Beyond the Riverside Walk, upper Zion Canyon becomes so narrow—as tight as 20 feet in areas—that there's no room for a trail. It's a beautiful hike, and easily the most famous of the park's backcountry areas, but does require extra preparation and the right conditions. Flash floods and hypothermia are the main dangers. Winter is too cold, spring has high runoff, and late summer brings thunderstorms and the danger of flash floods. Early summer (mid-June to mid-July) and early autumn (mid-September to mid-October) are the best times to go. The Narrows are 16 miles long, possible in a 12-hour day hike or a more leisurely two days with an overnight stay in the canyon. The confluence with Orderville Canyon, a major tributary two hours upstream, is a good destination for a day hike because Zion Canyon is especially spectacular here; however, traveling upstream into Orderville Canyon or beyond Big Spring is prohibited. The park's Backcountry Planner, available at the visitor centers and on the Web site, has helpful tips on what to bring and how to obtain the permits.

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Expert Review of The Narrows

Active and Adventure Review of The Narrows

Away Travel Expert: Bill Weir
expert favorite Active Expert Favorite
ActiveExpert Rating 5.0 out of 5 Recommended for:
Day Hiking,Trekking and Backpacking
Active and AdventureExpert Tips & Helpful Hints
  • Camping is permitted only at designated sites, and there's a one-night limit.
  • Hiking in the Narrows has been compared to walking on slippery bowling balls because of algae-coated rocks! You need boots with good ankle support. The use of sandals or bare feet too often results in twisted ankles and crushed toes.
  • Zion National Park has many fine canyoneering destinations. These require skills, equipment, preparation, and permits. The park's Backcountry Planner has an introduction.

Zion Canyon
Zion National Park
Springdale, Utah 84767
Parking: When weather and water conditions allow
Price: Park entry is $25 per car or $12 pedestrian/cyclist for 7 days

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: 435-772-3256
Fax: 435-772-3426
Transportation: Lower trailhead is reached by shuttle (except winter), car (winter only), or bicycle. You must arrange a shuttle ride to the upper trailhead.
Neighborhood: Zion Canyon
Price Information: Park entry is $25 per car or $12 pedestrian/cyclist for 7 days
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Away Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.