The Narrows

Bring Along:


  • Camera

  • Sun Protection

  • Trail Map

  • Water

  • Close Toed Shoes

  • Hiking stick

Trail Description


  • Easy To Strenuous

  • 18 - 24 Hours

  • 32 Round Trip

  • 3,000-10,000 Ft. Elevation

  • Beware Flash Floods

  • Spring, Summer and, Fall

The Narrows in Zion National Park is part of the North Fork Section of the Virgin River. The Narrow hikes are considered the most popular and exciting hikes on the Colorado Plateau. The term Narrows can be referred to in two ways; One is the hike through Narrows and the other is the Narrows themselves. The trail is part of a 3.6 mile long section of Zion Canyon between the Big Spring and the end of the Riverside Walk Trail. The Zion Narrows has been rated #5 in the NG (National Geographic) ranking of America’s Best 100 Hiking Adventures.

The Narrows was first named in 1872 by explorer and geologist Grove Karl Gilbert. He and his friends traveled on horseback from the Navajo Lake to the Zion Narrows in Springdale. The Virgin River’s North fork, also popularly known as the Zion Narrows, is one of the most outstanding hikes in Zion National Park.

The section starts from the end of the Temple of Sinawava trail. The canyon walls close in to form tall narrow canyons, with gorgeous dark corners, with the elegant Virgin River flowing along the way, it is a heavenly sight experience. This is a must-do hike recommended for experienced hikers to attempt. It may not be suitable for beginner hikers.

  1. Zion Narrows Day hikeRated as moderately strenuous hike, hikers and the tourists can enjoy this route of the Zion Narrows. The route begins at the Temple of Sinawava and leads to the Riverside Walk Trail. You can continue hiking to the river to find several other sections of the Virgin River North Fork Narrows. Along the way, you can see the Orderville Canyon which offers amazing sceneries of a slot canyon.
  2. Zion Narrows- Backpacking Top-Down RouteRated as a strenuous backpacking route, the trail starts from Chamberlain’s Ranch and goes to the North Corner of ZNP. The top-down North Fork hike from the upper plateau is the most exciting hike that you won’t experience anywhere else.  This route is less crowded and longer than the traditional Zion Narrows hike.  This route offers you extraordinary scenic views and you can witness the delicate beauty of the Upper North Fork, as it transforms into the deep, grand slot canyons that release into the main-Zion-Canyon.  To experience the magical Zion Narrows Top-Down Hike, you need to spend at least a day or two for an unforgettable experience.
  3. Orderville Canyon: Rated as semi-technical canyoneering trip and strenuous hike, the Orderville Canyon is famously known as the sibling of the Zion Narrows and is a long day hike, especially for beginner cannoneers.  From the Zion Narrows, you can explore the lower section as a side hike. Along the way you can experience two short rappels, several short swims , as well as several down climbs over rock and boulder formations. The canyon is narrow, dark, tall and totally mysterious. It is definitely a hike worth attempting.
  4. Deep Creek: Rated as fairly strenuous backpacking trail the longer Deep Creek route is the big brother to the North Fork route. This 14 miles route of river hiking will take you to  the Zion Narrows and the Virgin River. It takes two to three day to complete the trip.

The best time to hike the Zion Narrows is in the summer or late spring.  The summer is preferred as the water will be warmer and the water levels also drop. During the summer you may face storms which may include chances of life-threatening flash floods alerts during the storms.

Early spring and winter are colder and water levels will be at their high. The Narrows are normally closed during the colder winter season. Fall offers the best and most stable weather for most hiking, but during fall the days will be shorter and at night temperatures will drop.

Explore the Zion Narrows as it offers several famous technical canyoneering routes, from mystery canyon to stern Kolob creek and the inlay canyon. Learn more about the trail before you pursue your trip. Be sure to get the required information before you hit the trail.