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My Review of The Narrows Trail - Zion National Park

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

The details!

  • Length: 0 - 9.4 miles

  • Elevation gain: feet

  • Route type: Out & Back

  • Difficulty: Moderate

During my visit to Zion, I was rather excited by all the possible hikes. Hikes through the Virgin river, hikes up the canyon walls, and more! There are a few widely known and highly trafficked trails in Zion. The most well known of course is Angels Landing. After that you might have heard of a little trail called The Narrows! The Narrows trail takes you through the Virgin river into the slot canyons on the north end of the park. Although there is no single defined trail, due to the many slot canyons you can explore, there are some predetermined areas where you can go no farther either due to regulations or other impasses. In what could be called the main trail, when you reach Big Springs, you must turn around unless you have a permit to continue further into the canyons. Pro tip: Check outside the park for an outfitter shop that will loan you wading gear and hiking sticks! This will help keep you warm if the water is cold, which it can be as it flows through the shade most of the time, and upright if you loose your footing in the water. Just something to consider if you take this hike! I found it worthwhile.

This trail is tricky! Since you are hiking through the Virgin river, you can expect to be wet. Whether that poses a challenge to you or not is up to you. What would certainly provide challenges to anyone are the smooth, loose rocks on the river bed, the limited visibility of those rocks from above and outside the water, and that you can go from ankle deep water to chest deep water in just a few feet. If you're like me and bring camera gear, being taken off balance with a camera pack is not when you want to go for an unexpected swim.

Be prepared! Bring adequate water on your hike. Although it may not seem like it, Zion is still considered a desert. You will be losing water through evaporated sweat even if it doesn't seem like it. Also check on trail conditions before you hike. Being caught in these slot canyons with no quick way out and rapidly rising water is not where you want to be caught.

Watch the weather! I can't say it enough, watch the weather! This trail takes you through a river in the middle of tall and narrow slot canyons. If it begins to rain anywhere nearby, you could very quickly find yourself in the middle of a flash flood with no easy escape. The park ranger stations will have information about the weather and whether there is any danger to hikers before they set out. Still, the weather can change without warning at anytime. Just be aware!


Happy Trails!
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