Over 3 million people visit Zion National Park every year, and a hike through The Narrows is one of the park's most popular attractions. The Narrows is a breathtaking hike through the slot canyons of Zion National Park.
The only way to see The Narrows is to brave the Virgin River, which literally is the trail. The trailhead starts via the end of the Riverside Walk Trail where the path meets the Virgin River. To prepare for this hike you must take a lot into consideration. First, it is a there-and-back trail. That means you must anticipate the toll that hiking in a river will take on your body; be sure to conserve enough energy for the return trip. Second, the conditions can be quite cool in the canyon. In the spring, the water was about 30 degrees, which means wearing a wetsuit or even a drysuit is essential for your safety and comfort. You'll also want to make sure your gear can stand an accidental dip in the river, and sturdy footwear is also a must. You can rent gear at Zion Adventure Company. Finally, flash floods are a real danger, so check with the ranger station before you head out.
The sheer cliffs of the slot canyons and the Virgin River's emerald green water constantly entice you to see what is around the next bend in the river. In some sections you'll move through water that is waist to chest deep, and in other sections you'll hike on a sandy shore. There are two different trail entrances: this adventure describes the lower hike, and the upper requires a wilderness permit and can be completed as a multi-day trip. If you have rapelling gear, you can continue to other sections of the the canyon that are considered a different trail altogether, such as The Subway. During Summer months, you can expect heavy traffic in The Narrows, but if you are into hiking or canyoneering, you should definitely consider making the trip.
Here's a list of our go-to essentials to get you started: