The Narrows – Tips & Recommendations

In the last post, we shared our experience with the Narrows in Zion National Park. It was really an amazing hike which we would love to do again. From our personal experience and initial extensive research, we have summarized a list of important tips and recommendations for this hike.

1) Rentals – Taking rentals or not is a point of debate. Many prefer to rely on their own gear while others like us prefer not to take any chance and totally rely on rentals. No doubt, rentals help a lot with grip, dryness, and blisters on feet due to overexposure to the water (neoprene socks), but if you are experienced, you can certainly manage without them. We would recommend them, especially in cooler months. In Summer you are actually fine without them. Just make sure to keep a nice walking stick with you for needed balance.

As described in the previous post, you can rent the gears from either Zion Outfitters or Zion Guru in Springdale, Utah.

2) Conditions – The hike conditions totally depend on the water flow of the river. The hike closes when the flow rate is over 150 cubic feet per second (CFS), or during possible snowmelt. The current conditions can be checked at the visitor center. Even rental companies like Zion Outfitters put such information on display. So make sure to check the conditions before starting the hike. Besides this, possible flood situations are also alarming, since there is no other way to escape, once you are on the hike.

3) Items To Carry – Make sure to bring snacks and water bottles with you. We kept plenty of water bottles but didn’t actually need that much. Throughout the whole hike of nearly 9 miles, we just finished 4 bottles of water, though we took 3 breaks for snacks. We kept sandwiches, protein bars, fruit-bowl, and dry fruits with us. Keeping extra pair of clothes is also wise to avoid unwanted conditions.

4) Hike Start Time – Start as early as possible. The First reason is parking itself which is hard to get and the Second is the crowd. If you want to enjoy an almost crowed-less hike, start early. The shuttle starts at 7 AM from the visitor center and the line starts as early as 5:30 AM. Refer to our experience.

5) Restrooms – The restrooms are only available at the start of the hike at the Temple of Sinawava. You won’t find anything in the hike as during most of the hike you would be in the water. Make sure to finish your business beforehand. It was really cold during our time there, we used the restrooms before the hike and never felt the need again throughout the hike.

6) Markings & Direction – There are no markings throughout the hike, so there is no way to know the landmarks of the hike other than a guess. We encourage you to take a look at the landmarks online so that it is easy to identify them on the hike. The best way is to download an offline map in the AllTrails app that will help you to navigate and track the distance. Direction wise there is nothing to worry about, the trail is straightforward with no turns.

Points to consider

  • Book your stay in Springdale, Utah which will save your travel time. We stayed at Zion Canyon Lodge during our first visit, which was just 2 min. drive from the national park.
  • The hike is worth a whole day’s adventure, so plan accordingly. If you want to see other parts of the park as well, returning from Wall Street or a little before would be smart.
  • The waterproof bag rental is not necessary, it just gives you peace of mind. We rented one and kept everything there including mobile, power bank, and snacks items. Everything was safe and intact.
  • Zip-lock bags are advisable. Keep your belongings in zip-lock bags.
  • Collect the rentals one day before your hike.
  • The rocks are slippery and the hike is full of them. Be cautious.
  • The shuttle service is very nice and it runs every 15 mins. If you don’t have an early morning preference, you can start the hike a little late as well, but be ready for the crowd.
  • Look for the climate and conditions before your hike.

All the best for the hike.

Happy Reading! Keep Traveling !!!

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