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Understand River Levels

There are multiple factors that cause the water level in the Narrows to increase. These factors can include recent local precipitation, recent upstream precipitation, and sustained spring snowmelt. The National Park monitors these specific factors and how they relate to the water level increases in order to establish hiking restrictions.
Below are the three hiking restrictions and how they can effect your trip into the Narrows.

1. Recent Precipitation:

    • Top-Down Hike: Closed if the water level is higher than 120 cfs, hike reopens immediately when river level is 120 cfs or below.
    • Bottom-Up: Closed if the water level is higher than 150 cfs, hike reopens immediately when river level is 150 cfs or below.

          *Even though the hike is immediately open after the water level falls below the closure level it is not always advisable to enter the river immediately.

2. Sustained Spring Snowmelt:

    • Top-Down Hike: Closed if the water level is higher than 120 cfs, hike reopens after 24 continuous hours of 120 cfs or below.
    • Bottom-Up: Closed if the water level is higher than 150 cfs, hike reopens after 24 continuous hours of 150 cfs or below.

3. Flash Flood Warning

    • Top-Down and Bottom-Up hikes are closed during the NOAA Flash Flood Warning and remain closed for an additional 2 hours after the Flash Flood Warning expires.

            *Recent Precipitaion rule above (1) may keep the hike closed beyond the 2 hours in this case.

Check current NOAA Springdale Forecast here.

Check current USGS Virgin River Flow here.