Recommendations on hiking The Narrows
May 23nd, 2020
Length: 9.4 miles
Route Type: Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 206 ft
Dog Friendly: No
Fee: Zion National Park Entrance Fee $35 (good for 7 days)
Restrooms at trailhead: Yes
In my previous blog on The Watchman Trail I talk about how The Zion Canyon Scenic drive is open to cars since the shuttle isn’t operating due to the pandemic. Normally cars aren’t able to drive down this road. Usually to get down this road you take a shuttle, but since you are able to drive down this road you have to get there really early. We stayed outside of Zion in Leeds. It is about a 45 minute drive to Zion. We woke up at 4:30am so we would get there early. We arrived at Zion at 6:10am and were able to get down the Zion Canyon Scenic drive.We heard that the Zion Canyon Scenic drive was closed by 7:00am because it was already full.
This was near the end of May so it was cold in the morning. I wore a tank top, layered with a thin Nike pull over (great for morning hikes), an actual hoodie, and then a windbreaker. I had on Nike tights and my Nike trail shoes. This is the bottom-up hike that starts at The Temple of Sinawava, the very end of The Zion Scenic Drive. Based off the map we received at Zion it says this hike is 9.4 miles long and could take up to 8 hours. I think it could definitely take this long. We only did 2.88 miles and it took us about one hour and 30 minutes to do that (out and back). There is a paved part of this hike before you walk in water. This is called The Riverwalk and it is paved for the most part and is about 1 mile. After that you have to start walking through water. I started to warm up during this part of the hike, but once we started to go through water I was freezing.
A lot of people were more prepared than we were. They had proper clothes on so you didn’t get wet, unlike us. The water was only about 55 degrees. We didn’t make it very far because of how cold we were. The water over above our knees and was starting to get waist deep. That is when we turned around. A lot of people continued. It was really helpful that we had hiking sticks. There are big boulders in the river and they are slippery. I almost fell a couple of times. We were told by a ranger that in the summer months the water can be up to 70 degrees and it won’t be as deep. We will definitely have to come back during the summer so we can hike the entire Narrows. Even though we didn’t make it super far the view we had of the canyon was beautiful. The Narrows is the narrowest part of Zion Canyon. It was carved by the North Fork of the Virgin River. The sheer vertical walls inside are 2,000 ft.