The Narrows

The Narrows, Zion National Park: Address, Phone Number, The Narrows Reviews: 5/5

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Zion's most popular hiking trail is also its most dangerous due to occasional flash floods.
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366
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59
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5

Jennifer M
Stillwater, MN15 contributions
Family
Text: I had a lot of trepidation about bringing my 5 kids (9, 10, 15, 17, 19) on this hike. There were flash flood warnings the day before but I guess that is common this time of year. The weather is typically dry in the morning with rain moving in in the evening. They often recommend people don’t enter the narrows in the afternoon when rain is possible. Knowing this we headed in EARLY! We arrived in Zion at 6:15 am, took a shuttle and arrived to the trailhead at 7:15. We started our hike around 7:30 am. We hiked the first paved mile and then we entered the river portion by around 8 am. There were very few people on the trail and it was very peaceful. We hiked up the river and reached the Wall Street by around 9:30. We went another 30 minutes and hiked just past the floating rock by 10 am. At that point, we turned around and headed back. We reached the paved trail at 11:50 am and the shuttle by 12:15. At this point, the river and paved trail was packed and there were many people just wandering in the water a bit and turning back. It was very crowded. Go early if you want peace and solitude. By the time we returned, the river was packed.

To be prepared, you NEED good shoes and a strong walking stick. People struggled getting across river beds without a good walking stick. We rented shoes, socks and walking sticks from Zion outfitters the night before so we had them to head in at 6 am, before Zion outfitters even opened. You are in water 80% of the time and at times it reached my daughters waist (see photo). This was a strenuous walk. We didn’t see a lot of kids my youngest girls age in the Narrows. I would say, if your kids are used to hiking and love adventure (my kids are) go for it. If your kids are not used to a lot of tough work, don’t plan on going very far.

We hiked 6.5 miles in just under 5 hours.

