The Narrows

Zion National Park

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Welcome to Zion National Park, my name is Jonathan. Zion is a popular National Park where visitors come to immerse themselves within the grandeur of the canyon’s cliffs, and to challenge themselves with one of our many scenic and adventurous hikes. One of our more popular hikes visitors come to enjoy is the unique Narrows, a hike in a canyon that in places is only 20-30 feet wide, and 2000 feet deep.

However, unlike most hikes, taking on the Narrows means actually traveling upstream through the Virgin River on uneven, slippery, and rocky river boulders. Due to the risks of a hike like this, proper preparation is imperative, both for your safety and your enjoyment. Every hiker in The Narrows should have closed toed shoes, even just your regular hiking boots, and a walking stick. Although weather might be over 100 degrees the day of your hike, this narrow section of the canyon can stay considerably cooler, making non-cotton clothing, like polypropylene or wool, more ideal for its insulating benefits even while wet.

When you are planning your trip into The Narrows, you should also be aware of the flash flood potential. Afternoon thundershowers are possible throughout the year and a potential hazard to those hiking in slot canyons like The Narrows. During these events the river can quickly turn into a torrent of powerful rushing water, doubling and tripling in volume. Stop by the visitor center and speak with a ranger to get the most up to date conditions and the flash flood potential. Remember, even when you are prepared and conditions seem optimal, things can change quickly. Being aware of any changes in water clarity and increased river flow can go a long way in protecting your life. Being prepared and aware will help ensure a hike that will undoubtedly create positive memories that will last a lifetime. But please, ensure this opportunity for others by remembering to use the restroom before the start of your trip and to plan on packing out all your trash, including even the tiniest of crumbs. These simple guidelines will ensure the enjoyment of these special places for not only you, but generations to come.


Find out what to expect and how to prepare for one of Zion’s most popular hikes with Park Ranger Jonathan Fortner.