Trail Review: The Narrows Bottom Up at Zion National Park
The hike known as The Narrows is located in the southern part of Zion National Park.
Our story goes like this. The boys were going on a canoe trip in the boundary waters of Minnesota. That left my daughter & I with time to adventure on our own. She told me she wanted to do a hike through a river. I told her to find one. Not long later, she came back with info on The Narrows. A week later, we hopped in my car and headed to Utah.
Location: Zion National Park, Utah
Trail Type: Out & Back
Elevation: 4438ft – 4716ft
Difficulty: Moderate – due to the water & slippery rocks
During the peak season, it is a bit of a process to reach many of the trailheads at the Springdale end of the park. It took us an hour to reach the trailhead from our hotel.
We stayed at a hotel in Springdale located at a shuttle stop. We loaded the first shuttle about 7:00am. This shuttle dropped us off right outside the park and we entered via the pedestrian entrance. Once inside the park we hopped on another shuttle that takes visitors to stops along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Our stop was the last one, Temple of Sinawava. We arrived right about 8:00.
* Make sure to use the restroom and fill your water bottle at this shuttle stop before heading out since there are no services along the hiking route.
To reach The Narrows, you must first walk a mile long path. It is mostly flat and well maintained. This is a great trail to enjoy even if you aren’t interested in hiking The Narrows.
This was a very exciting moment for me. We were here. We were doing the hike we traveled over 1,000 miles to experience. Was it going to live up to expectations? Spoiler alert: Absolutely!
Heading Up River
This is a very popular hike, so expect a crowd.
Does it get any more dreamy than walking in a slot canyon through a river on a summer’s day?
For the most part, the water went about our ankles and lower calves. Occasionally, it would reach above the knees. Depending on the time of year, it can get waist deep.
Lush, green hikes are my all time favorites. So, naturally, the hanging gardens intrigued me. Water coming through the porous sandstone sustains a beautiful habitat of ferns, grasses, wildflowers and other plants. 💚
About 2 miles after entering the river (3 miles from the shuttle stop) is Orderville Canyon. You can venture a 1/4 mile inside the canyon to explore, but going further requires a permit.
Our Turnaround: Wall Street
We walked a bit up the Wall Street section before turning around.
Heading Back: Down River
We had been in the river long enough that the sun was beginning to peek over the cliffs on our way back. This brought out all the amazing orange colors of the rock.
I was surprised at the number of places you could get out of the water and walk along the river’s edge. I loved walking through the water, but the land sections were a nice break. Being it was August, I’m going to assume we had more land options than earlier in the season.
This hike absolutely lived up to all the hype. It is definitely one of my top 10 favorite hikes. I hope to experience it again someday.
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