Hiking the Narrows in Zion National Park

Each year, thousands of outdoor enthusiasts visit Zion National Park to explore the shadowy, twisted depths of the grandfather of all slot canyons, the Zion Narrows.

The "Narrows" is both an incredible place and an unforgettable hike: Imagine wading in flowing water through a corridor of red, brown, black and beige stone towering 1,500 feet above.

Walking 16 miles through this massive natural passage, you're a tiny dot of color, dwarfed by the immense proportions of this sky-stone-river hallway. With each bend of the river, watch the canyon twist and turn, revealing immense overhangs, sculpted towers, and striking, vertical walls of rock.

And yet, amidst this grandeur, there are surprises of delicate intimacy: a beautifully carved alcove, a lush garden of flowers growing from the canyon wall, a thin cascade of water trickling from a side canyon.

The Narrows is an escape into an unreal world, a playground calling to the child in everyone. As we swim in deep pools, scramble up gigantic boulders, or simply sit and marvel at the clouds above, we allow ourselves to embrace the explorer, the adventurer, the wide-eyed dreamer inside each of us.

Exploring the Narrows

The Narrows is a non-technical, entry-level canyoneering experience, exciting enough to draw visitors from all over the world and moderate enough to allow almost anyone to explore its depths. Best done as an over-night hike, most hikers bring camping gear for the night and split the hike into two, eight-mile days.

Day one begins at an old ranch, following the Virgin River from open sagebrush meadows into a slowly growing corridor of red sandstone. After walking through the snaking Upper Narrows, the walls remain vast and steep, providing an intimate setting for exploring side canyons, waterfalls, and rock gardens. At night, small riverside campsites keep hikers high and dry, with a thin, starry ribbon of sky overhead.

Day two brings hikers to the confluence of Deep Creek, making both the river and the canyon walls deeper and more impressive. Eventually, hikers reach "Wall Street," the deepest, narrowest section of the Narrows, where the walls squeeze down to 40 feet wide and as high as any craned-neck hiker can see.

Hikers eventually emerge at Temple of Sinawava, where they must readjust their eyes to the light and prepare to re-enter civilization, a world vastly different from the quiet reverie of the Narrows.

Camp at Watchman Campground in the park.

 


About Zion Adventure Company

Two men with a dream founded Zion Adventure Company in 1996, the first outfitter and guide service to offer Zion's visitors help in pursuing their outdoor passions. Ten years later, Zion Adventure Company has become the premier outdoor adventure company in the Zion area, offering trips and technical courses in canyoneering, rock climbing, mountain biking and adventure hiking.

When aspiring adventurers plan their Zion vacations, they turn to Zion Adventure Company for advice, gear and camaraderie. Whether you seek time-tested technical equipment, world-class canyoneering instruction, information on the best trips in Zion National Park, or simply a shuttle ride to your favorite trailhead, Zion Adventure Company can help make your Zion visit an unforgettable one. Visit them at zionadventures.com/

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