From the Bottom Up

The Narrows from the bottom up at Mystery Falls

Day Hike from the Bottom and Back

Shuttle Stop to Start from: #9 Temple of Sinawava
Trailhead Location: Adjacent to shuttle stop and restrooms.
Pets: Not allowed
Distance (roundtrip): 9.4 mi / 15.1 km maximum
Elevation Change: 334 ft / 102 m
Estimated Hiking Time: 1-8 hours
Permits: Permits are not required for this hike.


The Virgin River Narrows (via Riverside Walk) is a popular hike that begins at the Temple of Sinawava. At least 60% of the hike is spent wading, walking, and sometimes swimming in the river. Travel is rough and slippery in cold, fast flowing water, on top of slippery rocks. High water levels can prevent access sometimes. Use appropriate equipment and clothing to help protect you. Before your hike, always check the weather and flash flood potential. This hike is not recommended if there is a chance of rain in the forecast. Flash floods are deadly.

The Narrows is about the journey, not the destination. There is no one “viewpoint” or extra spectacular spot. The entire hike is beautiful, so hike for a few minutes, or a few hours, then turn around and return the way you came. Hiking as far as Big Spring is allowed without a permit, which is 9.4 miles, round trip.

Plan ahead and know what to expect before hiking into the Narrows.

There are no bathrooms on the hike, so use the ones at the trailhead and bring human waste disposal bags just in case.

Other Route Information

The above information is for the out and back hike up the Virgin River Narrows from the bottom, which can be almost 10 miles round-trip in length. Visitors who plan to hike top-down, 16 miles, through the Virgin River Narrows will need a Wilderness Permit.

Orderville Canyon, a tributary that flows into the Narrows about two miles up the hike, is a common destination for hikers. Upstream travel in Orderville Canyon is not allowed after ¼ mile. Hikers wishing to experience more of Orderville Canyon must acquire a canyoneering permit and complete the canyon top-down. Group size limits (12 people per group) apply beyond the junction with Orderville Canyon.


Last updated: September 29, 2021

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Mailing Address:

Zion National Park
1 Zion Park Blvd.
State Route 9

Springdale, UT 84767


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