Distance: 16 miles (one-way)
Trail type: One-way (shuttle required)
Elevation Change: 1,400 feet
Duration: 12 - 13 hours
Difficulty rating: Strenuous
A top choice among adventuresome hikers, the Zion Narrows provides spectacular scenery its entire length, including hanging gardens, lush vegetation, waterfalls, and its signature narrow canyon walls, which shrink to approximately 15 feet wide in some spots. Much of the hike requires walking in the river, which includes slippery rocks throughout and swift current in some places. Sturdy shoes (not sandals) and hiking sticks (one for each hand is desirable) are essentials on the hike, which can be a long day hike or an overnight backpacking trip. There are 12 designated campsites along the way. The hike begins at Chamberlain’s Ranch along the North Fork Road, whose turnoff is approximately 2.4 miles outside the park’s east entrance. The hike ends at the Temple of Sinawava, the northernmost shuttle stop in Zion Canyon. Hikers must have someone drop them off at the trailhead and leave a car at the visitor center or Springdale, or arrange a shuttle through a local outfitter. Hikers must also check the weather before hiking. Flash flooding is a very real possibility in narrow slot canyons. The best times to do the hike are late June and early September, when thunderstorm potential is at a minimum. Hiking the narrows requires a permit, obtainable at the backcountry office connected to the Zion Canyon Visitor Center or the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center.
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