Zion Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah

Ron Niebrugge Photos, Travel, Utah, Zion National Park 14 Comments

Zion Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah

Zion Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah.

The Narrows is a famous Zion hike, probably one of the great hikes in the entire west, and for good reason!  Let me describe it and you will understand why.  Basically you are in a narrow canyon with the walls rising straight up 1,500 feet around you.  And if that wasn’t cool enough, the canyon itself has a beautiful, clear water river (Virgin River) running down the middle of it.  In many places the river flows literally from wall to wall so you have (get) to walk right down the middle of it!

This photo is of one of the wider places – thus the trees. 

The first time we hiked this in October a number of years ago we just wore running shoes and shorts.  This time we got a little smarter and not only used canyon shoes and neoprene socks, but we also rented dry pants.  The Zion Adventure Company will rent the shoes, socks and a walking stick for $17 for the first day, and $9 per day for additional days.  For $29 for the first day, and $15 there after you also get the dry pants.  The dry pants are especially helpful if you plan to start the hike in the morning.  We went on Friday; in the morning the air temperature was 42, and the water was 49 – with the dry pants and shoes we weren’t the slightest bit cold, despite spending an extended amount of time in the water as I set up shots.  By the afternoon the temps were in the 70’s and shorts would have been fine – at least if you are from Alaska.

The Narrows hike begins at the far end of Zion Canyon at the Temple of Sinawava.  From there you hike a mile on the nice easy Riverside Walk trail.  At the end of the Riverside Walk, the Narrows literally begin.  If you think you can do this hike and stay dry, reality will hit you right away as the river is running wall to wall right at the beginning.  From this point on you make your way up the Narrows.  There is a nice extra narrow canyon coming in from the right about 2.5 miles from the beginning known as Orderville Canyon.  You can walk a ways up this canyon, and it is a nice side trip.  Past Orderville is one of the narrowest parts of the Narrows called Wall Street.  This is a popular location with photographers, but really, there are photo opportunities along the whole hike.

Here is a larger version of the Zion Narrows photo.

Comments 14

  1. So when is the “Photographers Guide to Zion” coming out Ron? 🙂 I like the way the waviness of the foreground rock is repeated in other areas throughout the shot.

  2. Man I’m doing this hike next time I’m there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood there at the end of the Riverwalk trail dreaming of walking up the river. Great description of the hike for those of us who havn’t done it.

    I’ve heard that you can spot a So Cal native very easily because they’re likely to be the only ones wearing shorts in situations they shouldn’t be.

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    Thanks Mark! I think I have shared about all I know here! 🙂

    Richard, man I can’t believe you didn’t hike the Narrows! There is usually a gathering of people at the end of the Riverwalk looking up the Narrows trying to decide if it is worth getting wet for – I think it is!


  4. Thanks Ron & Janine for talking us into doing this hike. It was awesome! And renting the gear was the way to go. Makes it so much more enjoyable! We’ll probably do this one again. Thanks!

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    Hi Judy!

    I’m so glad you guys went! I knew if you did you would be glad, it is such an amazing hike.

    By the way, I was too busy talking and I didn’t get to see your photos from the hike – next time.


  6. I live here, sort of, about 80 min’s away. The Narrows have always been my favorite hike. The flowers, ferns & columbines right out of the cliff wall seeping water. Espying the rare Zion frog. It is truly beautiful with the towering cliff’s. 5 Years I’ve been hiking this along with Observation Point and Angels Landing. The best part is, when you have gone as far up the river as you can, you blow up your camelbak and just float down the rapids until it is too shallow. Standup, and walk to the next rapid and jump in.

  7. Almost forgot. All you need are shorts, tightly laced trashy tennis shoes. Pebbles aren’t a problem until you get to the Virgin/Orderville canyon split. You can wear fancy socks if you’re prissy. Hiking stick is a must, 2 preferable. If you don’t have one you will often find one around the corner of the entry to the river at the Temple of Sinawava. Oh, and wear colored socks if you can, black ones. If it’s rained the sand stone will color socks pink permanently.

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  10. Pingback: {San Francisco} When We Were Young… | Cashmere Darling

  11. hello – is it just me !! can any one explain why when i type in the firefox browser “www.my-photo-blog.com” i get a different site yet whe i type it in google its ok? could this be a bug in my system or is any one else having same probs ?

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