Considers Kanarra creek waterfall trail if the Narrows seems a little too much for you or your kids. This was another slot canyon that was shorter, narrower, less busy, and the water was only ankle deep. Very peaceful and pretty. Reservations required as they only let in 150 people a day.
Written August 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kimbabites
Los Angeles46 contributions
The high water flow shut down the Narrows a couple of days the week before we went, so I was worried, but we got lucky and the day we went the flow was in the 90s (above 150 and they close the whole thing). Since it was spring and the water is cold, we rented the dry bibs, neoprene socks and shoes at Zion Outfitters just outside the park entrance. We had paid for the NPS annual pass of $80 for our family of 4, so we got up early and drove into the park around 7:00am. We parked at the visitor center on the side closer to river so we could walk across the bridge and the Outfitters are just on the other side. We rented the gear ($55 per person) and put on the gear there. We then walked back to our car to leave our regular shoes and socks, then walked to the shuttle stop. That early in the morning in spring (LAUSD was on spring break) it wasn't super crowded and we didn't even have to line up for the shuttle. We rode the shuttle to the last stop (Temple of Sinawava) which took maybe 15-20 minutes. After you get off, it's about a mile walk on a paved path to the point where you start walking in the river. With the gear your feet are still supposed to get wet, but it didn't bother most of us, but my teenage son has poor circulation and he was pretty uncomfortable having wet feet and his hands got cold too. There is a rubbery gasket at the bottom of the dry bibs around the ankles but our inner clothing eventually got a bit wet up to about mid-calf. Otherwise, it kept the rest of our legs and upper body dry. Almost everyone doing the Narrows was wearing the dry gear, though there were 2-3 people we saw wearing regular clothes. There were several times when crossing from one bank to another where the water got a bit deep and fast but never much higher than the waist (my daughter and I are short, just around 5 feet). The wooden stick they give you as part of the gear was essential for helping with balance on the slippery rocks. I think more flimsy trekking poles would have broken. We saw some families with small children, which I think would be difficult. If you don't mind having cold, wet feet and taking a chance on spring melt shutting it down, I think it's worth it to avoid the crowds that you would probably have in summer. In total, we probably walked around 5 hours (maybe 3 hours up and 2 hours back). It was faster coming back because we weren't fighting the current.
Written April 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Paul S
San Diego, California381 contributions
The bottom-up hike of the narrows is an out and back hike. Take the Zion shuttle from the visitor center to the last stop which is the Temple of Sinawava. The first mile is paved from the Temple of Sinawava to the Gateway to the Narrows. At this point, the Virgin River becomes the trail. The scenery is fantastic. The walls are 1000 feet high and at places only 30 feet apart. The challenge is keeping your footing on the submerged and slippery rocks. We started at 7 AM. Had a lunch break near the end of “Wall Street”. The hike up the river is world class in every aspect. The back or return part of the hike was marred by the crowds. The crowds got worse as one approaches the trailhead. Many folks unprepared for such a hike (improper footwear, no hiking stick for stability, no drinking water …). I’ll need to try this hike again when it is less crowed and off season to enjoy the spectacular beauty of this trail both up and back.
Written July 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Youliveherenow
13 contributions
Such a fun and different experience, even for frequent hikers/travelers. This hike is a must on a trip to Zion. As most have already stated, I'd definitely recommend spending the cash for waterproof gear and hiking stick to help stay warm and keep your balance on the rocks. We went in early April so the water was still pretty chilly but we were able to remain relatively comfortable all the way to Wall Street, however we passed many in shorts and an old pair of tennis shoes that looked the worse for wear. Also be prepared for crowds depending on the time of day/year and understand that, even if the Narrows was completely empty, speeding through this hike isn't really an option. You're going to spend most of the time walking along hidden rocks, through currents that could sweep you off your feet if you don't take your time and the water levels can vary from ankle to waist/chest deep. That being said, this hike was unlike anything I've ever done before I highly recommend it.
Written April 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nole627
Southwest Ranches, FL158 contributions
Definitely one of the most unique hikes you'll ever do. Close to 10miles in & out to Big Springs, most people hike to Wallstreet. I recommend hiking to at least the start of wall street, that's where the canyon meets a fork in the river and narrows to about 22ft. Make sure to stay to the left of the fork, as you need a permit to go to the right. My wife and I made it to floating rock which is a little further, good views and great photos. We rented gear from Zion Outfitters to complete this hike, we rented shoes and a walking stick. It was about $32/person for the gear, which I highly recommend. Definitely can't leave Zion without checking it out.
Written July 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TravelerCentralFLA
Clermont, FL1,038 contributions
My teenaged son and I visited Zion National Park and were excited to be able to hike The Narrows. The Narrows is the part of Zion Canyon that follows the path of the Virgin River as the canyon narrows into a slot canyon. During parts of the hike the only place to walk is in the river. Be sure that if you do The Narrows hike that you check the weather. Flash floods in The Narrows can be lethal. Additionally there is a health danger due to Cyanobacteria levels in the river. The bacteria creates a toxin that is dangerous so drinking the water (even filtered) or swimming in the river can pose a health risk. Also check the National Park Service website for details about the flow of the Virgin River. If the river flow water volume gets too high The Narrows close to hiking because they become dangerous.
Much of The Narrows are in the shade throughout the day. That makes it cooler than other parts of the park. There are outfitters that rent gear including boots, waders, neoprene booties, etc. for hiking The Narrows. We went in the middle of May and the air temperature was in the 50s when we began our hike. The water temperature was not much warmer. We wore hiking shoes (we felt boots would be harder). We also wore shorts made of a material that would wick moisture so that when we got out our shorts would dry more quickly. I would not recommend cotton clothes while hiking the narrows. They dry too slowly and absorb more water. We wore several layers of wicking materials on our core including a base layer, a long-sleeved shirt, and medium weight jackets. When we first stepped into the water of the river it was very cold and it hurt a little. As we hiked into the canyon the work of our muscles kept our legs and feet warm enough and we forgot how cold the water felt initially; keeping our core warm helped a lot. At times the water was waist deep in sections of the river and the current was strong in places.
The views in the Narrows are amazing with cliffs on either side that are thousands of feet tall and all kinds of shapes and colors of the rocks, and the color of the water. This is an amazing place. If you are healthy enough and the conditions permit, I highly recommend a hike in The Narrows. We did about 8 miles roundtrip. We were exhausted when we were done. We brought 2 liters of water each in our water bottles and salty snacks (trail mix and hiking bars). It was a wonderful adventure.
Written May 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TravelingSoccerLoon
Saint Paul, MN1,581 contributions
Amazing experience. Such a unique "hike". Started at sunrise on a cold February weekday morning. Even with 25F air temperature at 7am, I stayed plenty warm wearing 4 layers on top and 2 layers on the bottom including wearing thermals. Gloves and hand warmers really helped and bring an extra pair of gloves as others have recommended. I had a small mishap on the return stepping into a trench with water up to my shoulders and my first pair of gloves got drenched. Dry bib package from Zion Outfitters worked great and the waterproof backpack that I added was quite helpful. Good boots and the hiking stick are needed. Feet are wet and cool with the Neoprene socks but not icy cold and very tolerable. I turned around at the end of Wall Street not too far past Floating Rock. Round trip took 6 hrs but I stopped a lot for photos. Best photography was on the return journey after 10am when the sun was overhead with light streaming down into the canyons. It was a Friday morning in February without shuttles running. Plenty of parking when I arrived just before sunrise. Beware that the rangers closed Zion Canyon Road later that morning to avoid overcrowding as many arrived at the Park for the weekend.
Written March 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

