you fall or cross deep water.
  • Trekking poles or hiking stick for water crossings 
  • Wetsuit, Drysuit, Waders, Drypants if you decide to hike in the colder months.
  • Backpacking gear and permit for Top-Down hikes
  • Camera, Wide-angle lens, Polarizing Filter, ND Filter, Memory Card, Extra Batteries, and Tripod
Show More
RT Distance 10 Miles
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
River
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Unique! Unique! Unique!

Wow! We were here last year in January and really wanted to attempt the Narrows, but we had our 2 year old daughter with us and decided against it. This year I got to go back for my 30th and it was everything I had excpected it to be. We rented our gear for $45 at Zion Outfitters (right outside the park entrance) which included: Neoprene Socks, Boots, Bib, and a walking stick. We hiked in a group of 6 and were mostly alone in The Narrows the entire time. Honestly this was the most unique hiking experience I have ever had in any National Park. If you have the time and plan it right, this hike will be an incredibly special experience.

Plan appropriately/timing is everything

I agree with all of the other reviews...definitely a must do if in Zion NP. Have hiked a half-dozen times. However, planning is everything for this hike! As noted to get into some of the most serene locations, need to hike several miles (3-4) upstream, which takes a while. Slow hike in water! Need to get there early (since the tram takes about 45 min. to get to the Narrows). I laugh at some of the pictures posted with NO people...the Narrows is always crowded (except maybe Winter). Walking stick a must! Also ALWAYS check weather in surrounding area...flash floods are lethal in this area (numerous warnings from Rangers..but weather is unpredictable). Again, highly recommend -- but thought I would throw out some reality-check information. Cheers, KCCO!!

A Must Experience

Truly an adventure hiking through The Narrows. Experience hiking through The Narrows, is its full of extreme views. The virgin river runs insides the canyon.


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