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Springdale, Utah

Hike the Narrows, Zion NP

10 Miles Total - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally 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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Overall rating: 

One of my favorite hikes ever.

This was truly an amazing experience. With the 2000 ft walls above you, raging river beneath you, you cannot go wrong!

Be prepared to walk in the water

So I didn’t kno this whole entire hike was in the water. As well as I didn’t know you can rent sticks and boots but the hike was fun and it was pretty and really cool! Just be careful walking before you slip or trip on a rock in the beginning I fell and wet my pants but towards the end the water will get higher and higher. Bring food and water there is some dry land

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.

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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