The Narrows - Bottom Up Route
ElevationAscent: 305' 93 m
Descent: -305' -93 m
High: 4,656' 1,419 m
Low: 4,456' 1,358 m
GradeAvg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 8% (4°)
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“2000-foot sandstone walls usher visitors through one of the best experiences in Zion NP.”— Brian Smith
Features Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The Narrows is not a run to be underestimated. Running The Narrows means running in the Virgin River. At least 60 percent of the way is spent wading, navigating, and sometimes swimming in the river. There is no maintained trail because the route is the river. The current is swift, the water is cold, and the rocks underfoot are slippery. Flash flooding and hypothermia are constant dangers. Appropriate planning, proper equipment, and sound judgment are essential for a safe and successful trip. Your safety is your responsibility.
The Narrows is one of the most popular areas in Zion National Park. This route leads from the Temple of Sinawava to Orderville Canyon and back again.
Continuously evaluate weather conditions. If bad weather threatens, avoid traveling in a slot canyon. Watch for these indications of a flash flood:
-Any deterioration in weather conditions
-Build up of clouds or sounds of thunder
-Sudden changes in water clarity
The Narrows is like navigating on slippery bowling balls. It requires balancing on algae-coated rocks in the middle of a swiftly flowing river. Sturdy footwear is essential. Hiking boots with good ankle support are best. Inappropriate footwear often results in twisted ankles and crushed toes.
Lastly, cotton kills! Wear moisture wicking clothing and bring layers. Lower temps in the narrows, coupled with cold water, can have you shivering on a 100° day.
At the end of Riverside Walk, begin wading upstream into the Narrows. Use caution as you move upstream given the slippery and uneven nature of the river bottom. There is no formal destination (turn around whenever you feel like it), and you return the same way you came. This route turns back on itself at Orderville Canyon, a tributary creek approximately two hours upstream from the end of Riverside Walk (2.5 miles from the shuttle stop).
Along the way to Orderville Canyon, you'll be continuously awestruck by the peculiarity of this narrow and incredibly deep canyon. The sandstone walls of the canyon flow overhead like the water that carved them into existence.
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Land Manager: National Park Service - Zion National Park