Hiking through the Narrows at Zion National Park is my final installment of my Utah travel adventures. In previous posts, I shared my planning and travel tips and my canyoning experience. On our last day, we hiked through cools waters at the bottom of a canyon and were wowed by the incredible rock formations and vastness of the Narrows. I’ve never felt so small.
In order to make our flight at 6pm in Las Vegas, we woke up at 6am to hike the Narrows. While there are shuttle buses that take you from Springdale straight to the Narrows, we drove instead, found a parking spot, and walked to the closest shuttle outside of the main entrance of the park. Parking is available early in the mornings. If you plan on going later, the shuttle will be your best bet.
The Zion Shuttle stops multiple times at more touristy spots within the park, including the Narrows. It also drops you off at Angel’s Landing, Observation Point and the Emerald Pools. There are numerous hikes and trails ranging in difficulty. We wished we had more time to do the Angel’s Landing or Observation Point hikes.
The Narrows were the last stop and we walked a mile in before hitting the river. So cool to see wildlife along the way, including a family of deer and some really fat squirrels.
I highly recommend renting shoes. Since you are walking through water and over rocks, no point in ruining a pair. The day before, after our canyoning trip, we went back to Zion Mountain School, dropped off our stuff and rented shoes for the Narrows the next day. Keep in mind, the school isn’t going to be open at 6am the next day, so make those arrangements beforehand. I wore the fugliest shoes I’ve ever seen, but they seriously were the best decision ever. The shoes have a thick grippy bottom which protected my feet from feeling the rocks and were perfect for wading through water. The socks that came with were neoprene, which means they insulate well against the cold. And let me tell you, that water was COLD. For $27, I got shoes, socks, and a walking stick. Highly recommended. The water can be strong and the walking stick is great to test rocks, depths, and keep you balanced.
Our hike through the Narrows is a 4-5 hour hike however it can be as long or short depending on how far you want to go. We hiked 2.5 miles in and then back after reaching a halfway point. I believe the whole thing is approximately 16 miles and you can start at different destinations. It’s considered one of the best slot canyons to hike. Prepare for photo overload!
The hike through the Narrows was my favorite part of my trip. It was serene and quiet and we just sloshed through the waters and enjoyed each other’s company. As short as we are (5’1 ft), we were concerned at first about the strength and depth of the water. Early in the morning it wasn’t bad at all. At different times of the year the water can certainly get much higher. August is certainly a peak time.
As early as we went, we were alone for the most part and were able to capture so many great shots of the canyon and the river. This would be a great hike to do at either the beginning or end of a trip. For us, it was incredibly relaxing. The cool water felt amazing on our legs.
Here we reached the halfway point, where the Narrows split, offering different directions. Up until this point, there was only one long winding path in, so you can’t “get lost”. It felt great getting here, but we wished we had more time to trek deeper.
I highly recommend going as early as possible. On our way back, there were a lot of people making their way in and all the traffic muddied the clear water and made usual paths through water a little more difficult. We were done before noon and had plenty of time to head back to the hotel to shower, finish packing and make the drive back to Dallas to catch our flight.
That concludes this amazing trip and my travel series to Zion National Park. Hiking through the Narrows was an incredible experience. Hope these blogs were helpful and caused some serious FOMO.