Hiking Southern Utah The NarrowsHiking Southern Utah: The Narrows

The Narrows is one of the most famous slot canyons in the world. People travel from near and far to visit this glorious sandstone creation every day and people of all ages and levels can enjoy its splendor.

Trail: The Narrows bottom-up

Location: Zion National Park

Difficulty: Easy to difficult

Distance: Up to 16 miles depending on how far you choose to go

Average time: Two to eight hours

Elevation gain: Depends on how far you choose to go

Best time to go: Summer

What to bring: Water socks, water shoes, a walking stick, and a dry bag (may be found at zionadventure.com), camera, sunscreen or hat, snacks and water to drink. If you choose to go when the temperatures are cooler you may choose to wear dry pants or a drysuit. If you go in the winter, a drysuit is necessary.

Caution: As with any slot canyon, you do not want to hike this trail during rain. Check NOAA.com for current weather conditions and do not enter the slot canyon if there is any chance of precipitation.

Directions: Go to Zion National Park. It is easiest to hop on a park shuttle (in season) and take the shuttle to the Temple of Sinawava. This is where the trailhead is.

The trail: The trail starts and ends at the parking lot.

Follow the footpath all the way to the river. There is a nice spot here to put on your water socks and other gear. Enter and walk through the river cautiously the boulders and rocks can be quite slick. About 15 minutes up the river to your right you will notice Mystery Falls spilling down the mossy sandstone. If you are lucky you might see an adventurer repelling down as they complete their canyoneering trip through the Mystery Canyon. The sandstone cliffs will tower up to 800 feet above head for a jaw dropping experience. Continue hiking cautiously through the waters and after passing a sharp left turn that swings back around to create a gooseneck, you will reach one of the most photographed areas of the Narrows. In some areas of the trail there will be pools where you can choose to wade through, but in most cases there are more shallow routes to take.

Along the trail you will see an alcove and just passed this you will be able to decide if you’d like to move on through the Narrows into Wallstreet or turn right and go into Orderville Canyon. Orderville can be a little trickier to navigate and would recommend that you be a more agile experienced hiker for this route. Whichever you choose, make sure that you are watching the time and give yourself plenty of time to make the hike back.

Wallstreet is the narrowest part of the canyon and gets down to 25 to 30 feet wide. I highly recommend that you make it through at least part of Wallstreet to experience the Narrows namesake. This hike takes a little preparation, but with that comes the great reward of a quite memorable experience.

Hike hunt list:

—Mystery Falls.

—Repellers.

—Alcove.

—Orderville Canyon.

Tag #hikehuntnarrows and #suindependent to share your photos with us and others.

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