iowarhino13
Saint Paul, MN263 contributions
Hiking the Narrows was AMAZING! We did it with 4 adults and 8 kids ages 14 to 4 yrs old (2 of which were in backpack carriers). We hiked over 10 miles round trip in about 6 hours (includes the riverside walk trail). We wore our own water shoes and no hiking sticks, so you can save your money on the rentals unless the water is really high or cold. We went in late June, water was warm, temps hot, water level was low. Its been over a month and our kids are still talking about it!
Written August 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

erinmarina
Sioux Falls, SD9 contributions
Awesome hike!!! Definitely spend the extra $25 to rent the wooden hiking stick and water shoes/neoprene socks from Zion Outfitters (located right outside the pedestrian entrance to the park). The stick actually provided a lot of stability when hiking through the water and the water shoes were NOT waterproof by any means, but helped support my ankles and give me better grip than my hiking shoes or tennis shoes would have. We went on October 1st, VERY EARLY in the day and we didn't encounter many people until our way back around 11. We hiked through Wall Street and then returned, Definitely recommend this hike!!
Written October 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gina R
Colorado17 contributions
The Narrows is gorgeous and not as hard as I thought from reading reviews. The water is cold but you honestly get used to it within seconds because you're so overwhelmed and excited to be there. A walking stick was a life saver to most in our group but we did have a few of our teens skip it. Dont get too freaked out about shoes. Hiking shoes are probably the best but we had some in our party use old tennis shoes and even river shoes. One person lost BOTH the soles of his shoes (he brought REALLY old shoes) and his sock feet were sticking out of the bottom of what was left. He wasn't comfortable at times but he managed. Wool socks are the best but don't get all worried about shoes and clothing and just do it! Go EARLY....seems like the crowd really picked up around 11 and 12 and it was harder to fight them to get back to the start. We just did the hike on 6/1 and only got up to our hips once briefly. Most of the hike was ankle to knee deep. I think the best photo shots are early as well with the sun but it's beautiful there all day I'm sure. We started the hike around 9am and had to be back for our private shuttle by 145p so we turned around at the fork and then got back an hour too early. You definitely want to take your time and stop and look UP once in a while because you have to look down most of the time to find your next step.
Written June 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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