1. What is "The Narrows"?The Zion Narrows is unlike any other hike on Earth. Imagine walking upstream through a river, picking your way past slippery, round river rocks as you delve into a narrow, towering canyon. 1500-foot walls of smooth sandstone rise on each side of you, drawing your gaze upward and your mouth agape. You follow the serpentine path the river has carved over millions of years, passing waterfalls, deep green pools, and dark, secret alcoves. The Zion Narrows is a place of mystery, beauty, and solace. It beckons the heart of explorers everywhere.
2. What is the hike like?The Narrows is a river hike. 60% of the hike is in the river; 40% of the hike follows rocks and sandbars next to the river. You make your way up the Narrows by walking along shoreline, crossing the river to a new shoreline, on so on.
3. Should I worry about flash floods?Yes. Flash flooding is the most dangerous risk you encounter in the Narrows; fortunately, it is also the least likely to occur. Before you hike the Narrows, learn how to identify and manage a flooding event. By preparing yourself for the possibility of a flood, you can manage the risk safely and still have a great day in the Narrows.
4. Does the Narrows hike require good fitness?The Bottom-Up Hike is ideal for anybody who enjoys a walk through stunning beauty. River hiking requires concentration, but is not very strenuous because the topography is very flat. Remember, you can turn around at any time, and the return trip is always easier because it’s downhill AND downstream.
5. Do I really need special boots to hike The Narrows?Our 5.10 Canyoneers are the simply the best river hiking shoes on the planet. Patented super-sticky rubber helps your feet grip slippery rocks, while a stiff mid-sole and toe box protect your feet from rocks and sand. Combine these shoes with a cushy, warm pair of neoprene booties, you have the ultimate river footwear. Instead of cringing in foot-pain all day, you can enjoy what you came for – the awesome splendor of the Zion Narrows.
6. What should I wear?Synthetic, quick-dry clothing helps you stay warm and dry. Cotton clothing has no insulation value when wet, and dries slowly; you are better off naked than wearing wet cotton. During summer, wear a swimsuit or nylon shorts and a T-shirt; take along a warm fleece top and a hat for the cool afternoon shade. During colder months, wear synthetic layers underneath a drysuit for optimal comfort and bring extra layers along in your backpack.
7. How much time does the hike require?The Narrows Bottom-Up Hike takes anywhere from 2 to 10 hours, but most people spend 4-6 hours in the river. The Thru-Hike takes one long day (10-14 hours) or two moderate days (8 hours each) to complete.
8. Where do I go to the bathroom in the Narrows?Peeing: Pee onto sand or gravel, when possible. While peeing in the river is ecologically sound, it is somewhat offensive to those hikers downstream of you. Please avoid peeing on green vegetation, as the acidity of human urine kills plants.
Pooping: All solid human waste must be carried out of the Narrows. Bring a plastic bag and toilet paper in case you need to poop while in the Narrows.