Explore The Narrows in Zion National Park

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Hiking in the Virgin River through the Narrows in Zion National Park

Hiking in the Virgin River through the Narrows in Zion National Park

The Narrows are easily accessed by everyone, including those who are wheelchair bound. The hike begins at Temple of Sinawava, where the shuttle will let you off, then winds along the paved pathway of Riverside Walk to the beginning of the area where the canyon walls narrow. Adventurous souls can wade into the shallow, rocky water (wear sturdy hiking shoes to keep your balance and your feet from being cut or smashed). The mountain water is cold, but bearable in the summer and early fall.

From this area, you can see the canyon walls begin to close in. Many people see others in the water and head on up into the mouth of the Narrows with small children. We don’t recommend it. The rocks can be slippery, you can encounter unexpected holes in the river where it may be deeper than it appears, and hypothermia is a very real danger because of the frosty water. The narrower the canyon gets, the faster and stronger the current, which adds another level of danger.

For those strong enough and properly equipped (good shoes, a walking stick, water to drink), a day hike offers an unforgettable experience. You are hiking in the river itself and there are only sporadic resting spots to get out as you forge upstream. Many day trippers try to make it to Orderville Canyon where a tributary creek pours into the Virgin. Park rangers estimate this to be a two-hour hike each way. Along the way you’ll discover Mystery Falls, a waterfall whose unknown source was a mystery.