This is one of Zion National Park’s most popular hiking locations, and for good reason! Walls thousands of feet tall tower above your head as you wade through the river down below. Although Zion is considered to be a desert, plant-life in The Narrows flourishes in some spots. Water seeping from the walls permits hanging gardens to grow, creating cascades of greenery down the sloping canyon walls.
Mid-June to mid-September is the best time of year to do this hike. The water is much warmer and shallower than it is following the spring snowmelt. This area is prone to flash flooding though, so even if you wait until summer to do the hike, keep an eye on the weather.
Hiking through the river is an excellent way to keep cool in the summer, but be sure to wear close-toed shoes and watch your step. The rocks on the stream bed can really trip you up! Some people hike through the Narrows with a walking stick to help them keep their balance as they navigate their way around the rocks and through the little rapids.
We did this hike after spending the morning canyoneering, and it ended up being a great way to cool off and end the day. So pack some snacks, pull on your hiking boots, and enjoy one of Zion Canyon’s most spectacular sites.
The most convenient way to get to the Narrows is via shuttle. Park at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, hop on the shuttle, and get off at the Temple of Sinawava stop. There is also a parking lot up there if you would rather take your own vehicle.
1 mile walk via Riverside Walk from the Temple of Sinawava to get to the Narrows
10 mile round-trip to Big Spring, but you can make this hike as short or long as you want
The beauty of this hike is you can make it as short or as long as you’d like. You can make the trek out to Big Spring, or just wade up the Virgin River for a few moments before turning around.
Can be an all day hike if you choose to go all the way to Big Spring, but again, you can determine how far up the river you go. Many people choose to turn around after a short distance.