Hike The Narrows In Zion National Park

July 23, 2012 | By | 2 Replies More

Zion National Park Utah

My friends and I took a short trip to Zion National Park to camp and hike The Narrows last weekend. The Narrows was voted as one of America’s best adventure hikes by National Geographic. The cliffs were multicolored sandstone rocks and mountainous ranges reaching high. The canyon walls were carved out over millions of years from water rushing from the Virgin River.

Since its only 173 miles from Las Vegas where we live, it was about a three hour drive which made it the perfect get away from Sin City. It was my first time to Zion so I was excited to explore a small part of it over two days.

Zion National Park

We arrived early evening on a Friday night right before sunset to set up our camp. My friend reserved a couple of spots for us at the Watchman campground where we just parked our cars right next to the campsite. The campground was a short walk to the visitors center and shuttle stop so the location was perfect. She actually made the reservations a few months before since it was peak season. There were tons of ants everywhere! After 45 minutes of trying to figure out how to set up our tent, we drove back into the small resort town of Springdale which is right before the park entrance to grab some dinner.

The following morning we took the free shuttle from the visitors center to Temple of Sinawava which is the last stop. It was about a 30 minute ride to get to the starting point of The Narrows trail. At the bus stop there is a nice bathroom with full functioning sink and plumbing so if you need use the toilet, the facilities are great. There are water stations we could have used to refill our water bottles if needed.

Zion Narrows

We did the bottom up hike a past Orderville Canyon so we didn’t need to get a permit. Our journey round trip was about five hours. It started to rain and thunder a bit late in the afternoon so we hurried back to Temple of Sinawava. There’s a risk of flash flooding even on the sunniest days! Flash floods are unpredictable so be sure to educate yourself how to spot one coming and know what to do in case of emergency.

Luckily, we made it out of safely. Later that afternoon we heard the park issued a flash flood warning and closed The Narrows.

Equipment you’ll need for bottom up day hike

  • Sunscreen, SPF 30 or greater
  • warm hat and gloves, September – May
  • warm layer or jacket anytime of year
  • Non-cotton layers anytime of year, I used running gear
  • River shorts or bathing suit, May – September
  • Dry pants or dry suit, October – May
  • Sturdy 5.10 Canyoneer Footwear, I used old running shoes which were fine
  • wood walking stick
  • Day pack or hydration pack
  • At least 2 liters of water per person per day
  • Food & nutritional snacks
  • Trash bags for your garbage
  • Poop bag
  • Zip-locks and drybags for food, wallet, etc
  • Camera with double-layer waterproofing
  • Journal, sketch pad, diary

Here are some links and reviews you may find useful.

Plan your visit

Zion National Park
Utah
www.nps.gov/zion/index.htm

Watchman Campground
www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/watchman-campground.htm
Location: Great! It’s ¼ mile from the South Entrance.

Rent equipment

Zion Adventure Company
36 Lion Boulevard
Springdale, UT 84767
(435) 772-1001
www.zionadventures.com
Do I recommend?: Yes
The staff was friendly and the customer service was great. When we were about to go river tubing, the guy ringing me up was honest to tell me that the water levels were not high and it may require some walking. My friends no longer wanted to go, so I was able to get a refund. I do plan to go back and rent equipment from them in the future.

Learn about flash floods and safety
www.zionadventures.com/zion-narrows/safety-a-ethics/avoid-flash-flooding/

Explore Springdale, Utah
www.springdaletown.com The Gateway to Zion National Park

Bit and Spur Restaurant and Saloon
1212 Zion Park Blvd
Springdale, UT 8476
(435) 772-3498
www.bitandspur.com
Food: Mexican
Price: $$
Do I recommend?: Yes
My friends all ordered tacos which where a good size for the price. I opted for the Rosemary Chicken with bowtie pasta, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, asiago cheese, and cream sauce which was one of the most flavorful dishes I’ve eaten. The portion size was large and the temperature of the food was just hot enough as it came to the table. The flavors all blended well. It was delicious! I usually take pics of my food, but I didn’t capture this dish. It is a tad bit high on the price point of $16, but we we’re in a resort town. The service at Bit and Spur was great and the waitress was attentive.

Sol Foods Downtown Supermarket
95 Zion Park Blvd
Springdale, UT 84767
(435) 772-0277
www.solfoods.com/downtown_supermarket_info.php
Quality: Produce was not the best.
Price: $$$$
Do I recommend?: No.
Shop in St. George and try to bring everything you need into town. I found the produce to be old and wilted. The onions were where comparable in price to other grocery stores at $0.49 for a bunch.

Zion Park Gift & Deli
866 Zion Park Blvd.
Springdale, UT 84767
(435) 772-3843
Price: $
Do I recommend?: Yes
Try their ice cream and assortment of handmade candies. The fudge looked delicious, but I didn’t try. I had the chocolate covered blueberries and chocolate chip mint ice cream.

I plan to go back again to do the top down hike and camp overnight in The Narrows. It does require a permit and you’ll need to arrange transportation to the starting point. Two other amazing hikes in Zion are Angel’s Landing and The Subway. There’s always more to explore!

  • If you’ve hiked in Zion, what was your favorite?
  • What other places do you recommend visiting in Springdale, UT?

Share your experiences by commenting below.

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Category: Things to do

Comments (2)

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  1. Harry says:

    Amazing suggestions. Thanks for these great resources.

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